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Sky Blue News: Leicester Preview, Erling Updates, UCL Knockout Draw, and More...

Friday headlines as we slide into the weekend at BnB.

Borussia Dortmund v Manchester City: Group G - UEFA Champions League Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Manchester City are off to Leicester tomorrow to face the Foxes. Sky Blue News has the latest to get you ready.

Preview: Leicester City vs. Manchester City - prediction, team news, lineups - Ben Knapton - Sports Mole

A look at how Leicester, and Riyad Mahrez, are doing at the moment.

Having taken 10 points from a possible 15 during a period of marked improvement, Leicester have both eased the pressure on themselves and their manager to climb out of the relegation zone into 17th place - two points clear of all three sides below the dotted line.

Keeping three successive clean sheets is also what the doctor ordered for Leicester before the visit of the champions, and Rodgers’s side have only shipped two goals in total this month, but not since January 2021 have the Foxes won three in a row in the Premier League.

Furthermore, Rodgers’s side are unbeaten at home this month - taking seven points from a possible nine against Leeds, Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace without conceding a goal - and Man City have recent experience when it comes to being nullified away from home.

Another day, another missed penalty for Riyad Mahrez, who returns to his old club this week still reliving his 12-yard nightmares from the Westfalenstadion as Man City settled for a point away to a determined Borussia Dortmund side.

Leicester City v Manchester City - The Opposition - Manc Pete - Bitter and Blue

Pete gives an in-depth look at the hosts current form as well.

After a difficult start that saw the Foxes swapping places at the bottom, Leicester have started to put a run together. Last time out, they beat Wolves 4-0 in the Black Country and that victory came off the back of a 2-0 home win over Leeds. Leicester have not concede a goal in three games, after drawing 0-0 at home to Crystal Palace two weeks ago. A 4-0 win over Nottingham Forest at the start of the month was followed with a 2-1 loss at Bournemouth, meaning Leicester have only conceded twice in October.

September saw some dreadful results, with the Foxes losing 6-2 at Spurs and 5-2 at Brighton. Prior to that was an embarrassing 1-0 home loss to Manchester United. The Foxes lost three of their opening four fixtures and had to rely on penalties to get past Stockport County in the League Cup.

Despite their recent run, Leicester are still at the wrong end of the table. They currently sit in 17th, having won just three of their opening 12 matches. Two of those have been at home and they have also drawn and lost two of the six matches played at the King Power this term. They have scored nine and conceded five in those six fixtures.

How Erling Haaland is having unseen impact on Julian Alvarez in Man City training - Joe Bray - Manchester Evening News

Our two new strikers got the start together for only the second time this season.

Alvarez started a rare game for City at Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, starting in the number ten role behind Haaland before leading the line himself in the second half. Despite plenty of lung-bursting runs and closing down, Alvarez’s chances were limited as both sides appeared happy to take a point that sealed first and second place in their Champions League groups.

Reflecting on the game, Alvarez admitted City were slightly disappointed not to win the game, but said he was pleased to get another start for the Blues.

“I’m very happy for having been involved in the game today. We are not pleased with the draw, but we are happy for having achieved the goal of finishing at the top of the group,” he said.

“We have had a consistent group stage overall. It wasn’t an easy game today, in a difficult stadium with a great atmosphere, but we managed to get a point and the top of the group secured.”

Erling Haaland injury: What has Pep Guardiola said? Will he be fit for Leicester vs Man City? - Aiden Beswick - Manchester World

Beswick revisits the injury concerns for Haaland ahead of Saturday.

Haaland, who has scored an impressive 22 goals in 15 appearances for City in all competitions since joining from Dortmund this summer, is now a doubt for their match against the Foxes on Saturday. The 22-year-old scored twice in City’s 3-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion in their last Premier outing.

What has Guardiola said?

With qualification for the last-16 of the Champions League now confirmed, Guardiola will now be able to focus on domestic competitions. The Blues could play an inexperienced side in their final European group-stage game against Sevilla next Wednesday, while naming a stronger starting XI in their upcoming Premier League fixtures and EFL Cup fixtures, but will Haaland be part of his plans due to injury?

“Erling didn’t feel good, he had a little bit of a fever before the game,” Guardiola explained, when speaking to BT Sport. “Joao [Cancelo] as well, has a knock in his foot. I saw him [look] tired, Joao as well. That’s why we changed it, and in that period we struggled a lot.”

Man City star Grealish tells Souness & other critical pundits to leave him alone - Ed Mackey -

Jack really has had enough, hasn’t he?

WHAT HAPPENED? When a footballer costs £100m, there is always going to be plenty of scrutiny in the media, which can wear a player down. That certainly seems to be the case with Grealish after his record-breaking move from Aston Villa to Manchester City. He has called for pundits - Graeme Souness in particular - to leave him alone and let him get him on with his football.

WHAT HE SAID: “I often feel like I just do exactly the same things as the other players, but people talk about them because it is me doing them…that’s exactly what I said in relation to Souness: he always has something to say about me,” the England winger told L’Equipe. “And he responded by saying I can’t take criticism. Today, we, the footballers, if we allow ourselves to respond to something said about us, we are portrayed as if we are people who cannot stand criticism.

“Sometimes I want to say to them (English media), leave me alone a bit and focus on someone else, so that I can focus on my game. Because there is always this noise around me, generated by articles or other things. It is undoubtedly linked to my style of play and the fact that I play in one of the biggest clubs in the world. I imagine also that the fee that Manchester City paid for me to Aston Villa contributes to this attention also.”

‘He’s very hard on defenders’ - Nathan Ake on being a Man City centre-back for Pep Guardiola and making up for lost time - Manchester Evening News

Aké reminisces about one of the bigger viral moments from City’s summer tour.

It was part of a send-up of the squad as they arrived on tour, with Hawke, a character devised by comedian Milo McCabe, sending the internet into hysterics but managing to confuse the players as they walked past him.

Like most of his teammates, Ake didn’t have a clue what was going on, but the description was an accurate one. The 27-year-old has a reputation for being one of the nicest guys in football, but as Hawke surmised, there are two sides to the defender.

“On the pitch and off the pitch you can change a little bit. On the pitch, you’re harder and don’t really care, but off the pitch, I try to be more myself,” said Ake.

The Netherlands international is as engaging and entertaining as ever during a half-hour chat with the MEN at the City Football Academy (CFA), on a day when the media duties are piling high for a player who is enjoying a renaissance this season.

When is the Champions League last 16 draw? Teams, dates and time - Kieran Quaile -

And finally... Here’s a look ahead to the Champions League Round of 16 Draw.

When and where is the 2022-23 Champions League final?

The 2022-23 Champions League final will take place on 10 June 2023 at Istanbul’s Atatürk Olympic Stadium.

When is the Champions League last 16 draw?

The draw for the last 16 of the Champions League takes place at the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland on Monday 7 November. The ceremony begins at 12.00pm CET, which is 6.00am ET.

There you have it Cityzens. Have a great Friday and keep it here at Bitter and Blue for all the latest.