Manchester City Forum - Leicester City v Manchester City - 3pm Sat 18th Nov - Premier League Match Preview and MDT
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Leicester City v Manchester City - 3pm Sat 18th Nov - Premier League Match Preview and MDT
16 November 2017 07:46 Post ID: #610699
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Preview

After the interminable THIRD international interruption to the domestic season we return to Premier League action when Pep Guardiola takes his squad to the King Power stadium to face Leicester City.

The side that currently vying for second place* in my list of Least Favourite Premier League Teams is, once again, under New Management. Having disposed of the manager who led the club to the greatest ever achievement in the club’s history, his replacement was summarily ditched with similar callousness after just over twelve months in charge and replaced by Claude Puel.

The lesson from this managerial merry-go-round? For Craig Shakespeare it will be be careful what you wish for when costing up to the players or perhaps ‘live by the sword……’. For Claude Puel it ought to be ‘watch your back’. I am sure he has the squad fully behind him….… Just as Ranieri and Shakespeare did - after all, you need to get behind someone to stab them in the back.

Perhaps it would be prudent for Mr Puel not to make don’t make any plans to buy a house in the midlands.

Actually what bugs me most about the managerial merry-go-round at Leicester City isn’t so much that they have been so ruthless it’s that they seem to have been given a really easy ride over their actions especially given how lukewarm the words were from the players after Ranieri was dismissed. I still remember the grief City got for Mark Hughes’s ‘callous’ dismissal. Leicester seem to have been spared any approbation at all for their actions. Probably for the same reason the media didn’t make much of an issue earlier this week of the club’s owners reportedly being sued for over £300m they apparently may owe the Thai government. Compared to their debt free opponents. Doesn’t fit the narrative to criticise the 'plucky' ex-Champions does it?

Anyway…..to the football…….

On a foul evening in December last year City were on the end of a chastening defeat in this fixture going 2-0 down inside the first four minutes, and found themselves 4-0 down as the game entered the final ten minutes. A couple of late goals did little to assuage what, for me, felt like the worst and most painful defeat during Pep’s first season in charge. As he was still finding his way in the league and discovering exactly what his existing squad could deliver and where they could play I felt he learnt an awful lot that evening. The luckless Bravo was offered scant protection by a back three of Stones, Sagna and Kolarov with Fernando at the base of a midfield diamond that included Zabaleta and Fernando. The exposure didn’t get any better in the second half with perhaps John Stones’s personal nadir being his attempt to play the ball back to his keeper being anticipated by Vardy who slotted the ball into the net to make it 4-0 in the 77th minute.

The media naturally had a field day especially given that the Leicester side had been performing woefully as the reigning champions in a run if results which had seen them begin the dangerous flirtation with relegation which ultimately saw Ranieri carry the can. Clearly here was proof that his coaching talent had been seriously over-rated and, devoid of the talent available to him at his two previous clubs, he was unlikely to be able to cut it in the Premier League.

Well nearly twelve months on and once again Leicester sit in mediocrity - 12th in the league on 13 points (only 4 above 18th place) having won only three league games all season but with a new manager having had a few weeks to get to grips with his squad. However one can’t help feeling that City will arrive for this fixture in a much better place than they did last time out. On a superb record breaking run of results, having reached the knockout stages of the Champions League with an emphatic victory over the current leaders of Serie A, with their confidence high and led by a coach who is showing that perhaps he can ‘cut it’ after all. We might be in for a different game.

Otamendi’s suspension does give Pep a headache - we will have to await until Friday and his press conference for a clue as to whether Vincent Kompany might finally return to action. His direct replacement options otherwise would be Mangala or Adarabioyo. This picture is also perhaps dependent whether Delph has recovered from the knock he received in the dying seconds of the defeat of Arsenal (I unable to explain why Oil escaped a second yellow for his challenge) as Danilo might be an option at CB…..unless he is covering for Delph at LB.

I know. This is starting to do my head in too. Up front we also await news on the fitness of the in form Sterling who withdrew from the international friendlies with a back strain. Bernardo Silva or Gabriel Jesus will be on standby to fill in should he not be declared fit.

I seriously hope that we can once again pick up the beat where we left off before the international break and hand out a proper lesson to our opponents in this fixture. For all the records broken and the unprecedented success so far we are now approaching perhaps the most critical part of the domestic season - the fixture-packed Christmas period. This time is the next ‘testing phase’ for Pep Guardiola - can his free-scoring and exciting team continue to deliver as the autumn turns to winter and the weather worsens? More importantly there is the need to maintain the momentum as the derby approaches in early December.

There seems to be no end of ‘tests’ for Pep to have to pass for his coaching credentials not to be an issue. I am sure he cares not one jot. He is focussed solely on getting his team to play the best football they can in each and every game.

So far he’s doing a pretty good job.

Come on City!!!

*the No 1 spot has been awarded in perpetuity to a team from just outside Manchester so second spot is as good as it gets for the rest

Opponent to watch -

Jamie Vardy - if only to see how many points can be awarded for how many times he tries to force a penalty for sticking his leg into challenges where he can’t win the ball but hops to get caught by the defender/goalkeeper. Now if Wenger wants to talk about players diving…….

Match Officials

Referee - Graham Scott
Assistants - Richard West; Scott Ledger
Fourth Official - Neil Swarbrick

Stats** comparison (Premier League):-

Leicester City

Goals per game - 1.5
Avg Possesion - 44.4%
Pass Accuracy - 71.6%
Shots per game - 16.5
Discipline - 12Y, 0R

Manchester City

Goals per game - 3.5
Avg Possesion - 65.4%
Pass Accuracy - 89.2%
Shots per game - 17.5
Discipline - 20Y, 2R

**Stats courtesy of Whoscored.com

Team News

Leicester City will be without Huth. Our strikers might keep their shirts intact then.

Manchester City await on the fitness of both Sterling (back) and Delph (calf). Otamendi is suspended for this game. Will Vinnie make a return or will he remain sidelined? Aguero should be fit to play after being assessed by City medical staff after a dizzy spell during Argentina’s friendly against Nigeria.

Potential starting XI, subs & formation

Ederson

Walker, Stones, Mangala, Delph

De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva D

Sterling, Aguero, Sané

Subs:-

Bravo, Adarabioyo, Danilo, Toure, Silva B, Gundogan, G Jesus
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16 November 2017 10:01 Post ID: #610703 - in reply to #610699
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Jeez, last years back 3/4 in this fixture, I'm getting palpitations just thinking about it.

Curious to see what Pep does with Otter out. If Mangala doesn't get the nod I think it will destroy any semblance of confidence he has left but can you trust Vinnie to make it through 90 minutes? The Mangler does look a bag of nerves but I'm reminded of the performance he put in against them at their place in their title winning season, a repeat of that would go down nicely.
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16 November 2017 11:27 Post ID: #610704 - in reply to #610699
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I wonder if Vinnie's comment (in another thread) isn't intended for his manager's ears.....

Whilst Otamendi has been coached out of his tendency to dive in and concede free kicks often in wide areas in that 10-15 metre zone outside the 18 yard box, Mangala seems to still have that potential in his locker.

I really hope we show up this time. Going 2-0 down inside 5 minutes last season did my head in but that defensive line up just illustrates how Pep was still trying to cobble together something coherent as he got to know his squad.
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16 November 2017 13:19 Post ID: #610705 - in reply to #610699
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I think Mangala is the more likely to get the nod for this one, for two reasons.
The first is confidence, as Dub alludes to, and the second is the League Cup game against the same opponents in the middle of December, which will be, barring further suspension/injury, his next game?
It was noticeable, to me. that Adarabioyo was substituted at the end of 90 minutes against Wolves, even though he had the better game of the two on the night, in my view.
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16 November 2017 13:33 Post ID: #610707 - in reply to #610699
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I imagine it would be Mangala deputising - nice if it was Adarabioyo but hopefully his day, or hour and a half will come.

Re discipline - it would be good if we could get through the game without picking up more yellow/red cards as suspensions are seriously disruptive, especially with our apparent defensive thinness once Mandy and VK4 are taken out of the equation. Don't we have one of the worse disciplinary records in the division? - needs to change.

Description of Vardy's penalty winning technique reminds me of Adam Johnson winning a penalty for us in what I remember as being a not dissimilar tactic.

Three points, a clean sheet and no injuries or bookings pleeeeeease!

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16 November 2017 14:09 Post ID: #610710 - in reply to #610699
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Kind of difficult to avoid yellow cards when say for example Jesus is getting booked for throwing his hands in the air in exasperation at a decision or he's getting booked for unintentionally handling the ball into the goal.

Then you have Sterling being booked for celebrating.

Or Walker booked for backing into someone.

Quite a few of the cards we've picked up are as a result of overzealous refereeing which rarely seems to apply to our opposition.

The type of cards the likes of Otter and Fernandinho pick up are fair enough, as in the former's case he still has at least one desperate lunge per game and the latter picks them up for taking one for the team type fouls, which is natural given his position/role in the side.

I find it bizarre that we've the worst discipline in the league considering we can hardly be called a physical or dirty side given the way we play, and furthermore we are usually the ones on the end of poor challenges as the opposition kick lumps out of us in an effort to keep us at bay.
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16 November 2017 16:49 Post ID: #610711 - in reply to #610699
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They always give us a kicking and get away with it.
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16 November 2017 17:45 Post ID: #610712 - in reply to #610699
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I think that because we press to win the ball back we are going to get penalised but I do agree that there seems to be a variable application of the standards as to what constitutes a bookable offence. Gabriel Jesus was on the end of a dangerous challenge down by the corner flag in the Bournemouth match and the guy didn't even get spoken to.

Details of our relative position card and foul wise here....

http://www.footcharts.co.uk/index.cfm?task=basics_cards&league=E0&v...
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16 November 2017 18:34 Post ID: #610714 - in reply to #610712
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Pep I believe does not give any credit to Mangala, not because he thinks he is a poor defender, but that he is slow in moving the game forward from the back to get City back in to the attack, nor do I believe he will throw Tosin in against the likes of Vardy, but I do believe he will drop Fernandinho in there along with Walker and with delph the back will interchange.

The coach likes players that can multitask.

Ederson

Walker Stones Fernandinho Delph

Gundogan Silva, De Bruyne, Sané Jesus

Aguero.

Berti - Bernardo, Danilo, Yaya, Mangala, Tosin, Sterling, Bravo

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16 November 2017 18:40 Post ID: #610715 - in reply to #610699
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City’s starting XI in December 2016....

Bravo

Sagna, Stones, Kolarov

Zabaleta, Fernando, Gundogan, Silva D

Navas, Iheanacho, De Bruyne

(3 survivors from this side likely tostart tomorrow - shows what changes have been rung at the Club)

Subs:-

Caballero, Clichy, Adarabioyo, Toure, Sterling, Nolito, Sané

City had 77.9% possession, 19 shots (v 11), 11 corners (v 3)........

Good call from Buzz regarding Fernandinho- could be onto something there
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16 November 2017 20:41 Post ID: #610768 - in reply to #610699
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Maybe a tough match for us, Vardy and co can be a handful, come on City. Maybe Walker will move inside as a CB, he has the pace to deal with Vardy.
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17 November 2017 02:16 Post ID: #610788 - in reply to #610699
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A good old fashioned tackle outside the box will slow Vardy down a bit.
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17 November 2017 13:44 Post ID: #610819 - in reply to #610699
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Pep isn't sure if Fabian Delph will be fit to face Leicester because he couldn't train yesterday.

Raheem Sterling is "much much better" and can hopefully be fit for tomorrow.

@City_Watch
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17 November 2017 13:56 Post ID: #610820 - in reply to #610699
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Danilo to start at LB then
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17 November 2017 13:59 Post ID: #610822 - in reply to #610699
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Unless he goes three at the back
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17 November 2017 14:08 Post ID: #610823 - in reply to #610822
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He could play Ferna at Left back or Sané its a gamble and I don't see Delph playing if he did not train
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17 November 2017 14:18 Post ID: #610825 - in reply to #610822
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Bluedub - 17/11/2017 13:59

Unless he goes three at the back :002:
Nooooooooo
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