Leicester City Previews: ‘Nothing but the Huth’

Leicester City

The first home game of the 2017/2018 Premier League season for the former Premier League champions.

Yes, I still don’t get tired of saying that, and perhaps never will.

This game can only be described one way- ‘the Anthony Knockaert derby’. The former Leicester winger will make his first appearance back at the King Power Stadium, after leaving the club in 2015.

He returns in a Seagulls side that ended their last campaign flying high at the top of the Sky Bet Championship table (No pun intended of course…) Unfortunately, after an eventful final day, Brighton (93) were pipped at the post by Rafa’s Newcastle (94) by a single point.

Both sides had tough starts to their campaigns this season. Leicester lost 4-3 to Arsenal, whereas Brighton didn’t fair any better losing 2-0 at home to title favourites Manchester City.

Brighton however, will be no pushovers, and if recent records are anything to go by, then Brighton should actually be favourites for this match.

Chris Hughton’s men are unbeaten in their last three games against the Foxes.
Most memorably last time out winning 4-1 at the King Power back in 2014, with former Seagull – turned Fox Leonardo Ulloa scoring a brace.

There isn’t much in the way of head-to-head stats, because there have only been 28 games played between the two sides. However Leicester have won 11 of those 28, Brighton winning 10, with seven draws to top it off.

So, in reality, this game could go either way…well, no, not in my eyes.

Brighton have only won three times away to Leicester in 14 attempts, with Leicester winning eight.

Furthermore, in comparison to last season, Brighton didn’t seem to travel particularly well:

Home | Away
% Points:
58% | 42%
% Goals scored:
62% | 38%
% Goals conceded:
35% | 65%

As you can see, Brighton on average tended to concede more away from home. In the Premier League, this could be a real problem in relation to their survival chances,
because as we all know as football fans, the Premier League is a ‘different kettle of fish’ in terms of quality; any mistake and you will be punished.

The added potential insult to injury, another worrying stat for any Brighton fan, is that they failed to score in 35% of their games away from home last season- over a third of their games (15 games). They will be looking to put that right against a Leicester side who really should’ve beat Arsenal on the opening day.

Prediction

If Iheanacho starts up front with Jamie Vardy, Brighton will have problems. On his debut, the Nigerian international set up the England striker in pre-season to score against Borussia Monchengladbach. Also, if Riyad Mahrez has his head in the right place, he will always be a threat cutting inside.

Brighton do have some good players in their ranks though. Of course Anthony Knockaert is up there, as well as talisman Glenn Murray and new loan singing from Chelsea Izzy Brown.

However, in my opinion this game is Leicester’s to lose, especially in front of the Blue Army. If they play like they did against Arsenal, Brighton could be in for a long afternoon.

Score Prediction:
Leicester 3-1 Brighton