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    De Bruyne in contention to face Tottenham after dealing with ‘personal issue’

    Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed Kevin De Bruyne is in contention for Thursday’s match against Tottenham after dealing with a “personal issue”.

    Belgium international De Bruyne did not take part in training with the rest of his City team-mates on Tuesday, with his absence initially thought to be down to an injury problem.

    The 31-year-old was therefore considered a major doubt to face Spurs, but Guardiola dismissed those fears on the eve of the Premier League meeting.

    “He had a personal issue and could not train [on Tuesday], but today he is back,” Guardiola said at Wednesday’s pre-match press conference.

    Asked if De Bruyne is available for Tottenham’s visit to the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola replied: “Yes, yes.”

    De Bruyne has assisted 15 goals this season – 10 more than next-best Bernardo Silva – and has created more than double the number of chances of any team-mate (80).

    In a further boost for City, Guardiola also revealed centre-backs Ruben Dias and John Stones have recovered from injury lay-offs and could play a part against Tottenham.

    Dias has not played since sustaining a hamstring injury with Portugal at the World Cup, while Stones has missed City’s past two matches.

    “They are back. They have trained really well in the last two sessions, both of them. They are in contention,” Guardiola said.

    “We are going to train this afternoon and see the way we have to play and who is going to play.”

    City have lost four of their past five Premier League games against Tottenham, which is as many as they had in their previous 19 against them.

    Indeed, Guardiola has lost six of his 15 meetings with Spurs – only against Chelsea (eight), Liverpool (eight) and Manchester United (seven) has he lost more often in his managerial career.

    The reigning English champions have lost back-to-back matches in all competitions and trail Premier League leaders Arsenal by eight points.

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