There is a huge game on Saturday evening in the Premier league as third placed Manchester City welcome second place Leicester City to the Etihad Stadium. As leaders Liverpool are away in Qatar on World Club Cup duty, this is a chance for both of these sides to start closing the gap on them and make their move in the title race.
Manchester City’s defence of their title has been a disappointing one having already lost four league games this season, which is the same amount as they did during the whole of the last campaign when they marched to their second successive Premier League title.
They also have to deal with off field distractions as Pep Guardiola’s right-hand man, Mikel Arteta, is set to be appointed as the new head coach at Arsenal.
City’s defensive frailties
Two home defeats against Wolves (2-0) and Manchester United (2-1) a fortnight ago came as a surprise, but they have still won five of their eight home games this campaign. One worrying fact is that they have conceded in four of their last five home EPL games, and they even conceded in midweek at League One Oxford United, eventually coming through that Carabao Cup quarter final as 3-1 winners.
Leicester City are enjoying another incredible season and sit in second place, four points ahead of City. Despite being unbeaten in nine Premier League games, which included eight wins in a row, the Foxes are still 10-points behind Liverpool, but can cut that gap to seven with a win at the Etihad.
Brendan Rodgers sides will have been disappointed to see their incredible sequence of eight wins in a row come to an end last weekend as they were held to a 1-1 draw by struggling Norwich City, but away from home, Leicester can boast the third best record on their travels.
Leicester come into the game after a midweek penalty shoot-out triumph at Everton to secure a place in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup.
Since 2000, Manchester City have met Leicester City 14 times in the Premier League, with City winning the last three EPL games at the Etihad Stadium.
The last time Leicester won at City was in 2016; two goals from defender Robert Huth, and a strike from Riyad Mahrez, who could line up for City this time, secured an impressive 3-1 win as the Foxes marched on to a famous Premier League title success.
Last season the sides both won their respective home games. Leicester won 2-1 at the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day, as goals from Marc Albrighton and Ricardo Pereira cancelled out a Bernardo Silva opener. However, Man City would gain revenge at home thanks to a stunning Vincent Kompany strike, which ensured City would go into the last game of last season with a point advantage over Liverpool.
- Manchester City are the highest-scoring team in the EPL this season, averaging 2.76 goals per-match
- City have recorded 14 wins in their last 17 home EPL matches, scoring two or more goals on 12 occasions.
- Over 58% of City’s games have featured 4+ goals, with six goals scored after the 80th minute in City’s last five competitive matches
- Leicester remain the league’s most resilient side, conceding just 0.65 goals per-match so far
- Since the appointment of Brendan Rodgers, the Foxes have been strong against teams from last season’s top six with a record of won three, drawn two and lost two
- Leicester’s Jamie Vardy has failed to score in just one of his last nine EPL games, scoring 11 goals during that run
This is a game that Man City will attack from the outset, whilst Leicester will look to use pace to hit the hosts on the counter. Kevin de Bruyne was brilliant at Arsenal last weekend, scoring twice to make it four goals in his last five Premier League appearances.
He could be the match winner again, but we do see both teams scoring in what should be an enthralling game of differing tactics.
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