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Laporte makes City debut, Evans absent for West Brom

Manchester City newboy Aymeric Laporte has been thrown straight into the starting line-up against West Brom, who are without Jonny Evans.

NEWS
01 Feb 2018, 00:52 IST
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Aymeric Laporte
Manchester City's club-record signing Aymeric Laporte

Aymeric Laporte will make his debut for Manchester City after being named in Pep Guardiola's starting line-up to face West Brom.

Laporte became City's record signing on Tuesday when he completed a £57million move from Athletic Bilbao and he has been thrown straight into action for the Premier League leaders, with fellow centre-back John Stones absent from the matchday squad.

Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling accompany Sergio Aguero in City's front three as Leroy Sane begins his ankle injury lay-off.

"Obviously it's been a very long week for me but I'm very happy to be here and looking forward to helping the team tonight," Laporte told Sky Sports ahead of partnering Nicolas Otamendi at the heart of defence.

"Of course, it was an easy decision with the manager they have. They are performing really well this season and hopefully we can continue this way and do great things until the end of the season.

"I had a training session yesterday, It's a great group. We got on really well and hopefully we can keep the same atmosphere."

Another man who could make his bow in new colours at the Etihad Stadium is Daniel Sturridge.

The former City striker joined West Brom on loan from Liverpool on Monday and has been selected among the substitutes by Alan Pardew, who was quick to reject suggestions Jonny Evans and Jake Livermore could be the subject of transfer moves after their omission from the matchday 18.

"Both of those got hamstring injuries at Liverpool so there's no mystery in that," he told Sky Sports.

"You're not going to see them pop up at half 10 tonight on the transfer front."

Evans was linked with a move to City before they pursued the Laporte deal, while Arsenal are reported to retain an interest in the ex-Manchester United defender.

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