Leicester face potentially their biggest obstacle of the season on Saturday afternoon, as the Foxes play host to the arrival of West Brom at the Walkers Stadium.
The Baggies currently lie second in the Championship following their 5-0 drubbing of Watford last weekend, two points behind leaders Newcastle.
Nigel Pearson’s Leicester have also enjoyed a healthy start to their Championship campaign, currently on a high after winning three games on the spin. Last Friday’s victory at QPR sent a clear message to the rest of the division that the Foxes have what it takes to compete this year.
The spotlight will no doubt focus on the return of West Brom left back Joe Mattock to the Walkers Stadium, who left City in August under sour circumstances. A £1.5million move was forged by the player after handing in a transfer request whilst on international duty.
Leicester fans may also get the chance to see Baggies striker Simon Cox in action, a player who was reportedly close to signing for Pearson’s side in the summer. Cox grabbed his first goal for West Brom in the win over Watford, and scored twice against City for Swindon Town in League One last year.
In recent years it has been the Baggies who have enjoyed the most success against the Foxes, with three wins out of the last five meetings. Leicester’s sole victory in the five came in their dismal relegation season of 07/08, a Steve Howard hat-trick handing City a superb 4-1 victory at the Hawthorns.
Leicester manager Nigel Pearson:
“It is a big game. They are a good team and have been billed as one of the favourites for the season. I am sure that they will be in the shake-up at the end, but it is a good game for us and the players are looking forward to it”.
West Brom striker Simon Cox:
“I played twice and scored twice against Leicester last season. They’ve done well and will be confident. Fryatt’s a player who works hard and his record last year was good. He was consistent and one of the reasons they got promoted, we have to be on our guard.”
Leicester City Team News:
Leicester have no fresh injury concerns, and look set to name an unchanged side from that which beat QPR last week.
Aleksander Tunchev still remains sidelined through a troublesome knee injury.
Player to watch: Martyn Waghorn
Since signing from Sunderland on loan, the striker has stamped his mark on the Foxes’ season with three goals mainly from the substitutues bench. However, two starts in succession have given Waghorn the platform to thrive upon alongside Fryatt, as the two demonstrated so well in the capital last weekend.
Powerful, quick and an excellent eye for goal, Waghorn will provide a handful for the West Brom defence tomorrow. They have been warned.
West Bromwich Albion Team News:
Youssouf Mulumbu returned to training this week after missing out on West Brom’s victory over Watford, as Roberto Di Matteo has an almost fully-fit squad to select from.
Chris Brunt is also likely to return from injury after playing half an hour for the Baggies’ reserve side midweek, a game in which Roman Bednar also played a part in.
Long term casualties James Morrison, Ishmael Miller and Neil Clement are all out of the fixture.
Player to watch: Chris Brunt
Despite only just returning from injury, West Brom’s Northern Ireland international possesses quality in abundance.
Leicester fans may remember his goal for Sheffield Wednesday back in January 2006, a stunning drive from distance into the top corner. Brunt was notorious for brilliant goals during his time at Hillsborough, and has a respectable goalscoring record for West Brom.
It is difficult to choose just one match winner from West Brom’s impressive lineup, but Brunt is the man Leicester will be particularly wary of in midfield. A real gem of a player in the Championship.
Match Facts & Stats
– West Brom are currently the division’s second highest goalscorers with 29 in just 15 games, and average of 1.93 goals per game.
– Saturday’s match sees two of the Championship’s best defences in action, as the two sides lie third (Leicester) and fourth (West Brom) in the goals conceded chart.
– The Baggies boast an incredible 13 different goalscorers this season in the league.
– Matty Fryatt scored his 10th goal of the season in all competitions at QPR last week.
– Leicester, on average, take 58 minutes to score their first goal in a home match.
Two sides on form with resilient defences. If Leicester can keep West Brom’s threatening attack at bay we can get a positive result from the game. Leicester 1-1 West Brom
Saturday 21st November
Leicester: Plymouth (H)
West Brom: Bristol City (H)