Leicester City vs West Bromwich Albion: Predicted Line-Ups
WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 13: Semi Ajayi of West Bromwich Albion and Youri Tielemans of Leicester City in action during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City at The Hawthorns on September 13, 2020 in West Bromwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Visionhaus)

Leicester City return to their fight for a place in the UEFA Champions League on Thursday as they host relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League.

The Foxes are looking to cap off a memorable few days for the club after Kelechi Iheanacho's goal sent Leicester to a first FA Cup final since 1969 last Sunday.

Meanwhile Sam Allardyce's side are staging their own fightback as they look to avoid the drop to the SkyBet Championship. 

The Baggies have won their last two games - including an emphatic 5-2 win away at Chelsea - and know that a third consecutive victory could take them to within six points of 17th placed Burnley

In an all-Midlands affair, it was the East Midlanders who were victorious on the opening day of the season where a debut goal from Timothy Castagne and Jamie Vardy brace secured a 3-0 win for the Foxes.

Vavel takes a look at how both sides could line up at the King Power Stadium.

Leicester City

For Leicester, it is highly expected that Brendan Rodgers will make little to no changes at all for Thursday's game.

With no fresh injury concerns, the Northern Irishman has the same pool of players to select from as he did on Sunday with any changes more likely to come in the way the players set up on the pitch.

Continuing with the same formation, a 3-4-1-2, Rodgers will expect his side to be in control of the possession for large spells of the game.

For the semi-final at Wembley Stadium Rodgers started Ricardo Pereira as a left wing-back and Timothy Castagne on the opposite flank however it wouldn't be a surprise to see them switched around or even Luke Thomas come in for Pereira.

The only other likely change is Ayoze Perez dropping to the bench and being replaced by James Maddison who came on for the Spaniard on Sunday.

Whilst Perez worked hard, it was the Englishman who had a bigger impact on the game, showing his willingness to try his luck on goal as well as create the space and thread through a ball for his strikers to capitalise on.

Leicester City XISchmeichel; Fofana, Evans, Soyuncu; Castagne Ndidi, Tielemans, Pereira; Maddison; Vardy, Iheanacho.

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West Bromwich Albion

With eight goals from their last two games, West Brom are hitting form at exactly the right time as they look to pull of a great escape and secure their top-flight status.

Lining up in a 4-4-1-1 formation, Allardyce's teams are renowned for soaking up the pressure and hitting teams on the counter and will look to repeat the same methods that have helped them to comfortable wins over Chelsea and Southampton in their recent fixtures.

Likewise to his managerial counterpart, it's hard to see the Baggies boss changing a winning formula. Goalkeeper Sam Johnstone has been one of the players of the season for the side, with his form even earning himself a call-up to the England squad for the March internationals. His saves could be pivotal if West Brom are to leave the East Midlands with any points.

The key to unlocking the Foxes defence however could be Matheus Pereira. Playing in a similar role that Maddison does for Leicester, Pereira is the central hub to all of Albion's creativity.

With his low centre of gravity and quick feet, the 24-year-old is able to breeze past the opposition before either striking an effort on goal or picking out the feet of one of his fellow attackers with an effortless pass.

His striker in front of him, Mbaye Diagne, adds a different dimension. Whilst the Senegal international isn't blessed with pace, he is able to hold-up the play allowing the midfielders to join the attacking phase of play.

West Bromwich Albion XI: Johnstone; Furlong, O'Shea, Bartley, Townsend; Phillips, Yokuslu, Maitland-Niles, Robinson; Pereira; Diagne.

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Prediction

Both sides enter this game off the back of impressive results and in comparison to the last time they met, will certainly be involved in a closer-fought battle.

A win for either team could have a huge say in what happens at either end of the table come the end of the season.

Leicester's style will suit West Brom's counter-attack and it has worked in their previous two results however to pull it off for a third game in a row could prove to be too tall of an order, with Leicester expected just win, but only by a slender margin.

Leicester City 2-1 West Bromwich Albion

 

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