Leicester City returned to action on Saturday, again playing at home, following on from Monday’s rousing win over Liverpool.
The visitors on this occasion were Hull City, a side desperate for points to close the gap on 17th place and provide hope of remaining in the Premier League.
As on Monday, the Foxes came out on top, winning 3-1 after conceding an early goal. Securing victory after going behind the sign of an improving mentality at the King Power Stadium. Here are three things we learnt from the encounter…
4-4-2 works for Leicester
Before beating Liverpool earlier in the week, caretaker boss Craig Shakespeare made no secret of his tactical plan; revert to 4-4-2 and use last season’s personnel.
This meant playing 10 of the 11 regular starters from the title-winning campaign, with Onyinye Ndidi replacing the departed N’Golo Kante in midfield.
Given the plan’s initial success, it was no surprise when Leicester announced an unchanged side from Monday’s victory.
As with last season, the formation relies heavily on Jamie Vardy running the channels, chasing down long balls, and creating uncertainty within opposing defences. Facing Liverpool, they were up against a side who have struggled, under Jurgen Klopp, in games against lower placed sides. On the other hand, even this term, the Foxes have maintained a respectable home record. A draw with Arsenal and win over Manchester City amongst their results.
The win, therefore, wasn’t the big surprise it had been presented as, particularly by areas of the press. Facing Hull, victory should have been expected, regardless of Monday night. This is where Shakespeare deserves more credit considering that, for much of this season, Leicester have been accused of lacking fight and spirit, seemingly unable to lift their performances for ‘lesser’ opposition.
On Saturday this wasn’t the case. Highlighted by a quick comeback, the Foxes looked more resilient in their preferred formation, better suited to getting behind defences and confident that their chance would come.
Although it may appear easy to stick with a winning side, doing so against two vastly different opponents, and getting the same positive outcome, suggests that the simple formation simply works.