Leicester City Vs Sunderland Preview | Team News, Key Men & Stats

Leicester City Vs Sunderland Preview | Team News, Key Men & Stats

On August 8th, Sunderland will travel south to the King Power Stadium to take on Leicester City.  The two teams face off on the Premier League’s opening day.  They both spent last season in the relegation battle, and look set to do the same this season.  After losing Nigel Pearson this summer, the Foxes are ready to start life under Claudio Ranieri. The tinkerer will look to capture some of the form Pearson had them at the end of the season to keep them up.  Sunderland on the other hand have Dick Advocaat on the bench after he decided to stay another season. Every point they can get will be crucial, so this result could turn out to be huge in the long run.

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Team News

Despite the season not starting yet, both teams have a player or two missing through injury.  Leicester’s Matty James will be out as he continues to recover from a torn ACL that he picked up in May.  Sunderland will be without the services of Jordi Gomez as he continues his recovery from his broken knee cap.  They may also be without striker Danny Graham as he is recovering from a knock he picked up in training.

Interesting Statistics

  • Leicester City have not beat Sunderland since 2001 and have not scored in their last 312 minutes of competitive action against the Black Cats.
  • Both meetings last season ended in 0-0 draws.
  • The last Foxes player to score against Sunderland was a 20 year old Matty Fryatt.
  • The last one to score against them in a top flight match was Paul Dickov back in 2002.

Key Men

Leicester City: Robert Huth

After a horrible first half of the season, Leicester pulled off one of the great escapes the Premier League has seen.  Much was made of their increased offensive production in the run in (they averaged 2.2 goals per game in their last 10 matches), but a lot of it was down to their defensive improvements.  They kept five clean sheets in their last nine games, and much of their improvement last season was down to the loan signing of Robert Huth.  The German made his move to the King Power permanent this summer. The Foxes have a serious fight on their hands to escape relegation this season. To do so, they’ll need their large German to be a rock at the back like he was last season.

Sunderland: Jeremain Lens

After avoiding relegation by the skin of their teeth last season, Sunderland have looked to strengthen their squad this summer.  One of their big moves this summer was the signing of Dutch international Jeremain Lens.  A big problem for Sunderland last season was their inability to put the ball into the net.  Only Burnley scored fewer goals than them and it nearly cost them their Premier League place.  They’ll be hoping Lens is able to score goals himself (he averaged a goal every 2.7 league games since 2010) as well as create chances for his teammates to get on he end of.

Prediction

Both teams know they’ll need every point they can get at the end of the season.  This seems like one of those games where both teams will set out to win it, but eventually will be okay with sharing the points.  In the end, I see this one finishing as a draw.

Prediction: 1-1 Draw