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How will Leicester City line up vs Manchester City?

Predicting the Foxes’ XI

Leicester City v Burnley FC - Premier League Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City via Getty Images

If Leicester City are to get the better of Manchester City on Saurday, Brendan Rodgers will have to overcome a glaring tactical issue with no defensive midfielders available.

The manager confirmed that Wilfred Ndidi will remain out, along with Papy Mendy, while Hamza Choudhury is suspended after his red card against Wolves.

Rather than fitting a square peg into a round hole, my prediction is that the Foxes will play without a DM and return to the 5-3-2 formation we’ve seen them try out a few times.

GK: Kasper Schmeichel - this piece is new, I might leave out the keeper eventually because it’s always Kasper.

RWB: Ricardo Pereira - again, something weird has to happen to drop Ricardo.

CB: Ryan Bennett - the new boy has had a few weeks to integrate with the team and has a lot of experience in a back 3. I think he’ll come straight in, even with Morgan available.

CB: Jonny Evans - many people’s first name on the team sheet.

CB: Çağlar Söyüncü - Christian Fuchs has played this position previously, but I think this is the best 3.

LWB: Ben Chilwell - again, Fuchs could play here too, but I expect Chilly will start.

CM: Youri Tielemans - this shape puts more responsibility on the wing backs, and Youri has developed a great rapport with Ricardo on the right.

CM: Dennis Praet - with no DM, there will be more defensive work asked of the CMs. Pairing up the Belgians allows Maddison to focus on creating.

AM: James Maddison - I always prefer Maddison centrally, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s on the “left” of a front three.

ST: Kelechi Iheanaco - his form has earned some more minutes, but this could well be Ayoze Perez instead, especially if it’s a front three.

ST: Jamie Vardy - it takes more than a six game goal drought to get this man out the team

Bench: Danny Ward, James Justin, Christian Fuchs, Matty James, Marc Albrighton, Harvey Barnes, Ayoze Perez

It’s always hard to predict a total change of formation, but this one seems the most likely system to me without Wilf.

Harvey Barnes and Ayoze Perez would keep their places if we do opt to stick with the 4-1-4-1, but I think that would ask too much defensively of Praet, who would presumably be asked to fill in as the defensive midfielder.

Fantasy Impact

Aside from a turgid affair against Wolves, the Foxes have struggled for clean sheets and this formation includes no one really capable of handling Kevin De Bruyne. He’s probably a good choice of captain this (and every) week.