Prediction: Leicester City vs Manchester City

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Verdict: Both teams to score and Manchester City to win

Best Odds: 15/8

Bookmaker: Bet365

Manchester City are aiming to win their third EFL Cup in five seasons and visit Leicester City on Tuesday for a place in the semi-finals. Still unbeaten domestically this season, Pep Guardiola’s side moved 14 points clear of their Manchester neighbours last weekend and face a Leicester side still reeling from a shocking 3-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace.

Leicester City

Although the Foxes’ may have suffered a shocking 3-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon, new boss Claude Puel has made a very positive impression since taking charge of the 2015 champions. Prior to Saturday, Leicester had won their last four in the Premier League, but surprisingly, Roy Hodgson’s side recorded an impressive victory at the King Power to continue their pursuit up the table. Ahead of a showdown with Manchester United next weekend, Puel will know that a spot in the semi-finals of the EFL Cup is within touching distance, a tournament he lead Southampton to the final in last year. Sat eighth in the table and having scored in five of their last six appearances, the Foxes’ will be confident about asking City some questions.

Leicester will feel that they can challenge for a top-six position in the Premier League this season, but with Man City expected to ring the changes for Tuesday’s match, the Foxes should not pass up the chance to have a real go. They will also be boosted by the form of forward Islam Slimani in this years tournament, with four goals already, the Algerian international is currently the top scorer.

Team News

After their shock defeat against Palace at the weekend, Claude Puel is expected to make a number of changes to his side. Wilfred Ndidi is unavailable for selection due to suspension, while Matty James (ankle) and defender Robert Huth (knee) will both miss out. With four goals this year, Islam Slimani is the tournaments top scorer and is expected to be recalled to the Foxes XI.

Manchester City

On the weekend, Pepe Guardiola’s Manchester City side once again made a statement for why the should be considered the greatest Premier League side in History. Saturday’s 4-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League moved them onto 52 points, and they have an 11-point lead over second-placed Manchester United entering the festive break. Sixteen wins and one draw from 17 Premier League matches this season is a staggering run of form, while Man City also breezed through their Champions League group to book their spot in the knockout round of the competition.

Guardiola’s second team did lose 2-1 away to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League earlier this month, they have also been just shy of their tantalizing best in this years EFL trophy. The Sky Blues narrowly beat West Brom before needing penalties to overcome Championship side Wolves. The League Cup is a competition that Man City have won on four occasions – the last of which came in 2016. It is not a trophy that Guardiola would have identified at the start of the season, but City’s spanish boss will feel that a potential domestic clean sweep is on the cards.

Man City have not lost a domestic match since the semi-finals of last season’s FA Cup. They were terrific against Tottenham on Saturday, and have been near-perfect on their travels in all competitions this season.

Team News

It appears that the City boss will continue to rotate his squad in this years’ domestic tournaments. City Captain Vincent Kompany is a doubt again with a muscle problem and midfielder David Silva could be absent following the birth of his child.

Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and midfielder Yaya Toure could come into the team. Summer signing Bernardo Silva is also expected to be recalled to Guardiola’s XI after playing in each of the previous appearances in the cup. Defenders Benjamin Mendy and John Stones are still recovering from injuries.

Key Factors to Consider

  • This will be the fourth meeting between these sides in the League Cup, with Manchester City winning each of the previous three to date.
  • Despite attempting 44 shots across their two League Cup games this season, Manchester City have scored just two goals. Leicester have scored nine times from their 42 shots across their three games.
  • Leicester’s Islam Slimani is the joint-highest goalscorer in this season’s EFL Cup (four goals).
  • Aguero has scored just four goals in his 12 previous League Cup appearances – his worst strike-rate in any competitive competition with Manchester City.
  • The Foxes have not eliminated two Premier League teams in the same League Cup campaign since 1999-00.

Conclusion

Although the Foxes’ may have struggled at the weekend, Claude Puel’s side have been impressive in the cup this year and will be looking to carry on their good form. Algerian forward Islam Slimani is the EFL’s top scorer so far and should cause City’s second string some questions. Despite Puel’s side expected to put up a firm test, Manchester City will enter the contest as firm favorites. Finding the back of the net in each of their last 12 appearances in all competitions, City have been ruthless infront of goal this year. Still unbeaten domestically this year, City will be confident about extending that run. Backing both teams to score and Man City to secure their spot in the quarter-finals seems like a logical bet here.

Verdict: Both teams to score and Manchester City to win

Best Odds: 15/8

Bookmaker: Bet365

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