Leicester City have appointed Dean Smith, John Terry, and Craig Shakespeare to head the Foxes survival battle. This might be his first XI.
The King Power club need to start picking up points. Their final set of fixtures are: Manchester City (A), Wolverhampton Wanderers (H), Leeds United (A), Everton (H), Fulham (A), Liverpool (H), Newcastle United (A), West Ham United (H). Four of those are must-wins, the others, almost definite losses.
Most of the Leicester squad is available or returning to availability, with some exceptions. The only players in issue are Harvey Barnes who we are not sure his current status, and Youri Tielemans who is still on the road to recovery. Other than that, we already know who is out for the count.
Dean Smith’s first Leicester City XI
Dean Smith’s first match as head coach will be against Premier League giants Manchester City. Those sky blue juggernauts are in a title race, while we are in a relegation scrap. The gulf could not be larger, the stakes no higher, and our expectations no lower.
The team will be different to what we are used to. If we look at how a Premier League Smith set up his Aston Villa side to a big team. In his final run of matches in charge, the Englishman faced an in-form Arsenal. He set his team up 3-4-1-2 with Ollie Watkins and then Danny Ings up front. A defensively resilient counter-attacking set up.
That set up was copied for the vast majority of their big fixtures. In all other usual matches, the coach set his team up in a positive 4-2-3-1. If we look at his time at Norwich City, the same formations were utilised. With minor changes for either 3-5-2 or 4-3-3 dependent upon injuries.
So, against the Citizens, we can expect 3-4-1-2. I think the players within that are almost predictable, although it is not guaranteed of course. Daniel Iversen will start in goal, with a back three of Wout Faes, Jonny Evans, and Harry Souttar. Although, hopefully Smith has no attitudes against Caglar Soyuncu and selects the Turkish international.
The wing-backs would consist of Ricardo Pereira and Victor Kristiansen. Midfield will likely be Wilfred Ndidi, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, and James Maddison. However, I believe if Youri Tielemans becomes available then we shall see a reunion for our most balanced midfield. A pre-written team, nothing spectacular.
The front two has to be Patson Daka and Kelechi Iheanacho. The new gaffer will not want Leicester City to rely on an out of form aging striker, instead he will opt the Foxes for their more youthful forwards and hope for a big performance.