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Forecaster: Liverpool on top-four bubble

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David Silva set to return for derby

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is optimistic David Silva will be fit to return to the side for Sunday’s Manchester derby.

Mooney: Nerves on edge ahead of derby

Silva, 27, has missed City’s last two games with a thigh problem he sustained on international duty with Spain.

However, he has now returned to full training and could be in line to face Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium.

Micah Richards, who is yet to play this season because of a hamstring injury, should also be available, but left-back Gael Clichy is unlikely to be fit and centre-back Martin Demichelis is still out.

“Micah Richards has worked as normal with the whole squad,” Pellegrini said. “So has David Silva and Clichy starts today [Friday], the first day, so maybe he will not be ready for Sunday. So all the other players except Demichelis are OK.”

City captain Vincent Kompany made his comeback after four weeks on the sidelines in Tuesday’s 3-0 Champions League win over Viktoria Plzen and is able to keep his place in the defence for Sunday.

“He worked normally the whole week and played 90 minutes in the Champions League. He has no problem,” Pellegrini said.

Javi Garcia and Joleon Lescott had deputised for Kompany when he was missing, but Pellegrini accepts City are a better team when the Belgium international is involved.

“Vincent is a very important player for us,” he said. “We worked well with defending without Kompany if you see our numbers in games he didn’t play, [we kept] three clean sheets.”

The Chilean vowed not to play for a draw against title rivals United, saying: “It is more important to win that not to lose. It is a match of six points.”

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