Manchester City vs Leicester City
Two of the best attacking teams in England come face-to-face at the Etihad on Sunday when Manchester City host Leicester City.
It’s a clash between the 2019 league champions and the 2016 league champions, each with a burning hunger to right the wrongs of the 2020 Premier League season.
Both have started well winning their opening games and with two highly respected coaches in Pep Guardiola and Brendan Rodgers, they have leadership with laser-sharp focus.
Rodgers’ Leicester sit proudly top of the Premier League table albeit after just two games. Meanwhile, the Sky Blues won a difficult opener against Wolves.
Both teams were desperate get this campaign started having disappointed last term.
Manchester City surrendered their league crown to Liverpool when expected to win a third consecutive Premier League, while the Foxes missed out on a Champions League place on the last day, having occupied a top four place for 90-per cent of the season.
Hunger and a little pain drives them both and each side has a weak spot, but I reckon it will be the Sky Blues who expose their opponents on Sunday afternoon.
Foden has sharpened City’s killer instinct
Manchester City have been relatively quiet during the summer transfer window by bringing in Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres, but an evolution from within the club has been the most striking change.
Phil Foden was outstanding in City’s opening 1-3 victory over Wolves, scoring the second goal and dictating the pace of play from the centre of midfield.
Sky Blue fans said goodbye to a club legend in summer when David Silva ended his decade long stint at the club. However, Foden is a natural replacement for the Spanish magician. But he might just have more in his locker in terms of goal-scoring instinct.
Alongside Kevin de Bruyne who scored one and made an assist, Foden has the skills to be able to unlock most defences in Europe and the SBOTOP Premier League odds are backing those two players to lead City to domestic success once again.
Pep still needs to strengthen at the back though. New centre-back Nathan Ake is still unproven and John Stones, who was his partner against Wolves, always has a mistake in him.
Foxes’ strength will be tested
While the football world can see where Pep Guardiola needs to strengthen to turn his multi-talented side into league winners again, Leicester City are in many ways a more complex case and the clubs’ biggest vulnerability is in its head.
The 2016 Champions were characterised by a rock-solid team ethos, the spirit of the underdog with underrated players who could take the big boys by surprise.
But now everyone knows about Leicester. The element of surprise has gone, and the psychological damage left by the Foxes’ implosion following the resumption of football in June might still linger.
But they have started well with two wins, and the 4-2 victory over Burnley showcased the best of Leicester’s attacking talent.
Youri Tielemans’ pass to split the Burnley defence for the Foxes’ second goal was simply brilliant and it was one of the Premier League 2020 highlights of the opening two rounds.
And attacking midfielder Harvey Barnes was outstanding throughout and could have had a hat-trick.
But after two encouraging victories, the Foxes were outgunned by Arsenal in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night, exiting the competition with a 2-0 defeat.
James Maddison is fit again and that’s a huge boost, but he hasn’t scored since New Years Day and that will be a concern.
Meanwhile, at the back, Jonny Evans is still suspended following his red card on the final day of last season.
In addition, Rodgers was dealt another blow this week with the news that Wilfred Ndidi, who has been acting as a makeshift centre back alongside Caglar Soyuncu, is out for up to 12 weeks with an abductor injury.
History is in Manchester City’s favour having won 15 of the 25 meetings in the Premier League era, while the Foxes have won six and there have been four draws.
Despite struggling for consistency last season, the Sky Blues did the double over the Foxes.
They scored 0-1 at the King Power Stadium and 3-1 at the Etihad when they came from behind as Gabriel Jesus rounded off the scoring after Vardy had put the Foxes ahead.
The last triumph for Leicester came in a 2-1 home win in the 2018/19 season and while playing at home, Manchester City have not lost to Leicester in their last four encounters.
And the Sky Blues are in fine form at home, winning the last eight matches at the Etihad.
|Manchester City vs Leicester City||Manchester City Asian Handicap -1.50 @ 1.84|
|September 27, 23:30 (GMT+8)|
According to the very latest Premier League 2020 betting odds, the Sky Blues are at 1.30 to win this game, with the draw at 4.65 and Leicester City out at 9.65.
Over 3.50 goals is at 2.03, and the attacking prowess of both teams could produce a goal fest, especially with both being vulnerable at the heart of defence.
2-0 is the most likely scoreline at odds of 7.52, and the ruthless look about City leads me to believe the hosts will win this by at least two goals.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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