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Leicester v City: Opposition View

Ahead of Tuesday's trip to the King Power Stadium, we quizzed a fan of the Foxes on their thoughts and predictions...

This week's supporter is Paul Rains (@LCFCFamily). Here's what he had to say..

How are you feeling ahead of the game? What kind of game are you expecting?

If you offered me a point now, I would take it, so I am not over confident. Most Leicester fans like me are still on cloud 9 but we are realistic to know this can’t possibly continue for the rest of the season – can it?

I expect the game to be a bit like the Man Utd home game, we will again be cautious. Man City will have the lion’s share of possession (60 – 70%) because we are outnumbered in central midfield and we will try to stay compact and keep our shape and then try to counter attack very quickly after a break down in your play using our pace.       

How do you expect Leicester to line-up? Who will play and in what formation?

It’s highly likely it will be a 4-4-2 formation, Ranieri has consistently used this since he came here, so I don’t expect any change now, in fact the “Tinkerman” seldom tinkers.

I expect the team to be...

Goalkeeper: Schmeichel

Defenders: Simpson, Morgan Huth and Fuchs

Midfield: Mahrez, Drinkwater (or King if not fit) Kante and Albrighton

Upfront: Vardy (or Okazaki if not fit) and Ulloa.

Mahrez and Albrighton will provide the width, Kante will break up the play and Drinkwater will look to set our pacey players away with first time precise passes.

Where do you think the key battles will take place on the pitch? Who should both teams be wary of?

Midfield is always key, our two CMs Kante and Drinkwater have to work very hard to accommodate our two wide players. Our wide players will need to stop your fullbacks getting forward.

Stopping Silva has to be one of key priorities and his battle with the diminutive Frenchman N’Golo Kante who has some the best ball recovery stats in Europe will be fascinating. We will need to be very wary of the in-form De Bruyne and also Sterling with his pace.

Fuchs who is a real class act at left back may well track De Bruyne, if he does this will be another key battle. If Vardy plays and is 100% fit then how your defenders manage to track his runs will be crucial – he is so quick.

We have scored all our goals this season from inside the box and our goals to shots conversion rate this season is very good so I see our threat again coming from these areas.

If the Man City defence give Mahrez time and space to run at them they could spell real trouble for them, once he’s in full flow he’s difficult to stop at the moment. Finally, if Aguero plays our defence which is not our strength will really need to concentrate for the whole 90 minutes.

Though much has been said about Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez's impressive displays, Manuel Pellegrini believes City should be wary of the fact Leicester work as a team. Do you agree, or would absences to either player be evident?

I agree, they all work for each other and that is our key strength. They are also close off the pitch too and would run through a brick wall for each other which optimises the spirit and desire they all have.

However, if Vardy does not play unless we change our tactics I believe we would really miss him because our counter attack threat is severely diminished.     

In your opinion, what is the secret to Leicester's success this season? Do you consider them title contenders?

Obviously we ended the previous season on a real high and have just continued from that. Nothing much has changed. It helped that we had a reasonably good set of opening fixtures, so we picked up points early and the confidence grew and grew. Ranieri has made them more tactically astute and has really got the very best out of Vardy and Mahrez.

The clappers which you will hear at the game which the owners provide for each home game has also created a very unique and noisy atmosphere at home which helps the team at home too. In my dreams of course we are title contenders, but in my head I think we are definitely capable of finishing in the top 6.       

What are your views on City as a Club? Is your opinion shared by the majority of Foxes fans?

I think we foxes fans believe your club has the majority of ‘real’ football supporters in Manchester, but we have still not forgiven you for beating us in the 1969 Cup Final though!

I love what you are doing with the Academy, that’s an amazing place to learn your trade. I have no axes to grind concerning the money you have, it’s livened up the Premier League and made it at least a 3 – 4 horse race. 

Dare to cast a score prediction? Where will both teams finish this season?

I am going for a 1 -1 draw. I expect Man City to finish in the top two in May. As for us I would be delighted with European football of some sort, and over the moon with a UCL place!

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