Manchester City vs Leicester
English Premier League
Date: 26 December 2021, Sunday
Kick-off at 15:00 UK / 16:00 CET
Venue: Etihad Stadium (Manchester).
When Manchester City takes on Leicester City on Boxing Day, they will be looking for an eighth Premier League victory in a row, seeking to extend their lead at the top.
The Premier League resumes action this weekend, with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City hosting a struggling Leicester City side at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Three Boxing Day matches have been postponed due to weather, but the remainder, including this match in Manchester, will go on as planned.
Since early November, Manchester City has been on a scorching winning streak that shows no signs of slowing down.
The incumbent Premier League winners are now the clear favorites to retain their title, having opened up a three-point lead at the top of the table.
Citizens defeated Newcastle United 4-0 in their previous league match and will be confident going into this match.
Manchester City have had 18 different goal scorers in all competitions, and have scored 11 goals without reply in their previous two league games, demonstrating Pep Guardiola’s plethora of attacking talent.
In addition, the manager has led his team to the last 16 of the Champions League.
Despite Sergio Aguero’s departure as the club’s all-time leading scorer and Kevin De Bruyne’s fitness concerns for the majority of the first half of the season, the team is still in contention.
Leicester City, on the other hand, is now in ninth position in the Premier League and has had a poor defensive record this season.
Leicester were denied a place in the Carabao Cup semi-finals despite fielding a full-strength squad against Liverpool this midweek, losing in a penalty shoot-out after the Reds’ incredible second-half comeback leveled the scoreboard at 3-3.
The Foxes’ 4-0 win over Newcastle earlier this month could have been a turning point in their disappointing season.
However, COVID-19 struck Brendan Rodgers’ side, causing games against Tottenham and Everton to be postponed.
The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams ahead of their latest league clash against Manchester City.
Manchester City vs Leicester City Head to head :
- This will be the third head to head encounter of the season for these two outfits.
- Leicester claimed a 1-0 win in the pre-season Community Shield Trophy game, while Manchester City got their revenge beating the Foxes with the same scoreline in the Premier League tie at King Power Stadium.
- Both teams scored only once in the last five head to head matches.
Manchester City vs Leicester City Prediction :
Manchester City are on a roll and have turned into an almost unstoppable goal machine while remaining impenetrable defensively.
They are the overwhelming favorites and will be looking to add to their six-point lead at the top.
Leicester City’s form has remained patchy.
They’ve shown flashes of lethality in the attacking third this season, but their defensive troubles have limited them.
Both of these teams’ previous meetings at this arena have been interesting, with 11 goals and a win for each side, with the Foxes winning 5-2 last season.
While it’s difficult to see them winning again based on their current form, a high-scoring encounter might be in the offing, given that they’ve scored 35 goals in their last eight games across all competitions.
The Hard Tackle believes City will come back from a deficit to win a tight game.
Manchester City vs Leicester City Team News :
Given their top-flight rivals’ current struggles, City appear to be relatively unaffected by injury or illness, with only two players expected to miss Leicester’s visit.
Kyle Walker might return to the bench after missing the triumphs against Leeds and Newcastle last week, while Ferran Torres – who is still healing from a foot ailment – is still out, despite the Spain forward’s move to Barcelona being close to completion.
Despite Pep Guardiola’s preference for rotation, the hosts could remain mostly unchanged, with Riyad Mahrez partnering Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus in attack, where he scored his 50th Premier League goal last time out.
Meanwhile, Ayoze Perez, Ademola Lookman, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Jannik Vestergaard have all recently tested positive for COVID-19, albeit they were all back on the bench in midweek.
At the Etihad Stadium, however, Harvey Barnes and Timothy Castagne are expected to miss out.
Due to the absences of Jonny Evans (hamstring) and Wesley Fofana (ankle), Brendan Rodgers may elect to play Wilfred Ndidi in the back four once more, especially if Vestergaard requires more time to heal and Caglar Soyuncu is ruled out.
The Foxes’ Turkish centre-back limped off early against Liverpool, raising fears that he may have aggravated a hamstring ailment from which he has just recently recovered.
Leicester’s defense is set to be severely depleted at the worst conceivable time, considering City’s goal-scoring proficiency.
Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko; Gundogan, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Sterling, Jesus
Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Albrighton, Vestergaard, Ndidi, Thomas; Dewsbury-Hall, Tielemans, Soumare; Maddison, Daka, Lookman