English Premier League, John Stones, Kevin De Bruyne, Leagues, Manchester City, Story

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MANCHESTER, England — Manchester City’s injury problems are easing after Kevin De Bruyne, John Stones and Benjamin Mendy returned to training.

Defender Aymeric Laporte and winger Leroy Sane are long-term absentees but De Bruyne and Stones could feature against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

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Mendy missed the defeat to Wolves with a hamstring injury but is closing in on a return, while Sergio Aguero should be available after escaping unhurt from a minor car crash in Manchester on Wednesday morning.

“Some of them are back,” Guardiola told a news conference on Friday. “Kevin is back, John has trained well the last two days. Mendy a little later but he’s back.”

City will aim to get back on track against Palace — who are sixth in the table after eight games — after defeat to Wolves left Guardiola’s side eight points behind leaders Liverpool.

City and Liverpool have become embroiled in a fixture row after Premier League released a Christmas schedule that appears to favour Jurgen Klopp’s team.

City will have less than 48 hours to prepare for their home game with Sheffield United at 6 p.m. on Dec. 29 after playing Wolves at Molineux at 7.45 p.m. on Dec. 27.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have an extra 24 hours to rest between games against Leicester City on Boxing Day and Wolves on Dec. 29.

“It’s what it is,” Guardiola added. “Since I came here every season it’s the same. The broadcasters are the bosses, it’s not about us.

“I love to play Boxing Day, families go to the stadiums, the players travel but the system does not protect the players too much.

“Maybe the broadcasters are fans for some clubs. We have meetings with Premier League, managers, UEFA, they are so glad, nice pictures, it doesn’t matter — we have to play.”

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