Sergio Aguero is on course to make his Manchester City comeback against Arsenal.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini believes his 19-goal top scorer ought to be fit for the clash with Arsene Wenger's side on Jan. 18.
He also thinks that Edin Dzeko will alleviate City's striking injury crisis by returning sooner, for the trip to Everton on Jan. 10.
The Bosnian has missed City's last five games after suffering a calf injury in the warm-up at Leicester, while Aguero suffered a knee injury in the 1-0 win over Everton earlier in December.
Pellegrini has always been confident both forwards would be available for the clash with title rivals Chelsea on Jan. 31 and has now confirmed he expects them back sooner.
"I hope in the next week Edin Dzeko will be fit and in the next week [after that] will be 'Kun' [Aguero]," he said in his news conference after Thursday's 3-2 win over Sunderland.
In the absence of both Aguero and Dzeko, teenager Jose Angel Pozo led the line at Leicester before midfielder James Milner spent three games as an auxiliary striker.
Then Stevan Jovetic, who had been out with a hamstring problem, started and scored against Sunderland.
However, the Montenegrin said that he, too, prefers to operate in a deeper role, telling the Manchester Evening News: "It is not James' position, and it is also not mine.
"I have played a couple of games as a lone striker, but I prefer to play with someone in front of me. But this is an emergency and I feel I did well and can do it again."
Pellegrini also suggested Willy Caballero, who came in for Joe Hart against Sunderland, will keep his place for Sunday's FA Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday.
The Argentine, who was a summer signing from Malaga, played back-to-back games in the Capital One Cup and the Premier League in September and Pellegrini hinted at a repeat.
He added: "It is important when you play so many games -- not only for Joe but for other players -- to have an important rotation. I did the same before the Capital One Cup for Willy Caballero. So I think it's good for Willy, good for Joe and good for the team."