Following Vincent Kompany's departure in the summer Man City pushed hard to sign a new center back but were priced out of a move for Harry Maguire and Laporte's injuries compounded their weakness, probably their only one, in that area of the squad.
The Brazilian has featured alongside Stones more often than not, with Otamendi restricted to just seven Premier League starts in total so far this season.More news: Trump to tariff steel and aluminum from Argentina and Brazil
Asked why Guardiola has not picked Stones and Otamendi together since the 3-2 league defeat against Norwich in September, he replied: "Because I like Fernandinho in that position".
"Right now, that's why he plays".
"We try to have the chances that we have and concede few, to be more solid in this department and improve". "Because I like Dinho playing in that position a lot". "To do that away is incredible. It's just now recover, prepare and try to win against Burnley, that is what you have to do, and after that the derby and make these steps". "We did it again but unfortunately, we couldn't win". The team is always there.
City had 10 points drifting from Liverpool last season before they successfully chased them to win their third consecutive title and Laporte remains convinced that they can do this again, something that Guardiola agrees with.More news: Mauricio Pochettino ready to get straight back to work after Tottenham sack
"He is not ready for the derby but after the derby we will see", Guardiola said.
"It's good they believe it [that the race is still on]". "In the situation that we are in, we can not think too much about the [teams] that are in front".
"Last season when we were here, we were not talking about the Premier League and how many games you have to win".More news: Wintry weather wreaks holiday weekend havoc across much of the U.S.