Earlier in the week Leicester secured their passage through to the Champions League Round of 16 with a win at home to Club Brugge but for all their European exploits they need to make sure the focus returns back to the Premier League and more importantly returning to winning ways. Today they play host to Middlesbrough and with both sides languishing in the bottom half it’s very much a must win encounter for either team.
Now that Leicester don’t have to play in Europe until February it means that there is no need for Claudio Ranieri to rest players in the league with Champions League exploits in mind. The upswing of that will be that Leicester’s league form should improve and pull them away from the bottom three.
Last weekend they got off to the worst possible start at Vicarage Road with them going behind within 33 seconds and life didn’t get much better when they found themselves 2-0 down within a quarter of an hour. Riyadh Mahrez may have pulled a goal back but that was not enough as Leicester fell to a 2-1 defeat and still are looking for a first away win.
That defeat sees The Foxes currently in 14th place and their performances have been a far cry from their title winning efforts of last season. It’s fair to say that Europe has been the main focus but Leicester do need to be careful and make sure they start picking up some all important wins.
They have failed to win their last three matches with the only point from that run of results being earned at White Hart Lane back in October. That draw was the only positive result they have had on the road this season so they will no doubt be glad that they are at the King Power this afternoon.
They play host to a Middlesbrough side who have only picked up 1 win in their last 10 and sit a position further back in the Premier League table in 15th, while just a point clear of the drop zone. It may be early in the season but there is no doubting the importance of this fixture.
Last Sunday saw Aitor Karanka’s men lose at home to Chelsea by a solitary Diego Costa strike. It was a spirited ‘Boro performance but once again they drew a blank in front of goal and question now have to be asked as to whether or not Alvaro Negredo should be demoted in place of Scotland international Jordan Rhodes. Negredo is reportedly earning 100,000 a week but after a relatively impressive start to the season his goals like ‘Boro’s form has all but disappeared.
And due to the fact that ‘Boro are struggling to find the net with any real regularity I think they are going to struggle this afternoon. Leicester haven’t been that much better but at least they have their home form to rely on and it’s that home form that will earn them all three points. Foxes to get back on track and pull clear of the bottom three.