Norwich City host Premier League champions Manchester City at Carrow Road on Saturday (5.30pm KO) following the end of the international break.
Prior to the two-week break, in which plenty of players from both sides represented their nations, the Canaries were on the wrong end of a 2-0 defeat at West Ham United. As for Man City, they continued their bright start to the 2019-20 campaign with a 4-0 victory away to Brighton & Hove Albion.
Our preview of the game looks at the opposition in more detail (including insight from The Athletic’s Manchester City correspondent Sam Lee), who will be officiating the match, information for supporters and more:
During his tenure at Manchester City, Pep Guardiola has helped transform the Citizens into one of the most impressive teams in Premier League history, winning the division in two of his three full seasons at the club, not to mention two League Cups, one FA Cup, and two Community Shields.
This season, they’ve showed no signs of slowing down, having won three out of the opening four league fixtures and drawn against Tottenham Hotspur. Those results put them in second place behind Liverpool, the only team to have maximum points, ahead of this weekend.
Manchester City’s transfer business over the summer indicates that they’re serious about competing in the Champions League as well, with the group stages getting underway next week. They spent £62.8 million on signing Rodri from Atletico Madrid, as well as £60 million on Joao Cancelo from Juventus.
Sergio Aguero has once again been thriving in Guardiola’s squad, with his six goals this season making him the only player to have scored more than Norwich’s Teemu Pukki, who shares second place in the race for the Golden Boot with Raheem Sterling (both having scored five goals).
Experienced defender Aymeric Laporte will miss this weekend’s game through injury, after he was stretchered off in his side’s win at Brighton two weeks ago. canaries.co.uk caught up with The Athletic’s Manchester City correspondent Sam Lee to discuss the significance of Laporte’s omission from the squad:
“They were already short in that area with only three senior centre-backs plus Fernandinho, who they’ll use there. Laporte was the best and most consistent of those options.
“They’ve got John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi who can come in and add different qualities for each game, but I do think in the short-term they’ll be able to cover for him.”
To read the full interview, click here.
Last time they met
Guardiola was still at Bayern Munich the last time Norwich faced Man City. Manuel Pellegrini was in charge of the latter when the Premier League game took place on March 12, 2016, with Alex Neil’s Canaries holding on for a 0-0 draw at Carrow Road on that day.
The last time Norwich beat Man City was on the final day of the 2012-13 season at the Etihad Stadium on May 19, 2013, when equalising goals from Anthony Pilkington and Grant Holt, as well as a winner from Jonny Howson were enough to cancel out a Jack Rodwell brace, giving the Canaries a 3-2 win.
Norwich, then managed by Chris Hughton, finished in 11th place in the top flight that year, while Man City occupied the runners-up spot, nine points adrift of winners Manchester United.
Kevin Friend will be the man in the middle for Saturday evening’s fixture. Friend has overseen three Premier League games so far this season, handing out 14 yellow cards and two red cards (given to Brighton & Hove Albion’s Florin Andone and Aston Villa’s Trezeguet) overall.
He was last appointed to officiate a Norwich game in 2016, when the Canaries fell to a 3-0 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur on February 2.
For this weekend’s fixture, his assistants will be Matthew Wilkes and Sian Massey-Ellis, with Peter Bankes the fourth official. Anthony Taylor and Gary Beswick will be overseeing VAR.
Info for supporters
We have a guide for all supporters heading to Carrow Road. It has lots of information about getting to Carrow Road, prohibited items, stadium opening times and much more. Click here to view it.
Away fans now have a dedicated venue to attend prior to the match kicking off. The Waterfront, situated on King Street, has a beer garden with a licensed bar offering a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and food vendors.
Away supporters can enter the stadium from 3.30pm.
Supporter group Along Come Norwich are hosting a pre-match event in the Russell Allison Lounge at Carrow Road from 2pm. Tickets are priced at £5 and include a free pint of beer, courtesy of Club partner Woodforde's Brewery. To find out more and purchase your ticket, click here.
For regular visitors to Carrow Road, there have been a number of exciting changes at the stadium over the summer. Head here to find out more.
The Junior Canaries Family FanZone at Carrow Park will be open between 3pm and 5pm.
Please note that the majority of kiosks in the stadium this season have contactless-only tills. In the away end, the left-hand lanes of kiosks are contactless-only.
How to follow
Supporters can sign up to Canaries TV to watch our new matchday show, #NR1Live. The broadcast begins at 12pm on Saturday and will feature pre and post-match reaction from presenter Darren Eadie and his studio guests. During the match, supporters will be able to listen to commentary from BBC Radio Norfolk's Chris Goreham.
To subscribe, CLICK HERE.
For UK-based supporters, the match will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event.
We will be running regular updates on our Twitter account, including reaction after the final whistle.
Canary fans can also sign up to the Norwich City WhatsApp group to receive the starting line-up ahead of the game sent straight to your phone, as well as the half-time and full-time score and game highlights. Click HERE to sign up.