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Man City Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Hull City

Manchester City will look to build on back-to-back Premier League wins when they meet Hull City on Boxing Day.

Pep Guardiola scaled back his plans for City following the heavy defeat at Leicester City by asking less of his defenders, and that has provided victories against both Watford and Arsenal.

City will be without two or three senior players but do welcome back a key part of their midfield.


MAN CITY INJURIES


City have been struck down by a spate of knee ligament injuries in recent weeks.

Pablo Zabaleta injured his knee in the win over Arsenal and is doubtful for the game at Hull City. That injury came just days after Ilkay Gundogan was ruled out for the season after tearing his cruciate ligament against Watford, while Vincent Kompany is still out with his own knee ligament injury. 

Fabian Delph does not have a knee issue but he has struggled to return from groin surgery and the midfielder faces an uncertain future at City given his persistent injury woes.




MAN CITY SUSPENSIONS


Fernandinho is back from his three-match ban in what will be a big boost for Guardiola. Sergio Aguero will miss the game through suspension but will return agains Liverpool on New Year's Eve.

Aleksandar Kolarov is on four yellow cards and will miss the game at Liverpool if he is booked at Hull.

The Tigers have no suspensions, or players on four bookings. 


MAN CITY POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP


Guardiola has stuck with a more traditional back four, consisting of the same players, for the wins against Watford and Arsenal, and could elect to go with a similar approach at Hull - allowing for any injury to Zabaleta.

That means John Stones would have to make do with a place on the bench yet again.

Fernandinho will most likely return to midfield in place of countryman Fernando, who has deputised well in City's two most recent games. Yaya Toure has also been in good form whenever he has started, but he could drop to the bench if Nolito is reinstated into the side to play up front.

That would allow Kevin De Bruyne to drop back into midfield alongside David Silva, with Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane, who both scored against Arsenal, continuing on the wings. 


HULL CITY DOSSIER


Hull have sunk to the bottom of the Premier League table since winning their first two games of the season against the odds. Having kicked off the campaign by beating champions Leicester and then winning at Swansea a week later, the Tigers have won just one of their 15 matches since - and that was six weeks ago.

Mike Phelan's men were unlucky to lose 1-0 at West Ham at the weekend but they have not shown many signs recently that they can put up too much of a fight against City.

Robert Snodgrass is their top scorer with five goals, which is more than a third of their total tally: as a club they have scored just 14 times, the lowest in the league.

They have also conceded 36 goals, one fewer than Swansea City, which is an average of over two per game.

On the injury front, Abel Hernandez is working his way back from a hernia and could be in contention. Hull have another list of long-term injuries, including Will Keane and Alex Bruce, and their threadbare squad has plainly struggled to cope this season.


BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS


  • Hull's only previous game against Manchester City on Boxing Day ended in a 5-1 defeat at the Etihad in 2008.
  • The Citizens have lost just one of their previous eight Premier League games against Hull City (W4 D3).
  • Raheem Sterling has scored on each of his last two games on Boxing Day, once against Burnley in 2014 and against Sunderland last season.
  • The Tigers have won their last two league games played on Boxing Day, scoring three goals in each clash (3-0 v Burnley in 2015 and 3-1 v Sunderland in 2014).
  • Hull City found themselves bottom of the Premier League on Christmas Day. 21 of the 24 sides to be bottom of the league at Christmas have been relegated that season.

TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME


The game kicks off at 17:15 UK time on Monday, December 26, and will be shown on Sky Sports 1.