Leicester kick off their Championship campaign tomorrow afternoon with an intriguing trip to Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park.
The match represents Paulo Sousa’s first competitive match in charge of the Foxes, an occassion mirrored by that of George Burley in the Palace hot-seat.
City will be looking to hit the accelerator early in what is a daunting opening month, hoping to put behind them the disappointment of last season’s play-off woe.
Meanwhile Palace will be looking to push on themselves in the division after a tough campaign last term.
The Eagles avoided defeat on only the final match of the season with victory at relegated Sheffield Wednesday, following a ten point deduction thanks to financial troubles.
Palace came close to extinction in June, only to be saved by new owners who now look to have the club in a safe financial position.
Leicester will be hoping to condemn Palace to their fifth opening game defeat in succession with victory tomorrow on a ground where the Foxes have had little joy in recent years.
Last season proved fruitful against the Eagles however, a 2-0 home victory for City early in the season followed up with a 1-0 win at Selhurst Park in March.
Leicester manager Paulo Sousa: ‘I have been here long enough to know my players, for them to progress using my ideas and I am very pleased with what I have seen so far because we are improving in every game.
‘I have confidence that we will start the season in a positive frame of mind and with the right attitude to get three points.
‘I want to see Leicester score a lot of goals, get good results game-by-game and to see Leicester in the Premier League.
‘I know what the fans want and I know the background of this club, they have had the Premier League before and they want it again.’
Crystal Palace Team News:
Midfielder Neil Danns is suspended after his sending off against Crystal Palace in the penultimate match of last season.
Meanwhile former-Leicester centre back and Crystal Palace captain Paddy McCarthy looks set to play after an Achilles injury.
New signings Owen Garvan, Adam Barrett and Andy Doram are all pushing for debuts, but may be no action for new boy David Wright who is struggling with a hamstring injury.
Player to watch: Darren Ambrose
George Burley received his biggest boost yet when Ambrose signed a new three-year contract this week, despite looking likely to join Queens Park Rangers earlier in the summer.
The former-Newcastle midfielder fired 20 goals for Palace last season in their fight for survival to stake his claim as one of the division’s most potent threats in the middle of the park.
Leicester City Team News:
Paul Gallagher should be ready to line up for City tomorrow after a thigh injury which kept him out of last weekend’s friendly with Sunderland.
Aisde from long-term absentee Aleksander Tunchev, Sousa has a virtually fully-fit squad to select from.
Tom Kennedy, Miguel Vitor and Moreno are all vying for first-team berths.
Player to watch: DJ Campbell
All City eyes will be on the Leicester striker, who seemed almost certain to join Blackpool this summer following their promotion to the Premier League.
Under Sousa Campbell has seemingly found a new lease of life at the club however, and is almost certain to start tomorrow.
Having scored regularly in pre-season Leicester will be hoping he is the man to fill the void of Martyn Waghorn, who returned to Sunderland in the summer after a fine season under Nigel Pearson.
Match Facts & Stats
– Leicester have won their last three matches against Crystal Palace, keeping clean sheets in each.
– Darren Ambrose is set for his 200th career start.
– The Foxes caught the linesman’s flag more than any other side last season – 198 times.
– 37 of City’s 46 games in the Championship last season were decided by a draw or just one goal.
Let’s get this one off to a good start. Crystal Palace 0-1 Leicester.
Tuesday 10th August
Crystal Palace: Yeovil (A)
Leicester: Macclesfield (H)