Leicester City manager Brendan Rogers may ring out the changes this weekend to rest key players as his side appear in the FA Cup Third round away to Championship side Stoke City currently managed by Michael O’Neill.
The Foxes are currently sitting pretty in third place in the Premier League and will want to keep up the momentum going forward next time out when they play Southampton. Elsewhere, Stoke are fighting to establish themselves in the Championship Play-offs race.
The two sides were on a level stage back in September 2015 in the Premier League with the Foxes, then managed by Italian Claudio Ranieri, unbeaten in their first five games. Mark Hughes’ Potters side were looking to kick-start their campaign as they were still in search of a first win in the league having already suffered back to back home defeats.
Disastrous start for the visitors
The visiting Foxes faithful were in good spirits heading into the match on a sunny afternoon at the Britannia Stadium following a bright start to the season.
Spaniard Bojan, on his first start of the season as he continued his recovery from a long term injury, opened the scoring for the home side after latching onto a clever Marko Arnautovic pass to then drill a low shot into the Leicester goal past keeper Kasper Schmeichel in the 13th minute.
A long clearance from Stoke keeper Jack Butland into the final-third was misdealt with by Foxes skipper Wes Morgan as his disastrous back pass fell directly into the path of forward Jonathan Walters who coolly slotted into the net to double the home side’s advantage.
Leicester salvage a point
The away side looked calm in the starting stages of the second half and were dangerous on the counter-attack. Their efforts were rewarded early on as midfielder Danny Drinkwater was brought down clumsily by Arnautovic. The resulting penalty awarded by referee Andre Marriner was put away confidently by Algerian Riyad Mahrez. This was his fifth goal of the season.
With the Foxes hunting for an equaliser, the game opened up and on 62 minutes, Jamie Vardy forced Butland to get down low to make a great save and deny the Leicester Number 9 after he turned Marc Wilson superbly to show his pace and get his shot away.
Vardy’s efforts were rewarded soon after in the 69th minute as he latched on to a brilliant long ball from Mahrez and managed to use his strength to hold off his defender to slot his shot past Butland. The game ended 2-2 with the points being shared between the two teams.
Leicester were getting a reputation in the early stages of the season as the league’s ‘comeback kings’ having come from behind once again to claim a result - something they had now achieved three games running with the highlight being the 3-2 win against midlands rivals Aston Villa on the previous outing.
After the game manager Claudio Ranieri said: “We were making too many mistakes, losing a lot of balls in the middle of the pitch.”
"We need to start games better so we are not always fighting back.”
The resilience shown by Leicester, with counter-attacking intent in the early stages of the 15-16 season became somewhat of a staple piece of their play - an aspect then went on to help them achieve the impossible and win the Premier League for the only time in the club’s history.