The response to the 1-0 defeat to Liverpool will show use whether Leicester City have what it takes to sustain the challenge for Champions League positions, although Manchester City are probably not the team they would prefer to face at the moment. The Citizens may have struggled of late, and they last won an away game in EPL three and a half months ago, but they definitely have the quality to turn things around.
Leicester City entered England’s history books as they became the third team ever to be bottom at Christmas one season and top of the league exactly one year later, and no doubt both manager Claudio Ranieri and his charges deserve credit for some amazing performances in the first part of the season. The question on everyone’s lips now is whether the Foxes can cope with these new found expectations. Following several very good performances against England’s top sides, Leicester City succumbed to the first league defeat since September, while also failing to score a single goal for the first time this season as they were beaten by Liverpool at Anfield. The Foxes were well below par at Merseyside, and with both Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy struggling to cope with the busy schedule, the hosts could find it hard to show a much needed improvement when facing Manchester City just three days later.
Claudio Ranieri should welcome back key midfielder Danny Drinkwater to the side as the former Manchester United starlet has recovered from a hamstring problem.
There were some doubts over the fitness of star men Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, but both are expected to start against Manchester City.
Even if they were never too far off the top of the Premier League standings, the reality is that Manchester City have experienced more problems than anyone could expect. The heavy summer recruitment didn’t exactly pay off instantly as the Citizens remained too reliant on usual suspects Kompany, Silva and Aguero, all of whom have had some injury problems this term. And while Manuel Pellegrini’s side remain a force to be reckoned with at home, where they scored 29 goals in ten games (W8 D0 L2), their performances on the road leave a lot to be desired. No fewer than 11 Premier League sides have picked up more points on the travels than Manchester City, with mere eight goals scored in as many away games a major cause for concern ahead of the trip to Leicester. Nevertheless, this is probably the right time to be facing the Foxes as they have just suffered the first defeat in a while, and, who knows, maybe the Citizens will finally prove their worth away from home as well. With that in mind, you should know they are available at 7/1 (8.0) special price.
Captain Vincent Kompany is almost certain to miss out as he suffered another calf injury, while Sergio Aguero should be recalled to the side.
Fernando and Pablo Zabaleta are close to returning into action, but they are unlikely to be risked at King Power Stadium, with Samir Nasri also missing out.
Key Factors to Consider
- Manchester City won both Premier League meetings with Leicester last season
- The Citizens haven’t lost in last five away games with the Foxes (W3 D2)
- The Liverpool defeat was the first match in which Leicester failed to score this term
- Manchester City last won an away game in the Premier League back in September
- Leicester and Man City lead the goalscoring charts with 37 goals each
It may be too early to say that Leicester City’s title bid has come to an end, but the Foxes do appear to have problems coping with the busy schedule. Manchester City, on the other hand, will be looking to finally produce a quality performance on the road and we are backing them to record the first away win after more than three months.
Verdict: Away win
Best Odds: 17/20
Bookmaker: William Hill
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