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Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne may be fit in time for the crucial Premier League showdown against Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

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De Bruyne sat out City’s FA Cup quarter-final victory over Newcastle United earlier this month due to a groin injury and was subsequently absent from the Belgium squad for their matches against Republic of Ireland and England during the international break.

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However, ESPN has reported “optimism” within City about De Bruyne’s availability for the Arsenal clash. Despite most of the club’s senior players being away, the 32-year-old reportedly completed a training session with the Under-23 squad on Tuesday without any setbacks.

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De Bruyne is expected to join the returning international players for training on Thursday, providing him with up to three daily sessions to demonstrate his fitness before Sunday’s match.

The Belgian midfielder endured a challenging start to the 2023/24 season, as a hamstring injury suffered just 23 minutes into City’s Premier League opener against Burnley in early August sidelined him for nearly five months. Following his return, he sustained a groin strain after only 12 appearances.

City currently trail Premier League leaders Arsenal by one point heading into the weekend’s fixture. Liverpool also sits between them, level on points with Arsenal but in second place due to a slightly inferior goal difference.

With only ten games remaining for each team, this season’s Premier League title race is shaping up to be one of the most tightly contested in history, as genuine three-horse races have been rare in the past.

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