Enzo Maresca’s Leicester City came out the victors once more in a one-sided match against Stoke City. Here are the positives and negatives to take from it.
11 games played, 30 points gained, almost on cruise control under the Italian head coach. The King Power club are barely letting anything go. They also have one of the best defences in the whole of the 92 teams of English football. On par with Arsenal, just one worse than Manchester City.
Leicester City’s new groove
So, where the begin with the positives? I suppose it is most apt to – once again – applaud the total culture shift which has happened in such a short space of time. We know that under Brendan Rodgers there was a cautious mentality which emphasised our weaknesses. Yet, under Maresca the opposite appears to be the case: the emphasis is taking the positives and strengths with us in every game.
Against Stoke City, the Foxes registered another possession domination at 74% possession. They had 14 shots, seven of those on target, and an xG of 2.40 goals. Oh yeah, and they only conceded 0.22 in xG. Possessive, creative, and defensively tight.
Under Maresca, Leicester has seen a new style of play be employed. They look to be positionally fluid when in-possession but off the ball, positionally tight when in defence, and constantly with the aim of regaining the ball and recycling it back towards the ever calm Mads Hermansen. Honestly, the Danish goalkeeper is likely 80% of why we are able to play the way we do.
When under pressure, the Foxes no longer knock it long in a prayer-fuelled spray, they will pass it multiple times between multiple players until one has an opportunity to break a press or create an opening. If that does not work, you always have someone to send a devastating through pass towards a striker or winger. The choices are plenty, and Leicester City look deadly.