Leicester’s struggles continue as they battle to scrappy draw vs Crystal Palace
Leicester City and Crystal Palace battled to a scrappy draw at the King Power Stadium on Saturday as the Foxes remain in the relegation zone.
James Maddison went close on several occasions for struggling Leicester, while Odsonne Edouard and Eberechi Eze had a great chance in each half to grab what would have been the winner for Palace.
In the end Brendan Rodgers and Patrick Vieira shook hands after a stalemate and the former will be happy his side looked better defensively and will try to use this point as a building block. Even if the Leicester fans booed their team off at the final whistle.
With the draw the Foxes have five points from their opening 10 games of the season, while Palace have 10 points from nine games.
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What we learned from Leicester vs Crystal Palace
Two teams happy with a point: This is not a game which will live long in the memory and both teams are at a point where they were totally fine with taking a point. After Leicester’s horrendous start to the season (seven defeats in nine) a point here showed they can shore things up defensively and Wout, Amartey, Castagne and Justin were rarely troubled as a back four. For a team which had conceded the most goals in the PL (24) heading into this weekend, this was a big step forward. As for Palace, they are looking for some consistency and a win at home against Leeds followed up by a draw at Leicester is a very good return from those two games. They are now set up very well for matches against Wolves, Everton, West Ham, Nottingham Forest, Fulham and Bournemouth in their next six and can be more attack-minded.
Maddison is Leicester’s big hope: With Gareth Southgate watching on, James Maddison was once again Leicester’s brightest spark in attack. He had a great chance early in the second half which he dragged wide and his grimace said it all. He kept plugging away, tried to get on the ball and turn in dangerous areas and Maddison is playing with creativity and freedom in a team which looks set for a scrap against relegation. That is not easy to do but his character and quality has always been clear and perhaps England will take him to the World Cup after all. The only issue was his late dive in the box as he looked for a penalty kick. He picked up a booking and Leicester will now be without their main man for their midweek trip to Leeds.
Leicester’s 4-1-4-1 formation made them tough to beat and they played like a team which is scared of making mistakes. After their start to the season that’s understandable but Brendan Rodgers won’t be happy with the lack of cutting edge. Palace’s 4-3-3 system did not work this time as they missed Michael Olise getting on the ball in midfield and Wilfried Zaha barely had a kick as the Eagles really struggled to stretch Leicester on the break.
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Stars of the show
James Maddison: Had four of Leicester’s 14 shots and was at the heart of everything good they did. Ruined his outing with a late booking for a dive as he will now miss the trip to Leeds.
Eberechi Eze: Saw his rasping effort tipped over in the first half and his trickery and calmness on the ball is a joy to watch. Flourishing in a central role.
Wout Faes: Is really settling in at center back and this partnership with Amartey looked balanced. The Belgian defender looks like another shrewd piece of recruitment by Leicester.
Leicester host Leeds on Thursday, Oct. 20, then host Wolves on Sunday, Oct. 23. Palace host Wolves on Tuesday, Oct. 18, then head to Everton on Saturday, Oct. 22.
How to watch Leicester City vs Crystal Palace live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 7:30am ET, SaturdayTV Channel: USA NetworkOnline: Stream via NBCSports.com
Leicester have lost seven of their opening nine games of the season and there is a general malaise around the Foxes as Brendan Rodgers appears to have run out of ideas. Yes, it’s still early in the season, but there have been worrying signs all summer long as Kasper Schmeichel and Wesley Fofana left and the funds previously available to the Foxes aren’t there as the ownership has tightened the purse strings. As for Palace, they are an extremely resolute side under Patrick Vieira and they will now look to kick on after a very tough run of fixtures to start the season as they play Wolves, Everton and Southampton after this trip to Leicester.
In-form players to keep an eye on
James Maddison is the only positive for Leicester so far this season as he’s scored five goals and added two assists. Leicester have conceded an incredible 24 goals (the most in the Premier League) so Maddison and Co. know they have to deliver week in, week out to try and push them up the table. Patson Daka is also chipping in with goals (four from four appearances) and this could be when he finally replaces Jamie Vardy in the starting lineup. For Palace, Eberechi Eze has been in fine form and was crucial in the win against Leeds, while Wilfried Zaha has scored four goals in his first seven appearances this season and continues to be Palace’s talisman.
Leicester City team news, injuries, lineup
Ricardo Pereira (Achilles), Ryan Bertrand (knee) and Wilfred Ndidi (hamstring) all remain out, while Nampalys Mendy and Timothy Castagne return with the latter starting. Jamie Vardy once again starts on the bench as Patson Daka has the starting spot up top.
Crystal Palace team news, injuries, lineup
Jack Butland (hand), James McArthur (groin), Nathan Ferguson (foot), Nathaniel Clyne (ankle) and Chris Richards (leg) are all out. Vieira has plenty of attacking options on the bench but the trio of Edouard, Jordan Ayew and Zaha worked well last week and start again. Eze and Olise also provide great creativity from more central roles but Olise drops out of the lineup today as Schlupp slots forward to midfield.