‘I’ve never been to Norwich but people tell me the atmosphere is incredible’ - Guardiola

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is looking forward to his first experience of Carrow Road Pict

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is looking forward to his first experience of Carrow Road Picture: PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Pep Guardiola is not expecting a walk in the park for his Manchester City side – and has made clear his admiration for the Canaries.

City may have just three points from their opening four games, but they have won admirers for their style of play - Guardiola among them.

"I'm really impressed," he said. "They destroyed the Championship last season. They play with incredible courage, good build-up. They have a good mentality, team spirit.

"I've never been to Norwich but people tell me the atmosphere is incredible. The week after the international break is always a mystery - how we are going to react and we are going to play."

While Daniel Farke is coming to terms with an injury nightmare, Guardiola has problems of his own, although not quite so acute.

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Aymeric Laporte is expected to be out for up to six months, having undergone surgery to repair cartilage and meniscus damage in his right knee.

No timeframe was put on the Frenchman's rehabilitation at that point but Guardiola has now indicated it could be well into the new year.

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Asked how long the 25-year-old will be out, the City boss said: "Long - five or six months. January or February maybe, next year."

The injury to Laporte has exposed City's lack of cover in the central defensive department following the departure of former captain Vincent Kompany at the end of last season.

The news is at least offset by the return to fitness of England international John Stones after a thigh injury.

"He's good, he trained good," said Guardiola, indicating Stones will be back in contention for the champions' trip to Carrow Road.

City head east with forward Raheem Sterling in blistering form. The forward continued his great start to the season with two fine performances for England during the recent international break.

He has now scored eight goals in seven games for club and country and has even drawn comparisons with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Sane is sidelined with a serious knee injury and there were fears he could miss most of the season but Guardiola expects him back well before the end of the campaign.

He said: "He did the injury in August, so December or January, maybe February. That should be perfect. I'm told the surgery was good.

"He came back two days ago and he is making his rehabilitation with us.

"Hopefully he can come back well and soon."

Mendy's two years at City have been ravaged by injury but he is making good progress in his recovery from his latest knee problem.

Guardiola said: "He's good and he's training now. Hopefully in the next games he can be part of it."

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