Manchester City and Leicester City go head-to-head in a top of the table clash in the Premier League this weekend.
Both clubs remain clinging to the coattails of table-toppers Liverpool, but only slightly, so this contest could have serious implications for the title race.
The Foxes have been this season’s surprise package and are currently four points above Pep Guardiola’s side, knowing a win could reduce the gap on Liverpool to single digits.
Many believe City’s hopes of retaining their crown have already disappeared, but the reigning champions must not give up now, or they’ll face watching Jurgen Klopp and Co comfortably canter to a first top-flight title for 30 years.
So, can City secure three points and re-establish some form of pressure on Liverpool? Or will Brendan Rodgers continue to defy the odds and keep Leicester soaring high? Read on for our Man City vs Leicester preview, team news, TV coverage information and more.
When is Man City vs Leicester and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Date: Saturday, 21 December 2019
Kick-off: 5:30 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): Sky Sports Main Event
Last five meetings: Man City vs Leicester
06 May 2019: Man City 1-0 Leicester (Premier League)
26 Dec 2018: Leicester 2-1 Man City (Premier League)
18 Dec 2018: Leicester 1-1 Man City (League Cup)
10 Feb 2018: Man City 5-1 Leicester (Premier League)
19 Dec 2017: Leicester 1-1 Man City (League Cup)
Aggregate Score: Man City (WLDWD) 9-5 Leicester (LWDLD)
Ones to watch
Man City: Kevin De Bruyne
There are not many superlatives left to describe Man City’s midfield marvel, who continues to dazzle and mesmerise on a weekly basis, while collecting scalp after scalp. His latest victim came in the form of Arsenal, who he caught flush and sent spiralling to the canvas in a devastating knockout blow over the weekend.
His emphatic brace was one of the highest quality, showcasing his ambipedal ability and sheer ruthlessness in front of goal. Leicester City boast the best defensive record in the Premier League, so if City are to breach Kasper Schmeichel’s net, then they will need De Bruyne on song.
Key stat: Kevin De Bruyne has created more chances than any player in the Premier League this season (62).
Leicester City: Caglar Soyuncu
The Turkey international was largely kept on ice in midweek — coming on in the final eight minutes — as Leicester booked their ticket in the Carabao Cup semi-final with a penalty shootout win over Everton, and Rodgers will now be hoping to reap the fruits of his careful man-management as the centre-back will be absolutely vital if the Foxes are to get a result here.
Yes, we can wax lyrical about the insatiable goalscoring exploits of Jamie Vardy, or the creative ingenuity of James Maddison, but arguably the fulcrum of this entire operation is Soyuncu, who has not only filled the gaping void left Harry Maguire over the summer, but improved upon his predecessor’s work.
Key stat: Caglar Soyuncu has made the third-most passes of any player in the Premier League this season (1157).
Sergio Aguero is nearing a return to full fitness having missed the last four Premier League matches with a thigh injury, but Saturday may have come a little too early for the Argentine. David Silva, who was absent for the mauling over Arsenal, could make his return this weekend.
Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte remain out until the New Year, while John Stones is expected back later this month.
Predicted XI: Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Mendy; Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Sterling, B Silva, Jesus.
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Rodgers will be buoyed that he has just the single injury to contend with in Matthew James, other than that, it is a full-strength squad for the Northern Irishman.
Predicted XI: Schmeichel; Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell; Ndidi, Praet, Tielemans, Maddison; Perez, Vardy.
Leicester City came up short at the weekend and were just lacking their usual energy and drive. The question is: was this a one-off stumble? Or is the heavy schedule of the festive period weighing down on the Foxes? Well, if there are any question marks, the last place anyone wants to visit is the Etihad.
Look, the situation is simple for Guardiola: this is a must-win game. Against Arsenal, City were devastating and looked back to their brilliant best, and they could very well keep the momentum going with another statement victory this weekend.
Scoreline prediction: Man City 2-1 Leicester
Check out more of Squawka’s betting tips here.