Following 1-0 defeats to Leicester in the Community Shield and then to Tottenham on the opening day, Man City have reasserted themselves with dominant 5-0 victories over both Norwich and Arsenal.
Of course, the Canaries continue to play an open brand of football under Daniel Farke just as they did in their last top-flight stay, also suffering a 3-0 defeat to Liverpool this season, while the Gunners are in disarray under Mikel Arteta and were also hampered by Granit Xhaka’s first-half red card.
That Community Shield result means Leicester have won two of three head-to-heads since the start of last season, while it also means they’ve won three of four games so far this season in all competitions.
The sole blemish was a rather disappointing 4-1 defeat away to West Ham, though Ayoze Perez saw red in the first half of that clash to hinder their efforts.
Still, Leicester haven’t beaten Man City at the King Power since 2018 and they haven’t been at their best this season.
Their league victories over a Wolves side that finished in the bottom half of the table last season and promoted outfit Norwich were far from convincing, and though Brendan Rodgers has a new attacking option with Ademola Lookman signing from Leipzig, he does have selection issues in defence.
Centre-backs Jonny Evans and Jannik Vestergaard should be available now, though Rodgers wouldn’t really want to turn to them too early and risk a setback for either.
That’s especially the case with a Europa League clash with Napoli up next, but with Wesley Fofana also sidelined, he’ll likely take a risk with one of them rather than turn to midfielder Daniel Amartey as a makeshift option.
Manchester City To Win
Pep Guardiola has been handed a boost with Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden likely to be in the matchday squad having recovered from injuries sustained at Euro 2020 over the summer.
However, both will probably be named on the bench on the comeback trail, and there’s worse news elsewhere with Ederson and Gabriel Jesus set to miss out after Premier League clubs refused to release Brazilian players for international duty.
The latter has made an excellent start to the season, while with back-up goalkeeper Zack Steffen testing positive for Covid-19, veteran Scott Carson is in line for a rare start.
The visitors are hardly without attacking options though, even should De Bruyne and Foden be restricted to the bench and Jesus miss out.
Ferran Torres, Jack Grealish, Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva are all available, and although lacking a natural striker in their ranks, it didn’t prevent them enjoying the best record away from home last term.
MANCHESTER CITY TO WIN