Manchester City put their disappointing defeat to Arsenal behind them with a great win and good display at home to Sunderland on Boxing Day. Up next is a battle against the team currently in the top spot, Leicester City.
Most people have been surprised to see the Foxes there but for English soccer journalists, headlines like 'Fox Hunting Citizens' do not come around all that often and I can only imagine the headlines if Pellegrini's men were to lose this one.
Historically though City have little to worry about having only lost twenty three of the seventy one games played between the two. Manchester City's last defeat to Leicester came just over twelve years ago. Leicester won that one 3-0 with ex City hero, Paul Dickov, scoring the second goal via the penalty spot.
At Leicester's ground the story is a little different with the last defeat for City coming all the way back in March of 1987. That wasn't the biggest defeat for City at the hands of Leicester though with an 8-4 defeat in February 1958 and a 5-0 in March of 1960.
On the other hand, Manchester City have notched up a few 5-1's and 5-2 wins early on in the 1920's and 1930's. A 6-0 win in November of 1967, thanks to goals from Doyle, Oakes and two a piece from Lee and Young helped City on their way to the title but one of the biggest wins for City against Leicester was to lift the FA Cup in 1969. A solitary Neil Young strike may not be up with that one a year earlier, but it would be our last FA Cup victory until Roberto Mancini, an ex Leicester player, led us to another 1-0 win to lift that famous trophy again.
Speaking of ex Managers Martin O'Neill played for City briefly in the early 1980's before Managing Leicester from 1995-2000. Gary Megson played for City 1989-92 and managed Leicester in 2007.
More recently, Sven Goran Eriksson managed City in 2008, and led them to the double over Manchester United before finding his way to Leicester for the 2010/11 season
Currently Kasper Schmeichel, an ex City keeper, is between the sticks for Leicester and the latest player to have played for both. One of the first to do this would be Walter Smith (no not the ex Glasgow Rangers manager). Born in 1884 he played for Leicester Fosse before joining City in 1906 and going on to make 232 appearances despite his career being interrupted by the first World War.
Other names to appear on both team sheets at one point or another would be Don Revie who played for Leicester from 1944/49 and City from 1951/56, winning the FA Cup with us in 1956.
David Oldfield also played for both clubs moving to Leicester in 1990 from City where he had spent one season.
Paul Dickov played twice for Leicester and twice for City. 2002/04 and 2008/10 for Leicester joining from City both times. His first spell with the Blues will certainly be remembered for that Wembley equalizer against Gillingham while City were in their lowest point in their history. The second spell didn't quite live up to that memory and his goal against us on his return might have tainted his legendary status with us.....nah!
Michael Ball joined Leicester from City before being fined and sacked on January 24th 2012 for homophobic comments made on social media.
Kelvin Etuhu was loaned to Leicester from City in 2008, but made only a hand full of appearances for the Foxes. Gelson Fernandes and Michael Johnson were another two players loaned to Leicester from City where they would rejoin former City manager Sven Goran Eriksson.
Steve Howey, Matt Mills, Spencer Prior, Nicky Summerbee, Danny Tiatto and Darius Vassell to name a few turned out for both clubs.
Roberto Mancini joined Leicester on loan from Lazio in 2001 before becoming Manchester City manager in 2009. With us he would win the FA Cup for our first time since that Neil Young winner against Leicester in 1969 along with a Community Shield and that very nail biting, spine tingling final day and Premier League win in 2012.
Leicester also had a Colin Bell on their books at one point, although this one was not a success like our very own Nijinsky. This one was born fifteen years after our very own King Colin but like our Mr Bell, he would make no appearances for Leicester!
Special note goes to Martin Fulop who joined Manchester City on an emergency loan while at Sunderland. He had previously been loaned to Leicester earlier on his career. Fulop died of cancer barely two months ago, aged 32. Playing just the three games with his debut coming in a 3-1 win against Villa.