Team Preview: Leicester City

General Overview

  • Expected formation: 4-4-2
  • Expected line-up: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs; Mahrez/Gray (new signing?), Ndidi, Iborra, Albrighton; Slimani/Iheanacho, Vardy
  • Penalties: Mahrez, Vardy, Slimani
  • Direct free kicks: Mahrez, Fuchs, Drinkwater
  • Indirect free kicks: Albrighton, Fuchs, Mahrez, Drinkwater
  • Corners: Fuchs, Albrighton, Mahrez, Drinkwater
  • Opening fixtures: Ars, (A), BHA (H), Mnu (A), CHE (H), Hud (A), LIV (H), Bou (A), WBA (H), Swa (A), EVE (H)

After a major slump in their performance since their historical achievement of winning the Premier League in 2015/16, the Leicester team got back to being their boisterous selves again and started to perform under their new manager.

With Craig Shakespeare now being trusted with the hot seat, Leicester look to go again after salvaging some respect after the sacking of Ranieri, which evidently put a spring back in their step – aside from the 6-1 royal thrashing by Spurs at the King Power.

Kelechi Iheanacho, who has literally just been announced as an official Leicester City player as I write this, is a really good acquisition for them and one I feel that could do well in our beloved Fantasy Premier League.

Mahrez is also close to securing his transfer away from the King Power to Italian giants Roma. There remains a question mark over who replaces him, or indeed whether Demarai Gray is given an opportunity – both pose interesting propositions from an FPL perspective.

Lets take a closer look.

The Defence

New boy Harry Maguire (£5.0m) is an interesting prospect. At £5.0m he could provide great value if Leicester show signs that they can pick up the clean sheets consistently and Maguire will help with that. Strong in the air and good on the ball, Maguire poses a real threat in opposition box, which is evidenced in the 2 goals and 3 assists he registered last season for Hull.

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Fuchs (£5.0m) has proven to be a quality asset since Leicester got promoted to the top flight. Defensive assets always hinge on whether or not the team can pick up clean sheets, but even without that, Fuchs can get those precious attacking returns. 2 goals and 4 assists last year was a better attacking return than his first season, where he managed a very tidy 150 points – down to the difference in clean sheets he kept, from 15 in their title winning season, to 8 last year. If Leicester can prove themselves defensively organised, then this man is always one to consider.

If you’re looking for a cheaper route into the backline, then Danny Simpson (£4.5m) could be your man. 3 assists last season marked his best ever attacking return, not bad at all for someone valued at £4.5m.

The Midfield

As discussed previously, it seems that Mahrez (£8.5m) is close to getting the deal he wants, so focus shifts away from him and perhaps promotes a potential gem in Demarai Gray (£5.5m). He got, what looks like, a pretty poor attacking return of 1 goal and 4 assists in the 9(21) games he played in the league however, a lot of those sub appearances were him coming on for the last 10 minutes – very difficult to make a notable impact in that time.

Plus, Leicester were quite poor in the period before Ranieri got the sack, so it’s difficult to see the potential when you look at stats alone, but from what I’ve physically seen of him with my own eyes for Leicester and England U21s, he looks to be a hot prospect. He has pace, trickery and can strike the ball extremely well. Game time will only serve to aid his development and I think Leicester should give him a shot. If they do, I can see him doing well for them and at that price, he’d be a real bargain!

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The Attack

Jamie Vardy (£8.5m) leads the way here after following up his massive title winning season of 211 points with a respectable 161 points, in the end, that included 13 goals and 8 assists as well as 24 bonus points. £8.5m is a decent price if he and Leicester can find their best form again which, with them being out of the Champions League this year, might just happen.

New boy Iheanacho (£7.0m) looks a great bargain from an FPL perspective if he starts ahead of Slimani (£7.0m). In 26 appearances in all competitions, 20 of those being sub appearances, he scored 7 goals and got 3 assists and has looked impressive – when he got a chance, he took it, plain and simple.

Manuel Pellegrini had this to say about him during his tenure for Manchester City:

“He is a very good player but he also must improve a lot. But a player of 19-years-old who scores so many goals and not playing all the games, I think has a brilliant future. I think all the fans of City will be delighted with him in the next years.”

(FourFourTwo)

Well, he probably hit the nail on the head there with all but one thing… It will be the Leicester City fans that will be delighted with him, not Manchester City fans.

Conclusion

Leicester have a mixed start. Some very tough games interspersed with some slightly easier ones, with it starting to look a little brighter in GW7. On the counter, is where they are the most dangerous still and even in those tougher games away at Arsenal and Man United, Vardy, in particular, can still get some joy with the new addition of Iborra to the central midfield, who can pick a pass similar to Drinkwater from deep. So I wouldn’t rule him out from the start, as we all know what he can do when he’s firing on all cylinders.

As far as the other midfield and forward options go, we don’t know which Leicester are going to turn up just yet and we need to observe how the Mahrez situation unfolds. If he leaves, his replacement could become an interesting FPL option or alternatively, if they give Gray a shot, he could become a very good 4th midfielder for our FPL squads.

We also don’t know for certain which striker pairing Shakespeare is going to go with up front, Vardy/Iheanacho, or Vardy/Slimani. I have a feeling they could rotate between Iheanacho and Slimani, as they are two different types of strikers where one may suit that weeks opposition, better than the other, although I expect Iheanacho to get the majority of the games.

From a defensive standpoint, they were pretty poor last season – 9 clean sheets isn’t too bad however, considering they conceded 63 goals. In the 13 games that Shakespeare had the reigns, they managed 4 of those 9 clean sheets which suggests a slight improvement. They also conceded 18 goals in those 13 Premier League games which doesn’t really help provide us with any clarity, although 6 of them were from Spurs in one brutal game dominated by a certain Harry Kane.

In my opinion, the only asset I would take from the off, is Vardy. As far as the rest of the team goes, I would wait.

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2 thoughts on “Team Preview: Leicester City

Add yours

    1. Alright mate, I’ll assume you meant ‘clean sheets’ not ‘clean shits’ as I’m not particularly interested in knowing what Maguire’s shits are like haha!

      When I do, ‘Mahrez/Gray’, it’s because no-one knows for sure who will play and as I mention in the article, Mahrez is close to leaving Leicester for Roma, but doesn’t mean he’s 100% going to go, so if he stays, he will likely stay on the right wing, but if he leaves then Gray is the one that will step in his place if they don’t sign a new right winger to replace Mahrez.

      Like

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