After a long break, without any FA Cup games and really being able to prepare and return to winning ways, Claude Puel must satisfy fans and not “pity” himself as he did in the press conference. It’s obvious that the manager is in a collision with fans.
There are still many in the fanbase that believe Claude Puel will bring this into place and hopefully be able to win the next games coming up, as they are easier and should be possible to bring home points from. But as we have seen recent results against Fulham and Cardiff shows that no games are easy in the Premier League.
Crystal Palace are full of confidence after a great result in the FA Cup reaching the quarter finals and Roy Hodgson has a great record against Leicester City, so this is no walk in the park.
Leicester City will of course be without Marc Albrighton and Daniel Amartey, Nampalys Mendy is also uncertain, but hopefully the team will be as strong as we would like it to be. Hopefully Puel will stick to a plan that works, but what worries TCF is the lack of continuity and changes over and over again.
There are also doubt about Ben Chilwell and James Maddison who could miss the game, both are assessed before the game, but reported to be in the frame for a starting position.
If a manager makes a bold move to shake things up, as Puel did against Spurs, and you get away with it and gets a good result, then you are ok, but if you do bold moves and they are not working and you have to go back to basics, then you are lost.
There are of course different opinions in the fanbase about the Puel future, but he certainly need to get results now and until the end of the season to change the atmosphere at home games.
Crystal Palace will be without a few key players but of course you need to look out for Zaha and Benteke, both quality forwards. With Batshuayi also available it’s strong strike force to battle with, but hopefully Puel will find a good blend that will keep this group quiet.
A key is to win the midfield and against Palace who usually use three in the center we would prefer to see Leicester City also in this combination, but Puel is often playing with Maddison just behind the top forward who we certainly hope is Jamie Vardy in this game.
If you are able to transport the ball fast and use the flanks a lot, then you can get away with a four men midfield, but it is a tough battle for those two working in the center. We believe that Puel will stick to his plan and play 4-4-1-1 and try to win the game by dominating.
If you look at form, Palace is the clear winner, with three wins and two draws from their last five games, Leicester City has a totally different track record, four defeats and one draw.
Anthony Taylor, hopefully doing his job in a perfect way
Last Meeting, 11 v. 11
Home: 23.12.17, 0-3, Draw, Premier League
Away: 15.12.18, 0-1, Defeat, Premier League
Our prediction is a 1-1 draw
Predicted Leicester City line-up,
System: 4-4-1-1, Schmeichel – Pereira, Maguire, Evans, Chilwell – Ndidi, Tielemans, Ghezzal, Gray – Maddison – Vardy
Alan Birchenall was the first player to be transferred three times for the fee of £100 000, and his move from Palace to Leicester was the third. It all happened back in 1971. Steve Claridge had a life at both Palace and Leicester and scored that fantastic winner of the 1996 Play off-final at Wembley.
In Both Camps,
Jeffrey Schlupp is today a proven example and will most certainly be in the line-up on Saturday. Steve Claridge, Alan Birchenall, Steve Kember and Damien Delaney are other players who used to be eagles and foxes. Peter Taylor, Ian Holloway and Dave Bassett are all former managers in both camps.
The big duel,
Pereira v. Zaha, Puel might go for security and could play Simpson, but if he is not, then Pereira is in a very important role this Saturday, and his attacking style might be a risk against a player like Zaha that likes to attack and will be often alone, we will just wait and see