Why Leicester are faltering in Championship title race

Leicester City were once 12 points clear at the summit of the EFL Championship, with talk of record points totals. That seems in the distant past now. Here is why the Foxes find themselves flailing in a title race they fought for.

Leeds United v Leicester City - Sky Bet Championship
Leeds United v Leicester City - Sky Bet Championship / George Wood/GettyImages
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Callum Doyle
AFC Bournemouth v Leicester City - Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Line-ups and substitutions

Meanwhile, decisions have sometimes been questionable. Starting Dennis Praet over Yunus Akgun, not bringing Callum Doyle back in, continually sticking with Patson Daka after his form dropped off, not ever bringing on Conor Coady, and of course not using veteran Marc Albrighton. These are just some of the challenges to Maresca’s near-perfect record as head coach.

Just think about it for a second: if Leicester City are struggling to break passed defenders, then what does continually throwing your heads at a brick wall with technically gifted Stephy Mavididi or Abdul Fatawu do? Nothing. Albrighton is considered a one-trick pony. The legend can cross better than anyone at the club, and this could have been used to much better effect when we have taller or stronger players, and even with pacy forwards with Albrighton having a brilliant passing range to cross behind defenders and give space for a forward to run into.

Jamie Vardy, Patson Daka, Tom Cannon, all three could have benefited from better service offered by ‘Kevin’. Simply sub him on when the Mavididi-Fatawu partnership on the wings is not managing to find a way through. Otherwise, Maresca should be dynamic in switching the pair depending upon where Dewsbury-Hall or the ‘other’ midfielder is finding attacking space. That ‘other’ should really be either Kasey McAteer or Akgun. Both performed well, and yet have been dropped (one due to injury).

My recommendation to Maresca for the Sunderland test? Start Kelechi Iheanacho and Conor Coady. Bring on Albrighton and Vardy at the 60th minute, and hope we can get Ricardo Pereira back into that midfield like he was against Leeds whenever possible.