The dimunitive Spanish midfielder, if he makes the team to face Bournemouth, would be making his 400th appearance in a Manchester City shirt, an achievement that has caught his manager by surprise.
Pep Guardiola has confessed that he was one of those who thought Silva would struggle to cope with the English game as he praised the World Cup winner for his resilience.
David Silva has played a huge part in Man City’s recent successes, helping the club to four Premier League title wins, yet, to many, his diminutive stature and silky skills did not appear a good fit for English football.
Critics predicted the former Valencia star was going to suffer in the physically demanding English league.
“Yep, me included [in those who thought Silva would struggle]. I think it’s his character. It’s not just his quality to move in small spaces, it’s that he’s a huge competitor,” Guardiola admitted in Friday’s pre-match news conference as monitored by Soccernet.ng
“In the training sessions, the games, in the bad moments, how he reacts, he is a huge competitor.
“For his specific qualities to survive in the Premier League is not easy for a long time. And he did it. He has to be so proud of himself and what he has done.
“He’s a technical player – he’s not a box-to-box – and my image of English football from the outside was that maybe he’s going to falter. But I was happily, happily wrong.
“That was my first impression, but from the beginning – it’s not just that David played well this season – he was playing good with other managers, Roberto [Mancini], Manuel [Pellegrini], with us.
“After I spoke with managers he had in Spain, what everybody speaks, I realised what I realised here. Everybody knows about his quality with the ball, but he’s more than that. He’s incredible.
“He is a competitor, a winner. Four Premier Leagues he won, and a lot of domestic prizes. This generation of players – like Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero – helped to make this club in a better position in the Premier League and in European competition.”
Discussing his appearance milestone, Guardiola said of Silva: “I admire a lot. What I admire the most is when you look at these records or numbers.
“To do 400 games means many years, many bad moments, many good moments, being there day by day, week by week. I admire that a lot. You can have a good year, a good season, but almost 10 seasons here doing that is just incredible.
“Big congratulations. For the City supporters – me included – it is a privilege what he has done at this club. Hopefully in the last season he is going to be here, he can help us to achieve.”