The 2019/20 Premier League season started in relatively uneventful fashion for Leicester City as they hosted Wolverhampton at the King Power and came away with a goalless draw. The Foxes dominated possession - finishing with 70% - but were unable to create many clear chances and justifiably took just one point as a result.
Kasper Schmeichel - 7
Had almost nothing to do in terms of shot-stopping as Wolves had just two shots on target. He wasn’t called upon much in open play either, but his distribution was mostly good when he was.
Ricardo Pereira - 8
Looked very lively throughout the game and led both teams in total touches and total tackles. He also completed four successful dribbles, drew four fouls, and made one key pass. His runs forward were a constant source of pressure.
Jonny Evans - 8
A thoroughly solid defensive performance for the new leader of the backline. He tallied four tackles, four clearances, one interception, and won six aerial duels.
Çağlar Söyüncü - 8.5
The spotlight was on Söyüncü as he was tasked with being Harry Maguire’s replacement, but that didn’t stop him from impressing. He made three tackles, three interceptions, and won five aerial duels. He also looked exceedingly comfortable with the ball at his feet, completing 92% of his 77 passes, and pulling off one ridiculously bold Cruyff turn in his own box.
Ben Chilwell - 5.5
Heavily involved just like Pereira, but much less effective. Chilwell was guilty of a few stray touches and was also caught up field on a few occasions. He contributed just one interception, zero tackles, and zero clearances in defense, and didn’t threaten much in attack.
Wilfred Ndidi - 7.5
It was a quintessential Wilf performance despite being just his first game back with the Foxes this summer. He totaled four tackles, five interceptions, three clearances, and won five aerial duels. The only knock on his performance was his passing (completing just 77% of his attempts), but that’s still a work in progress for him.
Ayoze Perez - 6
Started very brightly linking with Ricardo on the right flank. He was perhaps the most threatening player on the pitch for the first 20 minutes or so, but unfortunately failed to keep up the momentum. From that point he lost possession too frequently and misplaced too many passes (completed just 71% on the day), and was subbed off in the 75th minute.
Youri Tielemans - 6.5
It was his first game as a permanent member of Leicester City, and unfortunately not his best for the Foxes. Tielemans was certainly not bad, but he didn’t leave his mark on the proceedings. He did, however, contribute three key passes and (surprisingly) four successful dribbles.
Hamza Choudhury - 6
There wasn’t really too much for him to do with Wilf mopping up the midfield. Choudhury made just one tackle and one interception, and was subbed off in the 60th minute. He did complete 94% of his passes, though most were of the safe variety.
James Maddison - 5.5
Far from his sharpest, but still active enough to create a few attacking opportunities. Maddison made two key passes, completed two successful dribbles, and drew two fouls. He was wasteful, however, giving the ball away frequently, completing just five of his 15 crosses, and putting none of his four shots on target.
Jamie Vardy - 5
Effectively eliminated from the game by Wolves. He had just 18 touches and whiffed on perhaps the best chance of the game when Youri zipped in a low ball (albeit a fast one) across the face of goal. It needed a touch of just about any sort to end up in the back of the net, but he was unable to make contact.
Harvey Barnes - 7
Came on for Choudhury at the 60 minute mark and added an attacking spark that was missing for much of the proceedings. He took City’s only shot on target with a dangerous curling strike from outside of the box.
Marc Albrighton - 5.5
Subbed on for Perez in the 75th minute, but wasn’t particularly impactful.
*all stats courtesy of whoscored.com
It wasn’t quite the statement performance Foxes fans would’ve hoped for, but it was positive enough to maintain the sense of optimism that has surrounded the team throughout preseason. Wolves - a Europa League side - set up to defend and was pinned back for most of the game. With a bit more creativity City could have come away with three points.
Despite the frustrating nature of the affair, there were still plenty of standout performers for the Foxes. Ricardo Pereira was as dominant as usual, Jonny Evans stood firm in defense, and Wilfred Ndidi was very disruptive in midfield. It was Çağlar Söyüncü, however, who stood out the most and earned the first Fosse Posse Man of the Match of 2019/20. He handled the pressure of his situation extremely well and showed why Brendan Rodgers was comfortable proceeding without an additional Harry Maguire replacement.
Who needs a Slabhead when you have a Slabchin?