Can a fully-fit Kevin De Bruyne make the difference in the title race?

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After beating Liverpool earlier this month, Manchester City will be confident of catching the Reds at the top of the Premier League.

With 15 games left to play, City are four points behind the Merseysiders. Our traders have Liverpool as 4/6 favourites to win the title, but the champions aren’t far behind at 6/5.

But Pep Guardiola’s side have got through most of this season without one of their best players – Kevin De Bruyne.

The Belgium international was sensational as the Cityzens strolled to the title last season. But he’s only made two starts in the top flight so far this term.

Direct and dynamic

Bernardo Silva has been a more than capable replacement for De Bruyne over the last few months. After showing a few glimpses last season, he’s demonstrated exactly what he’s about this year.

However, when City play with David Silva alongside Bernardo Silva, they can lack a driving force in midfield. Guardiola’s side are always good to watch. But sometimes they can over-elaborate. De Bruyne just gets straight to the point.

The former Chelsea ace is more physical than either of the Silvas. He can charge through a packed midfield. And his sharp-shooting from range adds another string to the team’s bow.

Raring to go

After missing so much action, the 27-year-old will also be desperate to make up for lost time.

De Bruyne racked up eight goals and 16 assists from midfield last season. It’s a testament to the City squad that they’ve done so well without him. But he’s arguably the player that elevates their game more than any other.

If they’re going to compete for the biggest honours, he’ll have a major role to play before the season’s over.

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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication

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Daniel Anwar

Daniel has covered sports for Squawka, FourFourTwo and iSportconnect. He is a naively optimistic Arsenal fan and is also passionate about music, film and chicken wings.