Guardiola on Ferran Torres’ Manchester City future
Barcelona have agreed to sign Ferran Torres from Manchester City. Check out what Pep Guardiola had to say about his player leaving the club in his press conference ahead of the game against Leicester.
Manchester City vs Leicester City: Line-ups
Hard to Stop Hot-Firing Cityzens
Seeking an eighth Premier League win in a row, leaders Manchester City look to extend their golden spell further as they meet Leicester City on Boxing Day. While the champions are now favourites to defend their crown after a scintillating streak since early November, their inconsistent visitors arrive at the Etihad Stadium having dramatically lost out in the EFL Cup quarter-finals.
Amid an incredible run which shows no sign of ending, Manchester City have not only established a three-point Premier League lead, but also registered 11 goals without reply in their two most recent outings. After surviving a dubious penalty call to go on and record a 4-0 win over lowly Newcastle United, they posted their third successive clean sheet last weekend, maintaining the best defensive record in the division, having conceded just nine goals.
City have scored 24 times since they last failed to win in the league, back in late October, and sit top of the Premier League at Christmas for only the third time – on both previous occasions they went on to be champions. Guardiola’s men also secured their 34th league victory of 2021 by beating Newcastle, setting a new record for the most top-flight wins by any team in a calendar year, so are well placed to tackle a side recovering from cup heartbreak for the second time in a month.
Currently ninth in the Premier League table, the season as a whole has not been going to plan for the East Midlands side, who had won just one of their previous six games before beating Newcastle last time out in the top flight. Perhaps hoping that a 4-0 win over the Magpies would kickstart an underwhelming campaign, Brendan Rodgers was then hit by the postponement of games against Tottenham and Everton, due to the impact of COVID-19.
Not only must they now get themselves up off the canvas in short order before facing the irrepressible champions, but Leicester will travel to the North-West knowing that away from home this season their only league wins have come against newly-promoted clubs. They have also lost eight of their last 10 meetings with Manchester City – including a 1-0 defeat earlier this term.
After putting seven past Leeds and netting four versus Newcastle, there is no reason to expect City to slow down heading into 2022, and the home side can pick up three points against hit-and-miss opponents even if they are not at their free-flowing best. Leicester’s troubles will go on, as even a vast improvement in James Maddison’s performances of late cannot help them match a multi-talented side on top form – particularly given their defensive difficulties.