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OPPOSITION IN FOCUS: LEICESTER CITY

16 June 2018

Paul Hazlewood
Solly March in action against Leicester City at the Amex Stadium last season.

Our rundown of Brighton & Hove Albion’s Premier League opposition for the 2018/19 campaign continues with Leicester City.

League Position 2017/18: 9th

Top league goalscorer: Jamie Vardy (20)

How did they do last season?

A ninth-placed finish for the Foxes came after parting company with Craig Shakespeare in mid-October following a difficult start to the campaign, with just one victory in their opening eight league matches – coincidently against Chris Hughton’s side at the King Power Stadium in August.

The arrival of Claude Puel signalled an upturn in form, with just one loss in seven propelling the Foxes up to eighth in the table, following wins over the likes of Everton, Burnley, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United.

Puel’s men would occupy both eighth and ninth for the remainder of the campaign in the latter half of the season, with home wins over Watford and Arsenal and victories against West Bromwich Albion and the Seagulls on the road securing a top-half finish. 

Who’s in charge? 

Claude Puel made the move to the King Power Stadium last season having already tasted life in the dugout in the Premier League with Southampton during the previous campaign.

The Frenchman guided the Saints to the EFL Cup Final, as well as and eighth-placed finish – which he would subsequently repeat with the Foxes the following season.

Having begun his managerial career at Monaco, Puel moved on to Lille, Lyon and Nice in his homeland.

Who should I keep an eye out for?

Jamie Vardy finished as the side’s top goalscorer last term with 24 in all competitions for both club and country, and it’s that form which takes him to the FIFA World Cup with England this summer in Russia.

 

The fleet-footed forward notched 18 times during the 2016/17 season, and 28 the season before as the Foxes stunned the football world by winning the Premier League title.

The 31-year-old scored braces against both north London sides last year – on the opening day against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium and in the 5-4 loss to Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium at the end of the campaign.

He also had a purple patch in the second half of the season when he found the net 12 times in 15 appearances for both Leicester City and England.

How did we fare against them last season?

The meeting between the two teams at the King Power Stadium was Albion’s first game on the road of the campaign, and it was the hosts who ran out 2-0 winners on a frustrating afternoon for Chris Hughton’s men.

Goals from Shinji Okazaki and Harry Maguire in either half gave the Foxes a first win on home soil, and they would complete the double over Albion during March at the Amex Stadium. 

All of the action on the south coast came after half-time, as Glenn Murray saw his penalty kick saved Kasper Schmeichel, before goals from Vicente Iborra and Vardy dealt a cruel blow for the Seagulls at the other end in another 2-0 loss.


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