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Early team news: Defender returns following Champions League injury for Chelsea vs Manchester City (Premier League)



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Manuel Akanji will return to the Manchester City matchday squad as normal this weekend following his midweek injury scare while in Champions League action.

City come into the weekend’s Premier League duties fresh off the back of booking their place in the knock-out rounds of Europe’s premier club tournament, thanks to a dominant 3-0 victory over BSC Young Boys that saw them not concede a single shot at goal.

Pep Guardiola has been overlooking some fine form since the return of club football following the October international break, with the reigning Treble winners recording victories in all of their matches since the latest round of national team commitments.

Manchester City’s last outing in Premier League action saw them dismiss of Bournemouth via a 6-1 scoreline at the Etihad Stadium, with Jeremy Doku notching five contributions himself – four of which were assists.

Away from home in the English top-flight, City last came up against bitter local rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford, defeating Erik ten Hag’s faltering side by a 0-3 scoreline featuring an Erling Haaland brace.

The visit to Chelsea on Sunday afternoon will be the final contest Manchester City will embark on across all competitions before the last international break of 2023, returning from the pause in club action by hosting Liverpool at home.

John Stones becomes the latest Manchester City player to succumb to injury having sustained what is believed to be a repeat of the muscular problem that kept him out of action from between mid-August to mid-October.

Kevin De Bruyne remains ruled out with a long-term recovery process following hamstring surgery in August, while Manuel Akanji was late to withdraw from the midweek Champions League clash with a back problem.

Ahead of the release of the confirmed and official starting line-ups at Stamford Bridge in this afternoon’s contest, a number of sources have began releasing snippets of Pep Guardiola’s starting line-up and matchday squad.

Manuel Akanji returns to the Manchester City squad as normal, having trained as per standard routine with the rest of the first-team squad in the lead-up to the trip to London, and is also likely to start given John Stones’ absence.

Jeremy Doku starts for Pep Guardiola’s side, alongside the likes of Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez in a fluid Manchester City attacking line-up, according to X user Olly_A_informer.

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino, as well as Pep Guardiola, are expected to confirm their respective starting line-ups at approximately 15:30 BST on Sunday afternoon.

Now confirmed.