Manchester City-Leicester City Preview
Pep Guardiola has claimed Manchester City may not be able to afford a replacement for Sergio Aguero, despite links to Erling Haaland, Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe.
City confirmed on Monday their all-time leading goalscorer will bring down the curtain on a trophy-laden decade-long spell at the Etihad Stadium when his contract expires in June.
The Premier League leaders have been tipped to spend big on a new striker at the end of the season, but Guardiola insists the club are in no position to complete such a signing due to the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
"With these prices we are not going to buy any striker. It is impossible, we cannot afford it," Guardiola said ahead of Saturday's visit to third-place Leicester City. "All clubs struggle financially, we are not an exception. We have Gabriel (Jesus), Ferran (Torres), young academy players, false nines. I don't know what will happen. Today there is more of a big chance we won't sign a new striker for next season.
"I want to be clear: Maybe we'll find a new player to replace Sergio," Guardiola continued. "In terms of numbers he might be replaced, but in terms of what he means to the club it is impossible."
Aguero's City debut came against Brendan Rodgers' Swansea City in 2011 – the striker scoring twice to mark his Premier League bow in style.
"He's been a brilliant role model for any foreign player coming into the league and any up and coming young British player, to see someone come in, devote their life to the profession," said Leicester boss Rodgers. "His first game, against my Swansea team, he scored one in the box and one from about 25 yards which was an incredible goal, and he's continued to do that over the last decade. An outstanding player."
Leicester City – Kelechi Iheanacho
Iheanacho, named the Premier League Player of the Month for March, has scored five goals in his last three top-flight games, netting his first ever hat-trick in the competition against Sheffield United last time out. With six league goals this term, this is the Nigerian's best goalscoring season in the Premier League since his maiden campaign with Man City in 2015-16 (eight).
Manchester City – Riyad Mahrez
Ex-Leicester star Mahrez has been involved in 11 goals in his last 13 Premier League starts (eight goals, three assists). The Algerian has also been involved in four goals in his last three league appearances against former side (two goals, two assists).
• Leicester are looking to complete their first league double over City since the 1986-87 season, following their 5-2 win at the Etihad earlier this season. They would be just the fourth team to do the league double over a side managed by Guardiola.
• City have won their last 14 away games in all competitions, extending the all-time record among teams in England's top four tiers. The Citizens have also kept more clean sheets (27) and conceded fewer goals (26) in all competitions among all teams in Europe's top five leagues.
• Leicester are looking to win three consecutive Premier League games for the fourth time this season, and first since January. However, the Foxes have lost 13 of their last 15 Premier League meetings against the league leaders (D2) since winning 1-0 at Manchester United in January 1998.
• City have conceded just eight away goals in the Premier League this season, with Tottenham in November the only side to score more than once at home to the Citizens this term (2-0). Guardiola's team have won each of their last eight away league games by an aggregate score of 22-3.
• Jamie Vardy has scored eight goals in nine Premier League games against Guardiola's City, twice as many top-flight goals as any other player has netted against sides managed by the Spaniard. Two of Vardy's three Premier League hat-tricks have come against Guardiola's City, in December 2016 and in the reverse fixture at the Etihad this season.
Updated April 2, 2021