While Pep Guardiola’s side has faded out of the title race over the last month, the Foxes have stepped up in their stead, maintaining an impressive level of consistency to lead the pack of chasers to Liverpool’s top spot.
However, even Leicester didn’t have things all their own way last weekend, as they were held 1-1 at home by lowly Norwich City.
Brendan Rodgers appeared to concede he’d erred with his tactics at the start of the game—promptly withdrawing Kelechi Iheanacho before the interval—but his side relied upon a 38th-minute own goal from Tim Krul to salvage a point.
Against Everton in the Carabao Cup in midweek, they tore into a two-goal lead inside the first half-hour—through James Maddison and Jonny Evans—but ultimately required penalties to advance after Tom Davies and Leighton Baines dragged the hosts back into the tie.
They’ll need to be much more resilient at the back, and more convincing than they were going forward against Norwich, if they’re to take a point away at City.
Since defeat by Manchester United in the derby earlier this month, the reigning champions have responded in style; they’ve won their last matches with a 10-2 aggregate scoreline, and will look to build on last weekend’s demolition of Arsenal when the Foxes come to town.
With Liverpool not in action this weekend, this match represents a valuable opportunity for both sides to heap some (faint) pressure on the leaders. You can watch the match between these two top-four contenders on SS3 from 19:30 CAT.
Also in action this weekend, Chelsea come to the new White Hart Lane in a battle between teacher and student on Sunday.
Jose Mourinho has overseen a significant improvement at Tottenham Hotspur since replacing Mauricio Pochettino, and four wins in their last five have dragged them back into Champions League contention.
Spurs’ improvement has coincided with a significant drop in form from Chelsea—who have lost four of their last five—and Tottenham would climb above their city rivals with victory at home in Sunday’s blockbuster bout which is on SS3 at 18:30 CAT.
The match will, of course, have specific significance for Frank Lampard, who enjoyed great success at Stamford Bridge under Mourinho’s tutelage but is currently struggling to lift his side from a bad run.
Another intriguing match-up in the Premier League this weekend, to kick off the weekend’s action, is Saturday’s early meeting between embattled duo Everton and Arsenal.
Both of these two are expecting new managerial appointments imminently, but with Duncan Ferguson and Freddie Ljungberg having experienced differing fortunes during their interim tenures to date. Saturday’s match has the potential to be a genuine spectacle.
Will either of these two temporary coaches go out with a bang this weekend?
Over in South Africa this weekend, SuperSport are also delighted to present a series of fascinating fixtures.
While the Clever Boys 14 points behind leaders Kaizer Chiefs, they have three games in hand, and can make a lot of ground up on those sides currently ahead of them in the standings.
Wits’ 1-1 draw with Mamelodi Sundowns on Tuesday was an ample demonstration of their quality, although Gavin Hunt is looking to make the most of the January transfer window to bolster his team ahead of the challenges to come.
Defender Ntsikelelo Nyauza is out with a hamstring injury for the Buccaneers, while Vincent Pule is also nursing a fitness complaint as 2019 draws to a close.
To conclude the weekend’s PSL action live on SuperSport, Chiefs face a potentially tricky assignment when they travel away to defeated Telkom Knockout Cup finalists Maritzburg United at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
Coach Ernst Middendorp has lauded his players for their fine run in the league in recent weeks but has also demanded further improvement from his in-form side as they look to maintain—or even extend—their 10-point lead at the top of the table.
Amakhosi are currently on an eight-game winning streak, although the reigning PSL Coach of the Month has urged them to take nothing for granted.
“We have not concentrated on any opponent but on getting better every game,” Middendorp told Chiefs’ official website, “and we have done a good job thus far by continuous self-improvement.
“We will look to continue doing so as we go forward.”
Juve are currently leading the standings after defeating Sampdoria 2-1 away following goals by Paulo Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo on Wednesday, and Inter—who have a game in hand—must win to level both sides on 42 points ahead of Christmas.
While Inter are overwhelming favourites to defeat relegation-threatened Genoa, Antonio Conte must deal with a personnel crisis which has limited his midfield options due to injury and suspension.
Marcelo Brozovic is suspended, Lucien Agoume is raw, and Roberto Gagliardini is only just returning from a foot injury. Stefano Sensi is another who’s a doubt, so too Antonio Candreva, while Alexis Sanchez and Nicolo Barella are also absent.
SuperSport weekend fixtures
Friday 20 December
Bidvest Wits vs Cape Town City SS4 Kickoff 20:00 (CAT)
Saturday 21 December
Everton vs Arsenal SS3 Kickoff at 14:30 (CAT)
Orlando Pirates vs Black Leopards SS4 (SA) & SS12 (ROA) Kickoff 15:30 (CAT)
Mamelodi Sundowns vs Polokwane City SS4 (SA) & SS9 (ROA) Kickoff 18:00 (CAT)
Inter Milan vs Genoa SS9 (SA) & SS8 (ROA) Kickoff at 19:00 (CAT)
Manchester City vs Leicester City SS3 Kickoff at 19:30 (CAT)
Chippa United vs SuperSport United SS4 (SA) & SS9 (ROA) Kickoff 20:15 (CAT)
Sunday 22 December
Maritzburg United vs Kaizer Chiefs SS4 Kickoff 15:30 (CAT)
Watford vs Manchester United SS3 & SS10 (ROA) Kickoff at 16:00 (CAT)
Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea SS3 Kickoff at 18:30 (CAT)
Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao SS7 Kickoff at 22:00 (CAT)