Pep Guardiola will have been pleased to navigate past Bournemouth midweek in the League Cup with a makeshift team, allowing respite to his star players ahead of a schedule that sees Man City take on Leicester, Leeds, Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs across their next seven top-flight outings.
Meanwhile, the Foxes suffered defeat hosting the Gunners, though Brendan Rodgers also rang the changes with the likes of Kasper Schmeichel, Jamie Vardy, Caglar Soyuncu, Youri Tielemans and Timothy Castagne all given the night off.
Leicester will also have Jonny Evans back for this clash after the centre-back completed his suspension and so we wouldn’t read too much into their midweek loss. However, they didn’t fare that well up against the top eight in the table last season, going W2-D5-L7 as they lost four of seven winless road trips.
Manchester City To Win And Both Teams To Score
The Foxes have now lost each of their past three head to heads with Man City and at the Etihad alone, they’ve succumbed to defeat in each of the last four seasons.
Still, both teams have scored in eight of 11 head to heads in all competitions, while Leicester have found the net in 11 of 15 on their travels to top-eight finishers over the past two campaigns. With that in mind, we’d expect the visitors to at least make life uncomfortable for their hosts here.
Leicester put a combined seven goals past West Brom and Burnley as they won their opening games this season. Although the former will suffer many similar days on the early evidence of the new campaign, Burnley are usually more resolute and so there appears no major concern over Leicester’s attack, despite their drop off at the end of last season.
Whereas Rodgers is only missing right-back Ricardo Pereira, midfielder Wilfred Ndidi and back-up centre-back Filip Benkovic, with able replacements for the first two in James Justin and Nampalys Mendy, Guardiola has far greater concerns and his bench may have a youthful feel to it.
Sergio Aguero, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko are all unavailable, key centre-back Aymeric Laporte is unlikely to feature as he works his way back towards match fitness, while the Spaniard clearly doesn’t trust either Nicolas Otamendi or John Stones in the middle with youngster Eric Garcia seeing increased game time.
Kevin De Bruyne To Score Anytime
Still, although question marks remain over the backline, it’s not as though there aren’t options for the Man City boss to call upon in attack, with Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez and summer signing Ferran Torres all in contention.
Foden may drop to the bench having played 90 minutes twice this week already, leaving Kevin De Bruyne likely to play in the number 10 role, and in a more advanced role looks a decent bet to make it onto the scoresheet.
The Belgian has seven goals in his last 10 league starts, including strikes against the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Wolves.
Although Guardiola is missing a few players, there remains plenty of quality at his disposal and City are an imperious W49-D4-L4 in the league since 2017/18.
By contrast, Leicester have won just one of their past nine on the road in all competitions since late January, losing five of these games, so the home with and both teams to score makes sense.