Manchester City should return to winning ways when they travel to the home of Premier League champions Leicester City this weekend (5.30pm Saturday on BT Sport 1).
Pep Guardiola’s side fell four points behind fellow title contenders Chelsea when they were defeated 3-1 by the Blues at the Etihad Stadium last time out. In some ways, City were a little unfortunate to be beaten. The hosts were the better team for the first hour and deservedly took the lead when Gary Cahill inadvertently turned Jesus Navas’ cross into his own net, before Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero wasted excellent chances to double their side’s lead.
Man City were later made to pay for their profligacy in the penalty area, with goals from Diego Costa, Willian and Eden Hazard turning the match on its head and giving the visitors – who were devastating on the counter-attack in the second 45 minutes – all three points. This was undoubtedly a significantly setback for City, who are no longer the bookies’ favourites to get their hands on the Premier League crown, but there is certainly no need for panic just yet.
Leicester were also on the receiving end of a negative result last weekend, with Sunderland emerging as 2-1 winners from the pair’s clash at the Stadium Of Light. It was yet another disappointing result away from home for the champions. They have drawn one and lost six of their first seven games on the road this term and are now just two points and two places above the relegation zone. Indeed they are as short as 15/2 in the Premier League relegation betting with one of the top bookmakers.
Both teams fielded weakened sides in European competition this week, with Man City’s 1-1 draw against Celtic the better result. Leicester were blown away by Porto on Wednesday night, suffering a 5-0 defeat. Neither match has much bearing on this fixture, though Leicester’s defeat was humiliating and can not do any good for ailing squad confidence.
Some of Claudio Ranieri’s charges’ performances have been better than their results would suggest, but there are evidently problems that the Foxes need to address if they are to avoid being dragged into a battle at the wrong end of the table in the coming months. Their home form has been a lot better, though – they would be ninth in the standings if away games were discounted – which means Manchester City should seek to avoid complacency this weekend.
Guardiola is missing the suspended trio of Sergio Aguero, Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi, while Vincent Kompany remains sidelined after damaging his knee ligaments against Crystal Palace last month. Raheem Sterling (pictured) should be fit enough to return to the starting XI, though, with Nolito, Jesus Navas and Leroy Sane all vying for the remaining spot on the opposite flank. Up front, Kelechi Iheanacho will lead the line in Aguero’s absence, while Yaya Toure is also expected to come back into the centre of midfield.
Ranieri is still without goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who remains sidelined with a fractured hand, while Danny Drinkwater has one match of his three-game ban for violent conduct left to serve. The Leicester boss may be tempted to shift away from his favoured 4-4-2 formation and employ an extra body in midfield. The loss of the energetic N’Golo Kante to Chelsea has seen the Foxes struggle with just two players in the engine room, and they will need to avoid being overrun against Man City this weekend.
Our Preview’s Leicester v Man City Betting Tips Verdict
It is difficult to look past anything other than a comfortable Manchester City triumph at the King Power Stadium on Saturday evening. Guardiola’s men have largely been excellent away from home so far this season, and even in the absence of Aguero they will probably have too much attacking firepower for last season’s title winners. A Man City victory with under 3.5 goals scored in total is this preview’s preference for the first of the betting tips. Iheanacho – who averages a Premier League strike every 95 minutes – is a value bet to find the back of the net any time. So your betting tips’ options, depending on how risk averse you feel are:
- Manchester City to beat Leicester City with under 3.5 goals scored in total at a best price of 7/4 with Coral.
- Alternatively you could just go for the away win, with Man City at best odds of 13/17 (which is a little better than the general 8/11 available) with Unibet.
- Expect Kelechi Iheanacho to score at anytime at a best price of 11/8 with Unibet.
Greg Lea is a freelance sports writer. Read the articles that he has written at Just Bookies.