And we’re back! Premier League football has returned after what feels to have been about a 3-day summer break, and Leicester City are set to kick their season off on Sunday against Brentford at the King Power. The Foxes did the double over Brentford last season with a pair of 2-1 victories, and a third would surely be welcomed.
A Look at the Opposition
The Bees finished last season a very respectable 13th after their promotion from the Championship, and coach Thomas Frank is back for his fifth season in charge. Not a whole lot of squad turnover, although Christian Eriksen has moved to Old Trafford after an inspiring six months in London. Brentford did bring in club record signing Keane Lewis-Potter, a 21-year old forward who scored 12 goals for Hull City in the Championship last season.
Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo will continue to be the danger men up top, with Mbeumo especially hoping to rebound after hitting the woodwork seven times last season. Leicester may get fortunate this match as it appears that starting defenders Kristoffer Ajer and Ethan Pinnock are possible scratches due to injury (per The Athletic’s Jay Harris), although Brentford’s signing of former Burnley center back Ben Mee will mitigate some of that loss.
Only time will tell what this Leicester squad will look like on Sunday and going forward, but one massive change has already occurred with Kasper Schmeichel’s move to Nice officially confirmed. We expect that Danny Ward will step in for his second PL start four years after signing from Liverpool, although Brendan Rodgers seems to be keeping open the possibility of Daniel Iversen maintaining a Danish presence in the Leicester goal.
No official injury news on Ricardo Pereira or Harvey Barnes, although it is feared Pereira will be out for an extended period of time. It appears that we’re never to see what will happen if Rodgers has Ricardo healthy at the same time as Timothy Castagne and James Justin. But still, there are other questions we’ll be keeping our eye on. How fit is Ndidi? Will Youri start until his transfer saga is resolved one way or another? How long until Daka forces his way into the starting lineup conversation?
5 substitutions will give Rodgers some leeway to ensure playing time for the likes of Iheanacho, Praet, Soumaré, and Söyüncü. But after last season’s revolving door, I think all Leicester supporters would love to see a bit of consistency. I’m no gambler, but below is my best guess at what we’ll see on the pitch Sunday. My heart wants two up top to take advantage of one of our deeper positions, but until we sort out what’s going to happen with the central defenders and midfielders, I think this 4-3-3 hybrid makes the best use of all our talent.