Kevin De Bruyne believes Manchester City are starting to approach their peak, with the Belgium star stating Pep Guardiola’s team were not ready for the start of the 2020-21 campaign.

City’s elongated 2019-20 season finished in August, as they slumped to a 3-1 defeat against Lyon in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Guardiola’s side were given an extra week off prior to starting their Premier League season in September, but their tally of 12 points from their opening eight games was their worst start to a top-flight campaign since 2008-09.

City have closed to within four points of leaders Liverpool and have two games in hand on the reigning champions, who lost 1-0 at Southampton on Monday.

First they face rivals Manchester United on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup semi-finals – chasing a fourth consecutive triumph in the competition – and De Bruyne has put their early struggles down to a lack of proper preparation owing to a condensed pre-season.

“I think at the beginning of the season we had many difficulties, many injuries, no pre-season,” De Bruyne said.

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