Leicester City vs West Brom: Match preview and predicted line-ups
Leicester will be full of confidence after another impressive showing in Europe, but it is imperative that they improve their domestic form. They were never expected to challenge for the title again. However, after the money that they spent during the summer, they will be hoping to consolidate themselves as a top ten club. They will be facing a West Brom team that will be determined to bounce back from a disappointing performance against Manchester City.
The media are scratching their head at Leicester’s domestic form as they have been a completely different side to the one that we came to love last season. The loss of Ngolo Kante was difficult to deal with, but it shouldn’t have affected them as much as it has. Riyad Mahrez has yet to find his form in the Premier League and he will have to improve if he wants to earn a move away to a bigger club in the next year.
West Brom have taken the brave decision to award Tony Pulis with a contract extension. Although he may be good at keeping sides in the Premier League, his style of play isn’t inspiring and the fans are growing restless. The Baggies have become a boring club under the leadership of Pulis. He may keep them in the Premier League again, but supporters are losing interest and that is a huge problem.
Leicester may have kept four clean sheets and taken ten points from four matches in the Champions League, but their league form is troubling. They have already lost more matches than last season and it is only November. Claudio Ranieri will point to an improvement in recent weeks as they have taken four points from their last two matches and it is crucial they continue that with a win this weekend.
The visitors are only three points above the bottom three after their loss to Manchester City. They haven’t won since September and that is a run that could be set to continue this weekend. As expected from a Pulis side, their defensive record has been good apart from last weekend’s defeat to City where they shipped four goals.
There will be one enforced change as Ron-Robert Zieler is set to replace the injured Kasper Schmeichel. The Dane will be missed but Zieler is a more than capable deputy who will be eager to impress after joining in the summer. I don’t expect Ranieri to make any other changes to the side that started against Tottenham last weekend.
Matt Phillips and James Morrison could be the two players chosen to replace Nacer Chadli and James McClean in the starting eleven. The rest of the West Brom side could remain the same, which means that Jonny Evans will continue in his role in front of the back four.
Leicester City West Brom
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Matthew James is back in training and could feature in the matchday squad this weekend. Ben Chilwell and Islam Slimani are both approaching a return, but it is unknown whether they will be involved against West Brom. Kasper Schmeichel will be missing until November, which provides summer signing Ron-Robert Zieler with an opportunity to impress.
James McClean won’t be involved this weekend after picking up five yellow cards this season. Nacer Chadli will also be missing for the away side through a knee injury. These will both be missed in the West Brom attack.
I expect Leicester City to pick up their fourth home victory of the season, but it won’t be a great spectacle for the neutral. Pulis will set out to frustrate the champions and look to counter attack. However, he is missing two of his first choice attackers in Chadli and McClean, which will make it difficult for the visitors to score this weekend. Although Leicester haven’t been great, they are slowly improving and they should have too much for the Baggies at the KP Stadium on Sunday.
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