Cardiff v. Leicester, Match Preview, Fans View, Who’s in, Who’s out

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After a week like this, who are really bothering about football. The game away to Cardiff will be special for one reason only, but let’s hope that everyone has the energy to go out and perform the way Vichai would have liked.

Claude Puel can be a bit proud after the game v. West Ham, really putting pressure on The Hammers, but unfortunately not able to score the two goals needed to win this home game, but at least managing a point from that Ndidi goal. The home form has lately been poor, with two defeats and a draw in the last three.

Cardiff, newly promoted and with Neil Warnock in charge, an old and cunning fox, who can of course make it difficult for Leicester at home. Results have not been good, but their recent 4-2 home win v. Fulham, tells a story of a team that can be difficult to play.

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Leicester will be able to field a strong side and believing that Jamie Vardy will be back in the first team, also thinking that Demarai Gray and Nampalys Mendy will get a chance to play. Ghezzal and Iheanacho will probably lose their place, so will Vicente Iborra.

But as we have seen in the past Claude Puel can surprise everyone when it comes to team selections but good to see that he gave Caglar Soyuncu his debut, a debut that shows enough to believe that Soyuncu will be a good player in Premier League.

A number of Cardiff players will miss the game, Arter, Peltier, Ralls and Meindez-Lang are all out. Leicester will of course be without Amartey, and long term injured Matty James. Wes Morgan is back in contention again, after serving his ban.

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So who are Cardiff City and who should Leicester look out for. Josh Murphy and Bobby Reid are two players who are interesting, both new signings this season, coming in from Norwich and Bristol City. Callum Paterson, a Scottish defender is also one that would be interesting to watch.

There will be a number of foxes on the roads to Cardiff, drive carefully, take care, keep the spirit high and stand behind your men, always. This could be a way to really find a good path forward, give your support, do the owner proud.

Cardiff City is a team from Wales, but in their first team squad you will only find one from their own nation, defender Jazz Richards. The 27 year old former Swansea and Fulham player is a lonely “dragon” among a united nations of players.

Leicester are currently 12 in the table, Cardiff City just above the relegation positions at 17. A win for Leicester could close the gap a bit and also make a possible climb possible.

Referee,
Lee Probert, is the one with the whistle

Last Meeting, 11 v. 11
Home: 21.12.12, 0-1, Defeat, League Championship
Away: 12.03.13, 1-1, Draw, League Championship

Best Bet,
Our prediction is a 1-0 win to Leicester

Predicted Leicester City line-up,
System: 4-4-1-1, Schmeichel – Pereira, Maguire, Coyuncu, Chilwell – Ndidi, Mendy, Gray, Albrighton – Maddison – Vardy

Fun Fact,
Kasper Schmeichel played for Cardiff City against Leicester City at King Power Stadium, keeping a clean sheet, that was back in November 2007, in the Championship, the game ended 0-0.

In Both Camps,
Kasper is one player with games for both clubs, so are Danny Drinkwater, who also spent time on loan at Cardiff and later as we all know made the most out of his move to Leicester. There are players at Cardiff today also who have played for Leicester, Greg Cunningham, Sol Bamba and Lee Peltier are all previous foxes. Peter Rodrigues, Willie Carlin and John Farrington are others, so are Keith Robson, Paul Ramsey, Carl Muggleton and Mark Grew

The big duel,
Maddison v. Reid, the two creative midfielders will be key players for their teams and the one of them that gets the edge will be in the winning team

Leicester v. West Ham, Match Preview, Fans View, Who’s in, Who’s out

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A good 1st half performance at The Emirates must be taken into this game, and not to forget those fantastic chances of Maguire and Ndidi not materialising into goals, but again if such a display will be on at home v. West Ham, Leicester will bring three new points to the table.

Jamie Vardy left the field at The Emirates with a stomach problem, and he has not been training until today, so that has taken it’s time. Leicester were reduced to 10 men at The Emirates and had to finish the game with one man short, as all the subs were introduced.

Good news is that Demarai Gray is back in contention and has trained this week and hopefully will be available from the bench. Matty James and Wes Morgan are the two not available, James still injured and Morgan serving his red card ban.

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West Ham will of course be without their Ukrainian forward Yarmolenko, who is out long term with an injury, not expected back before April next year, and the list of absent players are long and difficult for Pellegrini.

Wilshire, Carroll, Lanzini, Holland, Mba Obiang, Sanchez and Silva are all on that list and surely it is a difficult situation for West Ham, and they are weakened and will come to King Power Stadium possibly looking for a modest result.

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Claude Puel has passed his first year in charge of Leicester City, and as we all are looking at his work, there of course a great number of positives and a few negatives. He has made a massive improvement in the way Leicester City play the game, but again it has also turned a few results in the wrong direction.

With a number of new faces and youngsters introduced, you will probably see the team progress given time and we should really honor him for his work. Gray, Chilwell, Maddison and Maguire are all in the England frame at the moment, and there are a lot of positives, and his stats are good, 10th in the PL, two quarter finals in the cups, not bad at all, and hopefully he can get Leicester back in the battle for European places and hopefully get the club to Wembley again.

The game on Saturday, a late kick-off, 6.30, is of course the first step in that direction, always believing that three points should be collected at home. City had a difficult time in the last home fixture, losing 2-0, but again they have had a relatively good record against Hammers lately and it is a fixture we should be seen as a winning possibility.

We’ve also a seen a number of changes to both players and system, flirting with different approaches against different teams, not easy to see what Puel is up to all the time, and surely against Arsenal he had moved Amartey into the middle with Evans and Maguire, if he will stick to this in this game, who knows.

Referee,
Michael Oliver, the one to decide at King Power

Last Meeting, 11 v. 11
Home: 05.05.18, 0-2, Defeat, Premier League
Away: 24.11.18, 1-1, Draw, Premier League

Best Bet,
Our prediction is a 3-1 win

Predicted Leicester City line-up,
System: 4-4-1-1, Schmeichel – Amartey, Maguire, Evans, Chilwell – Ndidi, Mendy, Pereira, Maddison – Iheanacho – Vardy

Fun Fact,
Going back to the 2015/16 season, Andy King, Ritchie De Laet and Jeffrey Schlupp all started the game v. West Ham away mid August. Okazaki and Mahrez scored the goals in the 2-1 win. both goals were scored in the first half, and this years World Cup finalists Andrei Kramaric and N’Golo Kantè were both on the bench. Kantè coming on for Okazaki late in the 2nd half.

In Both Camps,
Keith Robson was a bit of a cult hero at West Ham, playing a great game in that European Cup winners Cup final in 1976, of course defeated but again a nice run for The Hammers. Robson later turned up at Leicester City playing from 1981 to 1983, but only nine league appearances while at the club. Andy Impey, Paul Kitson and Les Ferdinand, not to forget Brian Deane, all had periods in both camps. Jimmy Bloomfield, previously in charge of Leicester City, had a short period as a player with West Ham in the mid 60’s.

The big duel,
Vardy v. Balbuena, a bit uncertainty about Vardy, but if he is out there and ready to play, then he will be a handful for the West Ham defense.

Arsenal v. Leicester, Match Preview, Fans View, Who’s in, Who’s out

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A new and difficult game away at The Emirates, not a favorite place for Leicester City at all. The last time we had a win away to The Gunners is as far back as the 8th September 1973, a great 2-0 win, goals from Stringfellow and Glover. You start to go nostalgic, 45 years ago, since Leicester City last had a taste of a win away.

But tradition is something, breaking it would have been fun, but can’t really see it happen, sorry. With problems in the back, not a settled defense and a few players in doubt, this looks tricky.

Arsenal have lately been in great form and their new manager Unai Emery looks as one who knows his trade and how to get this Arsenal team in shape. A difficult start has been turned into a good run, at the moment 4th in the PL table.

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You have a group of players who are starting to gel with their new signings in the summer, Sokratis, Torreira and Guendouzi all making great progress. Two other players Leno and Lichtsteiner who are also new, has not featured much.

A few injury worries in the Arsenal camp might be the hope Leicester City have. The fact that key players such as Sokratis, Cech, Koscielny, Maitland-Niles and Welbeck all are doubtful will stress Arsenal. Sokratis will definitely be missing, the rest face late fitness tests to see if they can be available.

Leno is the one believed to be in goal, a good goalkeeper who is real competitor to Cech for the job permanently. Holding will play with Mustafi in the middle. Monreal and Bellerin looks like the players to cover the back four positions.

How they will settle in midfield and up front is not easy to say, but a mix of Ozil, Aubemayang, Lacazette, Xhaka, Torreira and Iwobi is among the suggestions. Guendouzi would be in contention, so could Aaron Ramsey be.

There are no one suspended players at Arsenal, Leicester City will be without Wes Morgan, who is suspended for two games after being sent off against Everton.

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Leicester City are constantly in struggle to find a balance in their team, specially not being able to get things correctly from start, easily being a goal down after few minutes. This is surely something Leicester City must be eager to correct against Arsenal.

Mendy and Ndidi are players who like to keep possession and not really playing through those fantastic passes that Leicester City were used to with Danny Drinkwater in their middle and James Maddison is a real key now.

To get the ball forward to Maddison and from him being able to get the right passes to Vardy will be a crucial link. The question is, will Puel this time sacrifice Iheanacho to play Maddison in his preferred role just behind Vardy.

Again a question to ask, will Puel give the new man from Freiburg, Caglar Soyuncu his debut against Arsenal, hardly from start, seeing Jonny Evans replacing Wes Morgan.

Referee,
Andre Marriner, will be in charge at King Power

Last Meeting, 11 v. 11
Home: 09.05.18, 3-1, Win, Premier League
Away: 11.08.17, 3-4, Defeat, Premier League

Best Bet,
Our prediction is a 1-1 draw, this is more of a hope than really a best bet

Predicted Leicester City line-up,
System: 4-4-1-1, Schmeichel – Amartey, Maguire, Evans, Chilwell – Ndidi, Mendy, Pereira, Albrighton – Maddison – Vardy

Fun Fact,
We go all the way back to that game in 1973. Len Glover and Mike Stringfellow scored the goals. Leicester were 4th in the table after that match, and the team had no new signings. Frank Worthington was the last one of the lot to be signed a year before in August 1972. Four of the players were from the youth system at the club, Graham Cross, Steve Whitworth, Peter Shilton and Malcolm Munro. Five players, Birchenall, Weller, Glover, Rofe and Sammels were all signings from London based clubs. One of the goalscorer’s Mike Stringfellow was signed from Mansfield 11 years before, in 1962. Cross, Glover and Shilton were three others who had been at the club from the mid and early 60’s. In that season, Leicester City also won the game at home 2-0, taking place as early as December that same year.

In Both Camps,
A number of players have a life in both camps. Jon Sammels was among those in the last winning team who was signed from Arsenal for a fee of £ 100 000 two years prior to the great 2-0 away win at Highbury. Jeff Blockley, Eddie Kelly and George Armstrong all featured for Arsenal in the game as well, and they were later transferred to Leicester City all three of them. Blockley moving to Leicester City in 1975 for a fee of £100 000, Kelly and Armstrong both signed for Leicester City under the management of Frank McLintock. Armstrong had a short lived period, while Kelly stayed on and became a very important player for Leicester City in the later promotions from the 2nd tier.

Later we have seen other players also going in both directions, but the only player to actually have moved from Leicester City to Arsenal is Alan Smith. Smith joined and rejoined Leicester City on loan in 1987, just two years later he had made his England debut and won the league with Arsenal. Other names to mention are, Martin Keown, Paul Dickov, Kevin Campbell, Ignasi Miquel and of course Frank McLintock, winning “The Double” with Arsenal and playing in to FA Cup finals with Leicester City.

The big duel,
Vardy v. Mustafi, both will be crucial for their teams in this game, and with the pace of Vardy we believe that he will be a handful for the Arsenal defense.

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