Erling Haaland still out but Kevin De Bruyne could start for Manchester City at Newcastle

Kevin De Bruyne returned to action in last weekend's FA Cup third round
Kevin De Bruyne returned to action in last weekend's FA Cup third roundReuters
Manchester City will again have to do without their leading scorer Erling Haaland (23) when they face Newcastle United in the Premier League this weekend, but Kevin De Bruyne (32) could make his first start of the season, Pep Guardiola (52) said on Friday.

Haaland, with 14 league goals in 15 games is joint top scorer in the Premier League alongside Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, but has missed City's last eight games in all competitions with a foot injury.

"Jack (Grealish) has been sick, hopefully today he is back, Erling is out and John (Stones) is out. I think that is everything," Guardiola told a press conference.

There was better news regarding De Bruyne who suffered a hamstring injury on the first day of the season against Burnley, and made his first appearance since then when coming on as a substitute in the FA Cup win over Huddersfield last weekend.

Guardiola gave a positive response when asked if the midfielder could start Saturday's game away to Newcastle.

"Yes. From what I saw yesterday I feel really good, he was dynamic, and the minutes he played was better than the training sessions before the Huddersfield game.

"He is getting better now, he will have a few days off after this game and can train in Abu Dhabi to be better for the next few months."

City are third in the standings, five points behind leaders Liverpool, but Guardiola's side have a game in hand, and the manager still believes they can win a fourth consecutive league title.

"Right now, yeah. How many points left? 18 or 19 games... so obviously mathematically possible," the manager said.

"Is it realistic? At the moment, it's far away so I don't know. I will answer this question when we are six, seven games out."

City hit a bad patch in November, and went four league games without a win, but are now back on track and have won their last two league games after returning victorious from the Club World Cup.

"We haven't had time mentally to recover from winning the treble. I think the Club World Cup gave us an opportunity to find a spark." Guardiola said.

"We've won two titles already this season."

Newcastle are ninth in the table, 11 points behind City, and come into this game on the back of three consecutive league defeats.

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