Leicester v Man City preview: Aguero, Fernandinho banned, Schmeichel could return
Last Updated: 10/12/16 4:19pm
Pep Guardiola will make three enforced changes when Manchester City head to champions Leicester in the Premier League on Saturday.
City must cope without Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho after both saw red in their 3-1 defeat to Chelsea last weekend, while Nicolas Otamendi is suspended after picking up five yellow cards.
Pep Guardiola's side can pile more misery on Leicester, who sit only two points above the relegation zone and were thrashed 5-0 by Porto in the Champions League in midweek.
Leicester have lost their last three Premier League games, but Guardiola expects Claudio Ranieri's team to come good.
He said: "The Premier League is tough. Sometimes it can happen. Leicester, what I saw these last days, remain a good team. I have a lot of respect for Claudio Ranieri.
"Now they have qualified [for the last 16 in Europe] they have two months to focus on the Premier League. The players are there, the defensive structure is quite solid and the goalkeeper is really good.
"They have a lot of quality and I'm pretty sure they are going to come back to what they deserve."
For Leicester, Kasper Schmeichel is ready to hand the struggling Foxes a major injury boost. The Denmark international has been out for over a month with a fractured hand but could make his comeback imminently.
Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, Islam Slimani and Andy King are all expected to return against Manchester City after being left at home for the loss in Portugal.
Skipper Wes Morgan is likely to be the only survivor from the Estadio do Dragao while Robert Huth should start after being rested in midweek due to a minor back injury. Danny Drinkwater serves the final game of his three-match ban.
For Man City, Guardiola has been boosted by the fitness of winger Raheem Sterling, who has recovered from the knock he suffered against Burnley two weeks ago.
The Spaniard also admitted Yaya Toure's drink-driving charge will not affect his chances of selection for Saturday's clash.
Manchester City haven't lost an away game to Leicester in the Premier League (D2 L3), with their last top-flight league defeat in Leicester coming in March 1987.
Claudio Ranieri has won seven of his eight Premier League games against Manchester City, with the only draw coming at the King Power Stadium last season.
Manchester City have won their last six fixtures against defending champions in the Premier League, last losing to Chelsea in March 2011.
Vardy has scored against 20 of the 23 different teams he's faced in the Premier League, but Manchester City are one of the three opponents he's yet to net against in the competition (4 apps, 0 goals), alongside Hull City & Middlesbrough.
Mahrez has created just one goalscoring chance for Vardy in the Premier League this season so far, despite them playing 939 mins together. Last season, the Algerian created 22 chances for him (with five of those being assists) in 2815 mins together on the pitch - one every 128 mins.
Robert Huth scored twice for Leicester in their 3-1 win over Manchester City last season, in what was their first league win over the Citizens since November 2003.
In the last five Premier League matches that Aguero hasn't appeared in for Manchester City, Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho has scored five goals.
Man City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo has been passed to on 245 occasions this season - more often than any other 'keeper in the Premier League.
Manchester City have won their last six league meetings with the reigning Premier League champions - winning home and away against Manchester United in 2011-12 & 2013-14 and against Chelsea in 2015-16.
This is Pep Guardiola's lowest points tally after 14 games of a top-flight season as a manager (30); surpassing his 31-point tally after 14 MD's of Barcelona's 2011-12 La Liga campaign.
Manchester City have made the most changes to their starting XI overall this season in the Premier League (46). Whilst in charge of Bayern Munich, the German side made the second most last season (111), while they made more than any other side in both 2013-14 (120) and 2014-15 (106).
I felt Claudio Ranieri rested the wrong players against Porto. For me, Wes Morgan should have come out of the team, he's the one that will be worked against Man City.
Vardy isn't scoring and Riyad Mahrez is a shadow of the player he was last year, and Ranieri is resting them with a view to relying on them to perform at the weekend.
Guardiola has to make his mind up on the back four. He changes it every week and you never get any kind of pattern. How are the players supposed to build an understanding?
Leicester are in a relegation battle, though, and I think Man City win this game.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-3 (Sky Bet odds 12/1)
Manchester City are marginally odds-on for victory at 7/10 with Sky Bet as Leicester go up against odds of 18/5 while the draw is priced at 29/10. Guardiola's men drifted out from favourites to 100/30 to win the Premier League following their loss to Chelsea, while the Foxes' defeat last weekend saw them cut to 15/2 to face relegation.
Iheanacho heads the first goalscorer betting in Aguero's absence and is enhanced from 9/2 to 11/2 to do so in Sky Bet's Price Boosts, while Slimani is currently considered the hosts' main threat at 7/1 to net first.