Fresh from their midweek demolition job on Bayern Munich, Manchester City resume their quest for Premier League glory today when they host relegation-threatened Leicester at The Etihad Stadium.
The Foxes have lost a miserable seven of their last eight top-flight assignments and they could even drop to the foot of the Premier League table if results go against them this weekend. A rampant-looking Man City will be smelling blood today against their vulnerable visitors.
I’ve assembled my stats pack for this evening’s contest below which contains bundles of useful info for your bet-building pleasure. As always, refer to my Stats Pack Guide if you need any further pointers.
Manchester City’s squad has a healthy look at present with attacking midfielder Phil Foden listed as the team’s only absentee. Pep Guardiola might take the opportunity to shuffle his pack a little however, following his team’s exertions in midweek against Bayern.
Julian Alvarez, former Leicester star Riyad Mahrez, Kyle Walker and Aymeric Laporte will be among those hoping to earn starts. Kevin de Bruyne scored the game’s only goal when City beat the Foxes 1-0 back in October, though the Belgian could be rested this evening.
Fullbacks James Justin and Ryan Bertrand are still in the treatment room for Leicester, while City also have concerns about the availability of Harvey Barnes and Youri Tielemans, though the latter has a better chance at making the cut.
Former Man City youngster Kelechi Iheanacho could be handed a rare opportunity to shine, while Jonny Evans will hope to be restored to the XI at centre-half. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall is available again following a recent ban and should slot into midfield.
Manchester City have been posting division-leading stats in a number of metrics this season and the Cityzens have been setting the standard for xG (2.13) and shots per 90 (16.10) since August. At the opposite end, no other team can match the champions for shots and shots on target against (p/90).
Only Newcastle have been winning more corner kicks, while West Ham are the only outfit in the top tier with a clean disciplinary record in terms of cards collected. Man City have cranked up their performance levels even further in recent weeks, recording nine wins in a row in all comps while smashing home 34 goals along the way.
Leicester’s collapse this season has been one of the campaign’s most unexpected plot twists and loose defending has been at the heart of the Foxes’ regression. Leicester rank fourth worst in the division for shots against per 90 (14.43), while only four teams have been conceded more attempts on target.
City are also positioned in the bottom six for efforts racked up in the attacking third (10.80 p/90), while only Bournemouth have been allowing opponents to clock more corner kicks against them. Leicester have been light enough on cards however, and a grand total of zero cautions were dished out to the players on both sides when the Foxes lost 1-0 to Man City in October. Under 3.5 cards is a tasty-looking 1/2 today.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
The bookies are expecting one-way traffic this evening judging by their prices in the shot and shot on target markets and bettors will have to work hard to find value in both departments today.
Goal-machine Erling Haaland has been peppering teams with strike after strike this season, though the Norwegian is as tight as 1/4 to register 2+ accurate attempts today. Jack Grealish, who mustered six shots on target in his last two Premier League runouts combined, could be a better option at 1/2 in the 1+ SOT stakes.
James Maddison, Harvey Barnes along with back-up attacking options Kelechi Iheanacho and Patson Daka have all been lodging impressive numbers in the final third this season especially when you consider their team’s overall plight, though any Foxes forward that features today is likely to be starved of service.
Still, Patson Daka’s pace on the counter could be something to keep an eye out for, if the attacker is chosen to start. The 24-year-old got an effort on target when he came off the bench against Bournemouth last week and Daka (10/11 1+ SOT) has tested opposing keepers 1.21 times per 90 overall this season despite some fleeting appearances.
Player Goals and Assists
Erling Haaland is still averaging better than a goal per game in his maiden campaign with Man City and the 22-year-old notched his 45th goal of an increasingly-prolific season against Bayern Munich on Tuesday. Haaland is a stingy 1/3 to score anytime today or a more lucrative 13/8 to net at least twice.
Assist-machine Kevin de Bruyne, who has created four goals in his last five starts for City in all competitions, is 4/7 to bag his 14th Premier League assist of 2022/23, while Jack Grealish, who has chipped in with four goal contributions in his last two league starts, looks backable again at 8/13 to either score or assist against Leicester this evening. If Argentinean whizz Julian Alvarez gets the nod, he could be worth including at 4/7 in the same market.
Leicester have managed to score just four times in their last eight Premier League fixtures combined, so adding any City player to your bet builder as a goal-scoring option might be an exercise in futility.
Attacking midfielder James Maddison has been Leicester’s most productive performer in terms of total goal contributions, though the wantaway schemer has pocketed just one assist and zero goals in his last seven appearances. It might be wiser to skip to the next section here.
Manchester City remain the Premier League’s most possession-hungry outfit and they will expect to control at least two thirds of proceedings again when they host Leicester today. While Pep Guardiola’s team selection will impact options later, pretty much any member of City’s defence, along with key distributor Rodri, look like excellent picks from the markets.
To find value however, you will need to surf the 90+ passes range, where Rodri is priced at 1/3. Ruben Dias is 3/10 in the same arena, while Manuel Akanji is slightly more appealing at 8/15. The Swiss international has topped 100 passes in three of his last eight starts in all competitions.
Leicester’s interim-management team, headed up by Dean Smith, will have prepared their team for an evening without the ball at The Etihad Stadium, and the Foxes should have 30% or less possession if the script is followed in Manchester.
Wout Faes, Daniel Amartey and Harry Souttar have been among Leicester’s most-potent passers this season, though their individual fixtures could be much-lower than their averages for the campaign today. Belgian Faes holds some interest at 3/10 to play 50+ passes later on, though that’s probably about the upper limit as far as Leicester combatants are concerned.
Manchester City Cards and Fouls
Man City are adept at committing the kind of tactical fouls that avoid further punishment from match officials, so don’t expect the host’s card count to be high today. Instead, the fouls market deserves your attention, where Rodri (1/4), Manuel Akanji (8/13) and Nathan Ake (8/15) look like options of interest to commit 1+ fouls each.
If Leicester capitalise on their opportunities properly, then they should have counter-attacking spaces to exploit this evening and Rodri, Akanji and Ake could have some awkward one-on-one defending to get through against some fleet-footed Foxes operatives.
Playmaker James Maddison has been fouled 2.56 times per 90 this season and Rodri won’t want to afford the 26-year-old any time or space between the lines later on. Elsewhere, Kelechi Iheanacho and Patson Daka, could form a pacey duo in the final third for Leicester, and their acceleration could trigger a headache or two for the home defence.
Manuel Akanji and Nathan Ake will want to avoid being drawn into the channels by Iheanacho and Daka’s surges, and defenders tend to commit more fouls when they are dragged out of position.
Match-Ups to watch
Rodri vs James Maddison
Manuel Akanji vs Kelechi Iheanacho
Nathan Ake vs Patson Daka
Leicester City Cards and Fouls
Timothy Castagne has been averaging a relatively modest 0.67 fouls per 90 this term, though the Belgian’s sin count should be much higher than usual if he marks foul-magnet Jack Grealish today. Castagne looks excellent value at 4/6 to commit 1+ fouls at The Etihad Stadium.
Wilfred Ndidi has been in and out of the team this season, though the hard-hitting Nigerian routinely racks up fouls and cards when he is involved, and the destroyer is 12/5 to see yellow again later on. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, who is just back from a ban, is averaging 1.45 fouls per 90 this term and the midfielder is coupon-worthy at 4/9 in the 1+ fouls market this evening.
Only Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha has been fouled more often than Jack Grealish in the Premier League this season and England international’s unique tackle-drawing talents could land Timothy Castagne in trouble today.
More centrally, the clever and quick Julian Alvarez (0.83) is canny enough to get Wilfred Ndidi in a tangle, while Ilkay Gundogan (1.02) could be the latest target for Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s aggressive advances in midfield.
Match-Ups to watch
Timothy Castagne vs Jack Grealish
Wilfried Ndidi vs Julian Alvarez
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall vs Ilkay Gundogan
As usual, I’ve picked together the best looking picks from the Stats Pack. If you’re not building your own, feel free to load the one below.