Leicester City vs Valencia Preview: Foxes take on Spanish side in first home pre-season fixture

Leicester City vs Valencia Preview: Foxes take on Spanish side in first home pre-season fixture

Leicester welcome Valencia to King Power Stadium on Wednesday evening

Ed Mackey

Leicester City return to their domestic pre-season calendar on Saturday evening as they do battle with Valencia at the King Power Stadium.

The Premier League side have played three times so far and are preparing for their fourth, and probably biggest, test.

Like the Foxes, Valencia have already played three times during pre-season and have arrived in England to face Leicester and Everton over the course of four days. 

Claude Puel's side return to King Power Stadium for the first time since May following two consecutive training camps in France and Austria.

Pre-Season So Far

It's been a totally mixed pre-season so far for Leicester with a win, a draw and a loss from the three matches. It began with a short trip to Nottingham where they came from a goal down to win 4-1 against League 2 side, Notts County. Wes Morgan, Hamza Choudhury, Demarai Gray and Islam Slimani scored the goals for the visitors two days before the visit to Austria where they played twice more.

The first of those two games came last Thursday against Turkish side Akhirsarspor where Puel's men were held to an uneventful goalless draw, providing an important runout for more members of the squad. A match against Udinese followed on Saturday which ended disappointingly in a 2-1 loss. A late goal from Kelechi Iheanacho made the result more respectable but goals from Kevin Lasagna and Darwin Machís had put the game beyond the Foxes.

Valencia's pre-season has been almost identical with a win in their first friendly followed by a draw and then a loss. They faced Galatasaray in Switzerland 10 days ago and came away with a 2-1 win courtesy of goals from Rubén Vezo and Toni Lato before facing Lausanne Sport just three days later. Like the Foxes, they could only manage a 0-0 draw with the Swiss side.

A trip to the Netherlands ensued where they faced PSV at the Philips Stadion and, like Leicester, they were beaten 2-1. Carlos Soler's goal put the Spanish giants 1-0 ahead but then goals from Luuk de Jong and Gastón Pereiro turned the game in PSV's favour.

First Homecoming

With the Foxes beginning their Premier League campaign a week on Friday away at Old Trafford, it's time for Puel to start experimenting with his first-team players. Danny Ward, Ricardo Pereira and James Maddison are expected to play at the King Power Stadium for the first time while Wilfred N'didi and Iheanacho could make their first starts since returning from their extended World Cup leave. Jonny Evans and Nampalys Mendy have been ruled out with injuries, however.

This will be the first and last time Leicester fans will get to see their favourite players before the first league home fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers in two and a half weeks time. Claude Puel has alluded to the fact that he will choose experience over youth on Wednesday as his side edge closer to the start of another 10 months in the top-flight. 

There is a still a brief trip to Lille to come for last season's 9th-placed Premier League side on Saturday so pre-season doesn't conclude on Wednesday evening.

Predicted Line-Ups 

Leicester City: Ward, Pereira, Morgan, Johnson, Chilwell; Iborra, N'didi; Diabaté, Maddison, Gray; Iheanacho.

Valencia: Jaume, Montoya, Garay, Murillo, Gaya; Kondogbia, Parejo, Soler; Wass, Zaza, Rodrigo.


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