Benjamin Mendy has revealed how his first thrilling experience of playing at the Etihad left him determined to move to City.

The French defender was part of a talented Monaco side who were beaten 5-3 by City in a pulsating Champions League last 16 first leg encounter back in early 2017.

And the left back said it was an experience that was to change the course of his career, with Mendy left bewitched by both the occasion and the Etihad atmosphere.

“The first time I knew I wanted to join City was when I played against them with Monaco,” Mendy revealed.

“We came to the Etihad Stadium; we lost the game, but the atmosphere was on fire.

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“I was talking with Kevin [De Bruyne] after the game and I told him I wanted to join Man City.

“I didn’t know him, and we had lost the game, but I was so happy with the atmosphere and everything!

“At the end of the season Bernardo Silva sent me a picture with a Man City shirt and I said I’d like to come too.”

Saturday’s meeting will also see Mendy’s team-mate Riyad Mahrez come face to face with his former Foxes team-mates with whom he memorably won the title in 2015/16.

Mendy knows about the Algerian’s playmaking qualities better than most, having also played alongside Mahrez at French side Le Havre at the start of the decade.

And he revealed how his first meeting with Mahrez made a special lasting impression on him and gave an insight into the attacking midfielder's desire to succeed.

“The first time I met Riyad we had just finished a training session for Le Havre,” Mendy recalled.

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“One guy [Riyad] comes in late because he’d missed his train. It was like two hours late; all the people were stretching, and this skinny boy arrives.

“The manager says go and run and he races around the field. Everyone says ‘what are you doing? Why do you run so fast like that?’ He said, ‘I was late, and I am not here for fun, I am here to be serious.’

“Then we see him on the pitch and its score, score, score, score. He’s a good guy.” 

Looking ahead to Saturday’s tea-time assignment against second-placed Leicester, Mendy said he was in no doubt that Brendan Rodgers’ side would be formidable opponents.

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But he insisted that despite the 14-point gap to league leaders Liverpool, the City squad retained the collective belief that a third successive title triumph was still possible.

“I do [expect Leicester to provide one of the biggest tests so far this season],” added the French defender.

“They are doing very well this season. Every game, they are winning. It will be a very tricky game at home.

“We need to keep working like we do all of the time to be focused and take the three points.” 

“Jamie Vardy has scored a lot of goals this season and he’s a top striker. We have to be prepared to play a player like this.

“We believe we can still do it [compete for the title]. We are playing to finish in the best position we can in the league so until it is out of our reach, we are going to do what we can to come as close to the top as possible.”