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David Moyes will be without Cheikhou Kouyate (hamstring) the home encounter against Chelsea, but Winston Reid and Chicharito (both hamstring), James Collins (ankle), Mark Noble (hip) and Andy Carroll (knee) have all resumed training, and some may be able to play some part in Saturday’s early kick-off.
Moyes started with a 5-3-1-1 last weekend, with Manuel Lanzini supporting Michail Antonio before the Kouyate injury forced both onto the flanks in a switch to 5-4-1.
If Moyes continues with five at the back, he could employ Angelo Ogbonna, Aaron Cresswell and Reid in central defence.
Declan Rice is the main alternative, although he did miss three days of training earlier this week due to illness, and is a slight doubt.
Pablo Zabaleta and Arthur Masuaku should continue in the wing-back positions, with Edimilson Fernandes and Pedro Obiang the likely starters in central midfield.
Antonio and Lanzini should also start, either out wide or through the centre, depending on formation and the fitness levels of the returning players.
If Chicharito or Carroll aren’t fit enough to start, Diafra Sakho could get the nod as the lone striker, with Antonio and Andre Ayew other options, potentially freeing up a spot for Marko Arnautovic on the right wing.
Joe Hart was ineligible to face his parent club last weekend and may return in goal in place of Adrian, although the Spaniard put in a reasonable performance at the Etihad. Sam Byram and Jose Fonte remain sidelined.