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Leicester City vs Manchester City, 2016 Premier League: Team News, Preview, Predictions

Can City dethrone the defending champions?

Manchester City v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

It's been a week, but the loss to Chelsea still hurts. Manchester City should have won that game, Pep Guardiola put on a clinic on how to break down Antonio Conte, and if Kevin De Bruyne doesn't hit the crossbar, City would be Premier League leaders, Guardiola would be the greatest of all time and everything would have been fine.

There are no "ifs" in football, though, and now City are in fourth place, Guardiola sucks and everything is bad. Because of one ball hitting the crossbar. Crazy sport this one.

Life moves on, and now City have to focus on a month filled with huge Premier League games and a busy December schedule. A visit to the King Power Stadium is the first test, and even though the Foxes are just as bad as they were two years ago, when they magically survived relegation, they're still the defending champions, and deserve to be respected and treated as such.

Leicester are talented up front, Claudio Ranieri did a wonderful job last season and the team needs to provide a response after a very tough 5-0 loss to FC Porto in the Champions League. The champions will come to play, and City need to win.

This will be fun.


Date/Time: Saturday, December 10th, 2016, 5:30pm BST (UK), 12:30pm ET, 9:30am PT (US), 11pm IST (India)

Venue: King Power Stadium, Leicester, England

Referee: Michael Oliver

TV listings: NBC (US), NBC UNIVERSO (US - Spanish), Sportsnet World (Canada), BT Sport 1 (UK), Star Sports Select HD1 (India), elsewhere

Online streaming: NBC Sports Live (US), NBC UNIVERSO NOW, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (US - Spanish), SiriusXM FC (US - Radio), Sportsnet World Now (Canada), BT Sport Live Streaming (UK), elsewhere


Man City: No Vincent Kompany, no Nicolas Otamendi, no Fernandinho, no Sergio Agüero. Any team in the world would probably crumble if they were to miss those four players, yet City's depth is so incredible it doesn't seem like the team will be much worse. The summer signings have made this an insane squad, and City might still have one of the strongest starting lineups of the weekend, which is kind of crazy.

Guardiola may play three at the back for the third straight game, and he may not. We just don't know what Guardiola will do tactically because he shapes his side according to each opponent, and against a counter-attacking side like Leicester, it might be best to have a four-man back line to add more numbers and not match up man to man against Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Co.

Regardless of the formation, Pep can be happy to have Raheem Sterling back. He's been missed, and his return means Jesús Navas on the bench, which is always good news.

Leicester: Danny Drinkwater serves the final game of his suspension, which means Leicester's midfield will be in very bad shape for the third straight match. Daniel Amartey and Andy King don't come close to Drinkwater in terms of work rate, passing ability and leadership. If losing N'Golo Kanté wasn't enough, not having Danny really weakens a midfield duo that dominated England last season, and the center of the pitch will be exploited by Guardiola in this game.

Islam Slimani will probably start alongside Vardy and Mahrez, and the big Algerian will be a problem in set piece plays, which have been the most alarming problem of a very poor City defense. If Leicester are able to survive the probable midfield dominance from City, they might just find a late corner and who knows what happens.



Must-win game. Important absences. Lots of pressure. City will thrive, and we'll see a very entertaining 4-2 win to the visitors.