Leicester City will be hoping to continue their unbeaten run when they come up against Midlands rivals Aston Villa at the King Power Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The attack-minded approach adopted by the Foxes has reaped its rewards and is certainly playing to the strengths of a squad that boasts a wealth of attacking options. The system that they play relies heavily on the two wing-backs, and fortunately former Villa man Marc Albrighton and the long-serving Jeffrey Schlupp are excellent in their roles, making a valuable contribution going forward as well as providing support for the three centre-backs.
Riyad Mahrez stepped out of the spotlight last time out at Bournemouth as Jamie Vardy rescued a point with a late penalty in a game that had its fair share of contentious incidents, ensuring that his side have only lost once in their last 15 outings in all competitions. If this encounter comes down to a question of firepower, Leicester should have few problems in extending that sequence, but the visitors will be encouraged by their failure to keep a clean sheet so far this season.
Although they were on the score-sheet twice in their last match against lowly Sunderland, there is very much a need in the Villa camp to be more clinical in front of goal, having dominated for long periods and created numerous chances. One man who is having no such problems is Scott Sinclair, who scored both to take his scoring tally for the week to five, having netted a hat-trick in the Capital One Cup tie with League Two Notts County.
Brought in during the summer after an initial loan spell, Sinclair is really grasping this latest opportunity for a new lease of life following his miserable time at Manchester City. He seems to be the latest in a line of players that manager Tim Sherwood has helped rediscover a scoring touch, and if the former Tottenham boss can inspire other members of the squad in similar fashion, there is no reason why Villa cannot perform strongly this term. Here, however, the first objective will be to halt the home side’s considerable momentum.
Claudio Ranieri has few injury concerns, with Mahrez having recovered from a back problem. Fresh from representing Switzerland at Wembley in the week, Gokhan Inler will hope to earn a first Premier League start.
Villa could give a debut to defender Joleon Lescott, who reunites with former Man City teammate Micah Richards. Two more summer signings are doubtful, namely Idrissa Gueye and Adama Traore.
Last Meeting: It was a extremely feisty affair when Leicester ended their four month wait for a home league win with a 1-0 success back in January, and it did all boil over in the closing minutes as Matt James was sent off for a dangerous challenge, with Villa defender Ciaran Clark also dismissed for his angry reaction amid a fracas between opposing players. The all-important goal was scored by Paul Konchesky; a low volley from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Played for both – Riccardo Scimeca: Born in nearby Leamington Spa, Scimeca came through the Villa youth system and went on to make 73 Premier League appearances for the club between 1995 and 1999, scoring twice. Later in his career, he moved to Leicester, following their promotion in 2003. He represented them on occasions with his only goal coming against Leeds United, but could not prevent relegation.
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