Premier League leaders Manchester City will be without the in-form Ilkay Gundogan for their trip to Everton but coach Pep Guardiola has had more positive news on Kevin De Bruyne.
Gundogan has been one of the stars of City’s record-breaking 16-match winning run, and he moved on to 13 goals in all competitions for the club with a brace in Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Tottenham.
But the Germany international did not finish the match, coming off late with a groin injury.
Guardiola has downplayed the seriousness of the setback but indicated Gundogan would not feature at Goodison Park.
“He is much better but I don’t think he is available for tomorrow,” Guardiola said.
But fellow midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, out for almost a month with a hamstring issue, has returned to training.
Meanwhile Sergio Aguero, limited by a series of issues since midway through last season, could feature off the bench after being an unused substitute at the weekend.
“Sergio is one year out injured so he cannot start from the beginning,” Guardiola said.
“But he is ready to come back.”
City can move 10 points clear of neighbours United with victory at Goodison Park, but despite their record-breaking run Guardiola insisted there was no sense of invincibility within his squad.
“Two months ago it was not in the thoughts of anybody in English or world football that we could win the Premier League and now we look like the only contenders,” he said.
“But it’s seven points when you still have 15 games to play. There are still 45 points to play for and a lot of things can happen.”
After Wednesday’s fixture, originally due to be played on December 28 before a coronavirus outbreak at City forced a postponement, Guardiola’s side travel to Arsenal on Sunday and then resume their Champions League campaign against Borussia Monchengladbach next week.
Guardiola said he had no thoughts of resting players for Europe, but he will continue to mix and match his selections.
“You know that I try to involve all the players, I rotate a lot a players,” Guardiola said.
“It is the only chance we have to have everyone involved and everybody fit for all the games in all the competitions.”