As the King Power team enter the FA Cup, Leicester supporters will be wondering whether Enzo Maresca views this competition as an important part of this season’s campaign, or if it is secondary to the stellar EFL Championship season they are having. That would dictate the possible lineup the Italian head coach puts forward: if important, a strong XI shall be fielded, if unimportant, expect to see changes.
As a brief introduction to how the match can be expected to go, I will compare the two team’s Championship seasons thus far. Further, it is worth remembering our last match with Millwall was a 3-2 win: not necessarily convincing. Either way, the Foxes have created 1.80 in xG/90 whereas the home side created 1.04 in xG/90. This means that Leicester can be expected to score an extra goal to every one Millwall score. Expect 2-1 to Maresca’s men.
Leicester City Absences Latest
Currently, Leicester City are without several players due to AFCON, injuries, and the Asia Cup. Wilfred Ndidi (injured anyway), Kelechi Iheanacho, Patson Daka, and Harry Souttar are out with their countries on international duties. Luckily, three of those are not an issue with Tom Cannon and several defensive options available. The Nigerian midfielder will be a loss, but that is not a major issue.
Otherwise, Jamie Vardy, Kasey McAteer, and Dennis Praet are out, with Marc Albrighton and Callum Doyle returning in recent fixtures. Again, we have someone who can play upfront, and the Belgian was barely getting game time anyway, so it is only McAteer we would have liked. At least Abdul Fatawu is not going AFCON.
Predicted Staring XI
I expect some changes to be made to give players an additional rest. There is a seven-day gap between the Millwall tie and our next Championship fixture against Coventry, so Maresca may not rest too much, but may look to change just to give other players a chance to show in a competition not critical to our season.
Number + Position
41 - Goalkeeper
5 - Defender (CB/LB)
4 - Defender
23 - Defender
17 - Defender? (RB/CM)
8 - Midfielder (CM)
40 - Midfielder (CM)
29 - Forward (AM for this match)
10 - Forward (LW)
28 - Forward (ST)
18 - Forward (RW)
I do not expect any major revolutions in the starting lineup. The core players that make the performances will continue to be played, except maybe for Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall who could be given an extra break or only on the bench. The Polish ‘keeper was used at points in the Carabao Cup, and would be a good match to give the player a run out.
The bench will likely include the rest of the usual starting XI as well as Tawanda Maswanhise and Ben Nelson. If we are winning by two goals by the 60th minute, I hope we shall see both on from the bench to give them a chance to show.
As we have now entered the winter transfer window, Enzo Maresca will be looking to offload some players and bring in further refreshments to keep the side’s momentum in the Championship rolling. Leicester City are looking at loaning out Daniel Iversen and have been linked with midfielders and defenders.