Leicester City will be aiming to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they take on Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium this weekend.
Matchweek 27 of the 2020/21 Premier League kicks off this weekend and top-four hopefuls Leicester City will be in action on Saturday night when they lock horns with Graham Potter’s Brighton & Hove Albion away from home.
Leicester City, having enjoyed a solid first half of the campaign, are showing signs of going down the same path as they did towards the end of the last season, which saw them miss out on Champions League football. Brendan Rodgers’ men remain third in the league table but have failed to win their last two league outings, drawing 1-1 with Burnley most recently.
As a result, the Foxes are just four points clear of Everton in fourth while the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea are also making ground. So, it becomes imperative that they turn things around on their visit to the Amex Stadium, where a Brighton side eager to overturn their own fortunes awaits.
Following their upset win over Liverpool at Anfield, Graham Potter’s side has failed to taste victory in a single game in all competitions (D2 L3), most recently succumbing to a 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion in a controversial encounter. The Seagulls are precariously placed in the 16th spot, just three clear of Fulham and need a win to pull away from the drop zone.
The reverse fixture played last December saw Leicester beat Brighton 3-0 courtesy of a James Maddison brace and a Jamie Vardy goal. The two teams met again last month, in the FA Cup, with the Foxes triumphing 1-0 thanks to an injury-time winner from Kelechi Iheanacho. Ahead of their latest meeting, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.
Team News & Tactics
Brighton & Hove Albion
💬 Thoughts from the skipper…
"We've got to keep moving because it doesn't help to dwell on the past – we look ahead to next Saturday against Leicester City now."#BHAFC 🔵⚪️
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) February 28, 2021
Graham Potter has confirmed that Tariq Lamptey has suffered a minor setback in his recovery and will miss Leicester’s visit this weekend. In addition, Florin Andone, Adam Webster and Solly March remain unavailable for selection while Aaron Connolly is also a doubt due to a back issue.
Robert Sanchez will be the last line of defence for the Seagulls with him being protected by the four-man backline of Joel Veltman, Ben White, Lewis Dunk and Dan Burn. Lamptey’s presence will be missed severely given the attacking impetus he provides from the right-back slot, something that Veltman isn’t always able to do.
Yves Bissouma will be in charge of breaking up play and recycling possession in the centre of the park while Pascal Gross will take over the creative mantle for the home team. Steven Alzate should come into the side, to try and offer the forward thrust from midfield with his dribbling capabilities.
Alex Mac Allister and Leandro Trossard should take up the attacking midfield slots. Even though they will be playing off of the main striker, who is likely to be Danny Welbeck, the duo must look to exploit the high positions taken up by the Leicester wing-backs by drifting out wide regularly.
Probable Lineup (4-3-2-1): Sanchez; Veltman, White, Dunk, Burn; Gross, Bissouma, Alzate; Trossard, Mac Allister; Welbeck
Brendan Rodgers has a host of injury issues to contend with as the Foxes’ chief creative outlets, Harvey Barnes and James Maddison are both sidelined while defensive mainstays James Justin and Jonny Evans also miss out. In addition, Wes Morgan, Dennis Praet and Ayoze Perez are all ruled out as well.
Brendan Rodgers gave an update on Leicester's injuries ahead of #BhaLei…
— Leicester City (@LCFC) March 4, 2021
Having switched to a three-man defensive setup in the game against Burnley owing to the roster issues, Rodgers is likely to stick with a similar formation on Saturday night. Kasper Schmeichel is the undisputed starter in goal where he will be shielded by Wesley Fofana, Daniel Amartey and Caglar Soyuncu.
There is no looking past the dynamic duo of Timothy Castagne and Ricardo Pereira for the two wing-back slots, with the duo tasked with being the primary source of width during the attacking phases for the Foxes. Wilfred Ndidi should return to his preferred defensive midfield role after having played as a centre-back last time out.
Youri Tielemans and Hamza Choudhury are likely to be the two other central midfielders, although they are likely to take up advanced positions and look to feed and support the strike-partnership of Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho, who was on target against Burnley.
Probable Lineup (3-1-4-2): Schmeichel; Amartey, Fofana, Soyuncu; Ndidi; Pereira, Tielemans, Choudhury, Castagne; Iheanacho, Vardy
- Leicester City are undefeated in their last 9 away matches in the Premier League.
- Brighton & Hove Albion are winless in all seven of their Premier League meetings with Leicester City (D2 L5), failing to score in five of those games.
- Leicester City have already beaten Brighton on two occasions this season. The last time they won three games in a single campaign against a top-flight opponent was in 1962/63, doing so against Liverpool, Ipswich Town and Leyton Orient.
- Brighton have been awarded eight penalties in the 2020/21 Premier League season – more than in any of their last three campaigns. However, they have failed to convert three of those spot-kicks, including two in the last game against West Brom.
- Leicester striker Kelechi Iheanacho has scored three goals in his last six appearances in all competitions, as many as in his previous 23 games, including the late FA Cup fifth-round winner against Brighton.
Player to Watch
With the likes of Harvey Barnes and James Maddison, Leicester City’s ace goalscorer will have to shoulder extra responsibility and rise to the occasion if his side is to return to winning ways. Since returning from an injury last month, Vardy has scored just one goal in his last five league games, firing blanks in each of the previous three.
Against Brighton, however, the veteran striker enjoys a healthy recent record, having been involved in eight goals in his last six PL appearances versus the Seagulls (G5 3A). In fact, he had a hand in each of Leicester’s three goals in the reverse fixture, scoring one and setting up two more. Brendan Rodgers will be hoping for the same from the 34-year-old on Saturday.
Brighton & Hove Albion 0-2 Leicester City
Brighton & Hove Albion have been playing some good football but the results haven’t been going their way, largely due to the lack of a clinical edge in front of goal. Indeed, they have scored just once in their last four matches in all competitions and the goal-shy nature could become a problem again this weekend.
Leicester City, meanwhile, are going through problems of their own in attack given the absence of James Maddison and Harvey Barnes. But Jamie Vardy is due a big performance and his recent record against Brighton speaks for itself while Kelechi Iheanacho has also shown plenty of promise of late as well.
Throw into the mix the Foxes’ imperious form away from home in the Premier League this term, The Hard Tackle is predicting a win for Brendan Rodgers & co. on Saturday night at the Amex.