Leicester City will hope to recover from a disappointing draw when they host an out-of-sorts Aston Villa side seeking to rise up the table.

Brendan Rodgers will be looking to get a response from his Leicester City players after allowing Everton to score a late equaliser and fail to win at Goodison Park. The Foxes were the better side versus the Toffees, but defensive frailty right at the death cost them the points.

Rodgers is uninterested in Premier League matters for a few weeks now, as his sole focus remains on the UEFA Europa Conference League. Leicester play the first leg of their semi-final clash against AS Roma at the end of the month, although the manager would want to keep his players sharp until then.

It is vital to maintain form and momentum heading into that clash with Jose Mourinho’s team. Aston Villa will be their last game before they host one of the biggest games in the club’s history, and Rodgers will want to see an accomplished performance in the build-up to that outing.

Aston Villa come into the clash having had more time to reflect on their last performance. Steven Gerrard saw his side collapse under pressure against top-four hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur. Some weeks ago, the Midlands club seemed destined to finish in the top half of the table after winning three consecutive matches.

Since then, they have lost four on the bounce, and should their downward spiral continue, Villa could get dragged into a surprise relegation dogfight. As things stand, thy are in 15th place with 36 points. 18th placed Burnley have 28 points having played a game more than Villa. A positive result against Leicester is a desperate requirement, something Gerrard will be aiming to achieve.

Team News & Tactics

Leicester City

Keeping the AS Roma game in mind, Brendan Rodgers will make plenty of changes to his team that played against Everton. There are no fresh concerns expected in the side from the midweek clash, although there is no welcome change on the injury front.

Ryan Bertrand, Wilfred Ndidi, Danny Ward and Boubakary Soumare are all out of contention. Meanwhile, Rodgers could shuffle his pack at the back, and Jonny Evans and Wesly Fofana could be rested. Caglar Soyuncu and Daniel Amartey could come in at the heart of the Leicester defence.

James Justin could replace Ricardo Pereira, with Rodgers looking to keep the Portuguese full-back fresh for the Roma clash. Timothy Castagne could continue in the left-back role, although Luke Thomas is an option if the manager decides to rest the Belgian on Saturday.

Rodgers may also look to manage Nampalys Mendy’s fitness better and may look to keep him out of the Villa clash. It could allow Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall a route back into the middle of the park alongside Youri Tielemans. That move could enable Ademola Lookman to come into the team and slot in the right side of the attack.

James Maddison should reprise the No.10 role, with Harvey Barnes remaining on the left-hand side of the Leicester attack. Patson Daka could be preferred to Kelechi Iheanacho, with the Nigerian clearly Leicester’s main striker at this stage of the season and will be required to start against Roma later in the week.

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

Aston Villa

Steven Gerrard will ponder changes to his team after the crushing defeat to Tottenham at Villa Park. After nearly two weeks without action, Aston Villa are expected to be sharp and fresh before this clash. That mini-break has also allowed Kortney Hause to regain fitness, and he becomes an option for the Aston manager to consider.

Lucas Digne’s collarbone injury may keep him out for the remainder of the season, and Ashley Young will have to shoulder the responsibility at left-back for the remaining games. Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa should continue at the heart of the Aston Villa defence, while Matty Cash remains firmly established in the right-back position.

Marvelous Nakamba’s availability could force Gerrard to think about making changes to his central midfield arsenal, as he ponders bringing more defensive stability to the side. He could replace Jacob Ramsey in the team, while Douglas Luiz could move to the left-hand side of the midfield three.

A change in shape upfront could also be on the cards, and Gerrard could drop Danny Ings out of the side. He could also look to integrate either Leon Bailey or Emiliano Buendia into the attacking three, with Ollie Watkins the likely choice to lead the line against Leicester City.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Young; McGinn, Nakamba, Luiz; Bailey, Watkins, Coutinho

Key Stats

  • Leicester City have won their last three home games in the Premier League.
  • Leicester City have won those last three games with a one-goal margin.
  • Leicester City have lost once in their last nine Premier League games at the King Power.
  • Aston Villa have lost their last four matches in the Premier League.
  • Aston Villa are aiming for a first league double over Leicester City since the 2003/04 campaign.

Player To Watch

Tyrone Mings

Tyrone Mings was central to Aston Villa’s resilient form earlier in 2022, when they won three games in a row without conceding a single goal. However, since then, the Villans have lost four consecutive clashes, which places massive pressure on the shoulders of their captain.

Aston Villa could consider themselves safe from a relegation dogfight, although if their form continues to dip in the next few games, they could get dragged into a precarious situation. Mings needs to shore up the defensive line and express his leadership qualities to tighten the belt at the back to avoid an unwanted situation like that one.

Prediction

Leicester City 2-1 Aston Villa

Aston Villa have looked toothless in the attack during recent defeats. They may not drastically improve on that when they face a spirited Leicester City side, who have a target to achieve this season. The Foxes will come into this clash looking to keep themselves sharp and polish their shooting boots.

Going by recent form, one cannot predict a positive result for Aston Villa. The Villans remain in shambles in their bid to get results, and they could struggle when they visit the King Power Stadium. The Foxes have a big European semi-final on their minds, and a win is all Brendan Rodgers will expect on Saturday to keep his team in optimistic mood.

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