Leicester 1, Sparta Prague 0, positives and negatives, player ratings and match report

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Leicester U.23 played Sparta Prague this Thursday evening, and had a strong set-up for this make or break match. Andy King and Matty James both played all 90 minutes and had good controll in the middle of midfield.

It was game with few chances and Sparta Prague defended well at Holmes Park. Leicester had the ball most of the time with a few and seldom counter attacks from the Czech team.

Rumanian U.21 international Alexandru Pascanu, who earlier in the month was included in the full squad of his nation, companied Josh Knight in the central of defense, with Darnell Johnson covering the right back and Callum Elder to the left.

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Nice to be able to watch these games from the official site, good coverage and commentary and with former Leicester City manager Micky Adams as part of the commentary team.

Adams was not ok with a few of the players, giving South African midfielder Leshabela a bit of stick, and rightly so, as he was sloppy with a number of easy passes. the former Leicester City manager also pointed out that City had to pass faster and not use more than two touches. He was spot on.

In the end, Micky Adams suggested in his commentary that Steve Beaglehole should try to put a tall man up front, and just minutes after that was exactly what he did, pushing Josh Knight up in the front line.

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Knight became an instant treath and made a great finish in the 85th minute, scoring from a well placed shot, assisted with a great cross from sub Dewsbury-Hall.

The game showed that Andy King and Matty James both had a role to play, and surely both have something to offer, looking from a squad point of view. The duo in the centre, were together with Darnell Johnson and Josh Knight those who had most influence.

Leicester City came of the bottom of their group in the PL International Cup, playing Feyenoord next and everything is still open and they will probably be a difficult match also for the Dutch side, if Beaglehole can use a few of the experienced players.

  • Positives:
    • Andy King and Matty James playing the full game
    • Keeping a clean sheet
    • Josh Knight scoring a great goal, the winner
    • Beaglehole making the right tactics
    • Listening to Micky Adams and his spot on commentary
  • Negatives:
    • Not able to push harder for goals, not enough attacking will
    • Playing to safely with a team that surely could have won with more goals
    • Little or nothing up front, not the best movement and accuracy
    • A bit of sloppy passes at times
    • Johnson and Shade yellow carded
  • Player Ratings: Johansson 6. Johnson 6, Pascanu 6, Knight 7, Elder 6, King 6, James 6, Leshabela 5, Wright 5, Choudhury 4, Shade 4, Subs: Dewsbury-Hall, Tee, Sherif

Match Stats: N/A

 

Leicester 0(6), Southampton 0(5), positives and negatives, player ratings and match report

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The Carabao Cup is a great opportunity for fringe players and Claude Puel gave a number of them a chance against Southampton. Ward, Silva, Diabate, Soyuncu, Simpson and Fuchs were all included and played in a well organized team with ordinary first teamers, Ndidi, Evans, Vardy, Iheanacho and Gray.

Puel had named a strong bench as well with young flank midfielder Thakgalo Khanya Leshabela. The 19 year old South African has impressed in the U.23 set up this season and was rewarded with a place in this match squad.

Leshabela could have followed Hamza Choudhury as the second development player to be handed his debut by Claude Puel, but was not lucky this time, seeing more experienced players such as Albrighton, Mendy and Okazaki preferred in the game.

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Southampton fielded a strong side in a game that was a bit dull without any goals scored in ordinary time. Defensively a credit to both teams who had strong players and they outplayed the opponents attackers who never had a chance of scoring.

The VAR system avoided two possible penalty errors by the referee, and it’s great to see that such a system is introduced, soon this should be part of the Premier League as well, and this will most certainly happen. Both Leicester and Southampton had one penalty disallowed, and the closest to a goal was in real Southampton hitting the bar on one occasion.

The game never really came to a point were anyone had a great advantage and to see a penalty shoot out, with Darren Ward in goal, probably thrilled fans, and also this time they were able to celebrate.

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Both teams scored on all their first five penalties, but when the sixth penalty was to be taken Southampton, Gabbiadini missed his chance with a nice save from Ward, and in the end Nampalys Mendy became the hero scoring nicely with his shot.

Leicester are through to the quarter finals and will face Manchester City at home. A difficult draw and with this type of performance against Pep’s men, we will have no chance to reach the Semi’s.

This Leicester City team never managed to put any real pressure on Saints, at home, but again a win is a win, and to see six good penalties and all of them scored is something to celebrate.

  • Positives:
    • Great goalkeeping from Darren Ward
    • Keeping a clean sheet
    • Scoring six in a penalty shoot out
    • Getting through to the quarter finals
    • Soyuncu with a good performance, looks solid
    • A good mix of fringe and firs team regulars
  • Negatives:
    • Not able to put much pressure on Southampton
    • Not able to score in open play
  • Player Ratings: Ward 8. Simpson 6, Fuchs 7, Evans 6, Soyuncu 7, Silva 4, Gray 6, Iheanacho 5, Diabate 4, Vardy 6, Ndidi 6, Subs: Albrighton, Okazaki, Mendy

Match Stats: H/A

  • Possession: 51 / 49
  • Corners: 6 / 6
  • Shots on target: 3 / 1
  • Shots wide: 4 / 4
  • Fouls: 12 / 14
  • Offsides: 2 / 0

 

Sunday Transfer Talk, Ranieri chasing old foxes, Leicester targets Arsenal duo, Chelsea and Tottenham to be in the mix

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Sunday is always an interesting day for rumours about who’s going where, and as we silently moves away from Black Friday Shopping and into a, soon to be, Transfer Window, you are of course looking for new Leicester City updates.

The current raid from Ranieri, described by Tcf, a week back as many papers speculated in a move for Robert Huth, with other Leicester City players such as Danny Simpson and Christian Fuchs being lined up, and even Shinji Okazaki described as a target.

Okazaki will probably see out his contract at Leicester and seek a move back to Germany in the summer, instead of a short term deal at Craven Cottage, struggling to get into a first elleven, but of course nothing is certain in football, and the mind of Claudio Ranieri is not either easy to understand always.

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Ranieri got a great start in his new job at Fulham, winning at home against fellow strugglers Southampton, and Mirror’s report this Sunday is not what we believe the former Leicester City boss will do, bring in all the 30 years old players in his squad, but to see Danny Drinkwater and Robert Huth at Craven Cottage could be happening.

Leicester is linked with Celta Vigo’s Brais Mendez and Alaves forward Ibai Gomez. Both are players who have done well in La Liga this season. Leeds is also reported to keep close tabs on those two.

Other news this Sunday is that midfielder Hamza Choudhury has penned a new deal. He has been overlooked by Claude Puel this season, but done well in the U.23 set up. He is still a young man, and has represented England at U.21 level, so a bit surprising to see him overlooked as Puel looks to prioritize younger players.

Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny has not been involved in Premier League this season, and his name is constantly turning up as a Leicester City target. Another Arsenal player who in the past has been seen as a possible target is England international Danny Welbeck. The former Manchester United forward is desperately looking for a chance to play steady, but if a move is to happen, competition from other clubs such as Newcastle, Everton and Watford could be seen.

Chelsea and Tottenham are both clubs that probably will try to tempt Leicester City with an offer for left back wonder Ben Chilwell. The fact that Chilwell has penned a new deal will not scare the giants of, and we could also see Manchester City and Manchester United in the chase for one of the most promising young players in England.

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