West Bromwich Albion will be looking to continue their rise up the Premier League table by gaining a third straight victory, but opponents Leicester City have lost fewer matches than anyone in the top-flight so far this season.
It was a rearguard action early on for Albion last time out at Norwich City, but once the pressure had subsided they took control of the game and created a number of very presentable goalscoring opportunities. It took until early in the second half to make one of them pay, with the technically gifted Salomon Rondon making up for a couple of misses before the break with an assured header, reward for a very strong all-round display.
Head Coach Tony Pulis continues to do a magnificent job with the Baggies defence, as that shut-out at Carrow Road was their six in just 10 league games this term – a truly remarkable record which many other clubs can only dream of, so they will not be fazed by the visit of the Premier League’s top scorer Jamie Vardy, who will keep them busy throughout. At the other end, the pace and unpredictability of the recently recalled Stephane Sessegnon could cause problems.
Everybody seems to be waiting for Leicester’s bubble to burst, but they remain as stubborn and spirited as ever, with their latest three-point haul coming in a top-six clash with Crystal Palace. It was Vardy again who settled it, inevitably receiving the assist from the similarly in-form Riyad Mahrez to capitalise on a defensive slip, and the England striker is now part of an elite group of players to have scored in seven successive Premier League games.
His status just continues to rise, but plenty was achieved at both ends of the pitch against the Eagles as they claimed their first clean sheet of the campaign, which will have been hugely satisfying for boss Claudio Ranieri. This is a very intriguing encounter, as it brings together the league’s most on-song attacking players against the side most difficult to break down, but given the run Vardy is currently experiencing, it is hard to see him not having his say in the outcome here.
James Morrison is one of a number injury concerns for West Brom, with the Scot having missed the last two games.
The away side will make numerous changes from their Capital One Cup game at Hull City in the week, and they have a near fully-fit squad available. Matt James is a long-term absentee.
Last Meeting: Jamie Vardy was not as prolific in front of goal last season, but he got a vital winner at the Hawthorns back in April to boost Leicester’s survival hopes. West Brom had led twice through Darren Fletcher and Craig Gardner either side of David Nugent’s leveller, but they fell apart defensively in the closing stages and were made to pay when Robert Huth headed in and Vardy shot low past Boaz Myhill in the 90th minute.