Leicester v Manchester City: Match Preview

Manchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola looks on during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on February 19, 2020. (Photo by Anthony Devlin / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by ANTHONY DEVLIN/AFP via Getty Images)
Manchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola looks on during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on February 19, 2020. (Photo by Anthony Devlin / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by ANTHONY DEVLIN/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Amongst all the furore in the last week for Manchester City after they were banned from the Champions League, there is important football to be played.

Although it was only in December that Manchester City last faced Leicester in the Premier League, running out 3:1 victors, it already seems like a lifetime ago. How we all wish we could return to those simpler and more innocent times!

In that game City went behind to Leicester’s first attack, thanks to a breakaway Jamie Vardy goal, but eventually ran out fairly comfortable winners. In that match much of the build up had been about how excellent Leicester were playing, yet there was seldom little evidence on display at the Etihad.

Things are unlikely to be quite the same in Leicester though this time, as the stakes are raised on both sides. Leicester have entered an indifferent run of form, almost marking time and City are coming to terms with their own clutch of disappointments, whilst focussing on the impending Madrid game.

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The question for the travelling City fans is which City, and indeed which team may turn up? Surely, there are players who have to earn their starting berth at Madrid?

So often though, manager Pep Guardiola, does not select based on form, instead picking players based upon system roles. So, it is not a given that players will be rested against Leicester.

The biggest dilemma must be those who need to achieve some semblance of rhythm and are running out of games to do so. You would think Sane must feature against Leicester to stand any chance of playing in Madrid?

City need a win to put some daylight between themselves and the chasing pack and a statement performance would help knock away some of the cobwebs and doubts, but football is rarely that neat and tidy.

Instead we are more likely to be confronted with a physical battle where Leicester need to refind their best movement in order to win. Heres hoping that City can clinch all the points through a moment of magic. If ever a game was set up for Riyad Mahrez to shine, then this is it.

Predicted Starting XI

Ederson

Cancelo – Stones – Laporte – Zinchenko

Rodrigo – Foden – De Bruyne

Mahrez – Aguero – Bernardo