Sergio Aguero is ready to come back straight into the Manchester City side to face Liverpool after missing the last four weeks through suspension.
The Argentina striker has not played in the Premier League since picking up a second red card of the season in the 3-1 to defeat to Chelsea on Dec. 3.
City have won their last three games without him, but Pep Guardiola is ready to throw Aguero straight back into the side for the potentially crucial clash with second-placed Liverpool.
And Guardiola could also have John Stones in his squad with the defender making a quick recovery from a swollen knee picked up City’s 3-0 victory over Hull City on Monday.
“[Aguero] is ready. He came back good from Argentina,” Guardiola told a news conference. “Finally he came back after seven games banned — three games plus four — and we are happy he is back.
“John is much, much better. Vincent [Kompany] and Leroy [Sane], I think they will not be available to play.”
Guardiola was at Anfield on Tuesday to see Liverpool’s 4-1 victory over Stoke City and has no doubt that they are one of the title contenders.
City could move up to second with a win but defeat could leave them 10 points behind leaders Chelsea although the Spaniard insists it is not a must-win fixture.
“[Liverpool are] title contenders definitely. It was a good game,” Guardiola said when asked for his impressions of Liverpool’s performance.
“I saw them many times. I was lucky to play against Jurgen Klopp. I think we know each other quite well and I saw Liverpool this year many times but it was my day off, my family was not here, and thank you Liverpool for inviting me and I saw the game, that’s all.
“There are six teams fighting for the title, especially for the first four positions fighting for the Champions League qualification. All the contenders are very tough teams. It will be a good fight until the end of the season.”