Leicester look to extend their excellent Championship home run when Barnsley visit the Walkers Stadium on Saturday.
City are yet to lose under Sven-Goran Eriksson at the Walkers Stadium in the Championship, and will be looking to hand the Swede a timely birthday gift when the Yorkshire outfit visit
The Foxes have won four of their last five league fixtures, overcoming Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Tuesday despite spending much of the game on the back foot.
Mark Robins’ Tykes have enjoyed an above-par season so far, and may prove a tougher nut to crack than expected if City are to make it 11 home matches without defeat.
Barnsley have won two of their last three fixtures, and would leapfrog the Foxes with victory at the Walkers.
Goals from Garry O’Connor and Danny Haynes dispatched hapless Preston at Deepdale on Tuesday night, and former-Fox Robins and his side will be looking to produce the goods again to overcome a strong Foxes side.
Leicester’s useful home form does not bode well for the Tykes, who are yet to beat a side in the top half of the table away from home this season.
City have generally enjoyed their meetings with Barnsley in recent years, winning eight of their last nine against against the Tykes without conceding.
Indeed, it was Leicester who overcame the hosts at Oakwell earlier in the season when goals from Miguel Vitor and Andy King handed the visitors a 2-0 win.
Leicester right-back Kyle Naughton on the fans: “They were fantastic, making all that noise. It really spurs you on and makes you want to do well for them.
“It was a tough game and we were under pressure for long periods, but they kept us going.
“It’s the same at all away matches, they really get behind us. Our target is to get promotion and it would be a fitting reward for all of them as well.”
Barnsley manager Mark Robins: “I know Leicester very well, having spent three years as a player there.
“They get good crowds, have a very good manager who has coached at the highest level, and are eager to get back into the Premier League. To try and help them do that Sven has gone out and brought in top flight players, like Yakubu from Everton.
“But we are looking forward to the challenge. I`m sure we will have a good away support down there and it is a chance for us to pit our wits against one of the bigger clubs in our division.’
Leicester Team News:
Leicester are hopeful of a return for Paul Gallagher, who has recovered from a knee injury.
Centre-back Miguel Vitor is still sidelined with a hamstring issue, meaning Ben Mee will continue to deputise.
Player to watch: Paul Gallagher
If fit, Gallagher is likely to start after a succession of promising performances under Eriksson.
Along with Richie Wellens the Scot provides one of City’s greatest creative weapons, and should prove integral to the service provided for star man Yakubu up front for the Foxes.
Barnsley Team News:
Captain Stephen Foster faces a late fitness test ahead of the clash after missing Barnsley’s last two fixtures with a gashed shin.
Mark Robins has admitted that a string of players in his first-team squad are carrying knocks.
Player to watch: Garry O’Connor
The Birmingham loanee hit the opener in the Tykes’ victory over Preston midweek, and will be hungry to continue on the goal trail against the Foxes.
A £2.6 million purchase from Lokomotiv Moscow in 2007, O’Connor has struggled at St. Andrews during his time at the club but should pose a wary threat to City’s backline.
Match Facts & Stats
– Barnsley have won only one of their last 11 away matches against Leicester.
– Indeed, the Tykes have won only one of their last nine matches against the Foxes (at Oakwell last season).
– They have also hit only one goal in those fixtures.
– Leicester have the longest goal-scoring list in the Championship, with 15 players getting on the score sheet this campaign.
Keith Hill (Hertfordshire)
Let the unbeaten home record continue. Leicester 2-0 Barnsley.
Saturday 12th February: