Preview: Leicester City v Manchester City

Kevin De Bruyne

Manchester City step away from their title charge with a League Cup encounter against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday.

League Cup
19 December 2017
Kick-off 19:45 local time
Venue: King Power Stadium

Referee: R. Madley
Assistants: M. Perry C. Hatzidakis
Fourth official: S. Attwell

Head-to-head summary

Manchester City 76 25 18 33
Leicester City 76 33 18 25

Previous encounter

Leicester City 1-0 Manchester City 18/11/2017 (Premier League)

Manchester City goalscorers: G. Jesus (45′), K. De Bruyne (49′)

Players to watch

Leroy Sane may not be the main star of the City team, but his influence is definitely waxing. The young German has already scored six goals this season, surpassing his tally of five from last campaign. If the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva are given the evening off, the creative burden will fall to Sane.

Shinji Okazaki made a late cameo in Leicester’s 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace, but it was too little too late. The Japan international is important for their attacking play, and will start if the Foxes are serious about knocking out the league leaders.

Team form and quotes

City’s well-documented run of 16 consecutive Premier League wins has them 11 points clear at the top of the standings, but manager Pep Guardiola may be eager to shuffle his team for this match due to the busy calendar around the turn of the year.

But even with a few key players resting, they have a formidable squad and a feeling of invincibility about the team at the moment, especially after beating Tottenham 4-1 on Saturday.

The Foxes are eighth in the standings despite Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace. That surprising defeat brought to the end a run of four wins under new boss Claude Puel. They faced City as recently as November, losing 2-0.

Puel acknowledged the stiff challenge facing his team in midweek, but believes the home support can aid the players in their quest to progress to the semi-finals.

“We play a fantastic team, for me the top team in Europe. You know the difficulty to beat this team. All the teams try but without the good result at the end,” the Frenchman said in his pre-match press conference.

“I think it’s a good opportunity, a strong challenge for us to try to beat them. It’s a special and unique game because it’s a quarter-final.

“I think with the support of our fans we can make a fortress of the King Power Stadium.”

Team news

City have a trio of defenders out injured, with Vincent Kompany and John Stones ruled out for now, while Benjamin Mendy remains out until later next year.

For Leicester, defender Robert Huth and midfielder Matty James are only expected to return to action next week.