Man City v Leicester preview: Claudio Ranieri prepares Foxes for title test
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 06/02/16 12:54pm
Claudio Ranieri could include January signing Daniel Amartey for the first time when Leicester City travel to Manchester City for their top-of-the-table clash on Saturday.
Amartey is yet to make the squad since his arrival two weeks ago, having last played a competitive game for former club FC Copenhagen at the start of December because of the winter break.
His fitness will be assessed by Leicester boss Ranieri before the game, as the league leaders prepare for a stiff test of their title credentials at the Etihad Stadium.
City are tough to beat at home, having dropped just eight points at the Etihad all season, and Pellegrini's side have kept four clean sheets in their last five league games.
Victory over the Foxes on Saturday afternoon would put City level on points at the top with 13 games to go, but Ranieri's side saw off Liverpool on Tuesday and have not lost in the league since Boxing Day.
Eliaquim Mangala (hamstring), Kevin de Bruyne (knee/ankle), Wilfried Bony (shin), Jesus Navas (hamstring) and Samir Nasri (thigh) are all sidelined, as is Vincent Kompany (calf), but Pellegrini hopes the defender will be back with the squad next week.
Amartey could make his debut if he proves his fitness, and the versatility he offers would be a welcome bonus for Ranieri - he was signed mainly as a central midfielder but can also play at centre-back and right-back.
Only Matty James (knee) and Jeff Schlupp (hamstring) will definitely be absent for Leicester.
City have won 16 of the last 19 Premier League games at the Etihad (W16 D1 L2), while Leicester have failed to score in the last three top-flight games against Pellegrini's side.
Only one team (Everton on 13th January 2016) have stopped City from scoring in the last 27 competitive matches at the Etihad .
Leicester have lost just one of their last 15 away league games (W9 D5 L1).
Sergio Aguero has scored 12 goals in his last 10 Premier League appearances for Manchester City.
On the day of this game, Leicester will have spent 47 days on top of the league in 2015-16; only their opponents have spent longer in first place this season (100 days).
City have won the most points at home this season in the Premier League (28), while Leicester have won the most away from home (25).
Without Jamie Vardy's 18 goals in the Premier League this season, Leicester City would be 18 points worse off.
I fancy Man City here but they will play right into Leicester's hands. They'll have a go and Vardy's pace will be too quick for the City defence. Aguero is just on fire, though, so I'm going to go for City as I think they'll have too much.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1
Premier League title favourites City are Sky Bet's 4/7 favourites ahead of their clash with leaders Leicester City (9/2). The sides shared a goalless draw when they met at the King Power Stadium in December and it's 14/1 for a repeat of that outcome or 16/5 for a draw of any kind.
The hosts are unbeaten in their last seven top-flight matches and can be backed at 15/8 to win with both teams scoring, while the Foxes have kept clean sheets in five of their last six league matches and are 11/8 to win or draw in the Double Chance market.
Check out tips from our Sky Sports pundits Jamie Redknapp, Charlie Nicholas, Phil Thompson and Matt Le Tissier here.