Category Archives: Leicester City

Vardy hits 100, But should Leicester be worried?

Jamie Vardy was back in the goals in usual fashion as the foxes comfortably dispatched Crystal Palace 3-0. However the fact this result was somewhat of a surprise represents the poor form Leicester have been in since the turn of the year.

Before the Palace game, Vardy had been on a barren run in front of goal and the race for top 4 was seemingly ready to kick Leicester out. So can they keep this run of form or is it just a rare win? Let’s take a look:

The pessimist and optimist view

Their start of season form saw them compete with Liverpool for the title but a huge drop off since then has seen them come within only 3 points of dropping out the top 4 entirely.

So should their fans be concerned? Yes, it was a convincing win but it bucks a trend of poor performances. Their restart began with 2 losses and 2 draws – scoring only two goals in the process and being knocked out of the FA cup.

A common critique of this Leicester side is where the goals would come from should Vardy lose his form, and that has been shown with their recent form. This included being knocked out of the EFL cup semi-finals by strugglers Aston Villa, and a February month with no wins from 4 matches – only scoring two goals and losing to bottom club Norwich.

Looking at them in the Premier League form table since matchday 20 until now they sit in 9th, whereas the teams they are competing with all sit in the top 6, so if they are to retain their position they could do well with picking up some form.

Vardy was struggling with form during this period and results reflected that. It’s no coincidence that they won this game comfortably with him scoring. Whether Leicester can pick up some form depends highly on their star man performing, which really shows just how good Vardy is.

Whilst this all stacks up as just a buck in the trend, those results have a history of kickstarting a season again. When a team goes through a rough patch, a win can completely change the mentality. Just look at Arsenal in the last few games.

So whilst you could say their overall form hasn’t shown the consistency needed, maybe this result was what the club needed to get that going again – you don’t become a bad team overnight after all.

A Fairytale story

Let’s forget the slightly pessimistic view for a second and appreciate the story of Jamie Vardy. He made his Premier League debut at 27 years of age and has flow into a prestigious 100 club.

Considering the relatively short amount of time he has spent in the top flight the company he holds now in Thierry Henry, Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Alan Shearer and many more is remarkable.

His rise to prominence of course came when Leicester won their unbelievable Premier League trophy; with him, Mahrez and Kante being highlighted as key players.

He was even linked with Arsenal once the season had ended, but many brushed him off as a one season wonder. Despite his amazing goal record you could be forgiven for thinking he was a one season wonder.

He still remains quite the underrated striker, with many people talking about Aguero, Aubameyang, Rashford, etc.

Taking a look at his goal record you can see he has consistently been up there with the best strikers in the league:

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Yet we don’t always here the same praise for him as we do for the other top strikers in the league. Maybe the unfashionable name and controversy with his wife has had some form of subconscious effect.

Whether he is talked about or not, the fact of the matter remains that he is Leicester’s key man, and if he can pick up the goals again, the golden boot and Champions League football could be on the way to the King Power.

We had a chat with FoxesFancast about Leicester’s season and form since the restart. The interview also features the fans relationship with the owners and the future.  

Full video here:

 

Chelsea advance to semifinals of FA Cup courtesy of Ross Barkley’s goal

Second-half substitute Ross Barkley scores his fourth goal in the FA Cup, which proved to be the game-winner for Chelsea as they win 1-0 at Leicester City in the quarterfinals.

In the early part of the match Leicester City, who are currently one spot ahead of The Blues in the Premier League, were looking dominate, but were unable to capitalize on any of their chances.

It all started when Harvey Barnes crossed the ball to Jamie Vardy within the first three minutes of the match but was denied by goalie Willy Caballero. Youri Tielemans and Jonny Evans also wasted good chances to get a goal for The Foxes.

Chelsea, fresh off helping Liverpool secure their first-ever Premier League title, had a chance to score in the first-half courtesy of in-form Christian Pulisic. However, the young American was stopped by a miraculous save from Kasper Schmeichel.

After the goalless first-half, Tammy Abraham, Chelsea’s leading goal scorer in the Premier League, had believed that he put his team up in front but was denied by an offside call.

However, the South London-side finally found the net in the 63rd-minute, when Barkley knocked in the cross from Willian, which went past Schmeichel for what ultimately was the deciding goal.

 

Leicester City has a chance to tie late in the game from center back Çağlar Söyüncü, but Cesar Azpilicueta deflected the ball.

The Blues have now advanced to the semi-final, where they will face Manchester United on the weekend of 18 and 19 July. 

Premier League – who will escape the drop?

With the resumption of the Premier League season on the horizon, it’s looking increasingly more likely that clubs in the lower reaches of the table will have to face up to the danger of relegation. 

Despite the caveat of having no fans, a full season of Premier League fixtures are set to be played leaving little argument against relegation for three teams. So with the danger of the drop still present, which teams are in the most trouble? 

Norwich, of course, are currently the most threatened side. They sit bottom of the table with 21 points, six points adrift of 17th. It’s a large gap, but one that is still just about bridgeable. Despite facing Chelsea and Manchester City towards the end of the campaign, the Canaries’ run-in overall makes more positive reading. 

They face Southampton, Brighton, Watford and West Ham during their first six games back. Positive results in these matches could well turn the relegation battle on its head, and a recent victory against Leicester shortly before the lockdown will give Norwich hope of conjuring some form. 

In 19th, four points above Norwich, sit fellow promoted side Aston Villa. Since reaching the League Cup final, the Villains have lost all four of their Premier League matches – most recently 4-0 against Leicester.

Villa have a game in hand against Sheffield United, which is scheduled to be the first fixture back for the Premier League. A win would see Villa move up to 16th, but this will be a tough task against an excellent Sheffield United side who dispatched the Villains 2-0 earlier in the season. 

The run-in for Villa doesn’t gave any easier after that either, with matches against Chelsea, Wolves, Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal to follow. Their season then finishes with what could well end up being a final day relegation decider against West Ham. 

Bournemouth lie in 18th with 27 points, joint with Watford and West Ham above them. The Cherries arguably face the toughest run of fixtures, with Wolves, Manchester United, Tottenham, Leicester and Manchester City all on the horizon. 

In fact, Bournemouth will not be facing any teams below them in the table. The lowest placed sides they face are Southampton and Newcastle – seven and eight points respectively ahead of the Cherries and both look to be clear of any real relegation trouble. 

The Cherries not only face difficult opposition, but have no opportunity to directly gain any ground on their relegation rivals. 

Watford and West Ham – the two other teams on 27 points – face each other in a relegation crunch match scheduled for mid July. The Hammers also have another key match scheduled a few days earlier against Norwich, as well as their final day showdown with Aston Villa.

Results in games against their relegation rivals could well see the Hammers safe. Add to this the fact that David Moyes seems to have struck upon a cohesive and powerful combination up front with Sebastian Haller, Michael Antonio and Jarrod Bowen (they were very unfortunate not to get a result against Arsenal before the lockdown), and things are looking relatively positive for West Ham.

Watford, meanwhile, face some tricky fixtures against Leicester, Chelsea and Manchester City before Arsenal on the final day of the season. Their run in, however, doesn’t quite match the desolate landscape of Bournemouth’s with opportunities to gain points against their relegation rivals still available to the Hornets. 

Brighton sit in 15th with 29 points and despite a two point cushion above the relegation zone, they are by no means out of the woods. Like Bournemouth, they lack matches against sides in the relegation battle. The only team below them Albion face is Norwich who are already eight points adrift of Brighton, so it’s possible the match could be of little direct consequence. 

With six draws and only four defeats since the start of 2020, Brighton are proving tough to beat but are also massively struggling to carve out wins. They are winless since the 28th December 2019 and will need to be picking up all three points when they can to avoid slipping further into the relegation battle. 

One thing that should also be considered is the lack of fans, and how this might affect results. It was previously a topic open to debate but the fact that home advantage seems to have gone out the window in the Bundesliga seems to indicate it does have a large influence. 

Frankfurt boss Adi Hutter even commented the other week saying:

“teams with a high level of technical quality in particular are less dependent on support”, while also noting how a lack of fans can adversely affects sides lower in the division. 

At a glance, Aston Villa look to benefit the most from having a crowd behind them with a swing of 0.78 points per game (PPG) more at home than away. This would make sense given the raucous reputation of Villa Park and the Holt End. Villa’s home PPG swing is the third highest in the division behind Manchester United (0.79) and Everton (0.99). 

While Villa’s is the most stark, all the teams in the midst of the relegation fight have a swing of at least 0.5 PPG more at home barring West Ham with 0.27. This also makes sense given their questionable choice of new stadium. 

This would indicate that West Ham are less reliant on home support, so are less likely to be as affected by the lack of fans. Given this along with their bolstered frontline, the Hammers stand a good chance of staying up. 

Things don’t look so good for the Villains though, with a lack of fans looking like it could possibly be more of an issue for them. This coupled with their tough run of games could spell trouble for Villa.

Bournemouth also face a tricky run of fixtures but more importantly, do not face any teams around them so have little chance to make up ground on their rivals. They could also be set to slip further into the relegation quagmire. 

Watford will hope to draw upon Nigel Pearson’s experience from his great escape with Leicester in 2015, as well as looking to talented players such as Abdoulaye Doucoure and Ismaila Sarr. Gerard Deulofeu, however, is still likely to be out for the remaining fixtures. 

Brighton and Norwich are both tricky to predict. Brighton have had a long and slow slide down the table, and it’s difficult to see where it might stop or how far down it will take them. 

Norwich look like they might be dead and buried, but a good run of results in the games they have against their rivals could seriously shake things up for the Canaries.

What is certain is that there is still much to play for at the bottom of the Premier League. 

Is Maddison the man for Ole?

James Maddison is continuing to impress at Leicester and is looking more and more like the finished article and one of the elite play-makers in the country. And with United’s current plight, Maddison seems like the perfect fit to come in and save their season.

The attacking midfielder showed flashes of his brilliance last season playing 36 games and getting seven goals and seven assists in his first season in the top flight. With Claude Puel getting the chop in February, Brendan Rodgers has come in and turned the foxes around with some shrewd signings and inventive tactics. Rodgers’ arrival has also seen Maddison step up his game with goals against Liverpool and Spurs as well as an assist against Chelsea, Maddison has become a big game player.

Maddison is Leicester’s most creative midfielder, has a brilliant eye for a pass and can score goals in or outside the box. Add this to his brilliant dead-ball and dribbling skills and it is tough to find an area of his game that needs significantly improving.

Brendan Rodgers’ has pushed Maddison back slightly into a number eight role, giving him more defensive responsibility and requiring him to work for the team more. Maddison has taken to this new role like a duck to water and it has also seen him get on the ball more and dictate play.

United are currently crying out for a creative midfielder with the absence of Paul Pogba, and on paper Maddison seems like the perfect option to bring in. Ole seems to be clinging onto the job by the skin of his teeth and it is almost inevitable that he or whoever is in the Old Trafford hot seat in January will be given money to spend to improve a squad that has looked a million miles away from challenging for the top four this term.

But then begs the question, why would Maddison leave Leicester for United? Right now Leicester have a much better squad and manager than United, and it’d take a minor miracle for United to finish above them this season considering they are seven points behind after ten games.

United have always been able to attract the very best and despite not being in a great place over the past few years, have not lost that pulling power that has seen the likes of Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexis Sanchez turn down bigger money to join the Red Devils. And with Maddison being a United fan as a boy, that could be a key factor in whether he makes the move this winter.

Southampton concede nine on home turf!

Have you ever played one of your ‘non-football’ friends on FIFA..?

Leicester ran riot in the torrential rain last night as the Foxes put nine past Southampton at the St Mary’s stadium, sending shockwaves through the world of social media.

Southampton have one of the leakiest defences in the Premier League, and after last night’s mauling they’ve conceded twenty-five goals this season. That dreadful defence was exposed to the full as Leicester’s exiting, attacking football tore the Saints defence to shreds.

Southampton started with a 3-5-2 formation which turned into a 5-4-1 almost instantly. It was clear from the first whistle that the home team’s game plan was to defend, aiming to get a vital point. However, Leicester had no trouble breaking down Southampton’s defence.

Leicester’s quick one touch football, which has been refined to perfection under Brendon Rogers, dominated the game, not letting Saints venture out their own half.

From the kick off, the Foxes were straight on the attack with Tielemans on the edge of the box. The Belgian tried to win a free kick but referee Andre Marrinner saw nothing and Leicester were away with the ball.

Not long after, Leicester scored their first through the unlikely source of Chillwell. After Bertrand lost the ball to Perez, Ndidi picked the ball up and played it square to the eighteen yard box to Maddison who let it run to Chillwell. The left back fired the ball in from the edge of the box to Barnes who shot but Gunn saved. The keeper parried the ball right into the path of Chillwell who had an open goal.

The goal also saw VAR executed to perfection for one of the first times this season. Bertrand put in a static tackle with his studs going straight into the side of Perez’s leg. It was undoubtedly a red card and a quick check later, the red card was shown. Quick and the right outcome without debate – finally it appears that the Premier League have sorted VAR ou…lets try not to speak too soon.

Seven minutes later, Tielemans hammered home the nights second after super play on the wing by Barnes. The young winger put a ball in most likely intended for Maddison but Valery intercepted but the ball landed at the feet of Teilmans and from fifteen yards out, he wasn’t going to miss, and didn’t.

Not even two minutes later, Perez netted for the first time in a Leicester shirt. After a quick one two with Tielemans, the Spaniard shot low to Gunn’s left and despite the keeper getting a touch, it ended in the back off the net. The game was beyond Southampton after just twenty minutes.

Twenty minutes later, Perez grabbed his second of the game. He found himself unmarked at the back post and he could hardly miss after a beautiful cross by England left back Chillwell.

The Foxes weren’t even finished for the first half yet though. Leicester aren’t going to get a hat full of goals without Vardy joining the party. The cross came in from Chillwell, again, and Romeu headed the ball right to the feet of Vardy who after some pretty footwork, beat Gunn easily.

Hassenhuttl’s men were having a nightmare losing 5-0 at half time. The Saints manager could have shut up shop and stopped it from being a mauling but he stayed with the same system and it definitely didn’t work.

With a half empty stadium at the kick off of the second half (mainly due to people leaving, not missing kick off due to queues at the food kiosks) Leicester were in the mood to make this a night to remember.

It only took ten minutes of the second half for Perez to bag the match ball. Poor defending from Yoshida keeping the run of Perez on side, Perez has the six yard box to himself to pick his spot and he did just that.

Less than a minute later, number seven came. Who else but Chillwell crossed straight to the head of Vardy who bagged his second of the night.

It was starting to get boring for neutrals, but not for the Leicester fans who were celebrating every goal like their first. Empty seats outnumbered the the occupied ones by this point in the home end. The game was getting beyond embarrassing.

After a time without the Foxes finding the net, Maddison got the pick of the bunch. A free kick from twenty yards out buried top corner. Gunn didn’t even get close.

One more for the Foxes to equal the record for the biggest Premier League win and Vardy grabbed it. After a brilliant through ball, Vardy was through and looked certain to make the record. He was brought down in the box – penalty. And we all know Vardy doesn’t miss penalties – he became the second to grab a hat trick.

It ended 9-0, a Brendon Rogers masterclass. You could call it pathetic fallacy for Southampton – a poor performance on a horrible night. A big job for Hasenhuttle to turn this poor form around as the Saints currently sit in the bottom three on goal difference.

A poignant night for Leicester as it marked the one year anniversary of the death late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

The Foxes are now firmly resting in the UCL qualification places, and quickly found themselves in second place before Manchester City defeated Aston Villa.

(Photo – Planet Football)