Scouting report: Leicester City
Scouting report Fri 12 Jan 2018
We've ran our eye over the Foxes ahead of this weekend's clash at Stamford Bridge, taking a look at the key players to watch out for in Claude Puel's squad...
Claude Puel. The Frenchman arrived at Chelsea earlier this season, replacing Craig Shakespeare who departed in October. Puel has made a steady start to life in the East Midlands, leading the Foxes up into eighth place following a slow start to the season under the previous incumbent. Aside from Leicester, Puel also has Premier League experience from his time in charge at Southampton, leading the Saints into Europe and a League Cup final, where they were edged out by Manchester United. Has spent the rest of his coaching career in his home country of France, managing Monaco, Lille, Lyon and Nice.
Jamie Vardy. The England international leads the line well for Leicester, proving to be their talisman up front. The pacey striker likes to play on the shoulder of the last defender and his movement is something that needs to be watched carefully. He 26 goals helped the Foxes lift the Premier League in 2016, playing alongside N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater in that side, and his exploits in front of goal saw him named in Roy Hodgson’s England squad for Euro 2016. Progressed from non-league with Stocksbridge Park Steels and Halifax into league football with Fleetwood, before joining Leicester in 2012.
The Foxes head into this game on the back of a goalless draw with Fleetwood in the FA Cup, with a replay set to take place at the King Power next week. Puel’s side are eighth in the Premier League ahead of the clash at the Bridge, but have struggled away from home. Leicester have taken just 13 points on the road this season, from a possible 33, with three victories at Swansea, Newcastle and Southampton. N’Golo Kante and Alvaro Morata were on target for the Blues in our 2-1 victory at the King Power earlier this season.
One to watch
Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian international is a talented playmaker, who is comfortable playing on either flank or behind the striker for the Foxes. There has been constant speculation over his future, with reports suggesting he was close to a move away from the King Power in August. A move didn’t materialise, and the former Le Havre man responded well with a number of fine performances for the Foxes. A dead-ball specialist, Mahrez is one we will have to watch carefully as a large number of Leicester’s goals are supplied by the Algerian.
Worn both badges
N’Golo Kante. After lifting the Premier League title with Leicester in his first season in English football, Kante did the exact same with us 12 months later after he arrived at the Bridge from the Foxes. The French midfielder is ‘Mr dependable’ in our midfield, adding energy and tenacity in the centre of the park. He was a key component of the Leicester side that lifted the Premier League in 2016 and developed a fine partnership with his now-Chelsea team-mate, Danny Drinkwater. He netted his first goal of the season for us against his former side, back in September.