Kevin De Bruyne

'De Bruyne The Driving Force For Man City'

Manchester City will look to mercurial midfielder Kevin De Bruyne to provide the magic touch against Leicester City, according to ESPN's Senior Writer, Mark Ogden.
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- Manchester City host Leicester City in the Premier League on Sunday (4:30pm kick-off)
- The behind-closed-doors encounter at Etihad Stadium will be the home side's second league fixture of 2020/21
- The Citizens started off the campaign with a 3-1 away win at Wolves
- ESPN's senior writer Mark Ogden believes Kevin De Bruyne holds the key for Man City, who'll be without Sergio Agüero

With both sides yet to drop points in the Premier League this season, Sunday's clash at Etihad Stadium promises to be an intriguing encounter.

Ogden believes Pep Guardiola's side will approach the game in their usual, confident manner, but warns of defensive frailties that are yet to be rectified.

"I think they'll be confident, they're a team that doesn't lack confidence, certainly in the Premier League," Odgen told LCFC TV. "But they have got issues they still need to address at the back.

"They still haven't replaced Vincent Kompany, but Nathan Aké gives them a new option. I think if they can keep people like Aymeric Laporte fit, they'll be fine and confident.

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Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin De Bruyne

The Belgian midfielder opened his account for the season at Molineux, via the penalty spot.

"Last season, they struggled when Laporte was injured, but if he's fit then I think City will be confident in most games."

Belgian playmaker De Bruyne, who netted from the penalty spot in the win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, could hold the key for Man City, who'll be without their injured talisman Sergio Agüero.

Ogden said: "Agüero is a massive loss for City whenever he doesn't play because he's the guy that scores the goals and they are never quite the same when he's not there.

"Gabriel Jesus was brought in three or four years ago as the long-term replacement, but I don't think he is. He's a decent second to third striker, but he's certainly not in Agüero's class.

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Gabriel Jesus
Gabriel Jesus

Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus is expected to lead the line again in the absence of Sergio Agüero.

"They do miss Agüero but they've got De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez and Ferran Torres, the new winger they've brought in.

"So they're not short of goal threats and I don't think Agüero will be missed like he would be at other clubs.

"De Bruyne is 29 now, so he's in the peak of his career. He's probably the best player in the Premier League on his day, he's the complete midfielder.

"He's had a couple of injury problems over the last couple of years, so if he stays fit for City this season then he's a driving force behind their title bid."

Ogden believes the Foxes' perfect start to the league campaign will also give them belief going into Sunday's game, following wins over West Bromwich Albion and then Burnley.

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Goals: West Bromwich Albion 0 Leicester City 3

All the goals from the Foxes' opening day win over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League.

"Leicester have made a great start to the new season, so confidence is high and they certainly bounced back from the way last season finished with them just missing out on the Champions League.

"I think Leicester will go there with confidence that they can get a result.

"Obviously with no fans inside the stadium, I do think it has an impact, I do think it favours the home team because there are no outside influences that can affect it.

"I think Man City are favourites, but Leicester, because of the form they are in, they will go there believing they can win.

"If they can win this game at the weekend, or even get a draw, it shows that they're over the bump of last season and they can challenge for the top four or top six."

Leicester's No.9, Jamie Vardy, is seen as the main threat to Man City's backline, according to Ogden. 

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Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy

City's number nine scored twice in the Foxes' opening day victory at West Brom.

He added: "Jamie Vardy still has that pace to beat any defender despite being in his mid-30s, I think that will cause concern for City.

"If Leicester can play the game the way they know they can do, hit City on the counter attack, Vardy has got a great finishing record.

"He's not someone who is going to be phased one-on-one with the goalkeeper so he's a real constant threat, he's a big threat for City and his goal record backs that up.

"He was the Premier League's Golden Boot winner last season and you'd back him again to be close this time, so it's like when Agüero plays for City, you fancy City. When Vardy plays for Leicester, they've always got a chance."

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