City return to Premier League action this weekend against Leicester after a two-week international break.
Will the skipper return and can the Blues' fantastic run of results post-international break continue? A few of the questions that City fans will be discussing ahead of Saturday’s game…
Vincent Kompany hasn’t featured for City for 12 weeks but the signs the Belgian could return this weekend are promising.
The skipper has trained for the past few weeks and could be set to return at the King Power Stadium on Saturday – and if he does, it will be perfect timing with Nicolas Otamendi suspended for one game due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
With a like for like replacement, it would mean the Blues could continue with the formation that has worked to such great effect so far this season as well as being a welcome boost to see the captain return.
So far, so good for new Foxes manager Claude Puel.
The former Southampton manager has overseen a win and a draw since replacing Craig Shakespeare last month.
He will know City are his biggest test to date, but also realise how much his side could take from a positive result against the Blues.
His methods, tactics and philosophy will take time to absorb, but he must still be considered in the ‘honeymoon period’ of his tenure.
His immediate interest is likely to be around shoring up his defence, with his Southampton side a solid defensive unit during his time at St Mary’s.
He also oversaw a tactically astute 1-1 draw for Saints at the Etihad last season, with the south coast side arguably the better team on the day.
City seem to be breaking and creating new records by the week, but football is – as legendary Spurs striker Jimmy Greaves used to say – ‘a funny old game’.
Anything can happen in 90 minutes and no team wins every game, every week so the fantastic win streak of 15 will come to an end sooner or later – but let’s hope the Blues have opened up an even bigger lead at the top when points are finally dropped.
The international break can sometimes put a team out of its stride, but if Leicester feel this City team is culpable to such interruptions, it’s worth noting that the last two international breaks the Blues have returned from this campaign saw Liverpool thrashed 5-0 and Stoke 7-2!
Last season’s 4-2 loss away to Leicester was arguably the worst performance of Pep Guardiola’s reign.
City struggled to cope with the pace of Jamie Vardy and the swift counter-attacks of the home side who also pressed high and forced errors.
The Foxes won’t have forgotten that, though the Blues started with a back three of John Stones, Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna who had never played competitively in that role together.
It was a night when anything that could go badly, did, but it’s worth noting that eight of the players on duty that night have since left the club, with Stones, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva likely to be the only survivors of that starting XI by the time the game kicks off.