Premier League returns as Manchester City will hope to take another step towards reclaiming the Premier League title when they take on Leicester City at the King Power Stadium today.
Infoexpert24 brings you a match preview, pobable lineups, predictions, team news, betting odds and key stats ahead of the crucial encounter.
Leicester City head into today’s clash in record-breaking form, after a 2-0 win over Everton saw Guardiola’s side win a 17th straight away game, breaking a club record.
The Foxes also go into this encounter on the back of an FA Cup victory, after Brendan Rodgers’ side defeated Manchester United 3-1 in their quarter-final tie.
Both managers will look to be in top form. Brendan v Pep has been very close and it could go either way. A match filled with plenty of story lines as both teams battle a packed schedule and quality opponents. There is plenty to discuss. Pep v Brendan Rodgers should be fun.
Which team will come out in front?
Leicester City have enjoyed another solid campaign under the tutelage of Brendan Rodgers and this time around, it looks like the Foxes might be able to clinch a top-four finish. As things stand, the former Premier League champions are third on the table, five points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea, with West Ham United a further two points behind in fifth.
Manchester City, on the other hand, have recovered from a horrendous start to the campaign that once saw them sit perilously close to the relegation zone before becoming runaway leaders in the Premier League.
Currently perched atop the standings, Pep Guardiola & co. are 14 points clear of neighbours Manchester United and are the odds-on favourites to win the title come May.
The reverse fixture, played at the Etihad back in September, saw Leicester City come from behind to beat Manchester City 5-2, with Jamie Vardy scoring a match-winning hat-trick. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.
Team News & Tactics
James Maddison will return to Leicester’s squad to face Manchester City in the Premier League this weekend.
Maddison has been sidelined since February with a hip injury but returned to full training during the international window.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers says James Maddison has not experienced any pain since returning to training and hopes he can stay fit for the remainder of the season.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Schmeichel; Fofana, Evans, Soyuncu; Albrighton, Tielemans, Ndidi, Maddison, Castagne; Iheanacho, Vardy
Like his counterpart in the Leicester City dugout, Pep Guardiola does not have any fresh injury concerns hampering his preparations ahead of the trip to the King Power Stadium. In fact, on Saturday, the Manchester City boss will travel to Leicester with a full-strength squad.
Ederson Moraes is an automatic pick between the sticks, with Manchester City set to line up in a 4-3-3 formation as always. The full-backs – likely to be Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo – will have the dual responsibility of providing the width in the final third while also filling in as central midfielders as per the requirements of the game.
At the heart of the Manchester City defence, there is no looking past John Stones and Ruben Dias, both of whom will hope to step up after a par for course showing in the international break. Up ahead in midfield, Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan are indispensable at the moment.
Rodri will hold the fort and receive defensive support from the two full-backs, thereby allowing De Bruyne and Gundogan to charge forward, with the latter making late runs into the box. Gabriel Jesus will likely lead the line for Manchester City, with Guardiola unlikely to pick Bernardo Silva as the false nine, while Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling will be the two wide men.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling
Leicester City could complete a league double over Manchester City for the first time since the 1986/87 season. The Foxes, who won 5-2 at the Etihad Stadium in September, can become the first team to score six top-flight goals in a season against a side managed by Pep Guardiola.
Leicester’s last top-flight victory against a side who began the day top of the table came at Manchester United in January 1998. The Foxes are winless in 15 subsequent Premier League games against the league leaders, losing 13.
Manchester City have won eight successive away fixtures in the Premier League, scoring a total of 22 goals and conceding just three. Pep Guardiola’s side have won 25 of their past 26 matches in all competitions, including a club-record 14 consecutive away fixtures
Leicester have lost six home matches in the Premier League this season; Everton are the only top-half side with a worse record.
Jamie Vardy has eight goals in nine top-flight games against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, twice as many as any other player has scored against sides managed by the former Barcelona boss. Vardy, who has just one goal in his last 16 appearances, has scored two of his three Premier League hat-tricks against Guardiola’s City.
Player to Watch
There are many potential picks for this section but after having been named the Premier League Player of the Month for March, the in-form Kelechi Iheanacho is the final selection. With nine goals in his last nine games for Leicester City, Iheanacho is nigh on unstoppable at the moment.
Up against his former side Manchester City, Iheanacho’s performance will go a long way in determining which team comes out on top in the end. The Nigerian striker will invariably be raring to go against the league leaders and fireworks can surely be expected. Can he extend his fine run of form?
Leicester City 2-1 Manchester City