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No case for the Leicester defence

23 November 2021 | Premier League | Opinion
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No case for the Leicester defence
Mikolaj Barbanell / Shutterstock.com

Leicester head coach Brendan Rodgers is considered to be a very able football tactician. The Northern Irishman has kept the Foxes fighting for the Champions League spots in the Premier League in recent seasons.

His managerial ability has seen him linked with the vacant Manchester United job. In fact, the former Liverpool head coach is one of the favourites to be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s successor at Old Trafford.

However, despite all the accolades and praise directed at Rodgers, Leicester have struggled for results in recent months and currently sit in 12th place in the Premier League table.

One of the most obvious factors in the Foxes struggles this season has been poor defensive displays, as they have kept just one clean sheet in their last 17 matches in all competitions.

Leicester’s defensive record in the English top-flight is even more concerning, as the Foxes have conceded at least two goals in seven of their previous eight league outings. That is the defensive record of a team that is fighting relegation, not a top-four candidate.

It seems unlikely that the team from the Midlands will be sucked into the fight for survival. However, Rodgers has to come up with answers to his team’s defensive issues or their season could be in tatters.

Some will point to the absence of highly-rated young centre-back Wesley Fofana as a big factor in that poor recent defensive record. The French centre-back is currently sidelined due to a long-term injury. He is due back early in 2022.

It would be harsh to expect him to return and solve all the Foxes backline problems, though.

The likes of Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu are highly capable centre-backs, so they should be capable of helping their team to clean sheets. However, they have struggled of late.

What looks like a kind schedule over the next few weeks in the Premier League may well boost the Foxes defensive numbers. The question is will it still be Brendan Rodgers’ issue in a few weeks?

Premier League
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1
Manchester City 35 15 11 2 2 32 9 23
2
Liverpool 34 15 10 4 1 44 12 32
3
Chelsea 33 15 10 3 2 35 9 26
4
West Ham 27 15 8 3 4 28 19 9
5
Tottenham 25 14 8 1 5 16 17 -1
6
Manchester United 24 15 7 3 5 25 24 1
7
Arsenal 23 15 7 2 6 18 22 -4
8
Wolverhampton 21 15 6 3 6 12 13 -1
9
Brighton 20 15 4 8 3 14 16 -2
10
Aston Villa 19 15 6 1 8 21 24 -3
11
Leicester City 19 15 5 4 6 23 27 -4
12
Everton 18 15 5 3 7 19 25 -6
13
Brentford 17 15 4 5 6 19 21 -2
14
Crystal Palace 16 15 3 7 5 19 21 -2
15
Leeds United 16 15 3 7 5 15 22 -7
16
Southampton 16 15 3 7 5 14 21 -7
17
Watford 13 15 4 1 10 20 29 -9
18
Burnley 10 14 1 7 6 14 21 -7
19
Newcastle United 10 15 1 7 7 17 30 -13
20
Norwich City 10 15 2 4 9 8 31 -23

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