Leicester City came out victorious as they faced their first public pre-season fixture against Northampton. Here is what we learnt from the tie.
A first half Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall header was enough to see off the King Power club’s first public match. Enzo Maresca utilised two different teams, one for the first hour – minus two changes which were made at half time – and nine other players coming on for the remainder of the tie.
The Foxes were extremely dominant throughout – which obviously should have been expected – and the Italian head coach set the squad out to control possession, and free up particular players to impact the match through creative plays. We also saw outings for some youngsters, the return of Jannik Vestergaard, and the introduction of our three new signings.
Leicester City’s mini-Man City
Maresca set Leicester up in a familiar fashion. Anyone who has had the pleasure of watching the utterly triumphant domination of Manchester City will recognise what style the Italian is seeking to impose, and what tactical outlook is being employed within both halves of this fixture.
A back three in possession, a fullback bombing forward – reminiscent of Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side – and one pushing into central midfield alongside a holding midfielder. One positionally free creator, a pacy winger, and a terrifying centre forward. A fluid, possession-based, progressive and recycling setup designed to control, contain, and overwhelm.
We all knew Maresca would bring an element of Pep Guardiola with him, but to also seemingly combine that with Arteta’s developments, adding his own understanding built from his time coaching the ‘Citizens’ youth setup and managing Parma. This was certainly a major break from the archaic and slow possession-based setup utilised by Brendan Rodgers in those final two seasons.