Man City vs Leicester: Iheanacho returns to face former club - FCNaija

EPL By: Ikponmwosa Umweni | 09/02/2018

Kelechi Iheanacho

Manchester City will be aiming to maintain their long Premier League unbeaten home run when they welcome Leicester City to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday as Kelechi Iheanach returns to face former side.

Pep Guardiola’s men have gone 25 matches without defeat in front of their own fans in the league, winning 20 and drawing five.

Team News 

Manchester City have a number of injury concerns, with Pep Guardiola missing some of his best-attacking talents.

Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane will both miss the game, with David Silva still to prove his fitness after a recent abdominal injury. Benjamin Mendy and Fabian Delph are ruled out, whilst John Stones is struggling and big money signing Aymeric Laporte could return to the starting line-up after watching last week's draw with Burnley from the substitutes bench.

Claude Puel has close to a fully-fit squad to choose from, though troubled Riyad Mahrez will not make the journey north after refusing to train this week.

Skipper Wes Morgan has not played since limping off against Huddersfield on New Year's Day, with Aleksandar Dragovic set to continue partnering the impressive Harry Maguire in central defence as Kelechi Iheanacho returns to Etihad.

Head to Head 

The two teams have already locked horns twice in this season.

Man City got away with a 0-2 win away at King Power Stadium in the league clash in mid-November, but they needed penalties to book the spot in the League Cup semifinal a month later (1-1 draw in the regular 90 mins).

At home, the Citizens have won 21 and lost 8 of 37 encounters with Leicester City.

Recent Form

Manchester City's charge towards the title has slowed down in recent weeks, with the festive fixture pile-up perhaps taking a toll on Pep Guardiola's men.

Cityzen had won a staggering 18 games in a row earlier in the campaign, but have won just three out of their last six, with a shocking defensive display at Liverpool in amongst their recent dip in form.

The draw against Burnley last week was the first time City had failed to win after scoring first in 25 games, a run dating back to April last year. Injuries to key players Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane have taken their toll, with City's pursuit of Mahrez in January perhaps indicative of their desire to increase their strength in depth.

Claude Puel's men have emerged from a difficult Christmas period with some better performances of late, though they remain troubled on the road.

The Foxes have only claimed one point on the road in their last four away games, with victories at Newcastle and Southampton now a distant memory.


Manager Quotes

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on Riyad Mahrez and Leicester: "I wish he comes back soon to play football because we enjoy watching him play.

"Hopefully as soon as possible he comes back with Leicester and plays at his level.

"Leicester still have the basic fundamentals they had that helped them to be champions but [Claude Puel] has introduced a bit of something else. They play more, they play between channels and have more passes.

"They are always a strong team. We cannot forget - it was not one century ago, it was two seasons ago - they were champions."

Leicester City manager Claude Puel: "The most important thing for me is to keep Riyad [Mahrez] and the club and the fans united. It is important to keep a good feeling together through these difficulties.

"I hope Riyad can get his head right and come back with us and work hard. The best way is for him to come back and enjoy his football.

"He is a magnificent player and he enjoys his football. He loves his team-mates, and that's important." 

Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Leicester City

Manchester City starting XI: Ederson; Walker, Laporte, Otamendi, Danilo; De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva; Bernardo, Aguero, Sterling

Leicester City starting XI: Schmeichel; Simpson, Dragovic, Maguire, Fuchs; Diabate, Ndidi, Silva, Albrighton, Okazaki, Vardy