MX23RW : Tuesday, January 22 13:19:32
Feb 10, 2018 at 5.30pm UK at ​Etihad Stadium
Attendance: 54,416
Man CityManchester City
LeicesterLeicester City
Sterling (3'), Aguero (48', 53', 78', 90')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Vardy (24')

Preview: Manchester City vs. Leicester City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides predicted lineups, team news and a full match preview of Manchester City's meeting with Leicester City in the Premier League.

Manchester City will attempt to get back to winning ways in the Premier League when welcoming Leicester City to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening.

The Foxes have already tasted defeat in this fixture twice this season, though the most recent of those came via penalties following a hard-fought EFL Cup tie in the East Midlands.

Manchester City

Gabriel Jesus is congratulated by teammates after scoring during the Premier League game between Leicester City and Manchester City on November 18, 2017© SilverHub

Man City have since defeated Bristol City over two legs in the EFL Cup to remain on course for silverware on four fronts, but the gruelling nature of the Citizens' non-stop campaign is beginning to take its toll on their players.

Key playmaker Kevin De Bruyne admitted after the 1-1 draw with Burnley last weekend - a match the league leaders really should have put to bed before being pegged back late on - that he and his teammates were "feeling rubbish" and in need of a rest.

Pep Guardiola's decision to send his players away for four days this week came at the perfect time, then, in what has been a rare midweek off for City. Where they went did not matter to Guardiola - he simply wanted them to stay away from the club's training base.

Even if the two-time Prem winners have stuttered somewhat on their travels of late, failing to win away from the Etihad Stadium in the league since a 1-0 win at Newcastle United at Christmas time, they still have a healthy lead at the top of the division and are fast closing in on another top-flight crown.

Thirteen points is the current gap on closest challengers Manchester United, whom they face for a second time in early April, but Guardiola is adamant that the title race is not a formality with so many games still to come.

Being held by Burnley was certainly not in the script, coming after defeat to Liverpool and a goalless draw at Crystal Palace in their previous away outings, and City must also face Arsenal and Chelsea in quick succession in three weeks' time.

With fatigue creeping in, now may well be the perfect time to face the champions-elect as they also have to prepare for a double-header against Basel in the Champions League, a trip to Wigan Athletic in the last 16 of the FA Cup, as well as the small matter of an EFL Cup final date with Arsenal in the space of a month.

Defeating Guardiola's men is a mighty ask for Leicester, though, particularly on the Citizens' home patch following an unbeaten league run stretching 25 matches, 20 of which have ended in victory. Not quite invincible, but very, very close.

Recent form in Premier League: DWLWWD
Recent form (all competitions): LWWWWD

Leicester City

Claude Puel in charge of Leicester City on December 9, 2017© SilverHub

The biggest challenge for Leicester boss Claude Puel in the remaining months of the Premier League campaign may well be motivating his players, with seventh place surely the best the Foxes can hope for.

Arsenal in sixth are 10 points better off, meaning that holding off a cluster of teams in hot pursuit and overhauling Burnley is effectively the target for City in the coming weeks.

Leicester were disappointingly held to a 1-1 draw by Swansea City in their most recent match, coming on the back of a 2-1 loss away to Everton as their away-day struggles continued at Goodison Park.

After going seven unbeaten on their travels, the Foxes have now claimed just one point from the last 12 on offer, losing to Watford Liverpool and Everton, but holding Chelsea to a goalless draw in a match that they probably should have won.

Two wins from nine certainly suggests that momentum is a big issue, yet away from the Premier League the 2015-16 champions are into the last 16 of the FA Cup and have a favourable tie at home to Sheffield United up next.

Whether or not Riyad Mahrez will be available for that match next weekend is a different question, as the Algeria international continues to remain AWOL and will definitely sit out this trip to Man City - the team tipped to sign him on deadline day.

Without Mahrez in the side Leicester are desperately relying on Jamie Vardy for some inspiration, with the Englishman boasting an impressive record against top-six sides, though all three of his previous league goals against Man City came in one game.

That 4-2 triumph in December 2016 was the last time the Foxes trumped the Citizens, however, and to make matters worse for Puel's men, they have failed to collect a single point in any of their last nine outings against a team that started the day top of the division.

Recent form in Premier League: DWWWLD
Recent form (all competitions): LWDWLD

Team News

Riyad Mahrez in action during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Leicester City on January 13, 2018© SilverHub

Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus and Benjamin Mendy remain long-term absentees for City, but Fabian Delph is fast closing in on a return and John Stones may be welcomed back this weekend.

Another to miss the draw at Burnley was David Silva, who is forced to pick-and-choose his matches due to personal issues, though a starting spot will be his should he make himself available.

Ilkay Gundogan will fill in for Silva should the Spaniard miss out, while at centre-back Stones is expected to battle it out with January recruit Aymeric Laporte for a starting berth alongside Nicolas Otamendi - skipper Vincent Kompany making way.

The visitors will be without Mahrez for a third match, meanwhile, as Puel is still concerned about the silky winger's mindset after his collapsed January move to Man City.

Fousseni Diabate, recruited from the French second tier last month, has looked lively since coming in and is likely to be given another start on Saturday.

Elsewhere, Puel has a call to make up top as Kelechi Iheanacho will be desperate to feature against the club he left last summer, but Shinji Okazaki is favourite to get the nod just off Vardy in the forward line.

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Zinchenko, Laporte, Otamendi, Walker, D.Silva, Fernandinho, De Bruyne; Sterling, Aguero, B.Silva

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Simpson, Dragovic, Maguire, Fuchs; Diabate, Ndidi, Iborra, Albrighton; Okazaki; Vardy

Head To Head

Man City have won three in a row against Leicester, including that aforementioned EFL Cup tie at the King Power Stadium just before Christmas when prevailing on penalties.

The Citizens have lost 67% of their home Premier League matches against this weekend's opponents, though, which is their highest percentage against any other club.

Having lost their last two league encounters with Man City, Leicester are now aiming to avoid making it three in succession for the first time since August 1961.

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We say: Manchester City 3-0 Leicester City

Man City may have some big games coming up in cup competitions, but after a short rest they will be ready to hit the ground running. That, combined with Leicester's shocking record against teams occupying top spot - a combined 20-3 scoreline in the opposition's favour across the last nine such fixtures - points to a comfortable evening for the home side.

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John Stones watches on ahead of the Champions League game between Manchester City and Shakhtar Donetsk on September 26, 2017
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