Raheem Sterling

In Profile: Reigning Premier League Champions, Manchester City

Leicester City welcome Premier League champions Manchester City to King Power Stadium on Saturday (5:30pm kick-off).
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Pep Guardiola's men, who host West Ham United on Wednesday evening, are currently one point ahead of Leicester in the Premier League standings.

Ahead of the clash between third and second on Filbert Way, LCFC.com continues its series profiling the Foxes' top-flight opposition...

The manager

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Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola

Spaniard Pep Guardiola has won successive Premier League titles in Manchester.

Manchester City currently have one of the world's leading managers, Pep Guardiola, who has previously won major honours as a coach with FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

The former defensive midfielder emerged through the famous La Masia academy in Barcelona, before going on to win six La Liga titles as a player at the Nou Camp.

As well as that excellent league record, Guardiola also lifted the Copa del Rey twice, the Supercopa de España on four occasions and one European Cup, in 1992 at Wembley.

An iconic figure in Johan Cruyff's 'Dream Team' at Barca, Guardiola was capped 47 times for Spain and later also represented Brescia, Roma, Al-Ahli and Dorados.

After returning to Barcelona as manager of the B side, Guardiola duly won the 2008 Segunda División B playoffs, earning him the big job in Catalonia, replacing Frank Rijkaard in 2008.

Guardiola began to build the side in his own image, eventually offloading the likes of Ronaldinho, Deco and Samuel Eto'o over coming seasons, and building the team around Lionel Messi.

Barca first lifted the Copa del Rey, before a 6-2 win over rivals Real Madrid contributed to a La Liga title success, ahead of a UEFA Champions League Final win against Manchester United in Rome.

The La Liga throne was retained in 2010, too, as well as the Supercopa de España, alongside the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup as a golden era of success befell the Spanish giants.

Another Champions League victory over Manchester United, poetically at Wembley, followed in 2011 during a campaign which included a third consecutive La Liga title and another Supercopa de España.

While José Mourinho's Madrid eventually broke Guardiola's dominance in Spain by winning the league in 2012, Barca were still able to add another Copa del Rey to their impressive trophy haul.

Following a one-year sabbatical in New York City, the Santpedor-born manager returned to work at German powerhouse Bayern Munich in 2013, replacing Jupp Heynckes at Allianz Arena.

Guardiola proceeded to win three successive Bundesliga titles in Bavaria, two DFB-Pokals, including both the Super Cup and Club World Cup, following Bayern's 2013 European success under Heynckes.

While still Bayern's manager, he signed a contract with Manchester City in February 2016, before once again inspiring an unbelievable era of domestic success at his new club. 

During Guardiola's tenure, he has won two Premier League titles, in 2018 and 2019, earning a total of 198 points across both campaigns, while winning the FA Cup once and League Cup twice.

The squad

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Sergio Agüero
Sergio Agüero

Sergio Agüero remains a massive figure at Manchester City.

One of the most talented squads in world football has been built at Manchester City over previous seasons, leading to an unprecedented spell of success at Etihad Stadium.

Since joining the club in 2011, Argentine striker Sergio Agüero has scored a remarkable 252 in all competitions, 180 of which have come in the Premier League.

Staggering attacking options also include Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sané, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez, İlkay Gündoğan and David Silva.

Fernandinho provides midfield steel alongside Rodri, on the other hand, while Kyle Walker, Nicolás Otamendi, John Stones, Oleksandr Zinchenko often feature in front of shot-stopper Ederson. 

Unsurprisingly, Agüero leads the way in Manchester City's scoring charts, netting on 21 occasions in all competitions, while Sterling (20) and Jesus (16) are not too far away either.

In 2019/20, four players have scored hat-tricks, with Sterling registering two (vs. West Ham United and Atalanta), alongside B. Silva (Watford), Jesus (Dinamo Zagreb) and Agüero (Aston Villa).

Last summer, prominent signings joined in Rodri, from Atlético Madrid, and João Cancelo, from Juventus, while former captain Vincent Kompany headed to Anderlecht in a player-manager role.

The trophy cabinet 

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Man City win the Premier League
Man City win the Premier League

City lifted the title last season with 98 points.

Manchester City are six-time champions of England, four of which have come since 2012, a title secured famously by Sergio Agüero's last-minute winner against Queens Park Rangers.

The Manchester-based club have also won English football's second division on seven occasions, most recently in 2002, while lifting both the FA Cup and League Cup six times.

Last season, meanwhile, Pep Guardiola led Manchester City to their first-ever domestic treble - Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup - while also securing a sixth Community Shield.

While they have been unable to win the European Cup, they nonetheless lifted the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1970, and reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2016, losing to Real Madrid.

The stadium

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Etihad Stadium
Etihad Stadium

Etihad Stadium has a capacity of 55,017.

Initially built to host the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Etihad Stadium has been Manchester City's home since 2003, while also staging several notable events.

Previously called the City of Manchester Stadium, the venue has hosted the UEFA Cup Final in 2008, England internationals and the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Opened as a 41,000-capacity venue, Etihad Stadium has grown considerably, with Leicester's 3-1 win there in 2016 drawing a record crowd of 54,693. 

A maximum capacity of 55,017 (limited to 53,000 in UEFA competitions and extended to 60,000 for music concerts) places Etihad Stadium as the fifth-largest Premier League venue.

The fixtures

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Youri Tielemans
Youri Tielemans

Leicester City suffered a 3-1 defeat by Manchester City in December.

Following uncharacteristic defeats by Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City welcome West Ham United to Etihad Stadium on Wednesday (7:30pm kick-off).

On Saturday, it's a visit to King Power Stadium to face a Foxes side who have won two of the last three meetings in Leicester, before UEFA Champions League action against Real Madrid in the Spanish capital.

Pep Guardiola's men are due at the Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday 26 February for a first leg tie in the Round of 16 stage (8pm kick-off).

Then, it's the Carabao Cup Final against Aston Villa at Wembley the following Sunday (4:30pm kick-off).

All times GMT.

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