Slavia Prague vs Leicester City: Pre-Match Analysis
Photo by Ben Stansall via Getty Images

Fresh off of a memorable win against Liverpool this past weekend, Leicester City fly out to Czech Republic to face Slavia Prague in an ever so important first leg tie in the Europa League round of 32. 

The Foxes, who topped Group G, come up against Group C runners-up and leaders of the Czech First League Slavia Prague, who are yet to lose a game in the league. Brendan Rodgers' men could be in for a tough match-up.

  • Leicester's excellent UEL form

With this being the East Midlands side's first time in the competition in its current guise, it's been nothing short of thrilling so far and it's such a shame they haven't had the Foxes faithful there at the King Power Stadium to cheer them on.

They have only lost once thus far in their European campaign, a disappointing away defeat to Zorya Luhansk after a late goal from Allahyar Sayyadmanesh.

They ended the group stages scoring 14 goals and only conceding five, a solid defence throughout. And three of their five goals conceded came in an exciting encounter away to Braga where they drew 3-3, courtesy of a last minute Jamie Vardy equaliser.

Plenty of names have stood out, such as Kelechi Iheanacho. The Nigerian forward has a total of seven goal involvements, and has certainly impressed when given the chance. 

Embed from Getty Images

  • Prague's brick wall 

Surprisingly, Czech Republic's top league which Prague currently occupy the top spot in, is reasonably competitive. 

However, this season the side from the capital look to be running away with the trophy again. 

Jindřich Tripišovský's men are unbeaten in 19 games in the league so far, winning 16. They also have the best defence, by a big margin as well. They've only conceded 11 goals, leaving them with a ridiculous goal difference of +46.

This season, all of this has been done without the dynamic duo of Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal who are now probably the two first names on the West Ham United team sheet. The Czech Republic international's have done nothing but impress this season.

  • The James Justin effect

There's no doubt that James Justin has been one of, if not the best performer for the Foxes this season. The youngster has played in every defensive role possible this season and from the back end of last season to now, he has really improved. Showing maturity and determination getting better by the day. 

The former Luton Town full back suffered a nasty injury to his ACL last week in the FA Cup victory against Brighton and Hove Albion. There was no contact from any other player, just an unfortunate landing of the leg and has now proved costly. 

Embed from Getty Images

Two seasons in a row now that Leicester have lost a top fullback to an ACL injury, a devastating injury keeping Ricardo Pereira out last year for 10 months, the Portuguese right back has only returned recently. 

However, on a positive note the Blues aren't short of ammunition in the full back positions on either side. The most obvious replacement for Justin at left back will be Timothy Castagne when he eventually returns from a second spell on the touchline injured, which will hopefully be this Sunday against Aston Villa.

A fullback paring of Ricardo and Castagne is certainly a scary one at the least. 

  • Verdict

This fixture looks to be an exciting one with both legs being played in back to back weeks. Next Thursday, Prague will travel to England for the fixture at the King Power.