Cape Town - Manchester City centre back Aymeric Laporte is
optimistic about making the starting line-up against West Ham United at the
Etihad on Sunday.
The influential France international made his playing return
last month in the 1-0 victory over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, lasting 70
minutes before being substituted.
It was Laporte's first outing since he suffered a knee
ligament injury at the start of the campaign against Brighton, which was
expected to keep him out for eight months.
There were fears the £50m former Athletic Bilbao defender
had suffered a relapse after missing the recent games against Fulham,
Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
However, boss Pep Guardiola stated before the 2-0 loss at
Spurs: "He's okay, he has had fatigue, not injured."
It is understood the powerful 25-year-old managed to train
without any issue on Monday and will have his intensity levels increased
between now and the final session on Saturday morning.
The club's medical staff are still being cautious with the
centre-back, whose absence has been felt this season, with City set to
relinquish their crown to Liverpool in the next couple of months, with the
Kopites now a massive 22 points ahead.
Laporte arrived at the Etihad in January 2018 and has since
gone on to establish himself as one of the best defenders in the top flight,
earning an improved five-year deal last summer.
City's squad will enjoy a 13-day mid-winter break after the
Irons' visit, so Laporte would like to get some more minutes into his legs
before the big Champions League clash against Real Madrid at the end of
Guardiola has also received a positive update on Laporte's
fellow countryman, Benjamin Mendy. The France left-back picked up a knock
against Crystal Palace last month but is pushing to start against David Moyes'