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Nathan Ake returns for fully-fit Manchester City ahead of derby

The availability of defender Nathan Ake after a muscular problem means the leaders now have no players in the treatment room.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has a fully-fit squad available for the first time this season as he prepares for Sunday's derby against Manchester United.

The return of defender Nathan Ake after a muscular problem this week means the Premier League leaders now have no players in the treatment room.

It is a boost for quadruple-chasing City as they look to extend their 14-point advantage over second-placed United in the fixture at the Etihad Stadium.

It will be the first time this season Guardiola has had his full squad to choose from
It will be the first time this season Guardiola has had his full squad to choose from (Michael Regan/PA)

City boss Guardiola said: "Good news for us, Nathan is back. He made part of the training session and felt really good.

"Everyone is fully fit and that is important for the next few weeks ahead of the international break, and hopefully the people will come back well after that."

The fixture is important in the context of the title race and Guardiola expects it to be a difficult encounter.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Guardiola said: "This game is important – like the previous one, the previous one and the next one will be.

"Focus on one at a time, not on how many points we have but I know how difficult United are.

City have a 14-point lead over United in the table
City have a 14-point lead over United in the table (Shaun Botterill/PA)

"We have experienced that in the last years and I have the feeling that every year they are a better team than the previous season.

"They are a team with quality and for more than one year they have not lost away, and they have good results at the Etihad Stadium.

"But at the same time we know the opportunity we have to increase the distance.

"We spoke in training about what we have to do to beat them on the pitch and the way we want to play."

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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City32235467234474
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd32199464352966
3Leicester CityLeicester31175955371856
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham32167953421155
5Chelsea31159750311954
6Liverpool31157953371652
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs321481054371750
8Everton31147104340349
9Arsenal32137124436846
10Leeds UnitedLeeds31143144949045
11Aston Villa301351243331044
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves32118133241-941
13Crystal Palace31108133352-1938
14Southampton31106153956-1736
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3298153553-1835
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton31712123338-533
17Burnley3289152645-1933
18Fulham33512162543-1827
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom3159172859-3124
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3242261756-3914

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