That was Arsenal’s first win in nearly a month. Heading into the match against Aston Villa, it seemed like a very long time since the wins in the North London Derby and over Manchester United. But the Gunners displayed tremendous character and belief, to never give up. After trailing twice, Arsenal came away with the 4-2 win and three crucial points to send them top of the Premier League once again. Up next, is a trip to the King Power Stadium.
Leicester City returned from the World Cup break losing five of their first six matches, including elimination from the League Cup. A 2-2 draw against Brighton stopped the slide before they ousted Walsall from the FA Cup. Back-to-back wins over Aston Villa and Tottenham saw them away from the relegation zone but dispatched 3-0 against Manchester United this past weekend.
Ahead of the weekend’s action, we’ve once again got in touch with Jack Lee from The Fosse Posse to discuss Leicester City’s season, James Maddison, Brendan Rodgers, and a prediction for the match.
TSF: Southampton and Leeds United seem unlikely to resolve their issues this year, but anything is possible. Leicester City is four points clear of the relegation zone, but far from comfortable. How much danger do think the club is in of falling into the bottom three?
The Fosse Posse: There’s a real danger for sure. We’ve been helped a little bit by the volume of teams struggling this year, but this 4-point cushion is the first time in a while we’ve been more than a bad week away from the bottom three. I do think this team has enough talent that they will still win enough games even if they never get the consistency back, but it’s never nice to see them that close behind.
TSF: This weekend will mark four years of Brandan Rodgers in charge at the club. While he’s had some strong periods with the team, lately he has seemed close to leaving Leicester City, whether by his own decision or the board. Do you believe he will still be the manager at the club at the start of next season?
The Fosse Posse: Our owners were quite quick on the trigger in the early days, but since promotion have been pretty slow to make moves. Too slow for many fans. With Ranieri it took a serious danger of relegation with the team in the bottom three at the time. As above, we’re not far from that, but I still don’t believe they will make the move unless it becomes clear that we’re going down.
TSF: James Maddison leads the team in goals (9) and is tied for the most assists (5), but is there a case to be made that Harvey Barnes is the club’s most important player at the moment (8 goals, 2 assists, and leads the team in actions that led to goals)?
The Fosse Posse: Harvey has his moments for sure. In a way, he is the most important, because when he’s in form the team does well. The issue is consistency. Maddison has been slowed by injuries this year, but pretty much nothing else. He can be relied on to be the star in a way Barnes can’t at the moment.
TSF: There are multiple suitors out there interested in signing James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, and Wilfried Ndidi this summer. While the club could easily make $150 million in transfers, they are already expected to lose Youri Tielmens with his contract running out. If Leicester City stays in the Premier League how many of that trio do you believe they can realistically hold onto?
The Fosse Posse: I’m trying not to think about it, but Maddison is probably going. 18 months ago we broke from the club model of one big sale per summer, and the following year we couldn’t afford to make any signings. Someone probably has to be sold and he’ll fetch the most.
I’d like to think they’ll keep Barnes. There’s Maddison, Tete is only on loan and the current changing on the guard at striker means that they’ll need to hold on to someone.
No clue on Ndidi. He’s 26 but is suddenly playing the worst football of his career. Last summer he would have had a lot of offers but I’m not sure they’ll be there. Not enough for us to sell.
TSF: What formation will Leicester City play at home, who gets into your predicted starting XI, and what do you believe will be the final score?
The Fosse Posse: With the January signings in, we’ve settled into a consistent 4-3-3. The only changes I’d anticipate would be Tielemans and Ricardo potentially returning after injury.
My guess would be - Ward; Ricardo, Faes, Souttar, Kristiansen; Tielemans, Dewsbury-Hall, Maddison; Tete, Iheanacho, Barnes.
The forwards are playing well and looking comfortable together so I’d expect to score, but I don’t think the defence can hold up. I’ll say 2-1 Arsenal
Thanks to Jack Lee and The Fosse Posse for talking with us ahead of this weekend’s match.