The EFL Cup Quarter Finals are underway tonight, with defending champions Manchester City in the hunt to win their third league cup in five years, and prolong their chances of an unprecedented quadruple this season with the new year looming.
City are up against Leicester at the King Power, and Pep Guardiola has named a mix of big names and youngsters as he rotates his squad, with Sergio Aguero back in the starting line-up after a couple of weeks out with a muscle injury.
But perhaps the most significant name in the City XI is Kevin De Bruyne, who starts for the first time since suffering his second knee injury of the season in a previous EFL Cup tie against Fulham at the beginning of November.
It only took 14 minutes for the Belgian to remind people how badly he has been missed this season, with a stunning arrowed drive from 20 yards into the bottom corner to put City in front. Given how little he has featured this season due to injury, it might have been fair to expect a slow start from De Bruyne, who instead chose to emphatically answer any 'could he do it on a wet Tuesday night in Leicester in the middle of December' doubts about his return to form and fitness.
Superb skills from Kevin De Bruyne! @ManCity lead 1-0.
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) December 18, 2018
If City's league form this season has another gear to reach as the festive period looms, Kevin De Bruyne is likely to be at the heart of it.