QPR v Leicester: These Foxes Must Start

After back to back league defeats, Leicester City are back on the march against Queen’s park Rangers. Here are the players Enzo Maresca must use in the lineup.

Leeds United v Leicester City - Sky Bet Championship
Leeds United v Leicester City - Sky Bet Championship / George Wood/GettyImages
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The Nigerian Striker

Kelechi Iheanacho
AFC Bournemouth v Leicester City - Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round / Warren Little/GettyImages

Kelechi Iheanacho had been off with Nigeria at AFCON, and until recently Maresca has opted not to return the forward to the squad with the breadth of options available to the manager utterly absurd. Legendary Jamie Vardy, prodigal Patson Daka, and new signing Tom Cannon. The Foxes have plenty of choices for forwards. Yet, ‘Seniorman Kels’ should start QPR.

In ‘Maresca Ball’ we often see the forward coming deeper to support progression up the pitch as Leicester face more compact and defensive structures which limit their ability to make short passes forward. One can see the role of the forward in one of two ways: either they are a pacy long shot artist, or a stronger and slower penalty box positioner.

We have seen both roles come into effect depending upon the opposition. Think of the Zambian for most of the campaign coming deep, passing the ball on, then running late onto the edge of the box to take a pot shot at goal, or Cannon holding onto the ball for longer in the box before firing a rocket from close range. Iheanacho is a perfect fit for the latter role.

Against Bournemouth, Iheanacho returned for the King Power side, held the ball well, and set up the goal for technically excellent Abdul Fatawu. His hold up play is a key part of his game, and the Foxes could make better use of that strength against what will be a counter-attacking opponent. Leicester City needs to retain the ball higher up the pitch and create chances closer to goal, that is what Iheanacho does best.