Leicester City host a resurgent Brentford side in the Premier League on Sunday, with both clubs looking to sign off for the international break on a positive note.

Leicester City’s inconsistent season took a positive turn in midweek, as the Foxes entered the quarter-finals of the UEFA Conference League. They entered the game with a 2-0 aggregate lead and were made to work hard by Rennes, but moved on to the next round courtesy of Wesley Fofana’s second-half strike.

Brendan Rodgers will switch his attention towards domestic matters, where the Foxes do not have much to play for. Sitting 12th in the Premier League table, all Leicester can aspire for is a finish in the top half of the table. After back-to-back defeats in all competitions, they could take a significant step towards achieving that goal with a good result against Brentford.

Leicester have collected 33 points from their 26 games this season and have many games in hand over the teams around them. Their defeat to Arsenal last Sunday has allowed those around them to move up a bit, although Rodgers will be aiming to win the games in hand and possibly finish in the top half come the end of the season.

Brentford, who come to the King Power on the back of consecutive victories, have an eight-point lead over 18th placed Watford. The gap does not mean they are out of danger, as more defeats could put them back into the danger zone.

Following their win over Aston Villa on 2nd January, Brentford lost 7 of their next 8 Premier League games, placing Frank under immense pressure. However, back-to-back victories over Norwich City and Burnley have helped their cause and they will be hoping the recent trend continues against Leicester.

Team News & Tactics

Leicester City

Rodgers confirmed the availability of Caglar Soyuncu, who missed the midweek game against Rennes with illness. However, Patson Daka, who had a similar issue, may not be available for Sunday’s game.

Wilfred Ndidi and Marc Albrighton were withdrawn before the Rennes game with knee and groin issues, which will be assessed before the Brentford game. Meanwhile, Ademola Lookman and Ricardo Pereira, who were not fully fit, put in a shift in midweek and should be available on Sunday.

Timothy Castagne, Jonny Evans, Jamie Vardy and Ryan Bertrand remain absent from matchday duties. Meanwhile, Boubakary Soumare was also missing in midweek and is unlikely to feature on Sunday. Rodgers could field a 4-2-3-1 system, with Kelechi Iheanacho leading the line in light of the available personnel.

Daniel Amartey and Soyuncu should remain in central defence, while Pereira and James Justin could occupy the full-back roles. Youri Tielemans and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall should hold the central midfield positions for Leicester.

Rodgers may start Lookman on the right side of the attack instead of his preferred position on the other flank, where Harvey Barnes should keep his place. With Iheanacho charging through the middle, James Maddison will start in the No.10 position to stitch the attacking play together.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1)Schmeichel; Pereira, Amartey, Soyuncu, Justin; Tielemans, Dewsbury-Hall; Lookman, Maddison, Barnes; Iheanacho

Brentford

Frank confirmed there are no new problems from their last match, as the manager has a relatively strong squad at his disposal. Tariqe Fosu-Henry is the team’s injury-related absentee, while Josh Dasilva will have to serve a suspension following his red card. Julian Jeanvier is also out of the matchday squad.

Kristoffer Ajer and Christian Norgaard, who started the last game in the league, might be fit again and should start the game against the Foxes. Frank is expected to name an unchanged side, given how well the team has performed in recent games.

Following a run of bad results, Frank has made some obvious changes to the team’s shape, with Brentford now operating with a back four regularly. Ajer, Pontus Jansson, Ethan Pinnock, and Rico Henry will marshall the backline.

Bryan Mbeumo will take up a wide position on the right instead of being a part of the front line, while Sergi Canos will be present on the opposite flank in a similar role.

Christian Eriksen should be fit enough to play consecutive games as the Dane and Vitaly Jalent will be present on either side of Norgaard, who will assume the anchor role in central midfield. Ivan Toney will lead the line as Brentford’s main striker.

Probable Lineup (4-5-1)Raya; Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry; Mbeumo, Eriksen, Norgaard, Janelt, Canos; Toney

Key Stats

  • Leicester City have won their last three games against Brentford in all competitions.
  • There have been 2.5 goals scored in Leicester City’s last 3 Premier League games.
  • Ivan Toney has scored in five straight starts for Brentford.
  • Brentford last secured a win over Leicester City in 1953, in the second division.
  • This season, Brentford have claimed points in only half of their 14 games on the road.

Player To Watch

James Maddison

James Maddison needs to step up. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

James Maddison is Leicester City’s creative lynchpin. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The attacking midfielder has to make himself the main man in this Foxes side in the games that remain in the season. Maddison has found it difficult to maintain consistency over the season, which has been the case for most of his career.

Although clearly a very talented footballer, Maddison’s influence on the game comes only in patches. There are plenty of talents in the Premier League who play in his position and are far more consistent with their performances compared to the Foxes star. Against Brentford, Maddison has the chance to prove his doubters wrong and produce a solid display.

Prediction

Leicester City 2-2 Brentford

A defeat for Leicester will put them level on points with the Bees, who have played more games than Rodgers’ side. Given the form of both teams heading into the game, The Hard Tackle predicts a high scoring draw at the King Power on Sunday.

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