Manchester City welcome Liverpool to the Etihad Stadium on Thursday evening in a crucial fixture, as they look to gain points on the Premier League leaders.

Pep Guardiola could welcome Kevin De Bruyne back to his side, as BBC Sport reported that the Belgian playmaker has returned to training.

Ilkay Gundogan is expected to return after missing Man City’s victory over Southampton, as he sat out the 3-1 victory on Sunday.

City will be without Fabian Delph though, as he is currently suspended, and defender Benjamin Mendy is facing a long spell on the side lines.

Guardiola’s men have slipped to seven points behind their opponents and are currently in third place, after losing three Premier League fixtures in December. That included back-to-back losses to Crystal Palace and Leicester City, as Man City lost their grip on top spot.

City will be hoping for a repeat of the corresponding fixture last season, as they romped to a 5-0 victory over Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium.

Sergio Aguero has managed to find the net in all six of his home meetings with Thursday’s opponents, and his next goal will be the 250th of his career.

City have lost just one of their last nine league meetings with Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium, as they were beaten 4-1 in 2015.

Guardiola will be hoping to collect his 100th victory as Man City boss and avoid losing consecutive Premier League home fixtures for the first time since 2016, as they look to close the gap on the league leaders.

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