İlkay Gündoğan

The Lowdown: Pep Guardiola's Leaders, Manchester City

Leaders Manchester City are the visitors to King Power Stadium on Saturday for a clash with third-placed Leicester City in the Premier League (5:30pm kick-off).

The Foxes, who enjoyed victory over the Citizens earlier this season, go into the clash on the back of a 3-1 success over Manchester United in the Emirates FA Cup, while the visitors also secured safe passage in the competition at Everton.

Ahead of matchday 30 in the Premier League, LCFC.com provides the lowdown on the six-time champions of England...

The squad

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İlkay Gündoğan
İlkay Gündoğan

İlkay Gündoğan has emerged as a central figure for Manchester City in 2020/21.

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 for the North West club.

That squad was added to over the previous summer, with the acquisition of Spanish winger Ferran Torres from Valencia, as well as Dutch international centre-back Nathan Aké from AFC Bournemouth.

One big departure was that of winger Leroy Sané, who joined German giants Bayern Munich for a fee believed to be around £40M.

Long-serving playmaker David Silva left after a decade at the club, to join Real Sociedad, while goalkeeper Claudio Bravo also moved to La Liga, signing for Real Betis.

Since joining the club in 2011, Argentine striker Sergio Agüero has scored a staggering 257 goals in 384 appearances in all competitions, 181 of which have come in the Premier League.

City's wealth of attacking options also includes Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden. İlkay Gündoğan, meanwhile, leads the scoring charts for the Etihad Stadium side, netting 16 goals in 34 matches this term.

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

The manager

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Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola

Former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola has achieved incredible success 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 three times, including last season's 2-1 triumph over Aston Villa.

Form guide

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Phil Foden
Phil Foden

The Citizens' latest success saw them emerge as 2-0 victors at Everton in the Emirates FA Cup.

Since suffering a 5-2 defeat by Leicester City at Etihad Stadium in September, Pep Guardiola's men have been in exceptional form on all fronts, winning a staggering 35 games, drawing six and losing just twice in that period of time across campaigns in the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, Carabao Cup and Emirates FA Cup.

A 2-0 loss to city rivals United, meanwhile, ended a sequence of 21 consecutive wins for the Citizens, a run which has enabled the North West outfit to open up a 14-point lead over the Red Devils at the Premier League summit. Third-placed Leicester, meanwhile, trail Man City by 15 points.

That 21-game winning run went as follows: Southampton, Arsenal, Newcastle United, Chelsea, Manchester United, Birmingham City, Brighton & Hove Albion, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, Cheltenham Town, West Bromwich Albion, Sheffield United, Burnley, Liverpool, Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, Arsenal, Borussia Mönchengladbach, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Previous encounters

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Youri Tielemans
Youri Tielemans

Youri Tielemans wrapped up the scoring in a magnificent victory for Leicester at Etihad Stadium.

Back in September, a Jamie Vardy hat-trick, plus goals from James Maddison and Youri Tielemans, secured a breathtaking 5-2 victory for the Foxes over Manchester City at Etihad Stadium.

Beforehand, meanwhile, Man City had triumphed in the previous three league meetings between the two sides, including a narrow 1-0 victory at King Power Stadium last season, thanks to Gabriel Jesus' late strike.

The Foxes last won this fixture at home on Boxing Day in 2018, again on Filbert Way, thanks to a 2-1 scoreline with goals from Marc Albrighton and Ricardo Pereira. Leicester also defeated Sunday's opponents in back-to-back league games back in 2016, winning 3-1 at Etihad Stadium on their way to the Premier League title, before a 4-2 home victory during the following campaign.

In total, the Foxes have won 31 of the 121 competitive fixtures between the two sides, with Man City triumphing on 61 occasions and 29 draws also being played out since the first meeting in 1895.

Trophy cabinet

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Manchester City
Manchester City

The Citizens won last season's Carabao Cup, beating Aston Villa in the final at Wembley.

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 seven times in total. In 2018/19, 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

The Manchester-based club played at Maine Road before moving to Etihad Stadium.

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.

Upcoming fixtures

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Aymeric Laporte
Aymeric Laporte

Man City's next Premier League outing sees them welcome Leeds United to Etihad Stadium.

Following Saturday's clash with Leicester, Man City welcome Borussia Dortmund to Etihad Stadium in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final tie with the German outfit on Tuesday (8pm kick-off).

Pep Guardiola's men then host Leeds United in the Premier League on 10 April (12:30pm kick-off) before heading to Westfalenstadion on 14 April (8pm kick-off).

All times BST.

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