De Bruyne faces fitness test before City host West Ham
Kevin De Bruyne faces a fitness test ahead of Manchester City’s Premier League clash with West Ham on Wednesday.
The influential Belgium playmaker missed the champions’ victory at Fulham on Sunday with an unspecified knock and is again a doubt as the Hammers visit the Etihad Stadium.
Defender Nathan Ake could be in contention after missing City’s last three games with a hamstring injury.
Manager Pep Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday: “Nathan trained with us and feels good.
“Kevin has started to move but hasn’t trained with the team (yet). Now we have training in a few hours and we will know exactly how he feels.”
Wednesday’s game could see the prolific Erling Haaland set a new record for the most goals by a player in a Premier League season.
The Norwegian netted his 34th of the league campaign at Fulham, drawing him level with joint record-holders Andy Cole and Alan Shearer.
His strike at Craven Cottage was his 50th of the season in all competitions and, with a potential 10 games remaining, it is not inconceivable that he could pass Dixie Dean’s 1927-28 record of 63.
It has been an astonishing first year in English football but Guardiola is confident there could be plenty more to come from the 22-year-old.
Guardiola said: “It is a surprise for all of us – maybe not for him – to do what he’s doing in this difficult league but the way he behaves and has done it is for the success of the team.
“Of course it’s good for him and the team if he breaks the records. It’s a good sign.
“The magnitude of a record is because for a long time it was not broken. All records will be broken one day.
“He himself or another one will break the record Erling is going to set, because I’m pretty sure he is going to score more goals in the Premier League until the end of the season.”
In-form City put themselves in firm control of the title race with their victory over Arsenal last week but, after being pushed hard by Fulham, Guardiola is not taking anything for granted against the Hammers.
He said: “West Ham maybe didn’t do the season they expected but that doesn’t mean the quality is not there.
“In the last two seasons with David Moyes they have been exceptional.
“The weapons are there, they are a good team. I don’t have doubts about them. In one game anything can happen. We have to be absolutely ready.”