REUTERS – Manchester City are expecting a strong response from shock Premier League leaders Leicester City after the Foxes slipped to only their second league defeat of the season against Liverpool.
Third-placed City travel to Leicester on Tuesday after dispatching second-from-bottom Sunderland 4-1 on Saturday.
Leicester have lost their last three games in all competitions against City, conceding six goals in the process.
“Leicester are top of the table because they deserve to be. They have very important players in a very good moment with high performance,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini told reporters on Monday.
“They beat Chelsea and drew against (Manchester) United — we must consider they will not collapse because they lost.
“We knew it was not easy for them to beat Liverpool away so we were confident that we could reduce the gap at the top if we beat Sunderland.
“Leicester couldn’t win and now we have an important game to finish the first round of fixtures.”
Leicester duo Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have scored 28 of the 37 goals the team have netted in the league this season.
“Both of them are performing very well but I don’t think they can do it if the whole team are not having a good performance,” the former Real Madrid manager said.
“They are important players but we must think about a lot of different things — not just two players.”
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)