Leicester City vs Manchester City – Betting Tips & Predictions – 22-02

Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021


Third welcomes second in this Saturday evening kick-off, which could see the defending champions open up a gap of seven points on a Leicester side that has started to show some cracks. It could, on the other hand, be the case that the Foxes are within one point of Pep Guardiola’s side by the time the final whistle goes – and the joy of this Premier League season is that right now, it’s hard to guess which way this one will go.

Leicester have won just once in the league since the turn of the year, and that was against West Ham so they haven’t won at all against anyone good. In normal circumstances that would make them rank outsiders here, but let’s not forget that Manchester City lost 2-0 to Spurs recently, so it’s not like they’re infallible. There is also the outside possibility of Pep’s men being distracted by a trip to Madrid in midweek for what might be their last Champions League tie for a few years.

Leicester City vs Manchester City Prediction: Leicester City 1-3 Manchester City

If Wilfried Ndidi were available for Leicester, then this scoreline could realistically be reversed, with the visitors’ league hopes having all but disappeared and such an important game in midweek. However, the noises emerging from the King Power have not been encouraging, and it’s a realistic possibility that the home side will have to fashion some sort of Frankenstein’s monster in central midfield. In some matches, you can get away with players out of position in the Ndidi role. Against Manchester City? Probably not.

Our recommended tip: Over 3.5 goals

For Leicester, without any defensive midfielders, it would appear that attack will be the best form of defence. At any rate, defence won’t be much use to them, so they’ll need to try and outscore their opponents here. That’s not unimaginable – Guardiola’s side have a soft centre – but regardless, this seems like a match where attacks will be on top. There are odds of 7/5 available with Mr Green if you reckon there’ll be at least four scored here – and it seems like a realistic probability.

Previous matches

The last time these sides met was shortly before Christmas, and it feels now as though a spell was broken that evening. Leicester came into the match leading their rivals by four points, and took the lead when Jamie Vardy finished off a splendid counter-attack on 22 minutes. However, Vardy’s former partner in crime Riyad Mahrez equalised by the half-hour mark, and a Gundogan penalty saw the hosts into the lead at half-time. Gabriel Jesus would add a third in the 69th minute, and that was enough to see the champions home. Leicester, who came into the game with 38 points from 17 games, have picked up just 11 in the nine outings since – six of those coming in two matches against West Ham.

Top 3 Premier League Bookies

Players to watch: Jamie Vardy & Riyad Mahrez

Vardy’s last goal came in that meeting at the Etihad before Christmas, rendering this a worrying run without scoring for a player who has netted 17 times and still leads the Premier League goal chart. If he’s going to get back on track, though, this might be the ideal time – against a likely high defensive line he should get the chance to run in behind, and it’s hard to see him lacking confidence. One thing’s for sure – he’s not going to hide, which means the visitors will have a job on to stop him.

With a very real possibility that the title holders will rotate with a visit to Madrid on the horizon, it wouldn’t be a huge shock to see Mahrez get a rare start at the arena where he first thrilled Premier League audiences. The Algerian winger remains a phenomenal sight when he’s on his game, and though he won’t be expecting a hero’s welcome after going on strike halfway through his final season in the East Midlands, he’ll still be a player to watch here.

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