Leicester City opened their 2020/21 Premier League season with a comfortable 3-0 win over West Brom last weekend. They now come up against Sean Dyche’s Burnley on Sunday as they look for back-to-back wins to begin the new campaign.
After such an impressive performance in their season opener, Brendan Rodgers will have to decide whether to stick or twist with his starting 11, as key players aim to return from injury.
For Burnley, this is their first game of the Premier League season, with their opening day fixture postponed due to Manchester City’s pre-season extension, so the starting line-up will be tough to predict.
However, the Clarets are known for their route one style of play and they will be expected to threaten the Foxes using their large physical presence.
Dyche’s side beat Sheffield United on penalties in the Carabao Cup in midweek and started a slightly unexpected line-up. Dwight McNeil and Chris Wood were both substitutes, possibly to help reduce the risk of injury ahead of their season opener on Sunday.
They lined up in their common 4-4-2 formation and this will most likely remain the same. Leicester will have to cope with two big, physical strikers and if Wilfred Ndidi starts in the defence again, he may be targeted.
Possible Starting Line-Up:
Ahead of last week’s game, questions were raised over the Foxes squad and whether they will be able to cope with competing in four competitions. These concerns were elevated when, due to an injury to Morgan and Jonny Evans’ suspension, Ndidi was forced to play centre-back and with Maddison injured, Leicester were expected to lack creativity.
However, after a slow first half, the Foxes dominated proceedings and breezed past their opponents. Usual back-up midfielders Nampalys Mendy and Dennis Praet performed superbly and Ndidi seemed comfortable in the defence, rarely being threatened by the West Brom attack.
After performing so well, it may be tough for Rodgers to make too many changes to his starting 11 this weekend.
But to help cope with the physical threat of Burnley’s strikers, club captain Morgan, if he is fit enough, may take his place at centre-back, meaning Ndidi will return to midfield. Although it would be extremely harsh on Mendy if he is to be dropped. Maddison will stake his claim for a starting spot, however, it may be too much of a risk for him to return so soon after his injury.
I expect to see the same starting 11 as last week. Kasper Schmeichel will start in goal with a back four of Timothy Castagne, Ndidi, Caglar Soyuncu, and James Justin. Mendy will keep his place in defensive midfield with Youri Tielemans and Praet in front of him. Ayoze Perez and Harvey Barnes will play on either side of Jamie Vardy.
Leicester will aim to dominate possession and wait patiently for openings. They began the season so confidently and if last week’s performance can be replicated then they should be able to pick up another three points.
Dyche will have his side set up to defend well and they will use their physical presence to try and bully the Foxes attack. At the other end of the pitch, Burnley will threaten and it will be a challenge for Rodgers’ side to cope with the strike force.
However, I believe the pressure will be too much for the Clarets to handle for the full 90 minutes and Leicester will come away with a 2-0 victory.