Laporte targets January return

Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte
Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte reckons he will be back in action around January as he continues recovering from injury.
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Former France Under-21 international Laporte has been a massive miss for City this season after being taken off on a stretcher during the 4-0 Premier League win over Brighton at the Etihad Stadium on August 31.

With former captain Vincent Kompany leaving in the summer and Pep Guardiola failing to add a new centre-back to his squad, the Citizens have been short of options at the heart of defence, which has forced midfielder Fernandinho to fill the gap.

During Laporte's absence, the defending English champions have slipped to third in the standings and they are a massive 11 points behind table-toppers Liverpool, who are unbeaten from their 14 league matches.

Guardiola recently revealed the Frenchman would be out for "two or three months" but, when asked about his recovery from injury is going, Laporte was feeling more optimistic of an earlier comeback.

"[My recovery] is going very well," he told The National. "Still I need time but I hope as soon as possible I can come back and play with my teammates. I can't say when exactly but more or less one month-and-a-half to two months."

City, who drew 2-2 at Newcastle United on Saturday, have also received a boost following the news left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko, who is primarily a midfielder, has returned to training.

The Ukrainian has been out since the end of October after surgery on a knee problem and he could be in contention for Tuesday's Premier League trip to Turf Moor to take on Burnley.

City head into the game off the back of successive draws, having also been held by Shakhtar in the Champions League prior to picking up a point on Tyneside, and Guardiola has stressed the important of winning games in a bid to get their title challenge on track.

The Citizens have won the last three meetings against the Clarets, scoring 11 goals and conceding zero.

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