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Leicester City vs West Brom: Preview and Prediction

Leicester City will be desperate to return to winning ways when they welcome West Brom to the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

The 2023/24 EFL Championship season continues this weekend with Matchday 44. Just three more rounds of fixtures remain before the campaign heads into the playoffs. So, time is running out for teams below Ipswich Town and Leicester City to mount a challenge for the top two positions. Meanwhile, Leicester will be eager to return to winning ways when they host West Brom at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

There was a time when it seemed Leicester City would cruise to the EFL Championship title. The Foxes had opened up a sizeable gap at the top of the table, with hardly any team looking good enough to compete with them. However, Enzo Maresca’s men have won only three of their last ten league games, and have gone down to bottom-half teams Millwall and Plymouth Argyle in their two most recent outings.

As for West Bromwich Albion, they are almost certain to clinch a top-six finish. While automatic promotion is out of the question, they are seven and ten points clear of Hull City and Coventry City, respectively, although both clubs have a game in hand. Nevertheless, the Baggies are on a superb run of only one defeat in 11 games and face Sheffield Wednesday in one of their three remaining outings.

The reverse fixture saw Leicester City beat West Brom 2-1, with Harry Winks scoring a late goal in injury time. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Leicester City

Enzo Maresca barely has any issues hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, the Leicester City manager will be bereft of the services of only one first-team player.

Kasey McAteer is the only absentee, with the 22-year-old recovering from a hamstring injury. Otherwise, Maresca has a full-strength squad before Leicester City and West Brom lock horns at the King Power Stadium.

Mads Hermansen will take his usual spot between the sticks, with Leicester City lining up in a 4-3-3 formation in front of him against West Brom. The backline should feature Ricardo Pereira, Wout Faes, Jannik Vestergaard, and James Justin.

As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Harry Winks, Wilfred Ndidi, and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall. While the trio has blown hot and cold in recent outings, they remain top-class on paper. Finally, Jamie Vardy will lead the line for Leicester City against West Bromwich Albion, with Abdul Fatawu Issahaku and Stephy Mavididi being the two wide attackers.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Hermansen; Pereira, Faes, Vestergaard, Justin; Winks, Ndidi, Dewsbury-Hall; Fatawu, Vardy, Mavididi

West Bromwich Albion

Unlike his counterpart in the Leicester City dugout, Carlos Corberan has a new roster issue to deal with ahead of the trip to the King Power Stadium. The West Bromwich Albion manager will be without three first-team players on Saturday.

Brandon Thomas-Asante is the latest absentee, with the 25-year-old serving a suspension after seeing red last weekend. He has joined Jayson Molumby (foot) and Daryl Dike (Achilles) on the sidelines.

West Bromwich Albion will line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation against Leicester City, with Alex Palmer taking his spot in the goal. The backline should feature Darnell Furlong, Kyle Bartley, Cedric Kipre, and Conor Townsend.

As for the midfield unit, Okay Yukuslu and Alex Mowatt should pair up in the double pivot. The duo will look to keep things tight in the middle of the park while initiating swift transitions. Grady Diangana will reprise the no. 10 role, looking to pull the strings in the final third. Finally, Jed Wallace will replace the suspended Thomas-Asante, with Mikey Johnston and Tom Fellows completing the numbers in the attack.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Palmer; Furlong, Bartley, Kipre, Townsend; Yokuslu, Mowatt; Fellows, Diangana, Johnston; Wallace

Key Stats

  • Leicester City have won their last four league games against West Bromwich Albion, a run that has seen them score two or more goals in each match.
  • West Brom have lost just one of their nine most recent away league games against Leicester City (W5 D3), although that defeat came on their last visit to the King Power Stadium in April 2021.
  • Leicester City have failed to win just five of their 20 home league games this season (D1 L4), a run that has seen them score 40 goals and fail to find the back of the net on just two occasions.
  • West Bromwich Albion are unbeaten in their last seven away league games (W2 D5). The Baggies have not enjoyed a longer streak since a run of eight between October 2019 and January 2020.
  • Leicester City have kept eight clean sheets in EFL Championship games at the King Power Stadium this season, their most in a league campaign since 2015/16 when they won the Premier League title.

Player to Watch

Wilfred Ndidi

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With Leicester City struggling to keep opponents at bay, defensive solidity is the need of the hour. The backline is not producing the desired output, with the Foxes conceding some cheap goals in recent outings. So, the onus is on Wilfred Ndidi to step up and provide a layer of protection to the defensive unit.

Ndidi’s stock is high due to his impending free-agent status, with several Premier League clubs interested in him. However, his job at Leicester City is not done yet, and the Nigerian international will be eager to end his stint with a bang. That starts with a big performance against West Brom to help the Foxes return to the summit of the EFL Championship.

Prediction

Leicester City 1-1 West Bromwich Albion

The hosts have a solid recent record against West Bromwich Albion. But that does not count for much, considering the recent slump that has engulfed Leicester City ahead of the game versus West Brom this weekend. In addition, the visitors are on a solid run of form ahead of Saturday’s clash.

Expect the two teams to trade blows, with Leicester City opening the scoring through Jamie Vardy. However, the home side’s soft underbelly will be the undoing again, handing West Brom a way back into the game. The Hard Tackle thus predicts a 1-1 draw between Leicester and West Brom.



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