Leicester City’s barnstorming victory over Manchester City has given them a huge boost ahead of tonight’s trip to AFC Bournemouth. The reigning Premier League champions bounced back from their 5-0 drubbing against Porto in supreme style thanks to a hat-trick by England striker Jamie Vardy. But Claudio Ranieri will be expecting a tough examination on the south coast against a Bournemouth side who will be looking to respond in a positive fashion after losing by the odd goal in five against Burnley at the weekend. Eddie Howe’s men were one of the few sides not to be beaten by Leciester last season, having drawn 0-0 away and 1-1 at home.
Considering the trouble they have had in replicating their Champions League form on the domestic scene, the Foxes’ dismantling of Pep Guardiola’s title challengers at the King Power Stadium was one of the biggest shocks of the season. In fact, it was the first time they had won three points in the Premier League since October, a result that lifted them to 14th in the table. However, they are still two points and two places behind tonight’s hosts, who failed to back up their incredible 4-3 victory over Liverpool by losing at Burnley. The Cherries have struggled on their travels but have been much more comfortable at the Vitality Stadium, where they have notched up four wins from seven games.
Arsenal loanee Jack Wilshere looks certain to be recalled after being rested against Burnley, but Howe could stick with two strikers. Andrew Surman and Junior Stanislas are still sidelined by injury, along with long-term absentee Lewis Cook, but Joshua King and Jordon Ibe are pushing their cases to be recalled. For Leicester, Danny Drinkwater is available and could be parachuted back into the starting XI after completing a three-match suspension, but Danny Simpson is out after receiving his fifth booking of the campaign against Manchester City. A huge boost could come in the return of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who has spent six weeks recovering from a broken hand.
Bournemouth predicted starting XI Leicester predicted starting XI
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This looks too close to call. As their home form suggests, Bournemouth are no pushovers and have already beaten West Bromwich Albion, Everton, Hull City and Liverpool on home soil. Although the defeat at Burnley was a setback, they enjoyed the majority of possession and on another day could have captured three points. Leicester’s cause will be helped if Drinkwater and Schmeichel are named in the side, plus the return to goalscoring form of Vardy is a welcome sight. Draw
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