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City v Watford: De Bruyne, Stones & Silva start

City have received a quadruple boost ahead of our home game with Watford this evening.

Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Fabian Delph and John Stones all start against the Hornets as Pep Guardiola makes five changes from the bruising 0-0 with Crystal Palace.

De Bruyne’s recovery again underlines the Belgian’s resilience having sustained a nasty challenge from Palace’s Jason Puncheon just 48 hours ago.

It seemed at though the influential playmaker was set for a spell on the sidelines, but he has recovered sufficiently to be included in tonight’s starting XI.

David Silva’s inclusion is another huge fillip for City.

 

EL MAGO: Welcome return

 

The Spain star has played just one of the Blues’ last five games due to personal reasons but will be welcomed back with open arms this evening by team-mates, staff and supporters.

Fabian Delph hasn’t featured since the 4-1 win over Spurs but he, too, has recovered to face Watford.

John Stones was on the bench against Palace and hasn’t played in any of the last 12 games – but he also makes his comeback this evening.

Sergio Aguero replaces the injured Gabriel Jesus while Raheem Sterling comes in for Bernardo. Eliaquim Mangala and Danilo also drop down to the bench.

Starting XI

Team: Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Stones, Delph, Fernandinho, Silva (c), De Bruyne, Sterling, Sane, Aguero

Subs: Bravo, Bernardo, Danilo, Mangala, Gundogan, Yaya Toure, Zinchenko

Watford line-up:

Tactics:

Expect the normal 4-3-3 style with Aguero, Sane and Sterling up front, De Bruyne and Silva behind and Fernandinho anchoring the midfield.

Stats and milestones:

City are unbeaten in 30 domestic games – 27 Premier League and three Carabao Cup ties

The Blues are unbeaten in 29 Premier League matches – a run that stretches back to a 2-1 loss at Chelsea last April.

City are unbeaten in 29 home games in all competitions – Chelsea were the last team to win at the Etihad in December 2016

Sergio Aguero has netted nine goals in five games against the Hornets, including two hat-tricks

City have won the last seven meetings with Watford

The Hornets have never scored a Premier League goal at the Etihad – though they did manage a couple in a 4-2 FA Cup defeat in 2014 – a game that they led 2-0 in!

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