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Manchester City

Guardiola impressed by Rodgers' rampant Leicester ahead of Etihad meeting

15:53 BST 03/05/2019
Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2018-19
The champions face the Foxes at the Etihad on Monday knowing that a win will take them to within three points of retaining their title

Pep Guardiola has been hugely impressed with Leicester City under Brendan Rodgers as the Foxes prepare to visit the defending Premier League champions on Monday.

Should second-placed Liverpool lose at Rafael Benitez's Newcastle United on Saturday, victory for City at the Etihad Stadium will see them achieve what no team has managed since 2008-09 and successfully retain the title.

Since Rodgers was appointed in late February, Leicester have won six of their nine outings, while Jamie Vardy has rattled in 10 goals during that period to propel the side firmly into contention for a seventh-place finish and Europa League qualification.

And Guardiola paid tribute to both Vardy and Rodgers in Friday's pre-match news conference.

"His [Vardy's] career speaks for itself, not just the last games, he's done incredible in this league. An incredible striker, his movement, finishing, fighting," Guardiola said.

"Before Leicester were a counter-attacking team, now with Brendan Rodgers they have another way to play, they can control all parts of the game so I think Brendan has showed his incredible quality as a manager.

"In two months, his team is already playing the way he wants to play. Of course with incredible quality, with so fast players, honestly I've been really impressed.

"The players know it's an incredible task for us, it's already a final for us, hopefully on Monday the people can help us and we can do what we have to do and win the game."

Guardiola scoffed at suggestions that Leicester would arrive at the Etihad with anything short of 100 per cent focus, while he expects former Liverpool bosses Rodgers and Benitez to treat their fixtures with the utmost professional pride.

"That [switching off] is not going to happen," he said. "They want to make a good performance, the question makes no sense, sorry. Forget about it.

"I can't imagine Leicester players come here for holidays, they maybe have a chance to finish seventh, they'll make a good game.

"Brendan and Rafa were in Liverpool, but they want to win. I cannot imagine being at former clubs and not wanting to win. They want to win so I don't have doubts about that, it makes no sense this kind of questions, all players and managers when they are there want to do a good performance."