It’s felt like a long, if successful, international break for Leicester City, but they’ll be back on Saturday and looking for a win against Brighton and Hove Albion. Here are some areas the game could be decided.
1. Leicester vs International break
Brendan Rodgers’ team went into the break in great rhythm, but didn’t fare particularly well coming back from internationals earlier in the year.
After the first break, the Foxes put in arguably their worst performance of the season, losing to Manchester United, and after the second they fell behind in a very slow start against Burnley.
We need to resist this feeling over the next couple of months of people saying what you can or can’t do. This league is tough and you need to make every point count. We have to stay focused and calm. It’s about persistence - Brendan isn’t getting ahead of himself
The Foxes have conceded more than half their goals inside the first 30 minutes of games so far, while scoring just 5 of their 29. They don’t have to fly out of the blocks, but it’s important that they avoid another slow start.
It’s been a totally different story in the second half, where Leicester have the best scoring record in the league, and have given up just the two goals all season. If the two sides go in even, expect it to end well for us.
2. Watch the tackles fly
Much like the Arsenal game, both of these teams have played with above average possession so far. The Seagulls have achieved this in a similar way to us, with both teams in the top 2 for combined tackles and interceptions.
As you’d expect, that’s led to both teams being up near the top of the league for fouls conceded, which could come into play as both are also capable of punishing them.
James Maddison free-kick™ pic.twitter.com/9kjt4UBVAC— Leicester City (@LCFC) March 19, 2019
The edge here still goes to Leicester. While both teams have scored plenty this season, the Foxes are still yet to concede from a set piece.
They also found a new weapon over the break; Ben Chilwell was finally allowed to take one with Maddison on the bench for England, and he came away with an assist.
3. Jamie Vardy vs backup defenders
Brighton will be without their top CB Lewis Dunk through suspension. The Seagulls have tried a few different partners for Dunk, but their first choice seems to be Adam Webster, who arrived this summer for a club record fee.
The former Bristol City man missed the Manchester United game through injury and is a serious doubt for Saturday, though he did return to training on Thursday.
@Vardy7— Leicester City (@LCFC) November 17, 2019
Players to have won 4⃣ #PL Player of the Month awards - they're all joint-sixth in the standings! pic.twitter.com/bwkLk8GeBl
The Seagulls will be very comfortable sending out Shane Duffy, but could be forced into an entirely untested partnership if Webster isn’t ready. Against Jamie Vardy, that is certainly less than ideal.
Vardy’s speed and finishing ability are well documented, but Rodgers has continuously praised his football intelligence. If Brighton are struggling for cohesion at the back, Vardy will find the gaps and he’ll capitalise on them.