Crystal Palace face another tough test as they host The Foxes at Selhurst Park.
Despite the controversial ending of last weekend’s game against Arsenal leaving some fans wondering what if, there is no doubt that a draw away at Arsenal is one to be proud of. This result saw The Eagles cling to sixth place, a strong position, but also leaves them at risk of slipping down the table during this tough run. Palace should be encouraged by their recent history against Leicester, winning their last three games against The Foxes.
Leicester City have also had a very strong start to the season and find themselves firmly entrenched in the top four, currently sitting just below reigning champions Manchester City and Champions League winners Liverpool. The Foxes are also coming off of a record breaking win in which they dismantled Southampton by a score of nine to zero. It has been a successful return to the Premier League for manager Brendan Rodgers who has marshaled a joint league leading defence and the second highest scoring attack in the league, impressive despite last week inflating the second figure.
While it was certainly disappointing to watch Palace concede two goals to corner kicks within the opening ten minutes the fight the team showed in getting back in the match was impressive. Do not expect Roy Hodgson to tinker with the side that achieved this result last weekend with an injury during the week likely the only thing that would cause a change. Some focus will likely be on keeper Wayne Hennessey who continues to play for the injured Vicente Guaita. The Welshman had a mixed week last week finding himself out of position on at least one of the goals conceded but also saved Palace from going down late in the game with an incredible save. The pressure will be on Hennessey again against another impressive attacking force.
Perhaps the greatest cause for The Foxes success this year has been their outstanding defence, having conceded only eight goals all season. This comes as a surprise given the departure of centre-back Harry Maguire for Manchester United in a deal that made him the most expensive defender in the world. This has led to the assentation of Çaglar Söyüncü from forgotten man to hero after a quiet season in which he only made six appearances. The Turkish defender has more than filled Maguire’s shoes alongside Johnny Evans and kept club captain Wes Morgan rooted to the bench. When discussing Leicester City it would be negligent not to mention striker Jamie Vardy. The Englishman is having another excellent season and is coming off a hat-trick that pushed him into the lead for the Golden Boot with nine goals from ten games.
One of the best ways to slow the Foxes attack is to keep the ball away from Jamie Vardy as much as possible. This will put pressure on the midfield to limit the impact of rising stars James Maddison and Youri Tielemans as they attempt to build the attack. Joel Ward and Andros Townsend will have to be alert for the overlapping runs of left-back Ben Chilwell, who already has three assists this season. Leicester City are very strong at most every position on the pitch but they might be weakest at centre-back despite the strength of their defence. This says more
about the quality of the rest of the team than it does about the quality of their solid centre-back duo. If Wilfried Zaha can sneak in behind the defence there could be chances to be had as while Evans and Söyüncü are by no means slow they could be got at by the pace and trickery of Zaha.
Leicester City are a strong team with legitimate European ambitions and will see matches against teams on Palace’s level as must win games. While it may seem they are due for a letdown game, their convincing victory in the League Cup midweek silenced most of those concerns. This is certainly a game the Eagles can win and their recent form against Leicester and better home form this season likely giving players and some fans some confidence headed into the week. If Palace can keep Vardy off the score sheet and win make the midfield battle at least a draw they can get a result from this match.