Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers has commented on his almost obvious preferred formation. Here is what the gaffers’ favoured system would look like.
Every coach has a preferred way to play the game. This could be primarily a stylistic preference – such as Pep Guardiola’s love for highly technical routines – or borne out of the players available to them at any time.
For the Foxes gaffer Rodgers, it is perhaps a mixture of the two which defines his favoured formation with Leicester. Though he has his stylistic preferences, he has shown a willingness to adapt when key personnel are absent, though that compromise may feel lacklustre and weaker.
This has been the case since injuries to James Justin, Harvey Barnes, and James Maddison last season. When those three were out, the system and team had to change massively. Now, we will soon see Justin return.
Let us explore what the boss had to say and what we can expect once the young English fullback returns from his long time on the side-lines. I for one am thoroughly optimistic.
Leicester City’s balanced team
According to LeicestershireLive, Rodgers has commented briefly on what his preferences are with and without the stalwart Wilfred Ndidi:
"“My preference always is to play with a back four. The players, they can play out of different systems, but if I had a preferred system, I think I’ve shown it would be 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1. But you can only do that with a certain type of profile”"
When the team is mostly fit, the King Power side will adopt a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 dependent on our opposition and which players fulfil the fullback role. The Nigerian midfielder takes up the defensive element of our midfield, but has had to share duties with Youri Tielemans.
Without Wesley Fofana and Justin, the Northern Irish manager has chosen to shield the backline with a progressive and hardworking midfielder alongside a more traditional ‘DM’. This has not worked in recent matches with Ndidi out.
Nevertheless, should we look further back in our evolution, Leicester City adopted a 4-3-3 with Ndidi occupying a more box-to-box ball-winning role and the Belgian Starman taking a progressive CM role closer to Madders. We had a much more dynamic midfield.
This was because of the personnel available. Justin is simply a brilliant defender and a progressive attacker. The Englishman is the exact kind of player you need alongside either a Timothy Castagne or Ricardo Pereira.
Therefore, the preferred system with Justin available is also different to the preferred system with Wilf. With Luke Thomas, you have an attack-minded player who is less defensively assured, and in Ryan Bertrand you have a player who is less good at being dynamic and working alongside the left-winger.
The ultimate balance is the ultimate and favoured system the gaffer has been unable to employ for some time. 4-3-3 with Barnes and Justin on the left, Ndidi, Tielemans, and Maddison in midfield, and a Jonny Evans or Caglar Soyuncu paired with ‘Little Wes’.
What do you think about this system, and do you feel it is actually our best team if fully fit, or do you agree with Akash Roy in this article? Let Foxes of Leicester know on our social media channels.