Leeds United will travel to the King Power Stadium for not only their first away game of the new season, but also their first live televised game. Sky Sports 1 will be covering the game from 16.15 onwards and I’m sure Leeds fans who are not traveling to Leicester tomorrow will be desperately crossing their fingers that Peter Beagrie will not be offering his so called ‘expert opinion’ he seems to have acquired in a career which was more memorable for his somersaulting celebrations than anything else.
Anyway, in terms of the match, Leicester City will be adopting the 3-5-2 formation which has produced two wins out of two for The Foxes this season, albeit the latter needed a 95th minute winner from Sean St. Ledger to beat Wycombe Wanderers midweek in the ‘Capital One Cup’. However, what we saw in that game was the wing-backs pushed on a little more. Boss Nigel Pearson replaced Paul Konchesky with Lloyd Dyer, a naturally more attacking player.
For the Leeds game on Sunday, despite being in front of the home fans, Pearson will go back to a more defensive 3-5-2, like what he adopted against Middlesbrough, meaning the wing-backs will play further back creating more of a 5-3-2 situation. I believe the line-up will be very similar to the Middlesbrough game for Leicester City with goal-scorer Vardy replacing Nugent, Whitbread replacing Moore and Konchesky returning to the fold in place of Dyer.
Despite Leicester’s high finish in the league last year (6th) and finishing seven points ahead of Leeds, The Foxes only managed a solitary point from the two league games last year. The game is anyone’s to win. Most betting websites have made Leicester favourites with Leeds at 4/1. However, I believe the game will be a lot closer than these odds suggest. Andy King, as always, will be a key player for The Foxes. King has scored an impressive 50 goals for the club and he is still only 24 years old. King will play in the middle three in midfield but will look to get forward as much as possible and break into the box, which is what he did against Wycombe and won his team a penalty. It’d be short-sighted however to focus on one player. Leicester are equipped with an extremely strong squad, one which in my eyes is definitely good enough to challenge for the automatic promotion places this year.
However, there is absolutely no reason why Leeds cannot match them. McDermott will revert back to a 4-4-3 and hope to get in behind the full backs to draw a centre-half out of position. In terms of team news for The Whites, Rudy Austin will come in for Tonge and Hunt will play as a solitary striker with Varney and McCormack either side of him. Leicester are a good passing team and the midfield battle will be a crucial one. Leeds need to be fierce and allow Leicester no time on the ball. Hopefully the inclusion of Austin will help this. However, despite the belief that Leeds can get a result, I do not think they will. My prediction is a 2-1 Leicester win.