Gabriel Jesus

The Lowdown: Pep Guardiola's Formidable Citizens

Leicester City's next Premier League test is a trip to face Manchester City at Etihad Stadium on Sunday (4:30pm kick-off).
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Ahead of the Premier League fixture, analyses the threats that the Citizens will pose for Leicester, as well as looking at their form and upcoming fixtures.

The squad

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Ferran Torres
Ferran Torres

New signing Ferran Torres made his City debut in their win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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 has been added to over the 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 254 goals in 370 games in all competitions, 180 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, İlkay Gündoğan and Phil Foden.

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

The Spaniard has won six major domestic honours during his tenure at Manchester City, including two Premier League titles.

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

Young English talent Phil Foden netted City's second goal in their victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Pep Guardiola's side have played just once so far during 2020/21, beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1 at Molineux on Monday night in their opening Premier League fixture of the season.

Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden gave City a half-time lead, but Raul Jimenez pulled a goal back, before Gabriel Jesus wrapped up the scoring in stoppage time.

After being given an extra week off following their involvement in the latter stages of the 2019/20 Champions League, Pep Guardiola's side host AFC Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup third round on Thursday evening.

Previous encounters

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Ricardo Pereira
Ricardo Pereira

Ricardo Pereira was on the scoresheet the last time Leicester defeated Manchester City in a league fixture.

Manchester City have triumphed in the last 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 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 30 of the 120 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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Raheem Sterling & Phil Foden
Raheem Sterling & Phil Foden

Manchester City travel to face newly promoted Leeds United after taking on the Foxes.

Following Sunday's clash, the Citizens travel to Elland Road to face newly-promoted Leeds United on Saturday 3 October, (5:30 kick-off).

Then it's Arsenal (H) and West Ham United (A), before meeting Sheffield United away, ahead of tackling Premier League champions Liverpool at Etihad Stadium in early November.  

All times BST.

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