With Leicester City enduring somewhat of an injury crisis as of late, it’s likely that the Foxes may be forced to utilise a back line of big Wes, little Wes, Filbert Fox…
Leicester City haven’t had much luck with injuries within the last year. Towards the end of last season’s campaign, the absence of key players Wilfred Ndidi and Ricardo Pereira derailed what was otherwise a spectacular year, with the Foxes finishing agonisingly close to the Champions League spots.
While that’s all water under the bridge with Leicester already resting in the top four this season, an emerging injury crisis might again throw a spanner in the works of the East Midlanders’ top six push, with up to seven of the Foxes’ key players out with injury. With tomorrow’s opponents currently in top form on the back of a statement win against reigning champions Liverpool, facing the Villans without a full strength Leicester team is a daunting prospect.
Defence and midfield:
Kasper Schmeichel, Wesley Fofana, Wes Morgan, Christian Fuchs.
Currently, I can see the Foxes lining up tomorrow in a 3-4-3, a formation preferred by Brendan Rodgers as of late. Injuries to first choice centre-back pairing Çağlar Söyüncü and Jonny Evans picked up during international duty leave them as doubts for tomorrow, while Filip Benković was loaned yesterday to Championship side Cardiff City.
Consequently, Leicester City only have three centre-backs available for selection tomorrow and I can see all of them starting, with Wesley Fofana making his debut alongside veterans Wes Morgan and Christian Fuchs. In goal, I can’t see Danny Ward or Eldin Jakupović challenging Kasper Schmeichel’s place as number one, especially after this stunning save against England.
Timothy Castagne, Youri Tielemans, Papy Mendy, James Justin.
In the midfield, Timothy Castagne and James Justin retain their wing-back roles after strong showings recently, while Ricardo Pereira remains out until November. Villain-turned-hero Papy Mendy should start after stellar performances as of late, while I see Youri Tielemans partnering him in the middle of the park.
Dennis Praet is a doubt after picking up a knee injury on duty with Belgium, but I could see him possibly slipping into this midfield at the expense of either of the aforementioned two. Wilfred Ndidi remains out long-term, while I expect James Maddison not to start given his recurring hip problem.
Attack and substitutes:
Cengiz Ünder, Kelechi Iheanacho, Harvey Barnes.
Following his cameo appearance against West Ham, Cengiz Ünder may very well be Leicester City’s second full debutant tomorrow. Jamie Vardy is reportedly doubtful with a calf injury despite doing this in training, with Iheanacho the apparent replacement, while Harvey Barnes retains his place after a strong start so far this season.
It’s also quite likely that Ayoze Pérez could feature in some capacity, especially at either attacking midfield or centre-forward, should Rodgers opt for two up front.
Substitutes: Danny Ward, Luke Thomas, Marc Albrighton, James Maddison, Hamza Choudhury, Dennis Praet, Ayoze Pérez.
And on the bench, the usual suspects. It’s likely that Vardy might sneak in here too, depending on the severity of his injury. Those with contentious problems like Dennis Praet and James Maddison will probably make the bench, while I can see the latter definitely coming on at some point. Ayoze Peréz will definitely feature providing he doesn’t start, while I can definitely see Marc Albrighton coming on to obsessively whip crosses in against his former club.
A left-field option could be the inclusion of outcast Islam Slimani, after Rodgers claimed the Algerian is part of the Northern Irishman’s plans given he failed to secure a transfer away from the East Midlands on deadline day. All in all though, not too many surprises here.