Nigel Clough’s in-form Derby side visit the Walkers Stadium on Saturday afternoon, hoping to continue their excellent form in the league.
The Rams have transformed themselves from mid-table also-rans to promotion material in spectacular fashion, winning seven of their last nine matches to hit 4th spot in the Championship.
With three wins on the bounce, Leicester manager Sven-Goran Eriksson knows exactly what his side face and will be wary of Clough’s rejuvenated side.
Eriksson himself has turned around fortunes at the Walkers during his short tenure, helping the Foxes to three wins in six with just the one defeat at high-flying Swansea.
It took a slice of fortune for City to take home a share of the spoils when Sheffield United visited midweek, Steve Howard’s 92nd-minute penalty earning the Foxes a point on a difficult evening.
Derby took home an excellent three points from Portman Road on Tuesday evening, dismantling a strong Ipswich side courtesy of talismanic midfielder Kris Commons’s double.
Victory for the Rams could see them leap to third with Swansea playing on Sunday, while Leicester look to force themselves further towards the coveted play-off positions.
Last season’s fixture at the Walkers produced a dire goalless draw, Leicester failing to claim victory against a particularly sub-standard Derby side on the day.
Leicester striker Steve Howard: ‘We’re happy to keep the run going and that’s the main thing, but it’s going to be a tough game against Derby and we’re going to have to do better than that. We’ve got to get our heads down and work hard.’
Derby midfielder Robbie Savage: ‘It will be very, very difficult down there because they’ve picked up under Sven.
‘He is a good manager and they have some good players there.
‘Local derbies are all about the desire, and if we can add that desire to our football we have every chance.
‘I loved my time at Leicester, it was great for me and I’m sure I’ll get a bit of stick as usual tomorrow.
‘We had some good times there, but it is about the team tomorrow and trying to get three points on the board.’
Leicester City Team News:
Matt Oakley should return to the Leicester squad against his old side after recovering from his knee problem.
Miguel Vitor could return to the heart of defence after missing out the midweek draw with a knock.
Player to watch: Martyn Waghorn
The summer signing has slipped under the radar somewhat after last season’s excellent showings on loan from Sunderland, but still shows regular flashes of brilliance that persuaded Paulo Sousa to part with significant cash for.
Paul Gallagher may be taking free-kick plaudits of late, but Waghorn still has the ability to cause significant damage from most areas of the pitch on his day.
Derby County Team News:
Sick note midfielder Miles Addison is once against sidelined, but Clough welcomes back defender Dean Leacock following his suspension.
Valladolid loanee Alberto Bueno could feature after an ankle injury, along with striker Luke Moore who has recently suffered with a hamstring problem.
Player to watch: Robbie Savage
By no means Derby’s best player, but Savage will feel he has a particular point to prove against his former club.
After several extremely successful Premier League campaigns under Martin O’Neill, Savage departed for Birmingham following Leicester’s relegation in the 01/02 season and has since been the target of abuse from the Blue Army following that kiss of the Birmingham badge after scoring against City.
A severe dip in form led to a disheartening spell in the wilderness not so long back, but Savage has since turned his own fortunes around to become a firm fans’ favourite at Pride Park with his combative midfield displays.
Match Facts & Stats
– Derby are unbeaten in their last six against Leicester, with four draws.
– The last three Walkers Stadium meetings have ended in draws. Pattern emerging here by any chance?
– The Rams have lost just one in ten.
– But Leicester have lost only one of their last six with Eriksson in charge.
Everything points to a draw here doesn’t it? We’d hate to party-poop. Leicester 1-1 Derby.
Saturday 20th November:
Bristol City (A)