Brighton vs Leicester City
Back to Premier League action this weekend, as Leicester City take on a much-improved Brighton Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.
The International break is definitely the most tedious time of the footballing calendar, but I’ll be honest, this time around especially against Italy, England actually played really well! I know, it’s a miracle!
I liked the three at the back system; Maguire and Tarkowski I hope will start together at some point during the World Cup, and Vardy and Kane together would be a very potent strike force.
It was also great to see Demarai Gray captain the U21’s, Chilwell setting up the winner and Vardy and Maguire both playing really well for the senior side. Even with saying all that, the domestic season is what we’ve all been impatiently waiting for and it’s back to trying to secure Europa League football in the East Midlands.
Brighton won’t be easy opposition, and if our record at the Amex is anything to go by, we may well struggle to get all three points on Saturday.
Both Brighton and Leicester have conceded the top two most goals from set-pieces this season; Brighton have conceded one more than the Foxes overall.
The home side have only lost one of their last six league games – that only defeat being against Everton in their last match before the break. Leicester on the other hand have lost two of their last six but did beat an awful West Brom side 4-1 in their last fixture before the Internationals.
Based on that, Leicester should be the more confident side, and in fairness with Jamie Vardy scoring for England, as well as Gray scoring too, Leicester attacking threat this weekend should be filled with quality.
Leicester’s last victory away at Brighton came back in 2006, and since then three defeats and a draw have meant Leicester away record against the Seagulls doesn’t make for positive reading. Maybe this year however, with both teams looking to progress up the league, Leicester could knock that stat right on its head.
In the reverse fixture, Leicester managed to win by two goals to nil and controlled most of the match. Brighton will be looking to do the same in front of their home crowd, but it’s up to Leicester to dictate the tempo and keep possession of the ball if we’re to cause the home side any sorts of problems.
I think these two teams will end up cancelling each other out for most parts of this match. I just feel that they play in similar ways, look to be as direct as possible and use the width at the Amex to get in behind their opposite number’s back line.
Brighton always carry a threat, with their new striker Locadia and of course Glenn Murray, who I think was unlucky to miss out on an England call-up a few weeks ago, considering how well he’s played this season.
This game may be won or lost in midfield, so I hope Claude Puel sticks with Iborra and Ndidi, and plays Okazaki just in front of them; Leicester are a different team when Okazaki plays.
One side note to mention – Harry Maguire scored his first goal for Leicester in the reverse fixture earlier this season. Alongside Brighton set-piece frailties, I’m going to predict the England centre-back to score this weekend in an entertaining score draw.
Brighton 2-2 Leicester