Kevin De Bruyne faces fitness test before Man City host West Ham


The influential Belgium playmaker missed the champions’ victory at Fulham on Sunday with an unspecified knock.

Kevin De Bruyne faces a fitness test ahead of Manchester City’s Premier League clash with West Ham on Wednesday.

The influential Belgian playmaker missed the champions’ win at Fulham on Sunday with an unspecified knock and is again doubtful as the Hammers visit the Etihad Stadium.

Defender Nathan Ake could be in contention after missing City’s last three games with a hamstring injury.

Manager Pep Guardiola said in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday: “Nathan has been training with us and he feels good.

“Kevin has started moving, but he hasn’t trained with the team (yet). Now we have training in a few hours and we’ll know exactly how he feels.’

In Wednesday’s game, the prolific Erling Haaland could have set a new record for a player’s goals in a Premier League season.

The Norwegian scored his 34th league campaign at Fulham, equaling the joint record holders Andy Cole and Alan Shearer.

His strike at Craven Cottage was his 50th of the season in all competitions and with a potential 10 games remaining it is not inconceivable that he could surpass Dixie Dean’s 1927-28 record of 63.

It’s been an amazing first year in English football, but Guardiola is convinced there is much more to come from the 22-year-old.

Guardiola said: “It’s a surprise for all of us – maybe not for him – that he does what he does in this tough league, but the way he behaves and the way he’s done it is for the success of the team.

“Obviously it’s good for him and the team when he breaks records.” it’s a good sign.

“The greatness of the record is that it has not been broken for a long time. All records will be broken one day.

Either he or someone else will break the record that Erling will because I’m pretty sure he’ll be scoring more goals in the Premier League by the end of the season.

In-form City put themselves firmly in the title race with victory over Arsenal last week, but after being pushed hard by Fulham, Guardiola is taking nothing for granted against the Hammers.

He said: “West Ham may not have had the season they expected but that doesn’t mean the quality isn’t there.

“They have been exceptional in the last two seasons with David Moyes.

“The guns are there, it’s a good team. I have no doubts about them. Anything can happen in one game. We absolutely have to be ready.”

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