Manchester City are hoping to have full-back Pablo Zabaleta fit for the crunch tie against Liverpool on Boxing Day even though it was initially suggested the Argentine would miss the entire festive period.
The 28-year-old has been in fine form this season, having managed 5 assists in 15 Premier League matches, but he unfortunately picked up a hamstring injury in the Capital One Cup match against Leicester.
And with his back-up Micah Richards also sidelined, Gael Clichy played at right-back against Fulham, but it is fair to say he did not impress at Craven Cottage.
As a result, the medical team is working hard on getting Zabaleta ready for the match against title rivals Liverpool, where the Citizens are 4/5 to emerge victorious.
Having won all eight Premiership fixtures at the Etihad, Manchester City look a good bet to further improve their title chances, even if star striker Sergio Aguero continues to miss out.
The Reds are still without Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge, Jose Enrique and Sebastian Coates, whereas Jon Flanagan faces a fitness test.