Leicester City vs Swansea City
Kick off: 3pm
The first game since the closing of the transfer window is upon us Leicester fans. Should the January transfer window be scraped? I’d love to know people’s thoughts on that, because I certainly know where I stand.
Claude Puel seems happy with the way his squad is currently, with strikers Leonardo Ulloa and Ahmed Musa both going back on loan to their former clubs (Brighton and CSKA Moscow respectively). This will be mentioned later in the piece, but as it stands (Deadline Day), Islam Slimani will be a Newcastle player and Riyad Mahrez may or may not be following his Algerian teammate out the door; I hope that’s not the case and we keep the Algerian magician at least until the summer.
Anyway, our focus is now on a rejuvenated Swansea side.
This will be an incredibly difficult tie to get points from and it’s one of those games that could go either way. Admittedly though, if this fixture was a few months ago at the King Power Stadium, I wouldn’t have written the previous sentence and I’d have no doubt in predicting a 3-0 win for the Foxes. Times have changed in South Wales; we’ll have to be on top of our game to make sure that we don’t pass up the chance of closing the gap on Arsenal in sixth to five points.
The away side under Carlos Carvalhal have won three games in his short spell so far, which is the same amount as former head coach Paul Clement had won up until his sacking.
Leicester particularly enjoy playing the Swans, winning five of their last six, scoring 13 goals. The only defeat the Foxes have suffered against the away side since 2014 was last February in a 2-1 defeat at the Liberty Stadium.
Overall, Leicester have lost just 11 games in the 38 they’ve played against Swansea, winning 19 of those, which means that luckily Swansea don’t tend to be a bogey side for us.
In terms of current form, both teams have only lost one of their last four league games, both winning two and drawing one. On paper then, it seems that we’ve both hit form at the right time, especially with teams around us all dropping points.
Funnily enough, Swansea have only won six games all season, yet they’ve won a third of them in their past two games against Liverpool and Arsenal!
Swansea’s tails will be well and truly up after their win against Arsenal on Tuesday night. Whether this can be seen as a ‘honeymoon period’ or not, Carlos Carvalhal has transformed Swansea into a real attacking threat, with the likes of former Swansea outcast and former Fox Nathan Dyer and Sam Clucas hitting purple patches at exactly the right time.
Leicester will be wary of this, and naturally would have done their homework on the South Wales side, and will look to stop the threat from the wings and defend their own 18-yard box efficiently.
Leicester’s squad may not be as strong as before due to the January transfer window, with Islam Slimani joining Newcastle, and at the time of writing this, Andy King to Swansea on loan. Riyad Mahrez is another who again, at the time of writing this piece, was subject to three bids from Manchester City and didn’t travel up to Everton with the rest of the team.
Transfers aside, I do see us picking up three points here and I’m confident we can do the business come Saturday afternoon. I’d love to see Adrien Silva start in a three-man midfield, with Iborra and Ndidi holding, Gray on the left, Mahrez on the right (if he’s chosen to stay) and Vardy up top.
Realistically, passing-wise, we can play Swansea off the park. The question is, can we be clinical enough in front of goal to stick away our chances, and not live to rue them later in the game when fatigue will become a problem.
Leicester City 2-1 Swansea City