Manchester City vs Watford team news: Kevin De Bruyne starts following injury fears

Manchester City vs Watford team news: Kevin De Bruyne starts following injury fears

Team news for Manchester City against Watford at the Etihad Stadium.

Connor Bennett

Pep Guardiola is able to name Kevin De Bruyne back in his starting line-up following fears that the Belgian playmaker could have missed an extended spell out injured following Sunday’s draw with Crystal Palace.

After the draw with the Eagles, the Manchester City boss again called for referees to “protect” his players when De Bruyne had to be stretchered off late.

The Belgian, who it had been suspected would be out for an extended period, returns to the starting line-up for the Cityzens.

Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus suffered a medial collateral ligament injury during the trip to Selhurst Park and is set to miss the next month at the very least. He is replaced by Sergio Aguero up front.

Fabian Delph and John Stones both return whilst captain Vincent Kompany continues his spell on the sidelines.

City are also still without Benjamin Mendy - a long-term knee injury - and Phil Foden - an ankle knock.

The hosts have enjoyed recent meetings with the Hornets, unbeaten in their last 12 games against the Vicarage Road side and emerging victorious with 5-0 and 6-0 triumphs in the previous two encounters.

Watford, who come into the game off the back of a 2-1 defeat to struggling Swansea City, make two changes from the loss with Etienne Capoue and Andre Gray replacing Tom Cleverley and Stefano Okaka.

Okaka misses out with illness whilst Cleverley drops to the bench.

Captain Troy Deeney is still sidelined as he completes the final game of his four-match suspension for the red card he picked up against Huddersfield Town before Christmas.

Miguel Britos, Nathaniel Chalaboah, Craig Cathcart, Kiko Femenia and Will Hughes are all still sidelined for the Hornets.

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Full confirmed line-ups

Manchester City starting XI: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Delph; Fernandinho, Silva, De Bruyne, Sane, Sterling; Aguero.

Watford starting XI: Gomes; Janmaat, Zeegelaar, Kabasele, Wague; Capoue, Doucoure, Watson; Richarlison, Carrillo; Gray.

City bench: Bravo, Danilo, Gundogan, Mangala, Bernado Silva, Zinchencko, Yaya Toure.

Watford bench: Karnezis, Prodl, Mariappa, Cleverley, Sinclair, Holebas, Pereyra.