Leicester City didn't quite get off on the best foot, starting their Premeir League campaign with a loss to Manchester United. Still, the play was quite encouraging in some areas, and the Foxes will be confident heading into their home opener against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
We’ve broken down some of the key areas and individual match ups that could decide the outcome.
1. Wilfred Ndidi vs Rúben Neves
Wolves threw off the traditional style of a newly promoted team last weekend, winning the possession battle against a decent Everton side. In a break from their own tradition, so did the Foxes, much more impressively away at Old Trafford.
If both sides are looking to dominate the ball, the key battle could be in the middle of the pitch, where Ndidi and Neves were the only players to eclipse 100 touches in either team’s opening game. Where Neves prefers a creative attacking role, providing a goal and assist last week, Ndidi is one of the league’s better defensive midfielders, so the two 21 year olds should provide a very interesting contest.
2. Long Range vs Kasper Schmeichel
As well as Wolves did against the Toffees to score twice and take 11 shots, nearly three quarters came from outside the box. Meanwhile, United took five of their eight shots from inside the 18 yard box.
If the Foxes can get back to their old defensive strength of forcing opposition to cross or take shots from range, they should hold up much better. With an expert shot stopper like Kasper in goal, they’re very hard to beat from range. We can’t allow Wolves into the box as readily as United managed.
3. Width vs Width
This is a similar area to one I highlighted last week, and it came true with most of our attacks coming out wide through Chilwell, Gray and Pereira. With the Portuguese moving back to RB and another winger starting, these areas could be even more influential, particularly against Wolves, whose wing backs will often find themselves in two-on-one defensive situations.
Again though, the flip side is that Wolves’ wide forwards, who take little defensive responsibility, could have a good day running at primarily attacking fullbacks.
Even if we are able to win this battle, we’ll need to be much more effective in using the ball. Last week Leicester whipped in a slightly outrageous 27 crosses, with only a couple creating decent chances (including the goal which was luck if we’re honest). Iheanacho and particularly Vardy aren't big target men, so the Foxes may need a little more cunning to sniff out their chances.