Manchester City look to make it four Premier League wins in a row on Saturday when they host Brighton, who have already pulled off one major upset this season with a home win over Manchester United, and only lost 1-0 to Liverpool at Anfield.
Ahead of the game and his tactical battle with Chris Hughton, City boss Pep Guardiola addressed the media at the CFA on Friday afternoon.
Asked about the general fitness in the squad, Pep seemed happy with the state of things.
“They are good. They are fit,” said Guardiola.
And how about Kevin De Bruyne? The news is good – very good. He’s about to join full training again and his return seems to be edging closer.
Pep revealed: “Kevin is making the last steps (to recovery). He could start training in the next few days. Everything is going well.”
Benjamin Mendy has also been sidelined and the manager didn’t confirm if he will miss the Brighton game, but sounded optimistic that the left-back will soon return.
“Same process (for Mendy) he is going well.”
There have been suggestions that Mendy was late for treatment on Sunday after attending a boxing event on Saturday. Guardiola defended the Frenchman, citing Manchester traffic, construction and schools, but was pushed for an answer by a journalist and confirmed he had spoken to Mendy.
“They have to be here on time,” the City boss added.
Reports have surfaced that Phil Foden is set for talks over a new long-term deal at Manchester City. Pep hopes it will happen but said he has no updates about it.
“I don’t know. I didn’t speak to Txiki about (new Foden contract). Phil likes to be here and the club has no doubt about that, the manager has no doubts. Hopefully it’ll happen soon but I have no involvement in that.”
Brighton are City’s next opponents and after Chris Hughton complimented Guardiola’s impact on English football and young managers, Pep returned the compliment by praising Hughton’s team.
“(Brighton) have been together a long time, they know what they have to do. They are really well organised. It will be a really tough game, but we know that and we will try to do a good game.”