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Vardy record; City response and KDB to start?

LET'S DO THIS: Aymeric Laporte heads out

LET'S DO THIS: Aymeric Laporte heads out

Five topics up for discussion ahead of our Boxing Day trip to the King Power Stadium…

1 Another Foxtrot for the Blues

For the second time in nine days, City travel to the East Midlands to face Leicester City.

The teams met in the Carabao Cup, with the Blues triumphing 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in normal time, but chances are both teams will look markedly different for this clash.

 

CELEBRATION TIME: Kevin De Bruyne and his colleagues are all smiles after his stunning strike

Highlights

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Leicester v City: Carabao Cup brief highlights

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City are likely to make up to six changes from the first meeting with the Foxes also likely to have several first team regulars starting.

2 Leicester on a season high?

Few people would have predicted both City and Chelsea losing at home last Saturday, but that’s exactly what happened.

Leicester’s 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge means they will come into the game against City with their tails up, looking to complete a notable double festive coup.

Claude Puel’s side have been better on the road this season, winning just three of their eight Premier League games at the King Power Stadium.

But with a festive sell-out and lively atmosphere, they will be looking to run salt in the Blues’ wounds and quickly avenge the Carabao defeat in what is a very tricky test for the champions.

 

3 City need a response

Make no mistake, City are hurting.

Losing at home to a Crystal Palace side that had lost six of their previous nine away games – and shipping three goals – was a slug in the guts for Pep Guardiola’s men.

Now, the opportunity to quickly erase that defeat and get back on track is presented and though the Blues are only four points off pole position, should that gap increase over the festive period, the challenge of retaining the title will become harder.

 

MUTED CELEBRATIONS: Kevin De Bruyne halves the deficit against Palace

 

Ideally, City will host leaders Liverpool on 3 January knowing victory will mean top spot, but that means wins at Leicester and Southampton must be achieved while Liverpool would need to drop points in at least one of their two home matches against Newcastle and Arsenal.

4 Vardy threat

Whenever Jamie Vardy faces City, he is a threat.

The energetic, hard-working Foxes striker will work the City defenders with intelligent runs down the channels and his ability to accelerate of the shoulder of the last man.

Vardy is forging a profitable understanding with James Maddison who has taken over the creative void left by Riyad Mahrez’s departure.

 

Jamie Vardy pegs City back from the spot in December 2017

 

And the England striker’s record against top sides is nothing short of incredible.

In 47 games against Liverpool, United, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal and City, Vardy has scored 31 goals.

Against City, he’s scored five in seven games. Keep Vardy quiet and the Blues might be heading back home with a crucial three points.

5 Time to unleash KDB?

After an excellent cameo against Palace, Kevin De Bruyne will be champing at the bit to start against the Foxes.

Managing the Belgian’s return will be key for Pep Guardiola, but the temptation to start him in this game will be hard to resist.

 

BLUE HEAVEN: Kevin De Bruyne celebrates after his early strike with Sergio Aguero

 

Whether David Silva and Fernandinho are fit enough to return as well is another question – but it’s crucial City have as many pivotal stars available over the festive period as possible.

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