5 things learnt from Leicester’s preseason match vs. AS Monaco
Although the final score in preseason friendlies is not particularly important, these matches are still interesting in terms of understanding where teams – and players – are in terms of fitness, attitude and ability. While Leicester City’s 3-0 loss to AS Monaco yesterday afternoon is no real cause for concern, it did tell fans a few things.
1. The 3-5-2 formation needs a lot of work.
Only Nigel Pearson knows which formation he will employ in next Saturday’s opener against Middlesbrough, but the back three of Wes Morgan, Zak Whitbread and Sean St. Ledger never really looked comfortable as a defensive trio. Of course the Foxes will not be expected to line up against Radamel Falcao every week (whom Morgan actually did a fairly solid job of marking), but the same principle still applies.
2. Nigel Pearson hasn’t decided on his starting XI.
There’s no way that the same starting XI against Monaco will take to the field against Middlesbrough. For one, Pearson will be praying that David Nugent is fit enough to start the match. Substitute Liam Moore probably played well enough to earn a place over Whitbread or St. Ledger – especially if the Foxes do play a 3-5-2 formation.
3. Leicester’s central midfield will be extremely competitive for places.
The late emergence of Matty James towards the end of last season makes him an important part of the team for this season. But Andy King, Danny Drinkwater and Neil Danns will also be keen to make an impression. And, if Leicester do adopt a 3-5-2 formation, Ben Marshall and Anthony Knockaert will want to feature somewhere.
4. Kasper Schmeichel is still Leicester City’s most important player.
The Danish international could do little about the three goals conceded yesterday afternoon, but Schmeichel, yet again, made an impressive string of saves throughout the match to keep the scoreline from getting out of hand, including a fantastic stop to deny Mounir Obbadi in the first-half. Foxes fans have become accustomed to such performances but it is no surprise to hear reports that Schmeichel has attracted Premier League interest.
5. Fans are losing interest in PR-friendly preseason games.
This may be a sign of current difficult economic times, or due to the match being televised on Sky, but fewer than 11,000 fans attended yesterday’s fixture – and tickets were available for around £15. Over 32,000 people attended Leicester’s preseason friendly against Spanish giants Real Madrid at the King Power Stadium two years ago, and tickets were nearly twice as expensive.