Manchester City defender Bacary Sagna has declared himself fit for Saturday’s eagerly-awaited derby against Manchester United.
The France international has missed City’s last three matches due to a hamstring injury, but now hopes to force his way into the side to play at Old Trafford.
The 33-year-old said: “I feel good. I had to rest a bit because I had a little tear on one of my hamstrings.
“I had a long season last year, so I need to take care of my body, but today I feel great. I am looking forward to Saturday.
“I am going to be giving my maximum in the training sessions to feel as fit as possible, then the manager might have to make some choices.”
Sagna is one of a number of players who could be back in contention this weekend, with captain Vincent Kompany and midfielders Ilkay Gundogan and Leroy Sane now all training as normal.
None of the trio have featured this season, with summer signings Gundogan and Sane still awaiting their debuts.
New goalkeeper Claudio Bravo could also make his City bow following his move from Barcelona last month.
Sagna hopes City can get on the front foot as they face a side who, like them, have opened the season with three successive Premier League wins.
He said: “I would say it is one big test from many we are going to have this season.
“It’s a really good team, a strong team. They have new players also and have had a great start, the same as us, but we want to stay on the top now until the end.
“We learn from last year and are going to try to dictate the game.”
Some reshuffling of the City team will be necessary, with star striker Sergio Aguero beginning a three-match ban after being found guilty of violent conduct for elbowing West Ham’s Winston Reid.
Aguero had been in fine form, scoring six goals in four appearances this term.
Kelechi Iheanacho is the only out-and-out replacement, but manager Pep Guardiola has a number of attacking midfielders who could fill the position.
Sagna said: “Of course he (Aguero) is a massive point to our team. He is a great player, everyone knows his quality, but we have many other players who are expecting to give the maximum.
“I am sure they can play in our team and am sure they can score goals. I am pleased for them. They are going to have to show what they can do. I am sure they are going to pull the team up.”
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