Praise the high heavens the international break is over! The Premier League returns this weekend, which sees City travel down to newly promoted Norwich City for a 5:30pm kick off. The last League fixture saw City thump a brave Brighton side 4-0 with goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero. Although they are currently sat in 19th position in the league table, one shining light for Norwich has been the impact of striker Teemu Pukki, who has scored five goals in four appearances this season and has just won the Player of the Month award for August.
News broke yesterday that Aymeric Laporte will be out for up to six months after sustaining a knee injury against Brighton. Pep also gave the same return date for Leroy Sané who also sustained a lengthy injury earlier on in the season. But the better news is that John Stones, Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus could return to the squad after recovering from smaller injuries before the international break. According to Pep, Benjamin Mendy is reacting well to getting back to regular training but still says they will be careful with when he gets back to playing. Norwich, however, currently have a much longer injury list than City. A list that includes, Max Aarons, Timm Klose, Christoph Zimmerman, Grant Hanley, Ben Godfrey, Tim Krul, Tom Trybull, Mario Vrancic, Moritz Leitner and Onel Hernandez.
Head to Head
There have been 16 meetings between City and Norwich in the Premier League. With City winning eight, Norwich winning two and six ending in draws. City’s biggest win over the Canaries came back in 2013 with a 7-0 thrashing at the Etihad. This fixture has also seen some high scoring results in previous years. However, City’s last two visits to Carrow Road have ended in 0-0 draws in 2014 and 2016.
City are coming off the back of a 4-0 win over Brighton who attempted to bravely play out from the back to attacking positions. Unfortunately for Brighton and new manager Graham Potter, City were just too powerful going forward. Norwich’s last result saw them lose 2-0 to West Ham at Carrow Road with goals from Seb Haller and Andriy Yarmolenko.
Pre-Match Talking Points
This week, referee chief Mike Riley admitted that VAR has made four mistakes so far this season. One of those mistakes was the decision to not award City a penalty in their match at Bournemouth when Jefferson Lerma looked to have stood on David Silva’s foot in the penalty box. Hopefully, now these mistakes have been identified, there will be fewer errors in the future fixtures.
Another talking point is how John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi will become the starting partnership at the back for the next few months with Laporte out for so long. For the majority of the Brighton match, Fernandinho stepped into the back line to cover for Laporte’s absence. Could we see the Brazilian step back into the defence again this weekend?
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