Round 18 from the English Premier League and we have a mouth-watering fixture to look forward to at the Etihad Stadium. Defending champions Manchester City take on Leicester City from 5.30pm on Saturday. You can follow the play live on Sky Sports.

This is a game the home side really must win if they are serious about keeping alive their chances of winning the title. They will get nothing for free against an ambitious opponent who have recent experience of winning the Premier League crowd. Leicester are proving to be the dark horse of this race and will rate their chances of causing an upset here.

City Suffer Manchester Derby Defeat

Manchester City head into this match with their season stats reading 11 wins against two draws and no less than four defeats. Pep Guardiola’s side well all-conquering last season but have found life much tougher this term. Liverpool are now favourites to stop three-in-a-row. The locals set-up on the back of a poor run of form which shows just two wins in their last four outings. Things must improve, and fast, if they are to save their season.

The Cityzens suffered a painful Manchester derby loss at this venue when United came calling earlier this month. Despite being hot favourites to claim the points, City were undone by goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. A late reply from Nicolas Otamendi proved to be little more than a consolation goal for a team who were forced to admit they were out-worked and out-muscled in just about every department that day. Will they bounce back to beat Leicester? The current betting has a home win priced as favourite. Ladbrokes offer a market best price of 2/5.

Leicester Going Nowhere

Leicester took a gamble when appointing Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, inviting the Northern Irishman back to the Premier League. They haven’t looked back since. The Foxes head to Manchester with their season stats reading 12 wins, three draws and two defeats. They are 10 points off leaders Liverpool but so occupy second place at the time of writing. Man City are four points back in third with Chelsea completing the top four.

Jamie Vardy of Leicester City control the ball during the pre-season match between Leicester City and Everton at Supachalasai Stadium on July 27, 2014 in Bangkok (1)

Holding on to a top four finish and grabbing the Champions League football that comes with it will be Leicester’s priority this season. Rodgers will surely sit down with the board after the hectic festive season has passed and look at where the team go from here. They have every chance of holding their position and the gaffer has already proved himself up to the task. The feel-good factor is back at the King Power Stadium and it can be seen in everything Leicester do at the minute. A win at the Etihad would send out a real message of intent. Traders have the away day at 7/1 with William Hill, the draw yours at a tempting 9/2 – top price with Betfair.

Both Have Scored in Leicester’s Last Two

Picking through the stats of both teams involved in this match and we will ignore the recent head-to-head as Leicester are a much better side than they were last season, now filled with confidence and ambition. Man City seem to have gone backwards this term. Both teams have scored in each of Leicester’s last two games and in three of their four most recent goes.

Looking closely at Man City, we note the champions conceded two against Man Utd and one when visiting Burnley. They also leaked one at Zagreb on Champions League duty. There’s a real nervousness about the current Man City defence. Take both teams to score at 4/6 with William Hill. That’s sure to prove popular in weekend accumulators.

STATS

  • No side has ever won the title after being 14 points behind the leaders
  • Leicester are unbeaten in nine league games
  • Guardiola’s points return at this stage is his worst ever
  • Both teams have scored in each of Leicester’s last two
  • Pep has lost two home league games in a season only twice before