Man City duo return to training as key man misses out ahead of Tottenham clash

Manchester City host Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday in the Premier League.

<p>The latest from Manchester City training. Credit: Getty.</p>

The latest from Manchester City training. Credit: Getty.

Manchester City defensive duo John Stones and Ruben Dias have returned to training following recent injuries, but Kevin De Bruyne was not involved in Tuesday’s session.

Sky Sports News reported that the Belgian was a notable absentee at City training, with no reasons given as to why he did not take part in the session. However, the Sky cameras did capture Stones and Dias in action, and their respective returns will be huge boosts for Pep Guardiola.

The former missed Saturday’s Manchester derby due to a niggle, with the problem also ruling him out of last week’s trip to Southampton. As for Dias, he’s not played at all for City since the World Cup after he picked up a hamstring issue while representing Portugal in Qatar.

It means Guardiola has been working with three centre-backs - Manuel Akanji, Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake - over the last two games, but may be able to call upon greater resources for Thursday’s clash with Tottenham Hotspur.

The London club head to the Etihad on the back of a 2-0 loss to local rivals Arsenal last weekend, a game in which Spurs were by far second best in. Tottenham have also won just one of their four league matches since the World Cup and currently are five points off the Champions League places.

They were, however, victorious in both encounters against City last season, with Harry Kane putting in an outstanding display in February as Tottenham grabbed a 3-2 victory at the Etihad. A similar result on Thursday would be surprising given Spurs’ poor recent form, yet City have also underwhelmed of late and have lost the last two.

Other than the fitness doubts surrounding Stones, Dias and De Bruyne, City are expected to have a fully fit squad when they face Antonio Conte’s side in midweek.