The Premier League leaders return to action less than 72 hours after seeing Brighton with a supreme second-half display to reclaim top spot in the table following Liverpool’s 4-0 demolition against Manchester United in midweek.
In grave danger of going down with six league games to play, Watford will be hoping to upset the east side of Manchester, with Roy Hodgson admitting his side cannot afford to face the Blues and risk a hammering.
As for the hosts, who were knocked out of the FA Cup by Liverpool at the weekend, the focus remains on retaining the Premier League title and potentially going all the way in Europe ahead of a League of Nations semi-final. champions with Real Madrid.
John Stones came out for City against Brighton and needed ice on his hamstrings before being replaced by Oleksandr Zinchenko which had raised doubts over the England international’s availability against Watford.
Speaking to the press ahead of Saturday’s clash, Pep Guardiola said Stones suffered from ‘negligence’ and that an evaluation on the physical condition of the 27-year-old player will be made on Saturday, which will also be the case for Nathan Akewho was replaced by Ruben Dias at half-time against Brighton.
City have also missed Kyle Walker in their recent games against Liverpool and Brighton after the right-back suffered what appeared to be a potentially dangerous injury in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final with Atletico Madrid. last week.
Asked about Walker’s fitness ahead of City’s next league game, Guardiola has confirmed that the full-back is ‘get better’ and that a decision will be made on whether he will feature against Brighton on Saturday.
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After a frustrating first half against Graham Potter’s men at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, strikes from Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva helped City secure a crucial win that restored their one-point lead at the top of the table. Premier League.
Guardiola could be in line to mix up his pack against Watford with an eye on Real Madrid’s next Champions League visit next week as City bid to reach the final for the second straight year after winning the semi-finals on Paris Saint-Germain in the last four of the competition last season.
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