Manchester City v Swansea City ǀ 13:30 ǀ Etihad Stadium (Sky Sports)
Swansea City are clearly under the underdogs here as they face Pep Guardiola’s strong Manchester City side, currently lying in 5th place.
Unfortunately for Guardiola, he is playing the day after three of his most serious competitors take to the pitch, meaning he does not know how many points he will need. After easily dismantling West Ham and the Olympic Stadium on Wednesday night, Gabriel Jesus became the first player in Manchester City history to ever score and assist of their full debut. The Brazilian starlet joined The Citizens from Palmeiras earlier in January, after agreeing a fee of around £27m. Jesus has also scored 4 goals in 6 full national team appearances for Brazil; at this form he is as good as compatriot Neymar.
Swansea city have fared a brilliant fate in the Premier League since Paul Clement has been appointed manager. Ancelotti’s right hand man, Clement has witnessed the Swans take 9 points from a possible 12, not only lifting the Welsh club away from the bottom of the table, but also out of the relegation zone. Their form under Clement is only bettered than Everton and it is due to an element that was crucial Leicester City’s title-winning campaign last season; winning games by 1 goals. Swansea beat Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Southampton by 1 goal, with 2 goals coming from each Fernando Llorente, Gylfi Sigurðsson and Alfie Mawson.
Manchester City have won all but one of their last 6 games against Swansea, with Swansea having lost every game against City at the Etihad Stadium ever, and only scoring 2 goals in the process. Swansea also need to be careful of their back line – as they have conceded 4 goals since Clement took over: albeit that is much better than previously in the season, it is still a defensive record to be worried about.
PREDICTION: Manchester City 3 – 0 Swansea City
Leicester City v Manchester United ǀ 16:00 ǀ King Power Stadium (Sky Sports)
Premier League champions Leicester City host Premier League veteran’s Manchester United – who have suffered an embarrassing fall from grace in the league since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
Leicester City’s bubble has been well and truly popped. This time last season they were sitting pretty at the top of the table and were cult heroes amongst every English football fan. This season, with expectation amongst fans to recreate what happened last year, the sale of N’Golo Kanté and the inclusion of tiring Champions League football has meant that Leicester are now languishing near the relegation zone. Three losses in a row, Leicester are looking a shadow of what they formerly were and star-men Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have not delivered this season. Bleak times lie ahead for The Foxes.
Manchester United are on spectacular form, not losing a game in 14 Premier League games. Following this form, they have failed to rise above sixth since the start of the season, despite going on arguably a more impressive run of 6 games won and only 3 goals conceded. José Mourinho’s men, in this run of form, could contest for a Europe League spot, and if teams from 2nd – 5th (1 point separates them at this point) slip up, then Manchester United could very well launch a bid for the Champions League.
In the head-to-head aspect of this fixture, United won the reverse fixture 4-1 at Old Trafford in September and have not lost in their last 5 meetings. Their form recently considered, only 4 Leicester players are in the top 20 players shown by statistics – and none of these are Mahrez or Vardy. With Zlatan Ibrahimović scoring more goals than Islam Slimani, Vardy and Mahrez combined, Leicester City’s counter-attacks will have to be lethal.
PREDICTION: Leicester City 1 – 2 Manchester United
PREDICTION BETVICTOR BETTING ODDS (RESULTS) – 1.08/1 (£1 gets you £2.08)
PREDICTION BETVICTOR BETTING ODDS (SCORES) – 80/1 (£1 gets you £81)