Leicester vs Manchester City predictions: Patient approach could pay off for Citizens
- Leicester have not conceded a first-half goal in last five league games
- Manchester City are sweating over the fitness of Erling Haaland
- Recommended bet: Back draw/Manchester City half-time/full-time
Leicester are finally starting to find some form just as Manchester City seem to be losing a little of theirs and this fixture suddenly does not look quite the sure thing it might have done a couple of weeks ago.
It is all relative, of course.
The Foxes remain fourth from bottom, having beaten only teams currently below them in the Premier League, while Pep Guardiola’s visitors remain hot on the heels of leaders Arsenal, having lost only to Liverpool.
However, after their free-scoring start to the 2022-23 campaign, the Citizens are suddenly finding goals slightly harder to come by.
If goalscoring talisman Erling Haaland fails to return from illness for the trip to the King Power Stadium, then City could struggle to reach their imperious best.
Leicester remain without long-term injury absentees Ricardo Pereira and Ryan Bertrand.
However, manager Brendan Rodgers will be hoping that centre-back Jonny Evans and defensive midfielder Wilfred Ndidi return from injury — neither is likely to be fit enough to start but they could return to the bench.
Guardiola will be without defensive midfielder Kalvin Phillips and defender Kyle Walker, with both England players now major doubts for the World Cup.
The City manager also has concerns over two of his stars of the season, with both 22-goal Haaland and flying full-back Joao Cancelo suffering from illness to make them doubts for this trip to the East Midlands.
Leicester have lost all five games against top-half opposition this season, but four of them came away from home.
Their only home game against a top-half side saw them lose narrowly, 1-0 to Manchester United.
The Foxes have not conceded a goal in the first half of any of their last five Premier League outings and Manchester City have not scored in the first half of any of their last three visits to the King Power Stadium.
However, all three of those games eventually ended in victory for City, who won here 1-0 last season, 2-0 in 2020-21 and 1-0 in 2019-20, with the Citizens winning six of the last seven Premier League meetings between the pair.
While Manchester City are understandably heavy favourites to take all three points against fourth-from-bottom Leicester, a run of three successive away games without scoring — 0-0 at FC Copenhagen and Borussia Dortmund and 0-1 at Anfield — makes them hard to trust at extremely short prices.
That would become even more the case should Haaland prove to be only fit enough for a place on the bench as there is a suspicion that the Citizens are becoming over-reliant on the Norwegian goal machine — Phil Foden, with six, is the only other City player to have scored more than two Premier League goals this season.
A run of three wins and a draw in their last five games does not mean that Leicester are back to their best given that all three victories came against opponents from the bottom three.
But it will have given Rodgers’ men newfound confidence that they can at least compete again following a dismal start to the campaign in which they shipped a worrying number of goals.
A run of four clean sheets in their last five outings — albeit to considerably weaker opponents — give reason to believe the Foxes can keep things tight in the early stages.
However, the Citizens’ clear quality advantage should eventually make the difference and the draw/Manchester City half-time/full-time double result could pay at 11/4 with LiveScore Bet.