Manchester City host Newcastle United this evening (July 8) looking to get back to winning ways following their shock defeat at Southampton.

That 1-0 reverse highlighted why Pep Guardiola’s side has been unable to challenge Liverpool more closely this season, following up as it did a 3-0 victory over the Reds.

Such inconsistency has cost City dear and with three defeats in their last five league matches, they must still work hard to ensure they don’t drop out of the top two.

Citizens fans may be pleased to know that centre-back John Stones will return to the starting line-up against the Magpies having been out of action with an ankle injury since March.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Guardiola confirmed the England international will make his comeback tonight.

“I saw Eric [Garcia] and Aymeric [Laporte] did well together against Arsenal and wanted to give them more minutes to play together,” he said.

“But I will give you some more news: tomorrow he [Stones] is going to play.”

The 26-year-old has made only 12 Premier League appearances this season, with his campaign dogged by injury problems but with games coming thick and fast, having an almost fully fit squad to choose from is a boost for Guardiola, who may be tempted to make changes following the Southampton defeat.

In fact, forward Sergio Aguero is the only long-term absentee for City, with the Argentine set to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Guardiola could opt to revert to a similar team to that which beat Liverpool, in which case Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Ilkay Gundogan and Rodri could all be in line to return to the starting line-up.

Possible Manchester City XI: Ederson; Benjamin Mendy, Aymeric Laporte, John Stones, Kyle Walker; Ilkay Gundogan, Rodri; Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden; Gabriel Jesus


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