The teething period of using 3 defenders at Leicester City

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Caglar Soyuncu of Leicester City (Photo by Adam Davy/Pool via Getty Images)

A fiercely contested draw with Arsenal ensured Leicester City remain unbeaten whilst using a three at the back formation. However, the system needs tweaking.

Upon first viewing, I was left frustrated at the tempo in which Leicester City instigated their possession sequences against Arsenal. This has been a theme that’s ran true even when playing a formation they feel comfortable in, such as the 4-1-4-1.

Having a clear understanding of where your passing options are allows for a more natural progression of play, instead, the Foxes are still developing inside the 3-4-1-2 formation – which at times played out as a 3-4-3, so those natural movements aren’t used. Regardless of this, there was too many occasions that Leicester City players under-hit  passes – this allowed a lot of interceptions for Arsenal and if the ball actually found its way to a Foxes player, enough time to regroup the defence.

This isn’t a system problem, but as a caveat, the three at the back formation hasn’t solved this issue, mainly because the integral complication is decision-making. It’s a difficult parameter to measure teams on, as it’s extremely contextual, but Leicester City have a habit of favouring a negative pass in a situation where a progressive pass is available – even if it’s slightly risky to complete. When in the final third, goal-scoring chances are created by making smart decisions and the Foxes haven’t been consistent in doing this.

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