Leicester vs Aston Villa – Premier League preview and team news

Leicester City will be determined to close the gap on their rivals in the battle for survival by seeing off Midlands rivals Aston Villa at the King Power Stadium.

Recent performances have provided Foxes supporters with plenty more reasons to be encouraged, with a gritty defensive display enough to withstand a Hull City onslaught in the final match of 2014, before they battled back for an impressive point at Liverpool.

That they were the better side and fully deserved their point at Anfield must have convinced Nigel Pearson’s men that they are able to turn things around and bridge the three point gap that exists between them and the safety line. FA Cup success over Newcastle United has done them no harm either.

Christian Benteke may have scored the goal that put Villa through to the fourth round of the same competition at the expense of Blackpool, but that did little to alter the fact that the club are a difficult watch at present, as proven by their last two Premier League games, which have both ended in tame goalless draws.

Manager Paul Lambert remains convinced that the entertainment and goals with come, but some supporters have begun to lose patience. Meanwhile, their failure to win since the reverse fixture with Leicester in December leaves them just five points clear of danger.

The hosts are without Esteban Cambiasso, Jeffrey Schlupp, Kasper Schmeichel and Riyad Mahrez, but could give a debut to new goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.

Villa have been hit by a major setback as Ron Vlaar has been ruled out for six weeks. He is joined on the list of absentees by Libor Kozak, Fabian Delph and Philippe Senderos.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Leicester v Aston Villa

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