Two Premier League clubs who were on different ends of shock weekend results meet on Boxing Day as the Citizens aspire to remain the only team this decade to win the league after not leading on Christmas Day (they won the 2013/14 title from third). The game between Leicester City and Manchester City will take place at the King Power Stadium on December 26th, 2018.
Leicester City vs. Manchester City
Three-Way: 1: Leicester City +850; X: +425 Draw; 2: Manchester City -278 at BetDSI Sportsbook
Spread +1.5: Leicester City -114; Manchester City +104
Total 3 goals: Over +106; Under -112
Ahead of this round, Leicester is just one of five EPL clubs to be averaging more points on the road (1.4 per game) than at home (1.38), so well-traveling Manchester City (W5, D2, L1) will fancy their chances to bounce back after losing to Crystal Palace on Saturday (2-3).
Leicester could have their best opportunity to pounce in the final half hour, having scored four and conceded just one in their Premier League home games during this period. That, coupled with the fact that Manchester City appears most vulnerable after the break – with just +3 of their massive +37 goal difference coming from second halves on the road – could make for an interesting second half.
After experiencing a bad run of form and four games without a win, the Foxes surprised Chelsea with a 1-0 victory at the Stamford Bridge. Jamie Vardy scored a winner in the 51st minute and Leicester defended superbly to withstand Chelsea’s attacks and 17 shot attempts (five on target). Leicester climbed up to the 9th position with 25 points, 12 behind the Champions League places and 23 behind the league leaders Liverpool.
Claude Puel cannot count on Daniel Amartey who is still struggling with an ankle injury, while Matty James is lacking match fitness but all the other players are healthy and ready to face the Citizens on Wednesday.
- Jamie Vardy has returned to goalscoring form, netting in three of his last four league appearances
- Leicester’s last nine Premier League matches have all produced under 2.5 total goals
The Citizens travel to the King Power Stadium to face a sky-high Leicester City side who return home after defeating title contenders Chelsea, their first points against a club currently in the table’s top six. They were on a three-game winning run including the Carabao Cup win over Leicester that secured them a place in the semi-finals but City suffered the second league defeat in three games after losing at home to Crystal Palace.
The biggest upset of the campaign occurred even though Man City got to a 1-0 lead through Ilkay Gundogan but the Eagles managed to turn things around in space of just three minutes. Jeffery Schlupp equalized in the 33rd minute before Andros Townsend’s spectacular left-foot volley from outside the box only two minutes later. Luka Milivojevic converted a penalty in the 51st minute to give the visitors a big 3-1 lead and although the Citizens pegged one back through the substitute Kevin De Bruyne, Crystal Palace left the Etihad with an enormous 3-2 victory. Man City is now in the 2nd place with four points behind Liverpool and they must get three points in this one or the Reds could create a bigger gap at the top.
Pep Guardiola will be without Claudio Bravo (Achilles tendon), Eliaquim Mangala (knee), and Benjamin Mendy (knee), while Fernandinho (thigh), Vincent Kompany (muscle), and David Silva (thigh) are listed as questionable for this tilt.
- Sergio Aguero scored four for City in the last top-flight H2H duel
- Seven of City’s last eight league fixtures have seen three or more goals scored
- Manchester City has been winning at HT/FT in seven of their last ten EPL matches
Manchester City won seven out of the previous ten H2H encounters (D1, L2) including the last five, while the Citizens were victorious in the past three meetings at the King Power Stadium (two in the Carabao Cup after penalties). The Citizens will be under a lot of pressure to win this one and although I believe they can deliver and get three points, I don’t think they will be very convincing and I am backing the Foxes to put up a fight and don’t lose by more than one goal difference.
MY PICK: AH +1.5 Leicester City (-114)
ADDITIONAL PICK: Both teams scored in four of the last five EPL clashes, with all four producing over 2.5 total goals. In all competitions, both teams scored in six out of the last seven meetings and I expect to see goals on both ends here as well, and I am going with BTTS and over 2.5 goals at attractive +125 odds.
MY PICK: BTTS and Over 2.5 (+125)