After seeing their lead at the top of the Premier League cut to five points with four games remaining, Leicester City will be looking to regain the full initiative by seeing off the challenge of Swansea City.
There were so many points to discuss following Leicester’s 2-2 draw with West Ham United, unquestionably the most difficult 90 minutes they have had to endure for some time. Leading through Jamie Vardy’s first half goal, their top scorer was sent off after the break and despite manfully holding on to their advantage until the closing stages, found themselves 2-1 down.
It was a shock to the system; a potentially cataclysmic series of events that could have seen the Foxes lose all hope of claiming something from the game and serve as a psychological blow for weeks to come. Instead, they superbly summoned the resolve to find an equaliser right at the death; albeit from a hotly disputed penalty kick. The pressure on Leonardo Ulloa was immense, but he overcame it with aplomb.
Although Vardy is a massive player for Leicester and his absence through suspension will be felt, the prospect of Leicester having to make do without him has been blown out of proportion in some quarters. Ulloa is his likely replacement and is certainly no mug, having topped the clubs scoring charts last season and chipped in with crucial contributions this term, where he has largely been a substitute.
There is not a great deal riding on this one for Swansea and in truth they did not show much against Newcastle United last weekend, which suggested that they are relaxing slightly now, having done enough to ensure their safety. There was one spell in the second half on Tyneside where they threatened a goal and looked likely to punish the gaps the strugglers were leaving at the back, but unfortunately Jefferson Montero and Bafetimbi Gomis were wasteful with the chances that came their way.
The Welsh club will find it difficult to break Leicester down, but in attacking areas their pace will ask questions of the home back four and Gylfi Sigurdsson’s quality on the ball will cause problems if he finds space. Second-placed Tottenham will be hoping the Swans can do them a favour by taking something from the King Power Stadium, but even without Vardy the hosts will have to be considered clear favourites.
Vardy is one of just two players out for Leicester, with on-loan winger Nathan Dyer ineligible to face his parent club.
Leon Britton is back for Swansea after two weeks on the sidelines, while Jack Cork has recovered from a facial injury he sustained at Newcastle.
Last Meeting: Victory over Swansea in April 2015 saw Leicester finally escape the bottom of the Premier League. They were the better team for long spells and took the lead through Leonardo Ulloa on 15 minutes as the Argentine fired in a powerful shot, and after Nelson Oliveira had been denied by a crucial Kasper Schmeichel save, Andy King sealed the three points a minute from the end of normal time.