Premier League: Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says Kevin De Bruyne, John Stones in contention for clash against Crystal Palace
City are unhappy about the Premier League’s scheduling after the release of the broadcast selections for the Christmas period, saying the fixtures favoured Liverpool
Belgium playmaker De Bruyne has returned to first-team training this week for the first time since suffering a groin injury in a win over Everton last month
Centre back John Stones is also back after recovering from a thigh problem, as is Benjamin Mendy
City will look to get their title defence back on track after a shock loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers last time out left Guardiola's side eight points behind leaders Liverpool
Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and John Stones could be in contention for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Crystal Palace, manager Pep Guardiola said.
Belgium playmaker De Bruyne has returned to first-team training this week for the first time since suffering a groin injury in a win over Everton last month.
Centre back John Stones is also back after recovering from a thigh problem, as is Benjamin Mendy, although the French full-back may have to wait for his first-team comeback.
“Some of them are back,” Guardiola told a news conference on Friday. “Kevin is back, John has trained well the last two days. Mendy a little later but he’s back.”
City will look to get their league title defence back on track at Selhurst Park after a shock loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers last time out left Guardiola’s side eight points behind leaders Liverpool, who hold a 100% record.
City are unhappy about the Premier League’s scheduling after the release of the broadcast selections for the Christmas period, with the Manchester club saying the fixtures favoured Liverpool.
City will play at Wolves on 27 December at 7.45 pm local time and then kick-off against Sheffield United at the Etihad less than 48 hours afterwards.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have an extra day of rest between games against Leicester City on Boxing Day and Wolves on 29 December.
Omar Berrada, City’s chief operating officer, said the Premier League is not doing enough to protect its players, and Guardiola echoed his sentiments.
“It’s what it is,” Guardiola said. “Since I came here every season it’s the same. The broadcasters are the bosses, it’s not about us. I love to play Boxing Day, families go to the stadiums, the players travel but the system does not protect the players too much."
“Maybe the broadcasters are fans for some clubs. We have meetings with Premier League, managers, UEFA, they are so glad, nice pictures, it doesn’t matter — we have to play.”
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
Up to 4,000 people can return to outdoor sports stadiums in parts of England classified as at low risk from Covid-19 from 2 December, a decision that affects football, rugby, horse racing and other sports.
Premier League: Son Heung-min, Lo Celso on target as Tottenham stun Manchester City; Chelsea beat Newcastle United
Spurs ended the day on top of the table for the first time in six years as goals from Son Heung-min and Giovani Lo Celso saw off a toothless City at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.
Premier League: Liverpool set new Anfield record with win over Leicester; 10-man Arsenal hold Leeds United
Liverpool have now set a new club record of 64 unbeaten league games at Anfield.