Friday, 30 August 2013

Tally Ho!

I have a friend who is a rabid Fox: she was brought up in Dorset and lives in Sussex, as you do. So far she has refrained from taunting me but I expect she is waiting for 5 p.m. on Saturday. The message coming out of Leicester is that this will be an easy three points, albeit the match will have to be played and the points secured.

Reading the Leicester press, their game plan is to get it done and dusted in the first half. Given that we generally only play well in one half, usually the second, they may well succeed in getting an early lead.

I am not at all confident about the outcome. Of course, it's possible that the Foxes could be over confident, launch an all out attack and then find themselves exposed at the back. I remember a match against Bradford many years ago, I think it was in our promotion year to the Premiership, when a very cocky Bradford turned up but were beaten 4-2, suffering torment from an on form Morts.

Nevertheless, I am worried about the condition of our defence and I also continue to be concerned about our midfield. Mark Gower had a feature interview in The Football League Paper last weekend in which the journo rather oddly claimed that it was his arrival that prevented us being relegated. Gower did, however, point out that we have one of the lowest wage budgets in the Championship and this was bound to have some relationship with performance.

Leicester City are currently second in the Championship, having won both their away matches. Oddly, they only won 3-2 at home against Birmingham City who went 1-0 ahead. Manager Nigel Pearson conceded that the Foxes made heavy weather of it in the first half and that they wasted opportunities to score. He remains concerned about their consistency, arguing that they did not win enough tight games last season.

There was certainly a problem of squad depth last season with players having to play out of position. There was a tendency to tire towards the end of matches which led to late goals being conceded.

The Foxes have played 3-5-2 this season. Against Birmingham they started with an unusual 4-3-1-2 system which clearly did not work and they switched to 4-4-2 at half time with which the team was clearly more comfortable.

Last year the Foxes finished 6th, but then faced disappointment in the play off final. Four Four Two has them finishing 8th year and I think they will at least be in a decent play off position. Kasper Schmeichel in goal has a strong presence in goal which is not Hamer's strong suit. Central midfielder Matty James is well thought of by some fans. Up front, Jamie Vardy got a score of 8 last Saturday.

Last season we did the double over Leicester. The home win was a little fortunate, but there was a sweetness about Kermorgant scoring at what used to be the Crisp Bowl. However, we will be fortunate if we get one point out of the encounters this season. Whilst I like to travel hopefully down to London, I am forecasting a 0-2 win for the Foxes.

Odds are: Charlton 21/10, Draw 23/10, Leicester 13/10. A possible slight hope is that we have won our last two games at home against them at this level, but if we get a draw today, I will be pleased.

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