Venue: King Power Stadium
Date: 29 December 2015
Kick off: 19:45
Well, Jamie Vardy’s Christmas party certainly went as expected. The Leicester City striker played with a hangover against Liverpool on Boxing Day and is hoping the torture of an obscenely heavy comedown ceases before Tuesday night’s tie against the Mighty Blues. Claudio Ranieri referred to it as a “fever”, but the Tinkerman isn’t really fooling anyone, is he?
Instead, City will have to focus their attentions on his mate, Mahrez. The Algerian has been an adept bagsman as well as a creative crackerjack this term, scoring 13 league goals and making six assists. But armed with a fully-fit trio of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Sergio Agüero – the latter who Manuel Pellegrini declared would be “100% fit” for the trip to the King Power Stadium – we have reason to fancy our chances despite our ghastly away record (no win since 12th September!).
The hosts will be without Jeffrey Schlupp and Matty James who continue to recover from respective hamstring and knee injuries, but former Manchester United legend Danny Drinkwater could be thrown back into the fray after missing the Foxes trip to Anfield with a hamstring problem. The Manchester-born midfielder shouldn’t cause us too many problems, especially with Fernandinho swiping at his ankles, but his buddy N’Golo Kanté could be the biggest obstacle between us and three points. The former Caen man, signed for a bargain £5.6m in the summer, has been a revelation for Ranieri’s side and has made more interceptions (76) than any other player in the league. If we manage to take control of the match and flaunt our attacking qualities, Kanté’s performance could well be crucial in deciding the match. Should Leicester and Mahrez come at us all guns blazing though, I cannot but fear for our shaky defence.
I fancied Liverpool to beat the Foxes on Boxing Day. They’ve been absolutely brill this season; a breath of fresh air in a division that has been stained by the complacency and clumsiness of last term’s top four, but their run will end. I think. I hope.
Taking into consideration the rather unconvincing Otamendi – Mangala partnership, my prediction is going to be a cautious one: 1-1.
Predict the score: