Manchester City vs Leicester City Preview: Foxes look to close the gap on league leaders
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 06: Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City is challenged by Hamza Choudhury of Leicester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Leicester City at Etihad Stadium on May 06, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Leicester City face another tough test in the Premier League on Saturday as they travel to the North West to face fellow top-four challengers Manchester City.

Both sides were in Carabao Cup action in the week with the Foxes defeating Everton on penalties whilst the domestic treble holders City overcame Oxford United to book their place in the semi-finals of the tournament.

Pep Guardiola will take charge of his first Manchester City game since the departure of his assistant Mikel Arteta to Arsenal whilst Brendan Rodgers' men will look to claim another big victory in their impressive start to the season.

Key Battle

Key to every City attack for Guardiola's side, midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is likely to be at the heart of every move for the home side. With six goals and 10 assists in 16 league games, the Belgian has the ability to dictate games from start to finish and nullifying his sometimes unstoppable talent may prove to be a difficult test for the Foxes.

Leicester will be confident going into the game - with their last league defeat coming in September - and one key player in Leicester's form is the defensive midfielder Wilfred Ndidi.

The Nigerian currently boasts the best tackling and interception records in the league this season and his work to allow Leicester's more attack-minded players the freedom they have is sometimes under-appreciated. Nearly every task Ndidi has faced this season he has rose to the occasion, but could encounter his biggest test on Saturday.

What happened last time?

It was Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany who was the difference between the two sides after his long-range effort late into the game thundered past the helpless Kasper Schmeichel in goal and give City a valuable three points.

The win at the Etihad would play a big role in Guardiola's team going on to regain their Premier League title as well as help in their conquest of a domestic treble, also lifting both the Carabao Cup and FA Cup respectively.

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Team News 

Aymeric Laporte remains a long term absence for Manchester City as does Leroy Sane whilst David Silva is still not fit after suffering a knock in the defeat to Manchester United.

There is some good news for the hosts though as Sergio Aguero could be in contention after recovering from a thigh injury whilst John Stones could also play this weekend after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Brendan Rodgers has no new injury concerns for his Leicester side with Matty James the only long term issue.

Predicted Line-Ups

Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Otamendi, Mendy; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Aguero, Sterling.

Leicester City: Schmeichel; Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell; Ndidi; Perez, Tielemans, Maddison, Barnes; Vardy.

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Managers' Thoughts

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has admitted that it is no suprise to him that Leicester are performing well in the league and was impressed with what he saw last season.

He said: "Last year after the game it was my feeling that this season they would be fighting for the top four and it's happened.

"They did really well last season when [Rodgers] took over the team. They have been so consistent this season and they are a fantastic team.

"They have a lot of quality up front and through the middle. At the back they are solid and they play so good on the counter-attack. They control all departments in the game."

Leicester boss Rodgers meanwhile believes his side are looking forward to the face off against the champions of England and that he isn't putting his side under any pressure.

Rodgers said: "They are the champions. They’re a top-class team with a brilliant manager. We relish the challenge of playing against these big teams.

"It’s one where we can only think about himself. We can’t forecast what the other teams are going to do. We’re happy with where we’re at but we do have objectives.

"We’re in a position that nobody expected us to be in. I don’t want to trap the players in pressure. I want them to enjoy."

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