What to expect as the Foxes meet the Swans

We look at the potential key talking points and current form of Leicester City and Swansea City, ahead of this Sunday's clash.

What to expect as the Foxes meet the Swans
Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez scored a hat-trick as Leicester City won 3-0 at the Liberty Stadium earlier this season. | Photo: PA

Leicester City are unbeaten in their last 13 Premier League games at King Power Stadium, with their last home loss being a 5-2 defeat at the hands of Arsenal back in September.

Swansea City, meanwhile, are without a win in their last three home games. Francesco Guidolin will be looking to ensure that his men bounce back from a 3-0 defeat at Newcastle United last weekend.

Current form

Claudio Ranieri's men have picked up 16 points from their last six games. Previous to last weekend's 2-2 draw at home to West Ham United, Leicester had kept five successive clean sheets, and Swansea will have a difficult task in breaking down the Foxes' defence on Sunday afternoon.

Swansea City, meanwhile, have picked up ten points in their last six games. They conceded two goals in the final ten minutes against Newcastle last weekend - after conceding a first-half goal from a corner. However, Leicester will be wary as Guidolin's men scored at least once in each of their seven games leading up to last weekend's defeat.

Claudio Ranieri's men will have to be tactically astute and follow his instructions if they are to beat Swansea on Sunday. | Photo: Getty Images.
Claudio Ranieri's men will have to be tactically astute and follow his instructions if they are to beat Swansea on Sunday. | Photo: Getty Images.

The four key men

Gylfi Sigurdsson - The set-piece specialist has been a shining light for Swansea throughout their below-par performances during this campaign. Sigurdsson will drop deep to collect the ball, and ensure that he gets forward to support Alberto Paloschi - as Wes Morgan and Robert Huth will be tough opponents throughout the afternoon.

Riyad Mahrez - The Algerian winger, recently described by Claudio Ranieri as Leicester's "shining light", scored a hat-trick against the Swans earlier in the season. Despite a slight dip in form of late, nobody would bet against the effervescent Mahrez turning his flair up a gear on Sunday afternoon - especially as Leicester look to maintain their attacking threat despite the absence of Jamie Vardy.

Ashley Williams - Having faced a rotten afternoon against Jamie Vardy earlier in the season, Williams will have a different test at the Liberty Stadium this weekend. Whether it be the physical presence of Leonardo Ulloa that Williams has to face or the electrifying pace of Jeffrey Schlupp, the experienced defender has proven on a regular basis that he is capable of putting in a solid defensive display.

N'Golo Kanté - Despite standing at only 5'6", Kanté is key to Leicester's play and is their one-man engine room in the middle of the park. The Frenchman, who was recently named in the PFA Team of the Year, is tenacious - and has made more tackles than anybody else in Europe's top five leagues this season - nine more than Aston Villa midfielder Idrissa Gueye.

Ashley Williams and Riyad Mahrez will both by key men for their sides this weekend. | Photo: BPI / Kieran McManus
Ashley Williams and Riyad Mahrez will both by key men for their sides this weekend. | Photo: BPI / Kieran McManus

Styles of play

Leicester City's prowess on the counter attack has become infamous amongst football fans this season, but it is their resolute and often unchanged defence who have been the key to their push for the title over recent months. Ranieri's Italian influence has been a great benefit to Leicester, who regularly deploy two very compact and organised banks of four - making them difficult to break down. Their attacking ability speaks for itself - and the deep position of their defensive unit invites pressure from opponents. This leaves plenty of space for Leicester's attacking players to expose once the Foxes win the ball back.

Swansea City pride themselves of attractive passing football and have done for many years. Sigurdsson, Ayew and Montero can be dangerous for them going forward. They will have to ensure that their attacking play is efficient however and that their defensive recoveries are swift. Else, they will be punished by Leicester's electrifying pace. Guidolin has been working on both attacking and defending set-plays with his players this week, and these could be crucial to the game. The physical presence of Leicester's central defenders against Ashley Williams and Andre Ayew will make for interesting viewing - a battle which referee Mark Clattenburg will keep a close eye on, for sure.

So, what can we expect?

Both teams are a joy to watch when they pour forward. If both teams invite pressure and try to win the ball back from deep, then we could be in for a very exciting and free-flowing game. The match will ultimately boil down to the team who is the most dominant at the back throughout the afternoon. Both teams will be looking to avoid giving away free kicks, as both Christian Fuchs and Gylfi Sigurdsson can be lethal in those areas.