Aston Villa won two out of three matches against Leicester last season but the Foxes undoubtedly have the upper hand heading into Sunday’s league meeting.
Leicester are undefeated so far this season, four games into the campaign. The East Midlands club won seven of its last nine fixtures; over the previous 13 matches Leicester’s record is an impressive nine wins, three draws and a single defeat. That was against Chelsea in April.
That they’ve maintained the momentum from their escape from relegation is a surprise given the change of manager — Nigel Pearson being replaced by Claudio Ranieri — and the departure of Esteban Cambiasso. But Ranieri, returning to manage in the Premier League for the first time in over a decade, has wisely altered little in terms of style or squad. The Foxes have picked up where they left off.
For Villa, this is the first game in a mini-series of matches which will have genuine intensity. Their schedule includes three “derbies” — after Leicester, it’s West Brom and then the small matter of Birmingham in a potentially explosive Carling Cup tie. Manager Tim Sherwood might fear for the physical and mental condition of his players by the time that sequence is over, though he has immediate concerns about a handful of his squad.
Gokhan Inler could make his full Barclays Premier League debut when Leicester host Midlands rivals Aston Villa on Sunday. He impressed against England at Wembley this week and Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri thinks his big-name summer signing is now ready to start a league game. However, the best that recent arrival Nathan Dyer can hope for is a place on the bench. Leading scorer Riyad Mahrez was forced off against Bournemouth with a back injury but the winger proved his fitness by playing for Algeria during the international break.
Idrissa Gueye is a doubt for Aston Villa’s trip to Leicester after suffering a hamstring injury on international duty with Senegal. Jack Grealish is also struggling with an ankle problem but boss Tim Sherwood hopes he can shake it off before Sunday’s game at the King Power Stadium while Adama Traore (ankle) is a doubt. Joleon Lescott could make his debut after joining from West Brom on transfer deadline day but new Liverpool loanee Tiago Ilori (lacking match fitness) and Jores Okore (knee) are out.
- At home, the Foxes have suffered just one defeat in their nine Premier League games against Aston Villa (W4 D4).
- The Villans have conceded a total of 11 goals in their last four top-tier away games (W1 L3).
- Leicester have enjoyed just one win in their last five Premier League meetings with Aston Villa (D1 L3).
- The two league meetings between these Midlands’ sides last season produced three red cards (Matthew James for Leicester and Ciaran Clark for Villa at the King Power Stadium and the Foxes’ Paul Konchesky at Villa Park).
- Claudio Ranieri has averaged 1.43 points in his seven PL games against Aston Villa. Only against Man Utd, Charlton and Arsenal has he won fewer points on average (min 2 games).
- The Foxes have netted a league-high three headed goals already this season, 38% of their total haul.
League Head To Head
2014/2015 10th Jan: LCFC 1 – 0 A.Villa
2014/2015 7th Dec: LCFC 1 – 2 A.Villa
2013/2014 31st Jan: LCFC 0 – 5 A.Villa
2007/2008 26th Sep: LCFC 0 – 1 A.Villa
2006/2007 24th Oct: LCFC 2 – 2 A.Villa
2003/2004 30th Aug: LCFC 1 – 3 A.Villa
Leicester City: Schlupp
Black Stars defender Jeffrey Schlupp played full-throttle for Leicester City in their 1-1 draw to Tottenham Hotspurs in the English Premier League, and has maintained form pretty well. Schlupp is increasingly becoming one of Leicester’s brightest sparks. His pace is just too much for most defenders to deal with and he often gets on the end of balls that he has no right to get to. Schlupp was involved in a lot of Leicester’s attacks, this season. Schlupp also did extremely well defensively. Howevr, Jeffrey Schlupp may find his forays forward are limited if he has Traore’s pace to consider. That could be an important factor on Sunday.
Aston Villa: Jordan Ayew
Ayew is new and fresh and will no doubt add that extra energy to the squad. Also, the hunger in him to match up to his brother’s calibre will also fuel him to perform better. In an interview with Villa’s website he insists his brother has had longer to settle in and is reaping the rewards of a full pre-season training programme with Gary Monk’s Swans. “Andre has done very well and I’m very, very proud and happy,” said Jordan, who at 23, is almost two years younger than 25-year-old Andre. “But given time, I am confident I will do very well for Aston Villa.”
My prediction is a 1-0 win for Leicester City because the Villans have been struggling and Leicester City has been in good shape. Also, they have lost only one game against Aston Villa at the King Power stadium out of 9 games.