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Premier League Match Preview: Leicester City vs. Aston Villa

Injury crisis strikes again

Leicester City Training Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images

Oct. 18, 19:15 GMT, 2:15 PM ET, 11:15 AM PT

Leicester City will host a surging Aston Villa side at the King Power in a matchup between two of the Premier League’s early leaders.

Leicester City

Brendan Rodgers’ men started the season strongly the team’s first three Premier League matches despite a number of key absences. Just as things appeared to be moving in the right direction with positive results and players on the mend, the team suffered a shocking 0-3 loss to West Ham and fell back into injury crisis.

An international break seemed well-timed, but ended up worsening Leicester’s problems. Injuries to Çağlar Söyüncü and Jonny Evans with their respective national teams weakened an already thin unit, while the team is also dealing with injuries to Jamie Vardy, Dennis Praet, and Daniel Amartey. Oh yea, and the long-term absences of Ricardo Pereira and Wilfred Ndidi continue.

Thus, the matchup with Villa will likely see City field another makeshift XI. Excitingly, that probably means fans will get to see a debut start for the team’s most recent acquisition Wesley Fofana. It could even mean the return of Leicester’s prodigal son Islam Slimani. And while the team will undoubtedly miss its injured players, the Foxes dealt with similar circumstances well through most of the team’s early matches.

Aston Villa

The Villains, meanwhile, are flying. They currently sit third in the Premier League table, one spot ahead of the Foxes on goal differential, but Villa has a game in hand. They are coming off of an astonishing 7-2 victory over reigning champions Liverpool.

In short, they don’t look like a team who just narrowly avoided relegation a season ago. It’s still early, of course, but three matches played, three wins, 11 goals scored and only two conceded is a pretty impressive résumé.

James Maddison friend and foil Jack Grealish is in scorching form, registering three goals and three assists in the team’s first three Premier League matches. The England international will present the biggest challenge for the Foxes, but his teammates, including former Brentford man Ollie Watkins, have been in fine form themselves.

Did somebody say James Maddison and Jack Grealish?

Prediction

Both sides enter the match in good goal-scoring form and in good positions in the table, but their most recent results could not be any more different. Still, those results will likely (hopefully) prove to be outliers. The match will be an even affair with both Leicester and Villa finding spaces to attack, resulting in a 2-2 draw.