We look ahead to Saturday’s Premier League match featuring teams at opposite ends of the table. Here are all the need-to-know Opta insights in our Manchester City vs Leicester prediction and preview.
Manchester City vs Leicester: Quick Hits
- Manchester City overwhelming favourites with the Opta supercomputer to win this game versus Leicester ahead of kick-off (75%).
- The last three Premier League head-to-heads between Man City and Leicester at the Etihad Stadium have seen 20 goals scored.
- Dean Smith has lost all five previous meetings in the Premier League with Pep Guardiola’s Man City side, with a combined score of 17-2.
Of all the games Dean Smith would want as his first game in charge of Leicester City, Manchester City away at the Etihad Stadium would arguably be the last on the list.
Brendan Rodgers’ replacement Smith has had a miserable time of things against Pep Guardiola and his Man City side in the past. Across five previous Premier League games in spells in charge at Norwich City and Aston Villa, Smith has seen his team lose on every occasion and with an overall score of 17-2.
Against no other Premier League manager has Smith lost more often than Guardiola (five games) and it’s unlikely to improve this weekend, with Man City averaging the highest points per game in home matches across the 2022-23 Premier League season (2.64).
We should expect goals in this game, based on the last three meetings between these sides at the Etihad Stadium. A total of 20 goals have been scored in these games, with Man City winning 6-3 last season – the highest-scoring Premier League game of 2021-22.
One of these matches – a 5-2 win for Leicester in September 2020 – saw the Foxes’ striker Jamie Vardy score a hat-trick. He’s the only player in Premier League history to score a hat-trick for an away team at the Etihad Stadium, while he’s scored more league goals against Pep Guardiola’s Man City than any other player (eight). At the opposite end of the pitch, Man City’s Erling Haaland is having an exceptional season. Haaland has scored 30 Premier League goals for Manchester City this season, with only Andrew Cole ever netting more in their debut season in the competition (34 in 1993-94). The Norwegian is averaging a goal every 73 minutes so far and has a shot conversion rate of 32.3%.
Leicester City 0-1 Manchester City: 29 October 2022 (Premier League)
Leicester City suffered their 100th Premier League home defeat in October when they went down 1-0 to Manchester City at the King Power Stadium.
Kevin De Bruyne scored the only goal of the game with a delightful second-half free kick, which went in off the post to beat Leicester goalkeeper Danny Ward.
It was an unusually meek attacking display by Man City, who were without main striker Erling Haaland. They only registered 24 touches in the opposition box, which is their second fewest in a Premier League game this season, while their xG total was their third lowest of the 2022-23 league campaign (1.03).
Manchester City have the most impressive home form in the 2022-23 Premier League so far, averaging 2.64 points per game and dropping just four points in 14 games at the Etihad Stadium (W12 D1 L1). Overall, they’ve won 16 of their last 18 league games there, including each of the last five.
Across all competitions, Man City are on a 10-game winning streak, beating Chelsea, Tottenham, Wolves, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Newcastle, RB Leipzig, Burnley, Liverpool and Bayern Munich in this run and outscoring their opponents by 37-4.
City’s last home defeat in any competition came in their final match before the 2022 FIFA World Cup break, as they lost to one of Dean Smith’s former clubs, Brentford, 2-1 in the Premier League on 12 November.
Having lost seven of their last eight Premier League games (D1), Leicester City have now lost 19 league matches overall this term. Not since 2001-02 (20) have the Foxes lost 20 or more league matches in one season, while should they lose against Manchester City, it will be the joint-second earliest they have ever hit 20 defeats in a Football League campaign (31st match, level with 1914-15), after only 1980-81 (30th).
No side in the Premier League is currently on a longer run without keeping a clean sheet than Leicester City, with the Foxes last recording one on 12 November in a 2-0 win over West Ham – their final game before the World Cup break.
Manchester City: Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin De Bruyne hit 100 Premier League assists last weekend with his cross for Erling Haaland’s opening goal at Southampton, but he could hit another landmark this weekend.
After becoming the fifth player to reach the century of Premier League assists, De Bruyne needs one more assist at Man City to become just the second player to assist 100 goals for a single club in the competition after Ryan Giggs at Manchester United (162).
Seven of his 14 Premier League assists this season have been for the imperious Haaland – this is the most by one Man City player to another in a single Premier League season, proving he’s a major factor behind Haaland’s record-breaking campaign.
No player across the Premier League this season has an xG assisted figure as high as the Belgian’s (12.3), while this is also the case considering only open play passes (10.6). His open play xG assisted total is more than City’s next two highest in the category combined: Jack Grealish (5.3) and Riyad Mahrez (4.1), and much more than Haaland (3.5), Rodri (2.9), Bernardo Silva (2.8) and Phil Foden (2.5).
Leicester City: James Maddison
If there is one player in the Leicester line-up that could unlock the Manchester City defence on Saturday, then it’ll be James Maddison.
The England international is their leading creative player across a whole host of Premier League metrics in 2022-23, including assists (six), chances created (50) and xG assisted (6.4), leading team-mates like Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Youri Tielemans as master creator for the Foxes. Meanwhile only Harvey Barnes (10) has scored more league goals for the club than he has this season (nine).
Since his first season at the club in 2018-19, Maddison has been involved in 70 non-penalty goals in the Premier League (41 non-pen goals and 29 assists) – only nine players, including team-mate Jamie Vardy (80), have been involved in more over this period. Seventeen of his goals have come from outside the box since 2018-19, only free-kick expert James Ward-Prowse has scored more (18) in this timeframe.
Manchester City vs Leicester Prediction
With Manchester City second and Leicester City second from bottom in the Premier League table, it’ll come as no surprise that Pep Guardiola’s side are heavy favourites for this match. The Opta supercomputer rates Man City’s chance of victory at 75%, while Leicester prevailed in just 8.5% of the 10,000 pre-match simulations.
Despite being six points behind Arsenal, Man City have a game in hand on their rivals and still have to play the Gunners at the Etihad Stadium. As a result, they are now the favourites to win the Premier League title with the Opta supercomputer at 54.4%.
Leicester City were being given just a 7.7% chance of relegation at the start of March, but that chance now stands at 51.1% after picking up just one point from a possible 18 across their last six Premier League games, including defeats to fellow relegation-threatened Southampton, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth.