Friday, November 15, 2019

Prediction: Leicester vs Manchester City

Verdict: Manchester City win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 21/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

Desperate to bounce back from last weekend’s shock 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace, Pep Guardiola’s side will travel to the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day afternoon.

Leicester

Starting with Wednesday’s hosts, although many around the King Power were worried that Leicester would drop out of the top half of the table following a poor run of form entering Christmas, the Foxes’ 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge last weekend has certainly given Claude Puel’s side a much-needed boost. Ending their four-match winless run on Saturday, a run that also saw them crash out of the EFL Cup at the hands of Manchester City earlier in the month, the former Southampton boss will still know that he must improve on Leicester’s recent form on home soil. The hosts have now recorded just four Premier League wins at the King Power in their last 15 attempts, a run that stems back to February. Looking to book a surprise European push this season, Puel will be hoping that leading goalscorer Jamie Vardy can carry on his impressive tally against the Premier League elite. The Foxes’ marksman found the net against Chelsea on Saturday and has scored 13 goals in his past 15 league appearances against the established top six sides.

Team News

Leicester will make a late decision on whether to give a second start in quick succession to Jamie Vardy, who has only recently recovered from groin problems.

Manager Claude Puel has no fresh injury concerns. Matty James and Daniel Amartey remain long-term absentees.

Manchester City

As for the visitors, suffering another shock upset in their 3-2 loss to Crystal Palace over the weekend, Pep Guardiola’s defending champions now find themselves sat four points adrift of Liverpool at the top of the table. Now losing two of their last three Premier League outings, as many as they had lost in their previous 61 top-flight matches, the former Barcelona boss will unsurprisingly be demanding an immediate response. While their form in the final third has been as impressive as we have come to expect, their growing defensive issues will be becoming a concern for fans around the Etihad. City have recorded just a single clean sheet in their last eight league matches. If the Sky Blues are to get their title push back on track, then Guardiola will be looking for the returning Sergio Aguero to lead their charge. City’s leading goalscorer has eight goals this season and also bagged four in the visitors most recent league game against Leicester.

Team News

Manchester City will assess the fitness of midfielder Fernandinho, who missed Saturday’s defeat by Crystal Palace because of a thigh problem.

David Silva and Vincent Kompany could again miss out because of injuries.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Manchester City are vying for a fourth consecutive win against Leicester in the Premier League.
  • Claude Puel’s side have registered just four wins in 15 league games at the King Power Stadium since the beginning of February (D6, L5).
  • Jamie Vardy has scored 13 goals in his past 15 league appearances against the established top six sides.
  • Manchester City could lose back-to-back Premier League away games for the first time since January 2017.
  • The team in second place on Christmas Day has not gone on to be Premier League champions since Manchester United in 2007-08.

Conclusion

With Guardiola knowing the importance on picking up three points and keeping the pace with Liverpool, we’re expecting the Sky Blues to put in an impressive display at the King Power. However, with the visitors recording just one clean sheet in their last eight Premier League matches and Jamie Vardy’s stellar record against top-six teams, we do believe the Foxes’ will find the net on Boxing Day. Backing a City win and both teams to score seems like the smartest bet at 21/10.

Verdict: Manchester City win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 21/10

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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