Riyad Mahrez returns to Premier League action to face former team Leicester City after recovering from the coronavirus … and the Algerian is aiming for another title as he prepares for his 200th top match.
- Riyad Mahrez of Man City faces the former club Leicester City on Sunday
- The Algerian would make his 200th Premier League appearance if he plays
- Mahrez won the competition with Leicester in 2016 and is aiming for more titles with City
- The winger admits that he looks back on his time with the Foxes with fondness
Riyad Mahrez is aiming for more titles as he hits a remarkable career milestone against the side with whom he won his first Premier League crown this weekend.
The Manchester City winger is on the cusp of making his 200th Premier League appearance when former club Leicester visits the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
The Algerian international was named Player of the Year for his starring role in the Foxes’ memorable 2016 title victory. Three years later he took a second medal with City.
Riyad Mahrez could play his 200th Premier League game against Leicester City on Sunday
The Algerian winger (above) won the league in 2016 with the Foxes under Claudio Ranieri
Liverpool relieved City of their title last season and Mahrez is determined to regain that title.
“I think the Premier League is the best league in the world for me,” said the 29-year-old, who had to postpone his return to training this season after testing positive for Covid-19.
‘Of course I haven’t played in all competitions, but I think it’s great. Two hundred games is a great achievement. Of course I want to play 200 or 300 more.
‘My time in the Premier League has been very good. I won trophies, I scored a number of goals, I loved playing in the Premier League, I enjoyed the atmosphere of home and away games and I hope to keep going until I retire.
Mahrez won the competition for the second time with Manchester City from Pep Guardiola in 2019
‘We weren’t good enough to win it last season, and now we know what we can improve on to try and be there at the end of the year.
‘I think we have a very good team and a very good team. I think it’s all about consistency and focus, and we’ll be there at the end. ‘
City, which began their campaign on Monday with a 3-1 win at Wolves, will face a Leicester side that has won their first two games.
Mahrez, who left King Power Stadium for City in 2018 on a £ 60 million deal, still has a strong fondness for his old club.
Manchester City’s Mahrez (right) looks back on his time at Leicester City with fond memories
He said, ‘I look back at an incredible moment. Everything we have achieved as a group of players and as a club has been great. I spent so many good moments there.
‘I think it will be a tough match. Both teams were good last season and have good players. I don’t know how they are going to play, but it’s going to be a tough game. ‘
The city has a large number of absentees. Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Joao Cancelo are all injured, while Ilkay Gundogan isolates herself from the coronavirus. Nicolas Otamendi is also questionable and Aymeric Laporte is not quite fit after his positive Covid-19 test.
Pep Guardiola (left) has suffered several injuries in the run-up to Leicester’s game on Sunday
Manager Pep Guardiola is likely to include a number of youth players in his matchday squad for a match made particularly challenging by the strength of the opposition.
Guardiola said, “Leicester has been there for four or five, six years.
‘It will be incredibly tough, we know that. It has always been difficult and this will be no exception.
‘But we play at home and, even though we only have 13 players for the first team, I see the team very well in terms of luck and relationships.
‘The young players help us a lot. We have an exceptional group for Sunday. ‘