Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has a selection dilemma on his hands as Sky Blues players John Stones and Phil Foden have been declared fit to take part in Saturday’s Premier League clash against Leicester City.
Foden, who was the player of the tournament as England lifted the U-17 World Cup in 2017, has been missing in action since damaging ankle ligaments in City’s Carabao Cup win over Leicester in December.
Stones had been struggling with illness and a subsequent knee injury he suffered during a 3-0 home win over West Bromwich Albion on January 31 and was absent from the matchday squad for City’s trip to Turf Moor last week.
With competition for places intense, it is unlikely either of the aforementioned duo will start but the fact that City are competing for silverware on four fronts requires them to have as many fit first-team players as possible at all times as Pep Guardiola seeks to rotate his squad to prevent an accumulation of injuries.
Currently, the likes of Fabian Delph, Gabriel Jesus, Benjamin Mendy, Leroy Sane are all sidelined with injuries, with midfield maestro David Silva nearing a return to full fitness after recovering from an abdominal issue.
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The runaway leaders host the in-form Foxes at the Etihad Stadium in Saturday’s late kick-off and will look to extend their lead to 16 points with a win over Claude Puel’s men.
As second-placed Manchester United do not play until Sunday, Guardiola’s side have a chance to extend their already-considerable lead but the fact that they are winless in their past three games on the road warrants concern.
After a somewhat fortuitous 0-0 draw with basement-dwellers Crystal Palace on the last day of 2017, a game in which the Eagles missed a last-minute penalty, City suffered their first league defeat of the season at the hands of Liverpool on January 14.
The Reds’ attacking brilliance singed the Sky Blues as the Merseysiders ran out 4-3 winners on the night and then the Citizens were held to a 1-1 draw against Burnley to make it three away games without a win.