Video: Kevin de Bruyne puts on a show with superb assist and goal in Man City win

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Man City had to do without Kevin de Bruyne for long periods last season, and so they’ll be hoping that a full pre-season will prepare him well for the new campaign.

Injuries limited the influential midfield ace to 32 appearances last year, significantly down from previous campaigns although his absence didn’t hurt them too much as they went on to secure a domestic treble.

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Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the Belgian international’s presence in the starting XI is crucial to Pep Guardiola, and the Spaniard will be delighted if he can come through pre-season without any knocks and put his injury woes behind him for good.

To show that he’s in the mood to get the new season underway, the 28-year-old was in fine form in Man City’s 3-1 win over Yokohoma F. Marinos on Saturday as he produced a brilliant finish of his own to put his side ahead, before turning provider with a world-class assist for Raheem Sterling.

Given how impressive Man City were last season even without De Bruyne in the line-up, particularly in the first half of the campaign before he suffered a setback in the latter stages of the year, it’s a daunting prospect for their rivals if he manages to stay fit this year and leads their charge for more trophies.

Coupled with the addition of Rodri in that midfield this summer, Guardiola will certainly be pleased with the options at his disposal.

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