On Saturday afternoon, Leicester City will play high-flying Brighton & Hove Albion at the King Power Stadium in an effort to end a miserable four-game losing streak in the Premier League.
Last weekend, Liverpool’s team was easily beaten 2-0 by Nottingham Forest, while the Seagulls swooped in and beat Liverpool 3-0 on the South Coast.
PREVIEW OF THE MATCH
The World Cup break was a blessing for some teams and a nightmare for others. It has definitely been the latter for Leicester, who are still looking for their first point, if not their first victory in the Premier League since the tournament in Qatar.
At the City Ground this past weekend, the Foxes held on for the first 45 minutes, but the Tricky Trees won thanks to two goals from Brennan Johnson, both of which were set up by Morgan Gibbs-White. Harvey Barnes missed a few golden opportunities, but the story could have been different.
The 15th-placed Foxes are now only two points clear of the dotted line as a relegation dogfight rears its ugly head. Their only win of the New Year so far was that 1-0 FA Cup victory at an out-of-sorts Gillingham. After losing only one of their last six games prior to the World Cup, the Foxes went on a miserable four-game losing streak.
Even though the transfer window is open, Leicester fans won’t be waiting around for any possible solutions to their attacking problem. Rodgers’ team has only scored two goals in their last six games and one goal in their last four Premier League games.
Even though the Foxes have never previously suffered four consecutive scoreless league defeats on their own turf, very few will back Rodgers’s team with any real confidence here. The Foxes have lost all three of their most recent top-flight home games without scoring a single goal.
Brighton’s preparations for Liverpool’s visit to the Amex were threatened by the Leandro Trossard saga, but Roberto De Zerbi’s clinical team performed admirably in the absence of the missing Belgian, and Jurgen Klopp witnessed the “worst game” of his Reds career.
After surviving a penalty attempt in the first half and maintaining their clean sheet at halftime, Liverpool’s defense soon gave way as Solly March scored twice and Danny Welbeck came off the bench to seal a remarkable victory nine minutes later.
Brighton are currently seventh in the rankings, just three points behind fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who lost to Manchester City on Thursday, and they are basking in the glory of a three-game winning streak in all tournaments during which they have scored a whopping 12 goals.
Brighton has scored over three goals per game in their last five games, even scoring twice against league leaders Arsenal and having a third goal disallowed for slight offside. However, they will need to be cautious of their recent defensive flaws because they haven’t kept a clean sheet away from home in the Premier League since August.
At the Amex earlier this season, Leicester and Brighton played a seven-goal thriller that the Seagulls won 5-2. De Zerbi is on the verge of leading the visitors to three consecutive victories in the Premier League for only the second time in the club’s history.
One minor positive for Rodgers is that he did not see any additional players enter the treatment room at the City Ground. There, eight players missed the game, including Ricardo Pereira, Ryan Bertrand, James Justin, Jonny Evans, and Boubakary Soumare, who have been out for a while.
A major boost for Rodgers would be the return of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and James Maddison, although Ayoze Perez remains uncertain.
Therefore, the Spaniard may have a chance to replace Marc Albrighton on the right, and Patson Daka or Kelechi Iheanacho’s chances of being called up to the first team will improve as a result of Jamie Vardy’s continued toothless attacking play.
Trossard has played his final Brighton game as he gets closer to joining Arsenal, and Levi Colwill is expected to miss several weeks with a quadriceps injury.
As he recovers from a knee injury, Polish midfielder Jakub Moder will miss several weeks. Also on his mind is former Brighton player Enock Mwepu, who retired in October following the discovery of a hereditary cardiac condition and was recently hospitalized in Zambia.
Adam Webster is expected to take over for injured Colwill, but Welbeck has done everything he can to move 18-year-old Evan Ferguson to the front of the attack. De Zerbi will undoubtedly keep changes to a minimum.
The possible starting lineup for Leicester City:
Ward; Thomas, Amartey, Faes, and Castagne; Mendy, Ndidi; Barnes, Tielemans, and Dewsbury-Hall; Daka Brighton & Hove Albion’s potential lineup for the first game:
Sanchez; Estupinan, Dunk, Gross, and Webster; The Mac Allister, Caicedo; Mitoma, March, and Lallana; Welbeck
Leicester Team News:
Ryan Bertrand (Knee), Ricardo Pereira (Achilles Tendon), Jonny Evans (Muscle), and James Justin (Achilles Tendon) are all out of this game for Leicester. Their expected return dates are around the middle of February. However, the absence of Leicester’s player of the season, James Maddison, who is out with a knee injury until at least the end of January, will be the most detrimental to Brendan Rodgers’ morale. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, a youth setup prodigy who made a lot of great goals to start the season, is out with a knock as well.
People to watch:
Harvey Barnes (six goals), Youri Tielemans (21 chances created this season), and Wilfred Ndidi (1.7 interceptions per 90 minutes)
Brighton & Hove Albion Team News
Brighton are also without their main man, Leandro Trossard, who is still out with a calf injury. This is similar to Leicester ruling out Maddison for this game. His return date is currently uncertain, according to the club statement. Jakub Moder, a young midfielder, also had a cruciate ligament tear at the start of the season, which has kept him out of every game so far this season. By the middle of February, Moder is expected to be back in training.
People to watch:
Leicester City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion Prediction Pascal Gros (6 goals, 3 assists), Solly March (26 chances created this season), and Pervis Estupinan (1.7 interceptions per 90 minutes)
Brighton appear to be a well-oiled machine under De Zerbi. They might prove to be too much for a weak Leicester City team to handle. For Rodgers’ men, this could be yet another forgettable performance.
Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion beat Leicester City 0-3.