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Otamendi: Returning stars key for City

THE GENERAL: Nicolas Otamendi

THE GENERAL: Nicolas Otamendi

Nicolas Otamendi believes Manchester City's returning stars could prove crucial over the coming weeks.

David Silva, Fabian Delph and Leroy Sane are back in the squad to face Basel as the Champions League kicks back into gear on Tuesday.

And with Gabriel Jesus and Benjamin Mendy closing on returns from their respective lengthy lay-offs, City's squad is beginning to take on a healthier look at a key time of the season.

“It’s important to work well as a team and focus on getting a result there,” said Otamendi.

“We need our injured players to come back and hopefully several of them will be fit for this game.

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“It’s important to have the full squad ready for all the games to come. We play in three different competitions over the next fortnight and they are all important to us - we need to have right mindset for each of them.

“The rest we had prior to the Leicester game was helpful. When you don’t play midweek, you have more time to recover physically and to prepare mentally for the next the games.”

Otamendi also had praise for new signing Aymeric Laporte, adding: “Training helps you get more involved when you arrive to a new team.

“He’s a great player and the group is trying to help him whenever possible. We’re impressed with what we’ve seen so far.”

Swiss side Basel beat Manchester United at home in the group stages and lie second in the Swiss Super League, five points adrift of leaders Young Boys Berne.

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Manchester City's Champions League campaign resumes in Switzerland this week, with FC Basel the opponents in the first leg of our last 16 tie.

Find out how you can watch on TV wherever you are in the world.