This is one of the games which has the feeling of inevitability of a Man City win. City have really hit their stride in the past two months putting in big performances against Villa, Newcastle, Arsenal, Liverpool as well as Southampton, Bournemouth and Palace. In midweek they also dispatched with Bayern Munich 3-0.
Leicester on the other hand have been the exact opposite. Rodgers has been sacked and they have been terrible in the past two months with seven losses in eight games.
They key factor here is all of this information has been priced into this game. With City trading at 1.14 now on Betfair to win the game and Leicester at 26.0.
So, are there any reasons why Man City might now perform as well as they have been and also any reasons why Leicester might perform better?
Pep May Tinker
Guardiola changes the formation nearly every game. Typically this works out well for them, but occasionally it doesn’t. He has tinkered with the formation right throughout this season and has now found a more settled 3-2-4-1 formation. The balance of players seem to fit better with this formation.
DeBruyne cut a very frustrated figure when subbed off against Bayern. He is 32 in the summer and Pep may also be getting tired of this attitude and might look to offload him in the summer. All it means for this game is that there is a higher chance that he doesn’t start this game.
This game comes after a huge game against Bayern Munich in the UCL. Players will not be as fresh for this game compared to normal. Granted they will have 70% of the ball so can take the game at their pace. But nevertheless it is a risk of rotation for any players carrying knocks (Like Haaland) as well as players managing themselves to prevent injury and also for the second leg.
The second leg of the Bayern game is midweek. So players and Guardiola will want to cruise through this game, probably by scoring two goals in the first half so they can focus on the next game.
City has got knocked out by teams in the Champions League in recent years when they should have gone through, like against Real Madrid last season. Will Guardiola be a little tense himself?
The fact that a few players will be leaving in the summer does not seem to have affected performances the way it has Leicester – assuming that that narrative is correct.
Leicester to Re-Bound?
Dean Smith, John Terry and Craig Shapespire take charge of Leicester this week. That in itself will change the mood of the club. Smith doesn’t have an amzing track record. But his appointment offers a fresh start to some players who felt frustrated under Rodgers. Terry is a players you would imagine will bring respect among the squad for this playing career.
Leicester are not in this position because the players are poor quality. Their record over the past few years speaks for itself. So to my mind it is quite possible for me to see Leicester come out of the blocks fast in this game and potentially catch Man City off guard. They will not be that prepared for Leicester as this is the management first game. So they so also that element of surprise.
Leicester’s last two decent games where they won 4-1 both saw them conceded in the first half before coming back to be winning at half time.
So, the main play will be to back Leicester to win 2-0 at HT. But also then to bet in play if Man City score first in the first half then lay Man City to be winning at HT, as well as backing Leicster to be winning at HT.
Leicester to be winning 2-0 at HT. €4, 100.0