Men's Team

City make two changes for Leicester visit

SQUAD GOALS: The starters.
Pep Guardiola has made two changes to his Manchester City starting XI for today's visit of Leicester.

Fernandinho returns and captains the side, with Rodri, who isn't fully fit, making way.

And Ilkay Gundogan also starts, with Gabriel Jesus dropping to the bench. 

The rest of the side remains the same from the one that beat Newcastle United 4-0 at St James' Park last time out. 

Kyle Walker isn't fully fit and again misses out. John Stones and Ferran Torres are injured. 

City team

Starting XI: Ederson, Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Bernardo, Mahrez, Sterling, De Bruyne

Subs: Steffen, Carson, Ake, Jesus, Grealish, Kayky, Foden, Mbete, Palmer

Leicester team

Starting XI: Schmeichel, Albrighton, Amartey, Vestergaard, Thomas, Perez, Tielemans, Dewsbury-Hall, Lookman, Maddison, Iheanacho 

Subs: Jakupović, Castagne, Nelson, Bertrand, Choudhury, Ndidi, Soumaré, McAteer, Vardy

City tactics

It’s 4-3-3 for City, with possession of the ball our primary objective.

Ederson starts in goal. He is perhaps the finest goalkeeper in world football in terms of distribution and his passing quality will be a key element of City's build-up play. 

Joao Cancelo, exceptional this season, will attack from right-back, with Oleksandr Zinchenko doing the same on the left flank. Their quality in the final third will be vital. 

Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte continue their fine partnership at the heart of our defence. 

Fernandinho will operate in the midfield anchor role, sitting just in front of the back four to fortify our defensive line. Ilkay Gundogan, a wonderful passer of the ball, and Bernardo Silva, who brings energy and dynamism, will play just ahead of him. 

It looks likely Kevin De Bruyne will play centrally as a False 9, with Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez either side of him, but that trio are flexible and will move around in a bid to keep Leicester defenders guessing. 

There are, as ever, a plethora of options on the bench should we find ourselves in need of some fresh impetus, with Gabriel Jesus, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish, to name just three, all waiting in the wings. 

WATCH: Guardiola: ‘Brilliant’ Ederson one of City’s best signings

Match facts

Head-to-head

Manchester City have won eight of their past 10 Premier League games against Leicester.

Leicester City won 5-2 in last season's corresponding fixture, with Jamie Vardy scoring a hat-trick. They have never beaten Manchester City away from home in consecutive league seasons.

Manchester City

Manchester City's run of eight Premier League wins is the longest current streak of any team. They have scored 24 goals and conceded just three during this period.

They are top of the Premier League table on Christmas Day for the third time, after 2011-12 and 2017-18. They went on to win the title in both of those seasons.

The Blues are the first top-flight club to win 34 league games in a calendar year.

They have scored a club record 106 top-flight goals in 2021.

City are unbeaten in eight home league games on Boxing Day, winning each of the last six in a row. Their last such defeat came in 1996-97 against Port Vale in the second tier.

Riyad Mahrez has been on the losing side on all five of his Premier League appearances on Boxing Day - the worst record in the competition's history.

Raheem Sterling can score in four successive Premier League matches for the first time since September 2017.

Leicester City

Leicester have already equalled last season's final tally of three league away defeats.

They have lost all four Premier League games this season against teams in the top five by an aggregate score of 10-1.

They have scored and conceded in their last 15 Premier League away matches, the longest such run of any top-flight team since Burnley did so in 16 matches between April 1961 to March 1962.

Their only win in their past 11 Premier League fixtures on Boxing Day came against Manchester City in 2018-19.

Jamie Vardy has never scored in six Premier League appearances on Boxing Day.

However, Vardy has eight Premier League goals versus Manchester City, including two hat-tricks.

James Maddison has been directly involved in six goals in his last four Premier League games (three goals, three assists), the same tally as in his previous 26 appearances.

Brendan Rodgers can become the second manager to win a top-flight away match versus a Pep Guardiola team in consecutive seasons, emulating Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for Manchester United in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

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