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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Leicester could expose any Manchester City weaknesses

But stopping the Citizens won't be easy

Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez could trouble Man City
1 of 1

League Cup quarter-final
Sky Sports Football & Main Event, 7.45pm Tuesday

Manchester City ended a four-game winless run against Tottenham with a convincing 4-1 victory on Sunday and are hoping to overcome another bogey side when they take on Leicester in the League Cup quarter-finals.

Leicester registered a famous 3-1 victory at City in their 2015-16 title-winning campaign and were no less impressive when defeating the Citizens 4-2 at the King Power Stadium last December.

The Foxes' counter-attacking style can be well suited to taking on the big clubs and their run to the last eight in the League Cup has included a 2-0 triumph at home to Liverpool.

A lot depends on what Pep Guardiola does with his team selection.

City's first-choice line-up is in a different class to the rest of the Premier League but their fringe players have not always covered themselves in glory.

A City side featuring nine changes from the previous match drew 0-0 at home to Wolves in the League Cup fourth round, leading to a shootout which the hosts won 4-1.

And a team sporting seven changes lost 2-1 at Shakhtar Donetsk on Champions League matchday six.

Guardiola wants to win as many trophies as he can but the Champions League and the Premier League are the priorities and City have to be ready for a busy festive schedule which requires them to play four league games in 11 days.

Leicester have it even tougher with four matches in ten days, but a club of their size cannot ignore the chance to get to a cup semi-final.

Claude Puel's team selection is more likely to be tactical with an eye on the weekend and he has some issues to sort out following his sides' 3-0 loss at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

There was a complacency about the way Leicester approached the game against Palace.

Three days earlier they had won 4-1 at Southampton with arguably their best performance of the season and if they get back to that level they may cause the Citizens problems.

City have an outstanding squad but they have greater depth in attack than in defence.

High-class attackers Gabriel Jesus and Bernardo Silva were on the bench at the weekend but there was no recognised central defender among the substitutes due to the injury problems affecting Vincent Kompany and John Stones.

Any tinkering with the back line is going to make it weaker and Leicester have the players to capitalise. The main problem will be keeping the back door shut.

Even a largely second-string City attack will be full of quality and they should find a way past Kasper Schmeichel.

City look the likelier winners but instead of backing them at long odds-on, there is better value in siding with both teams to score at a bigger price.

Both teams to score
1pt 3-4 general

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Team news
No fresh injuries are reported but Matty James and Robert Huth are out until after Christmas.

Manchester City
Benjamin Mendy (knee) and John Stones (hamstring) are absent and Vincent Kompany is a major doubt after missing the last two games.

Key stat
Both teams have scored in eight of Leicester's last 12 matches.

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Both teams have scored in eight of Leicester's last 12 matches
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