Manchester City vs Leicester City: Premier League Preview and Prediction
The Cityzens welcome the Foxes to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday as Manchester City play their first home game of the Premier League season.
Both the teams have a 100% record at the moment but this game is anticipated to go one way or the other. City were very good against Wolves offensively although the defense had some issues.
Leicester City have not been their best but have managed to find a way to score in both the games they’ve played. The defenders need to start pulling up cleansheets but apart from that, Jamie Vardy with the rest of the midfielders are a constant threat.
Head to Head stats
Before heading to the stats, one interesting fact is that Brendan Rodgers is yet to beat Pep Guardiola in his managerial career, something that may hold a lot of significance.
Statistically, the Foxes are far behind as they’ve won only three times out of the 17 games played between the two in recent years, out of which four are draws.
Manchester City were against a team that they lost to in both the games of the Premier League season. However, this time Pep and Co. wasted no time to put the game to bed.
Wolves opened up City’s backline quite a few times in the second half but they weren’t clinical enough to keep the scoreboard ticking.
City will be looking to keep up their domination at the Etihad as they go into the game with ten games unbeaten out of 11 Premier League matches and what speaks volumes is that they have managed to win the last seven with an aggregate score of 26-1. Unbelievable!
Manchester City have not lost an opening home game of a top-flight season since 1989-90 and the latest motivation would be their home win against Bournemouth at home, progressing to the fourth round of the EFL Cup.
The Foxes had the complete opposite fortune as their EFL Cup hopes were crushed by Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal as their arsenal was too much for Brendan Rodgers and Co. to handle.
Leicester’s disappointing run of displays towards the end of the 19/20 season saw them drop out of the top four. However, with almost all injured players ready and fit to go, Rodgers will hope that his team keeps up their unbeaten run in the Premier League.
Leicester won 3-0 on the opening day, defeating West Brom followed by 4-2 victory over Sean Dyche’s men.
Leicester would walk into the game in an attempt to win their opening three league games of the season for only the fourth time, the first time since 1922-23 and the first time ever in the top-flight.
Guardiola made a big statement when he stated that he had only 13 senior players available for this game and hinted that the impressive academy players over the weekend could play a cameo too.
With Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus both injured, Liam Delap, who made the headlines after firing against the Cherries is expected to be in contention for his Premier League debut.
With Aguero out for another month at least, Pep will be perplexed about how to set up his team.
Another academy graduate, Phil Foden is almost certain to start but except him, Kyle walker and Riyad mahrez are also expected to be involved on Sunday night.
Aymeric Laporte is a doubt as his recovery was pushed ahead due to isolation as a protocol after testing positive for COVID-19.
Ilkay Gundogan is also isolated having tested positive around the same time. Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, Nicolas Otamendi are also sidelined as a result of their respective injury.
Leicester City seem to not have many difficulties as only Wilfred Ndidi is reported to be injured with Ricardo Pereira, who has been a long-term absentee now.
Jonny Evans will be available for the game after serving his suspension and that will surely strengthen the Leicester backline.
New signing Cengiz Under will not be ready until next week.
Kevin De Bruyne vs Youri Tielemans
Both the players had a pretty good 19/20 season. De Bruyne was an assist-machine like he is most of the times but the absence of Aguero and Jesus could be troublesome for the midfielder.
Tielemans was phenomenal too and also chipped in some goals for his side apart from his role defensively.
The Belgian had three goals and six assists last season compared to De Bruyne's 13 goals and record 20 assists.
The battle between the two will surely be exhausting, both mentally and physically. With both teams looking to preserve their unbeaten record, the battle between the two will be an entertaining one.
Nathan Ake vs Jamie Vardy
Ake had a different level of responsibility, a different stature when he played at Bournemouth but now under Pep, responsibilities have doubled for the central defender.
Ake will have to do more than just to stop Vardy as he'll look to gain Pep's trust for a fixed place in his squad. With talks with Ruben Dias on course, City are expected to get the deal done soon as time is also a concern now.
With Bournemouth, Ake's last encounter with Vardy was a memorable one as Bournemouth made full use of Caglar Soyuncu's red card and took the game in their hands, beginning a set of disappointing performances for Leicester.
The last season's golden boot winner will do all he can so that his side comes on top while Ake will look prove that his standards have raised.
The game could go either way as Manchester City lack some key players while Ake’s addition in the backline doesn’t really solve all their problems.
For the Foxes, keeping up their tempo like the previous two games will be difficult. City will have more of the ball and thus, Leicester will have to be very vigilant.
Manchester City 2-2 Leicester City