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Dublin: 6°C Monday 18 January 2021

Two days after being stretchered off due to wild Puncheon tackle, De Bruyne is starting for Man City

The Belgian has been one of the stars of the season.

KEVIN DE BRUYNE is in the starting team for league leaders Manchester City tonight despite being hacked down at the end of Sunday’s scoreless draw against Crystal Palace and subsequently stretchered off.

Crystal Palace v Manchester City - Premier League - Selhurst Park Source: Steven Paston

De Bruyne, one of the stars of the Premier League season, is named to start for Pep Guardiola’s side in their home tie against Watford as they bid to stretch their lead at the top of the Premier League to 15 points.

And City have received a pre-match boost with De Bruyne named to play and he’s joined by the returning David Silva and John Stones in their starting eleven. Silva has missed the last couple of games due to personal reasons while Stones has been sidelined for a spell through injury.

De Bruyne looked to have suffered a serious setback in injury-time of Sunday’s game at Selhurst Park when he was brought down by Jason Puncheon as Manchester City looked to counter-attack after Crystal Palace had missed a penalty.

After the game Guardiola had called for players to receive better protection from referees after a match where he also saw Gabriel Jesus brought off with a knee ligament injury.

But De Bruyne’s recovery is good news for the title favourites as he has been in terrific form so far this season for Manchester City with his midfield play seeing him score six goals and provide nine assists.

Crystal Palace v Manchester City - Premier League - Selhurst Park Source: John Walton

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