Internationals can inform Man City selection
It was interesting a few weeks ago to hear Pep Guardiola reject the notion that Kyle Walker being dropped from the England squad could help Manchester City.
The player would need to show his form with his club to earn a spot back with country, of course, but the manager did not think two weeks without travel was necessarily better than the rhythm and everything else that goes with internationals.
Those Blues that have gone away could hardly have had a better time. Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne maintained their exceptional form and Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva and Joao Cancelo were among those to press their case for involvement at Norwich. All will have looked sharper since returning to their club, influencing Guardiola's thoughts for his team selection.
Stones has serious opportunity
Vincent Kompany has pledged his full support behind John Stones as expectation falls on the former Everton defender with Aymeric Laporte ruled out for the rest of the calendar year.
As well as any doubts that may still linger around Stones for his form, it is his fitness that has been missing for the last month so if he is restored to the team on Saturday that will add to the focus.
Perhaps that is what Stones needs though. With Kompany gone and Laporte injured, there is a chance for the England man to step out of their shadows and establish himself as the leading centre-back at the club if he can prove his concentration over a sustained spell.
Silva and Aguero chase records
Only two players have every scored in the first five matches of a Premier League season, and no player has set up at least two goals in three consecutive Premier League games.
That could change after the weekend as City's long-time servants seek to enhance their reputations even further. Guardiola will need to rotate his squad with the Champions League and Carabao Cup soon upon them but has had a bulk of his stars remain in Manchester during the international break so should be able to pick his strongest XI. That will surely include Aguero with his six goals and Silva with his four assists.
Stats only point to one result
Saturday sees the team that have conceded the most goals (10) take on the team that have scored the most (14).
More worryingly for Norwich, they have conceded the most shots from open play in the division (54 from 4 games) while City have attempted the most (62 from 4).
It all points towards a football mismatch at Carrow Road where City should win comfortably, and Guardiola has an impeccable record against newly promoted teams.
There could yet be a shock but what happens on the grass should follow the paper.