Football

De Bruyne happy with fight for places at Man City

WATFORD MAN CITY

Big-spending Manchester City having a chance to go top of the Premier League today is no surprise, but the possibility their opponents Watford will climb to the summit of English football if they win at Vicarage Road certainly is.

Table-toppers Manchester United and Manchester City have 10 points from their opening four Premier League games, but United are top by virtue of a slightly better goal difference.

But, with United not playing until tomorrow, City have a chance to leapfrog their local rivals.

City spent more than £200 million (S$358.9m) on new players and have made an unbeaten start to the campaign in all competitions.

Man City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne reckons the intense competition for places at the club is helping to maintain their standards on the pitch.

And the Belgium international insisted that there would be no let-up against the Hornets because there are always other players pushing for a starting XI place.

"We know how much quality we have," said de Bruyne.

"We are all aware that there will be times when we have to spend a couple of games on the bench because the guys that aren't playing are at the same level and are always ready to step in.

"It's a great situation for the club and, of course, we have a very busy schedule ahead of us, so we'll all play a part at some stage. Competition is strong."

City captain Vincent Kompany is a fitness doubt with a calf problem, but Pep Guardiola has no other fresh injury concerns ahead of the trip to Vicarage Road.

Meanwhile, Watford manager Marco Silva has promised his players will remain grounded despite knowing victory over City would also send them top of the table.

If the Hornets secure all three points, they would be at the summit of English football's top flight for the first time since 1982. It's almost 35 years to the day since Graham Taylor's Watford beat West Bromwich Albion 3-0 to move top of what was then the First Division.

Watford are still unbeaten under Silva, and the Portuguese manager said: "We treat each match as normal.

"We prepare the team to win.

"It's important at the moment that everyone, starting with myself, keeps their feet on the ground.

"What we have achieved now is only eight points and nothing special. We are happy, everyone is happy at the club and the fans are happy."

He added: "On Saturday, it's still important that everyone keep their feet on the ground.

"It is a big fight and we know what our way is.

"We know what we need to do." - WIRE SERVICES

manchester cityKevin de BruyneWATFORD