Manchester City will look to build on their Boxing Day win over Sunderland when they travel to Leicester City on Tuesday.
Second-placed Leicester are three points ahead of City in fourth, with the Blues struggling to hit their best form consistently in recent weeks.
They returned to something close to their best against Sunderland, showcasing their inventiveness and quick passing, which the visitors couldn't handle.
But City haven’t won for five games away from home in the Premier League, and if they fail to beat the Foxes, it will be their worst away run since April 2011.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini thinks Leicester deserve to be where they are and should be considered title challengers.
“Leicester are top of the table because they deserve to be,” he said. “They have have very important players in a very good moment with high performance.
“They beat Chelsea and drew against 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 failed to score for the first time this season when they lost 1-0 to Liverpool on Boxing Day.
Claudio Ranieri’s side have surprised everyone this season, and in Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy, they have two of the best players in the division on form.
Date: Tuesday, December 29
Kick-off: 7:45 p.m. GMT/2:45 p.m. ET
TV/Radio Listings: BT Sport 1 (UK) & NBCSN, SiriusXM FC, NBC Sports Live Extra (US)
Live Stream: BT Sport Live Streaming (UK) & NBC Sports Live Extra (US)
Form Guide (last five games)
Liverpool 1-0 Leicester City
Everton 2-3 Leicester City
Leicester City 2-1 Chelsea
Swansea 0-3 Leicester City
Leicester City 1-1 Manchester United
Manchester City 4-1 Sunderland
Arsenal 2-1 City
Manchester City 2-1 Swansea
Manchester City 4-2 Borussia Monchengladbach (Champions League)
Stoke City 2-0 Manchester City
Leicester will be without Jeffrey Schlupp, who has a hamstring injury, and Danny Drinkwater missed the defeat to Liverpool but could return.
Leicester City (from): Schmeichel, Schwarzer, Benalouane, De Laet, Fuchs, Huth, Morgan, Simpson, Wasilewski, Albrighton, Drinkwater, Dyer, Inler, Kante, King, Mahrez, Kramaric, Okazaki, Ulloa, Vardy.
Predicted XI (4-4-2): Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs; Mahrez, Inler, Kante, Albrighton; Okazaki, Vardy.
City are without Vincent Kompany whose comeback from a calf injury lasted nine minutes as a substitute against Sunderland before a recurrence of the same problem. Samir Nasri, Pablo Zabaleta and Fernando are all out.
Manchester City (from): Caballero, Hart, Wright, Clichy, Demichelis, Kolarov, Mangala, Otamendi, Sagna, De Bruyne, Delph, Fernandinho, Navas, Roberts, Silva, Toure, Zuculini, Aguero, Bony, Iheanacho, Sterling.
Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Hart; Sagna, Otamendi, Mangala, Clichy; Fernandinho, Toure; De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling; Aguero.
Players To Watch
Leicester City: Riyad Mahrez
Has there been a better player in the league this season? Riyad Mahrez has scored 13 goals and assisted a further seven.
Technically, Mahrez is superb—a player with quick feet, a wonderful touch and a creative streak that make him a fascinating watch.
His positivity is infectious. When he picks up the ball, he wants to make things happen, usually by dropping a shoulder and ghosting past a defender.
He's a joy to observe.
Manchester City: Kevin De Bruyne
City's £55 million signing, Kevin De Bruyne, has scored 10 and assisted 10 in 23 competitive matches since his arrival in the summer. His impact has been exceptional, and the 24-year-old is getting better as he settles into life in the Premier league.
His passing is perhaps his most potent weapon, with his ability to deliver an accurate cross not far behind. He sees the game vividly and is one of the most unselfish players around.
Against Sunderland, he scored one and assisted two—one from a pin-point cross, the other from a beautiful free-kick.
He's a star already.
Key Battle: Eliaquim Mangala vs. Jamie Vardy
Fifteen-goal striker Vardy leads the way in the Premier League scoring charts, but it isn't just his potency in front of goal that has impressed this season.
His movement, enthusiasm and willingness to make runs have all marked him out as one of the most difficult forwards in the division to contain. Very few have managed to keep him quiet.
City's 24-year-old French centre-back, Eliaquim Mangala, has had a torrid time over recent weeks. He is struggling without the leadership qualities of Kompany, with his erratic positioning and lack of concentration now a serious concern.
Vardy is, on paper, exactly the kind of striker who will give Mangala problems.
Odds (via Odds Shark)
Leicester City: 137/50
Manchester City: 10/11
Rob Pollard is Bleacher Report's lead Manchester City correspondent and will be following the club from a Manchester base throughout the 2015/16 season. All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow him on Twitter @RobPollard_.