The atmosphere at Etihad Stadium will be that of a grand finale when Manchester City host Leicester City on the match-day 25 of the English Premier League.
Manchester City are separated from the league leaders Leicester City by virtue of three points and winner of the day could have a much better chance of clinching the title at the end of the season.
At the same time, a draw will be good for Leicester as they can still hold on to the top position at the end of the match-day 25, while the Sky-Blues of Manchester may have the risk of losing their second place in the league table.
Team Form Comparison
Manchester City are coming on the back of an unconvincing 1-0 victory away from home to Sunderland in the midweek. Nevertheless the win has stretched their unbeaten run to seven matches taking 15 points from a possible 21. While playing at home, Manchester City are a real force to reckon and have only lost two out of twelve matches at Etihad this season.
Leicester City have comprehensively beaten Liverpool at home in their midweek Premier League clash. Jamie Vardy got on to the score sheet twice in a match that ended 2-0, with his stunning volley in the minute a sure nominee for goal of the season.
Leicester City have only lost twice in the league whole season and are a threat for opponents at home and away. Interestingly the stats read 25 points a-piece from 12 home and away matches this season so far.
Manchester City : Team News
Manuel Pellegrini is without the services of injured Samir Nasri, Eliaquim Mangala, Wilfried Bony and Kevin de Bruyne. While Fabian Delph and Jesus Navas are struggling for fitness.
The good news for the Citizens is that their captain Vincent Kompany has returned to training, but can be ruled out for this key clash.
The Chilean could opt for a 4-4-2 system with youngster Iheanacho once again partnering Sergio Aguero in attack as he looks to expose the space between the back two of Leicester City.
Manchester City : Predicted Line-up (4-4-2)
Hart – Kolarov, Otamendi, Demichelis, Sagna – Silva, Fernandinho, Toure, Sterling – Iheanacho, Aguero.
Leicester City : Team News
No surprises are expected in Claudio Ranieri’s starting line-up for this match. Jeffrey Schlupp and Matthew James remain sidelined for the Foxes and we can expect the same 4-4-2 formation as we have seen as season long.
Leicester City : Predicted Line-up (4-4-2)
Schmeichel – Fuchs, Huth, Morgan, Simpson – Albrighton, Kante, Drinkwater, Mahrez – Vardy, Okazaki.
Manchester City have a healthy head-to-head record against Leicester City and are unbeaten in 7 matches in all competitions. The overall record reads 4 wins and 3 draws.
Leicester City’s last win over the Citizens came by 3-0 in November 2003 in the Premier League clash away from home.
Manchester City vs Leicester City: Prediction
Manchester City will be more desperate for a result than their opponents on Saturday’s early kick-off. There is a burden of expectation from the fans and management to gather pace in the race for title run.
Leicester on the other side will be more relaxed and their head-coach Ranieri will be once again hoping that an individual brilliance from Vardy or Mahrez will be enough to see them through on the day.
And the Foxes are also aware they still remain in contention for the title bid even if they lose on Saturday, but same cannot be said about Manchester City as both Tottenham and Arsenal are desperately knocking on their doors.
Unlike the reverse fixture at King Power Stadium which ended in a drab 0-0 draw, this encounter could bring much more attacking intent from the Citizens. So expect goals on both ends and my prediction is a 1-1 draw.