Leicester City: The real deal?

With Leicester grabbing that massive 9-0 victory on Friday night at St Mary’s, I’ll be taking a look at where the real potential of Brendan Rodgers’ squad lies, and identifying the best possible choices in terms of FPL.

So just before we get into it, let’s just make light of the other reason why we’re talking about Leicester.

The Foxes are entering what should be a nice and easy run of fixtures until GW18, with Arsenal being the only top 6 team that they face before their clash with Man City. In full, their matches in GW11-17 (inclusive), are as follows:

PAL (a), ARS (h), BRI (a), EVE (h), WAT (h), AVL (a), NOR (h).

Now, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that none of those defences are particularly watertight, with Everton, Villa ,Watford and Norwich all in the bottom 5 teams for goals conceded so far this season. What’s more is that the last 2 of those have conceded 21 and 24 goals respectively already.

It is Leicester’s next 3 opponents, however, who have conceded the least goals of this 7 game run, with Palace having conceded 12, and Brighton and Arsenal conceding 14 each.

Now then, onto the real reason we should be considering Leicester; their immense squad. And for all the talent they possess, there seems to only ever be one Leicester player to whom we all go – Jamie Vardy.

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It is certainly justified, however. Vardy is currently on 9 goals, making him the Premier League’s top scorer after his hat-trick against Southampton, and has scored a total of 75 goals in his last 4 full Premier League seasons, also grabbing 16 assists.

The former Fleetwood Town striker is undoubtedly the most sure fire option for anyone looking to dip into Leicester’s attack, but at £9.3m, he is also by far the most expensive option.

And with the rise of other budget and mid-priced strikers, it can be hard to get Vardy into a team alongside the likes of Tammy Abraham, Callum Wilson, Josh King and Raul Jimenez.

Personally, I can’t see a much better option than Vardy from this selection, but if you can’t get him in, we’ve got you covered! Vardy himself has proved his reliability in the past, but here are some Leicester midfield options, who are also a touch less expensive than the Foxes’ number 9.

Harvey Barnes (£5.9m)

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Starting with one of Leicester’s most underrated players, in my opinion, Harvey Barnes is an incredible and cheap option for your midfield.

Owned by just 0.7%, Barnes has 1 goal and 5 assists (including 1 “FPL” assist) this season, with all 5 of the assists coming in the last 4 games. Barnes seems to have gone massively under the radar so far, but is getting more and more playing time as the weeks go by.

The youngster has been playing off Leicester’s left side recently, which is a side on which Crystal Palace, especially, have been know to be slightly weaker. However, 4 assists in 2 games is nothing to be sniffed at, even against Southampton and Burnley.

This is a player who has bags of potential, and who is certainly on my own radar as a major differential during Leicester’s upcoming run of fixtures.

James Maddison (£7.3m) and Youri Tielemans (£6.5m)

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Now, there is a reason why these two are together; because they are similar players in terms of some of the numbers they produce.

While Maddison has played 9/10 games, and Tielemans has played all 10, both have 3 goals and 2 assists to their name so far. It hardly sets the world alight, but there is a lot of potential to be noted in both of these players.

Tielemans, as far as I can see, has been mostly freed from his defensive duties at Leicester, meaning that the Belgian acts as a full-on pass master in the heart of the midfield. He has created 3 big chances this season so far, compared to Maddison’s 2, and has completed over 100 more passes than Maddison.

Both players seem to play level with each other on the attack, but Tielemans seems to have to work back just that little bit more than Maddison. However, Tielemans still manages to play most of his football beyond the halfway line, which is a good sign that he is an efficient and attack-minded player.

Both players have been known to take set-pieces, but in this respect, Maddison seems to be favoured over Tielemans. The former Norwich man scored a free-kick against Southampton, and normally takes most corners for his side, of which Leicester average 7.3 per match.

Maddison, as we all know, has a wand of a right foot, and can sometimes bend and manipulate the ball beyond all belief. But for me, simply because of the price difference, and the lack of difference in the numbers, I would prefer to have Tielemans in my squad right now, if I had to pick one.

Ayoze Perez (£6.1m)

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For those of you who haven’t jumped off this particular train already, you well and truly reaped the rewards in GW10.

But personally, with these being Perez’s first 3 goals of the season, I wouldn’t be too hasty in getting him back in. The Spaniard only had one assist before GW10, and hadn’t looked too promising at all since his move from Newcastle.

Of course, this could be the start of something big for Perez. Or it could also be that this was his one good game of the season; we just don’t know yet. Either way, I would hold station with this man right now; don’t buy him if you don’t have him, but also don’t sell him if you’re one of the 5% that own him.

And in the defence?

Currently, Leicester’s full-backs are two of the most attacking in the league, with both Ricardo Pereira and Ben Chilwell providing major threats while backing up the wingers on their sides.

Ben Chilwell managed to haul 19 points against Southampton, with a goal and 2 assists during GW10 adding to his solitary assist for the rest of the season so far. The England international does tend to take some set pieces; usually longer free-kicks that need a cross from the left side.

Ricardo Pereira, however, was much quieter during that match, and didn’t add to his tally of 2 goals for the season so far. He played some of last season at right midfield, which may have partially contributed to the fact he got 2 goals and 6 assists last season.

Either way, I certainly think that Chilwell especially has massive potential in this defence, but it may be a risk using him as well as the ever-popular Çaglar Söyüncü.

In terms of Söyüncü, FPL managers are more than in the right to pick him over his CB partner Jonny Evans.

The Turkish international has made more blocks, tackles, interceptions and clearances than Evans, which bodes well for his bonus point potential in the busier games this season.

The Foxes have kept 3 clean sheets this season, but they can undoubtedly build on that with the quality they have in defence, as well as with the screen of Wilfred Ndidi in front if them.

Ndidi makes an incredible amount of interceptions (32) and tackles (45), which obviously makes life much easier for the defence, and makes clean sheet potential even greater for Leicester’s defenders.

So there we have it. Some stats to help you break down this incredible Leicester team, bit by bit. Personally, Vardy and Barnes are my two most confident picks, but the others are definitely not too far behind them.

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