London (AFP) – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes Leicester will pose a formidable challenge to his Premier League leaders despite a slump in form.
Following two successive fifth-placed finishes, FA Cup-holders Leicester have won just six of their last 16 matches in English football’s top flight.
Reigning champions City, meanwhile have won their last eight league games to go three points clear at the top of the table heading into Sunday’s match at home to Leicester.
Nevertheless, Guardiola, whose side won 1-0 away to the Foxes in September, said: “Leicester remain Leicester.
“For me, they remain (with a) top-quality manager, absolutely, with exceptional players in all departments.
“But sometimes, in seasons, there are periods of highs and lows. Maybe we are used to seeing Leicester up there all the time.”
Guardiola paid tribute to the set-up of manager Brendan Rodgers by saying: “Hats off to how well this club works in many senses — recruitment of players, adapting and adjusting to many situations — but sometimes there are periods that they are not consistent all the time.
“It happens but from one game to one game, when you see the quality they have, everything can happen.
“I give the same value to them and the same credit because, when you see quality they have, starting from the keeper and finishing with (Jamie) Vardy, they are exceptional.”
Sunday’s fixture will be Leicester’s first league outing since thrashing Newcastle 4-0 on December 12 after fixtures against Tottenham and Everton were postponed due to Covid-19 concerns.
They returned to action in the League Cup in midweek but were beaten on penalties by Liverpool in a quarter-final tie.
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
- Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
- Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Qatar World Cup’s perplexing personal safety concerns
- Nottingham Forest need penalties to reach playoff final
- Liverpool beat Southampton to take title race to final day
- Frankfurt boosted by Lindstrom return for Europa League final
- Manchester United 2022/23 shirts leaked ahead of new season
- Senegal’s president supports Gueye after homophobia accusations
- Roofe gives Rangers cover for Europa League final
- Lucky trousers, big dreams as Glasner leads Frankfurt to Europa League final
- Hamburg relishing play-off bid to return to Bundesliga
- Houghton picked in provisional England squad for women’s Euros