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Man City team news ahead of Hull test

PREMIER FOCUS: Pep Guardiola

PREMIER FOCUS: Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Manchester City have close to a fully fit squad ahead of the Boxing Day trip to Hull City.

Vincent Kompany remains on the treatment table as his recovery from a knee injury continues, and Pablo Zabaleta will have a late fitness test after he received a knock in the win over Arsenal last weekend.

The rest of the squad are in contention for the game at the KCOM Stadium.

“Vincent [is injured],” he said. “Pablo Zabaleta has a little bit of a problem, hopefully tomorrow he can join us in the training sessions. The others are okay.”

The game with Hull signals the start of a four-game run in the space of 11 days for City.

It’s a difficult schedule, one unfamiliar to Guardiola whose previous management experiences with Barcelona and Bayern Munich saw him benefit from a winter break.

The City boss says he has asked his senior players for advice about how to negotiate the festive period – but insists the preparations for the game with Hull will be the same as any other.

“We are going to train tomorrow and day after tomorrow,” he said. “The afternoon we will travel to Hull City by bus and then play on 26 and come back. We will prepare for that game like it is not Christmas time.

“I spoke to David Silva, with some players, and they gave me good advice about what it means to play on Boxing Day at Hull City.

 

“What I learn in my short time here is the gap between the first ten teams and last ten is not that big.

 

“Other people said before I came here how complicated all the games are, so I am not expecting easy games.

 

“We have to be prepared. It’s my first year here.

 

“Hull started quite well. Of course, the situation is not good but I saw many, many games and they are a special team.

 

“They try to play more than some of the teams here in the Premier League.”

What the Media Says

Man City midfield debate, plus striker linked

MEDIA FOCUS: Kevin De Bruyne, Yaya Toure and Antoine Griezmann

It’s the eve of Christmas Eve, but there’s no rest for the media as the build up continues to Boxing Day fixture against Hull.

There’s midfield tactics discussion, the inevitable transfer speculation, and a spot for two City players in the Guardian’s lastest ‘top 100 world players’ run down.

Picture Special

Christmas Training - Preparing for hull

First Team News

Fernandinho sharp in Man City training

EYES ON THE PRIZE: Fernandinho in full focus

Man City's Fernandinho had a spring in his step in training, ahead of the Boxing Day trip to Hull.

Fernandinho is back in contention for City’s Boxing Day trip to Hull.