Pellegrini’s men are just one point adrift of leaders Arsenal and second-placed Leicester City now, though, and Raheem Sterling is keen for them to retake top spot as soon as possible.

“The fans had been singing my name and that we’re top of the league,” he told the Manchester Evening News. “It was a nice feeling.

“But we have to get back to the top of the league so they can start singing it again. Hopefully that will happen in the next couple of weeks.

“When I came here I knew this was a club challenging to win as many trophies as possible and with the investment made it’s good that we are still in the hunt for everything.

“But with the squad we have that’s exactly where we should be – and we’ll see where we are at when we get to the end of the season.”

James Tomkins could join Diafra Sakho, who was involved in a car crash during the week, Andy Carroll and Manuel Lanzini on the sidelines, but Joey O’Brien is back in the West Ham squad.

Fernandinho has returned to training having missed City’s last three games with a knock, while Eliaquim Mangala (hamstring) and Wilfried Bony (calf) are also nearing returns.

Vincent Kompany (calf) and Samir Nasri (hamstring) remain long-term absentees.