Mahrez, Garcia start; Laporte on bench – Manchester City FC

Pep Guardiola makes two enforced changes from the side that beat Wolves 3-1 last Monday.

Riyad Mahrez replaces the injured Gabriel Jesus while Eric Garcia comes in for the not fully fit John Stones.

Aymeric Laporte and Oleks Zinchenko both take a place on the subs’ bench.


City: Ederson, Walker, Mendy Aké, Garcia, Fernandinho (c), Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Foden, Mahrez, Sterling

Substitutes:  Steffen, Zinchenko,, Laporte, Torres, Delap, Doyle, Palmer

Leicester City: Schmeichel, Castagne, Evans, Söyüncü, Justin, Mendy, Amartey, Tielemans, Praet, Barnes, Vardy

Substitutes: Maddison ,Albrighton, Ward, Iheanacho, Pérez, Choudhury, Fuchs

Possible formation & tactics

It seems likely City will play with same formation used against Wolves, with a back four of Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy, Garcia, and Nathan Ake with Fernandinho and Rodrigo taking up defensive midfield roles.

Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden will play centrally behind Mahrez on the wing and Raheem Sterling is expected to take on the role of striker.

Ferran Torres is likely to get more minutes under his belt at some stage and Liam Delap could be given the chance to impress again as well.

It’s likely Aymeric Laporte will only be called upon if necessary.

City target international break

The first international break of the new season is just a week away and Pep Guardiola will hope his injury-hit squad can find a way to beat Leicester, Burnley and Leeds United.

Each game represents a different style and challenge, with the likelihood that City will need to field a young side again at Turf Moor in midweek.

First, a tricky encounter with Leicester City must be negated.

The Foxes are a fast, high energy side who are likely to try and hit City on the counter-attack. Pep Guardiola will be hoping the 13 fit senior players come through this test without further losses to personnel.


With a resurgent Leeds United next weekend to come, making it through these three matches intact is key to the season ahead – the international break is likely to provide enough respite for several injured stars to return to action and already, that two-week break can’t come quick enough.

Stats and facts

City have won six of the past seven Premier League meetings between the two clubs.

Leicester have lost four successive league games at the Etihad Stadium, their longest losing streak against City since a run of five defeats in 1961.

City have not lost their opening top-flight home match in 25 seasons since a 2-1 defeat against Southampton in 1989-90.

City are unbeaten in 11 Premier League home games, scoring at least twice in each of them (W10, D1).

City have won our last seven fixtures at the Etihad Stadium by an aggregate score of 26-1.

City have led by two or more goals at half-time in their last six Premier League matches, a record run in the competition’s history.

Kevin De Bruyne has scored seven goals and set up six in his past 10 league starts.

The injured Gabriel Jesus has scored four goals in five Premier League appearances against Leicester.

The Foxes have never started a top-flight season with three successive league wins.

A third straight victory would equal their best start to a league season, having achieved the feat in the second tier in 1899-1900, 1906-07 and 1922-23.

Jamie Vardy has scored five goals in his past eight appearances against City in the Premier League. He’s also the only player to score a top-flight hat-trick against a side managed by Pep Guardiola, doing so in the Foxes’ 4-2 win against City in December 2016.

Brendan Rodgers is winless in all seven away matches as a manager against Manchester City in all competitions (D2, L5).

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