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Match Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs Leicester City

The Foxes leave home for the first time in a month to face the bottom of the table Baggies

Leicester City v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

West Bromwich Albion 20th (3-11-15) vs Leicester City 8th (9-10-10)

Saturday 10:00 AM ET, Live from The Hawthorns on the NBC Sports Gold app

The last time these two faced off it was a on Monday night in October. What has become a trend of late game saving goals from Riyad Mahrez was just beginning, as his 80th minute strike cancelled out Nacer Chadli’s second half opener. Both clubs now have new managers and a different set of tasks before their eyes. Leicester eyeing seventh. West Bromwich Albion peering down at the league below them.

The Opposition

The Baggies are winless in their last six matches in the league. Their 2-0 win over Brighton in January was the last time they tasted victory outside of the FA Cup. During that period they only managed two goals, while allowing 12. Many will remember during Leicester’s great escape their key win against West Brom really kicked things off and the Foxes will be hoping they won’t be the first scalp on the Baggies way to staying up.

West Bromwich Albion v Southampton - The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round
Jay Rodriguez
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Although he is without goals in his last five matches, Jay Rodriguez is still West Brom’s main threat up front. He is tied with Solomon Randon with four goals for most in the team. His last goal came against Everton and was pivotal in them securing a point from the match.

The Foxes

It wasn’t pretty to watch, but at 90+7, Riyad Mahrez shone bright like he’s done so often in his career with Leicester. Maybe they didn’t deserve the point, maybe they should’ve had all three with, perhaps it all comes down to who you ask. I will say, it is a trend that can’t continue if the players are motivated by Claude Puel’s words that finishing seventh is the most important thing.

Chelsea v Leicester City - Premier League
Shinji is ready to rock & roll
Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Nothing really seems to ever click correctly when Shinji Okazaki isn’t playing. His injury left the squad without his much needed hustle and in the race for seventh the Foxes need any possible goals he can provide. He’s back in contention Saturday, and likely he’ll just play a substitute role, it’ll be nice to see him back in time for the FA Cup.

The Prediction

I feel like a broken record claiming this will be the week Leicester turn things around, but if there was a time for them to break the cycle, it’s this game. Away from the comforts of home perhaps an us vs them mentality will form and the Foxes will seize the opportunity. A scrappy 2-1 or 3-2 win will do just fine.