Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester tactics: inverting full-backs and a defensive four

Leicester City's Brendan Rodgers (R), James Justin (L) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
Leicester City's Brendan Rodgers (R), James Justin (L) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images) /
3 of 3
Leicester City
Leicester City players (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images) /

As previously mentioned, Carrera shifted his system to negate Barnes and Thomas’ impact on the game, as the two academy graduates linked up very naturally down the left. I was impressed with Thomas, who looked a lot more comfortable playing as the left-back, rather than his usual left-wing-back – the position he’s predominantly played this season.

As the full-back, your attacking involvement isn’t as crucial. Often, the wing-back will be the most advanced wide option, forcing the player to be creative in possession. Instead, Thomas was always supported by Barnes, and didn’t have to force openings. A couple of these connections were facilitated by Thomas’ ability to receive the ball in unorthodox body positions and still progress the play. This was encapsulated by his two back-heels that enabled two great chances for Barnes – one resulted in a shot, the other a good cross for Iheanacho. This skill is quite niche, but was incredibly beneficial to Leicester unlocking the structured block.

LCFC 2-0 AEK Athens: Player ratings – wingers terrorise Greeks. light. Related Story

Next up for the Foxes is Brighton & Hove Albion, who under manager, Graham Potter, look to play expansive football. It will be a difficult decision for Rodgers, whether to play the transitional back three that has rewarded Leicester City versus teams who want to control the ball and are susceptible to counters (such as Brighton). Or, to revert to the back four and play with a similar decisiveness to their UEFA Europa League tie and take the game to the Seagulls. Either way, back-to-back wins should inspire confidence, and make for an entertaining game this weekend.