Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Leicester City preview: Battle of the coupon-busters at Molineux
James Maddison battles with Joao Moutinho for the ball | Photo: Getty/ Stephen White - CameraSport

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Leicester City preview: Battle of the coupon-busters at Molineux

Mid-table Wolves welcome Leicester to the West-Midlands hoping to leap above their opponents in their pursuit of Europa League football

Daniel Orme

Leicester City will hope to continue their impressive record on the road as they travel across the Midlands to face Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Saturday afternoon.

The Foxes are currently sitting eighth in the Premier League table but come into the match having suffered a disappointing 2-1 loss to Southampton at home last time out. They could reclaim seventh with a victory at the weekend.

Elsewhere, Nuno Espirito Santo’s troops come into the clash in as inconsistent form as their visitors. They sit 11th in the Premier League but have suffered back-to-back league losses to Crystal Palace and Manchester City. A win could potentially take them above their weekend opponents into seventh.

Key Battle

One of the standout performers in Wolves’ first season back in the top-flight has been wing-back Jonny Otto. Signed from Atletico Madrid, the Spaniard has brought a new dimension to the team, being strong defensively whilst also being a threat offensively.

That could also be very true of Leicester right-back Ricardo Pereira. The Portuguese has arguably been one of Leicester’s most consistent performers this season following his move FC Porto in the summer. He too can prove to be extremely dangerous in attack having already scored two goals and provided four assists in the Premier League.

Both players will be in a constant battle down their respective flanks and will have to be smart to nullify the attacking threat of the other.

What happened the last time the two teams met?

Both teams come into the clash having already met twice so far this season; once in the Premier League and once in the Carabao Cup. The first meeting this season was indeed in league play at the King Power Stadium.

Only Wolves’ second game back in the top-flight, Nuno’s troops dominated large swaths of the match and were somewhat unfortunate having not claimed maximum points after striking the woodwork. However, James Maddison’s first Leicester goal and an own goal from Matt Doherty gave the Foxes maximum points.

It was a slightly different story in the cup however. Neither side could find the net in a 0-0 draw after 90 minutes. The Foxes were again victorious via a penalty shootout.

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Team News

Leicester can welcome back defender Jonny Evans after recovering from a broken toe. Daniel Amartey however is restricted to the sidelines as he continues his comeback from a broken ankle. Fellow defender Yohan Benalouane cannot be called upon after departing for Championship outfit Nottingham Forest on an 18-month deal.

Foxes winger Marc Albrighton will hope to keep his place in the side after being tied down to a three-and-a-half year contract at the King Power Stadium.

Elsewhere, Wolves will be without centre-back Willy Boly through suspension after his red card in the 3-0 loss to Manchester City. Other than that, Nuno can boast a clean bill of health for his squad. 

Predicted Line-Ups

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Patricio; Bennett, Coady, Saiss; Jonny, Moutinho, Neves, Dendoncker, Doherty; Jimenez, Traore.

Leicester City: Schmeichel; Chilwell, Morgan, Maguire, Pereira; Ndidi, Choudhury, Mendy; Albrighton, Maddison, Vardy.

Managers’ Thoughts

Wolves' boss Nuno has admitted that he has great respect for Leicester, who currently sit three places above his team in the table. The Portuguese said: "I admire Leicester a lot and respect them a lot. I think it's part of history what Leicester achieved (when winning the Premier League) and also the sad moment in sport that Leicester suffered with their former owner."

"I have total admiration for them."

However, the Foxes’ inconsistencies this season have been well broadcast having beaten Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton in recent weeks, whilst also losing to Cardiff City and Southampton. Claude Puel has suggested he is doing everything he can to rectify that problem.

Talking in his pre-match press conference, the Frenchman said: "It's a shame. We showed our inconsistency with a team where we could have had a better result. We have to improve our focus, our aggressiveness.

"We have to find solutions and to have a good result against this team. At home our result is not enough."