Who will come out on top at the centre-half position?
Nigel Pearson has made new signings at almost every position during the summer, in an attempt to stamp his name on the side and give the Foxes the best possible chance of winning promotion this season. But will these fresh faces be able to hold down a starting place in the first eleven – and, if they do, who, in turn, will miss out? Over the next week, we will look at five key position battles at the King Power Stadium as the beginning of the Championship season draws closer.
5. Ritchie De Laet v. Sean St. Ledger
This one may initially appear to be a no-brainer, as Sean St. Ledger picked up a knee injury in a pre-season friendly against Burton Albion which will sideline him for six to eight weeks. During this time, Ritchie De Laet is the obvious replacement centre-half to partner the new captain Wes Morgan at the back. Although the former Manchester United youngster has become somewhat of a wanderer over the last three years (during which time he has spent time on loan at four different clubs), Nigel Pearson will hope to solidify a reliable pairing in a defence which has uncharacteristically leaked goals over the last two seasons.
What could be interesting is whether St. Ledger will be able to re-establish himself as a starter for Leicester. He struggled to regularly make the starting eleven at the beginning of 2012, and only really did so while Sol Bamba was on international duty at the African Cup of Nations. After a challenging Euro 2012 tournament for the Republic of Ireland (although he was arguably one of the better performers on the team), and considering the strong rumours linking him with a move away from the King Power Stadium when Nigel Pearson rejoined Leicester, St. Ledger could well find himself as a squad player – especially if the Foxes initially perform well during his absence through injury. De Laet will hope to become a regular in the starting line-up and make a real name for himself at a new club after a series of loan spells.
Likely winner: Ritchie De Laet will most likely start against Peterborough next weekend, and, if he can stay injury-free, should find himself above St. Ledger in the pecking order.