Leicester City vs Brighton preview: Both sides hoping for first points of new season
Leicester were unlucky to lose last time out, can they win this time?

Leicester City vs Brighton preview: Both sides hoping for first points of new season

Brighton and Hove Albion take the trip to Leicester City and both teams are in search of their first wins of the 2017/18 season.

edmackey11
Ed Mackey

As the Premier League returned last weekend, with Leicester City's dramatic 4-3 loss to Arsenal kicking it all off, the drama of the world's best league also returned with a bang. 

The Foxes were 3-2 up in the 82nd minute against Arsenal before a two-minute collapse saw the Gunners take a 4-3 lead and go on to win the match. Brighton's fairytale season back in the top-flight began as many expected against Manchester City. They were comfortably beaten by Pep Guardiola's men but the 2-0 score line didn't embarrass the Seagulls at all.

In the second match week of the 2017/18 Premier League season, Brighton and Leicester are two of the 12 teams in the division who are still in search of their first win of the campaign, a number that will certainly decrease this weekend. 

Which side will be the one to pick up their first points of the new term?

Goals

After the first game of the season for both sides, they couldn't be more different in terms of how many goals they scored. While the Foxes were beaten late, they still managed three goals: courtesy of Jamie Vardy (2) and Shinji Okazaki whereas the Seagulls failed to hit the back of the net despite having six shots against Man City.

It was a huge relief for Leicester fans at the back end of last season as Jamie Vardy rekindled the goal scoring form that massively helped his side to the title in the year before. His run of goals came after Claudio Ranieri was sacked as manager at the King Power Stadium and in Craig Shakespeare's first five games at the helm, the former non-league striker managed five goals.

He then scored another three goals in the eight remaining matches as the Foxes confirmed their safety. He has already picked up from where he left off last term as is the joint top scorer in the league after the first match week. He scored twice against Arsenal and was extremely unlucky to find himself on the losing side after a fantastic textbook Vardy performance.

Jamie Vardy scored two brilliant goals away at Arsenal.
Jamie Vardy scored two brilliant goals away at Arsenal. - Getty Images

It is vital for Brighton to find a consistent goal scorer this season if they want to secure their place in the Premier League next season. Glenn Murray was their main threat in the attacking third with 23 goals last season as they earned promotion. But at the age of 33, he will undoubtedly find it much harder to score regularly this season.

Former Leicester favourite and last season's Championship Player of the Season, Anthony Knockaert chipped in with 15 goals but he certainly won't be deployed as the out-and-out striker and is expected to struggle a lot more against the top-flight defenders.

King Power fortress

Even though their form home and away form faltered massively last season, it's no secret that the 2015/16 Premier League champions are very strong at home. The brilliant home support from the Foxes faithful often plays the role of a 12th man and many of the players admitted that their support was one of the deciding factors behind their unlikely title triumph. The hosts haven't lost their opening home game of the season in six years while the visitors have won just one of their opening away games in the last five years.

With just six losses at home in the past two Premier League campaigns, it is a huge uphill task for Brighton to inflict the first home defeat of the new season on the Foxes. During his short spell as Leicester boss, Shakespeare has only lost once at home as his side were embarrassed by a Harry Kane-inspired Tottenham. The ex-Foxes loanee scored four as Spurs won 6-1. 

Chris Hughton won't be too pleased that he has to visit the King Power Stadium as his first away game back in the Premier League but with the defensive frailties Leicester showed against Arsenal last week, there is hope for the Seasiders. The Foxes should have too much quality and experience to take all three points in this one but they need to be wary of complacency and offering Brighton a way into the match could prove their potential downfall.

Chris Hughton will be desperate to get his first win in the top flight for Brighton. - Getty Images
Chris Hughton will be desperate to get his first win in the top flight for Brighton. - Getty Images

Team News

Leicester have a few injuries to worry about going into the game. Danny Drinkwater and Vicente Iborra weren't available for the opener against Arsenal and they aren't in contention for the game against Brighton due to thigh and groin injuries respectively. After his debut last week, Kelechi Iheanacho still needs to be assessed so probably won't start while Robert Huth returned to full training but is likely to find himself on the bench. 

Chelsea loanee, Izzy Brown picked up a hamstring injury for Brighton and won't feature for the Seagulls until after the upcoming international break. He joins Beram Kayal and Sam Baldock on the injury table but other than the trio, Hughton has a full squad to choose from.

Predicted Line-Ups

Leicester City: Kasper Schmeichel, Danny Simpson, Harry Maguire, Wes Morgan (c), Christian Fuchs; Riyad Mahrez, Wilfred Ndidi, Matty James, Marc Albrighton; Jamie Vardy, Shinji Okazaki

Brighton and Hove Albion: Matthew Ryan, Bruno, Shane Duffy, Lewis Dunk, Markus Suttner; Anthony Knockaert, Dale Stephens, Masato Morishige, Solly March; Glenn Murray, Pascal Gross

VAVEL Logo
    CHAT