Thursday, April 2, 2020

Prediction: Leicester City vs Manchester City

Verdict: Manchester City win and under four goals

Best Odds: 15/8

Bookmaker: Bet365

Making a much-needed return to winning ways after a week of off-field issues, Manchester City will make the trip to a stalling King Power Stadium on Saturday evening.

Leicester City

Starting with the hosts, while Leicester might still find themselves sat in pole position to secure a Champions League return this year, the Foxes do find themselves in the midst of what has been a sluggish patch. Although a controversial VAR decision may have helped Brendan Rodgers’ men grab a point at Molineux last weekend, the former Celtic boss has seen his squad play out back-to-back Premier League stalemates and they have won just one of their last five top-flight appearances since New Year’s Day. Likely to still be feeling some effects after their dramatic collapse in their EFL Cup semi-final at Villa Park last month, fans around the King Power will be desperate for their side to find some much-needed stability on home soil. Including back-to-back defeats against Liverpool and Southampton, Leicester have won just a single league contest in Leicestershire since the 4th of December. Along with leading marksman Jamie Vardy failing to find the net in his last eight appearances on the bounce, Rodgers’ side also hold a worrying record against Saturday’s guests. Including a 3-1 defeat at the Etihad earlier in the season, the Foxes have lost seven of their last eight meetings against the defending champions.

Team News

Leicester are short of defensive midfielders, with Nampalys Mendy and Wilfred Ndidi both injured and Hamza Choudhury serving a one-match ban.

Matty James is in contention to play his first game for 13 months, while Ryan Bennett is available after being ineligible against parent club Wolves.

Manchester City

As for the visitors, while their Champions League future might be hanging in the balance after their two-year ban was handed down last week, the Sky Blues would have simply been glad to make a return to winning ways on Wednesday night. Picking up what turned out to be a routine 2-0 victory over relegation scrappers West Ham in midweek, Pep Guardiola’s men are just hoping to finish the season with a flourish and maybe a piece of silverware to show. Opening the weekend fixtures sat 22 points adrift of the runaway leaders and defending their Premier League crown, there is no doubt that fans around the Etihad will be most excited by playmaker Kevin de Bruyne’s continued purple patch. Putting in a Man of the Match display against the Hammers in midweek after grabbing a goal and an assist, the Belgium ace has collected a staggering 16 Premier League assists this season, more than any other play across Europe’s top-tiers. While the Sky Blues may have their usual reputation for their exploits in the final third, Guardiola will be hoping for his side to find some much-needed defensive stability. Hit with a shock 2-0 defeat against Spurs earlier in the month, City have landed just one clean sheet on the road in their last six attempts.

Team News

Manchester City will assess David Silva, who was forced off in the midweek win against West Ham.

Oleksandr Zinchenko is available after missing that match through suspension.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Including a 3-1 win earlier in the season, Manchester City have won seven of their last eight matches against the Foxes.
  • Leicester have managed to win just one of their last five Premier League appearances.
  • Jamie Vardy has failed to find the net in his last eight matches across all competitions.
  • Kevin de Bruyne has recorded 16 Premier League assists this season, more than any other player across Europe’s top-tiers.
  • Each of City’s last three Premier League matches on the road have seen under 2.5 goals at full-time.

Conclusion

While both City and Leicester might boast a string of attacking talents, Saturday’s contest at the King Power could be a cagey encounter. Although the Foxes might still sit in pole position to secure a Champions League return, Brendan Rodgers’ men are in the midst of a sluggish patch since opening the New Year. While we do expect the soon to be former champions to come away with maximum points on the road this weekend, we’re backing few goals at either end.

Verdict: Manchester City win and under four goals

Best Odds: 15/8

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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