Rock-bottom Leicester City entertain Crystal Palace on Saturday, and both teams will be desperate to pick up three points. The Foxes are two points behind both QPR and Hull City, and a win could see them leapfrog those sides in the table, especially as both QPR and Hull have fixtures against teams currently residing in the top four.
Crystal Palace are thirteenth in the league, but just four points separate them and QPR, who are in nineteenth position. A win could put them level on points with Everton, who face rivals Liverpool in the Merseyside derby.
Leicester are still missing first choice goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, with Ben Hamer ready to deputise once more. Striker Chris Wood is still out with an ankle injury, while new signing Robert Huth is currently suspended due to his social media misdemeanours. Riyad Mahrez could return to the squad after Algeria were knocked out of the African Cup of Nations. Esteban Cambiasso should be fit.
Palace captain Mile Jedinak could return after representing Australia at the Asian Cup, though Yannick Bolasie will not make the squad after representing Congo in the African Cup of Nations. Jerome Thomas is definitely ruled out with a knock sustained against Everton, and there are doubts over Marouane Chamakh (broken nose) and new signing Chung-Yong Lee (leg).
Shola Ameobi is not expected to make the squad due to lack of match fitness.
- Both Leicester and Palace have each won two of the last six matches played between the clubs, with the other two matches ending in draws.
- Both teams have also won two of their last six matches in the Premier League this season, though Leicester have lost one more.
- Leonardo Ulloa is Leicester’s leading scorer in the league, with seven goals.
- Dwight Gale and Mile Jedinak lead the way for Palace with five goals each.
- Leicester have lost their last two league games, losing to Stoke and Manchester United. They did enjoy an FA Cup win away at Spurs in between.
- Before losing to Everton, The Eagles had won four out of four matches in all competitions, recording wins over Dover, Southampton, Burnley and Spurs.
- Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy have the most assists for Leicester, with three each.
- Jason Puncheon has created the most goals for Palace, with four assists.
Possible Line Ups
Hamer, Simpson, Morgan, Wasilewski, De Laet, Mahrez, Cambiasso, King, Schlupp, Ulloa, Kramaric.
Crystal Palace (4-4-2):
Speroni, Kelly, Delaney, Dann, Ward, Zaha, Ledley, Jedinak, Puncheon, Gayle, Chamakh.
Leonardo Ulloa’s seven goals have proved vital for Nigel Pearson’s side so far this season. His strong, selfless play up front provides a great target for Leicester’s creative players, and he is a constant nuisance for defenders. His one assist and 75% pass completion percentage shows that he is far from being a one-trick pony. With new signing Andrej Kramaric still adapting to life in the Premier League, the burden is once more on Ulloa to provide goals for the struggling Foxes.
Wilfried Zaha made his move back to Crystal Palace from Manchester United permanent before the end of the transfer window, and is beginning to show glimpses of the form that earned him a move to Old Trafford in the first place. Far from being a guaranteed starter, Zaha’s pace and trickery can cause havoc against tiring defences. Zaha has made nine starts, and seven as a substitute scoring once and providing one assist, but with Alan Pardew prepared to splash the cash on the youngster, the best may yet be to come.
I’m going to go for a narrow Leicester win in this one. 1-0 to The Foxes, Ulloa to score.