No Mercy : City, Liverpool out to hit rivals

Dejan Lovren challenges Sergio Aguero

Rotherham coach Paul Warne may be hoping Manchester City field their second string on Sunday when the Premier League champions host his side but one man expected to start is Kevin De Bruyne.

As part of his return to full fitness, De Bruyne is expected to be in Pep Guardiola’s starting XI when the Blues host the Championship strugglers. De Bruyne underwent a lengthy warm-up during City’s 2-1 win over Liverpool on Thursday, but Guardiola opted to hold him back and not risk the 27-year-old’s fitness in such an intense game.

The Rotherham match will be a less challenging environment for De Bruyne to continue his journey to peak match sharpness. Also expected to start on Sunday is teenager Phil Foden, who is in line for his 15th appearance of the season (16 including the pre-season Community Shield).

Foden has yet to start a Premier League game this term, but has been substituted on 8 times, with Guardiola intent on gradually integrating him into the side with appearances in the cups.

At the same time, Manchester City will have a first-time referee at the Etihad Stadium when they host Rotherham. David Coote has been assigned the game, his first ever fixture involving City. The Nottinghamshire-born referee rotates between Premier League and Championship games and has been working his way up the league system in recent years.

Coote does have a recent Rotherham assignment to his name, having been in charge when they won their League One tie away at Rochdale in October 2017.

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Patrick Luwagga is the editorial director of cross-platform content for UGANDANZ. He works across the newsroom and with business partners to drive and develop ambitious editorial projects that include digital journalism, video, data research, polling, live events, and thought-leadership series that are supported by outside underwriting. As executive director, he is responsible for the creation of Political news section, prior to joining UGANDANZ, Patrick was the chief editor for the national weekly news magazine of Kasese Times. In that role, he covered several presidential elections, wrote and produced two television documentaries, and was a regular commentator on television and radio news programs. Patrick was born in Masaka and grew up in Kasese. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Makerere University where he was a Knight Foundation journalism fellow.