Perhaps the only thing stopping City fans feeling overly buoyant about the Foxes start to the 2008/09 campaign is the strength of opposition. Some consider the Foxes fortunate to have faced promoted sides in their first two league games. The fixture list has certainly enabled Leicester to land on their feet. Enter stage left Tranmere Rovers. The Merseysiders have League One written all over them. This is Rovers’ eighth season at this level after relegation in 2001. City are about to be introduced to the moribund football of the 3rd tier. An unprepared Leicester side could be in for their first scrap of the season.
The last time these two sides met was in much happier circumstances for both teams. In 2000 Rovers were led by John Aldridge. Somehow he’d managed to lead a team of freebies and loans to a major cup final. Unfortunately for Aldridge and Tranmere, they faced Leicester in the heyday of the O’Neil years. City won the final Worthington Cup final 2-1. For both clubs its been downhill ever since.
The overall record stands at six wins for the Foxes, three wins for the Super Whites and a further three draws. Rovers last recorded a win over the Foxes in November 1995. A solitary goal from Ian Moore was enough to defeat Mark McGhee’s men at Filbert Street.
Reasons To Be Confident
Leicester have yet to concede a goal and are one of only four teams in the entire Football League with a pristine defensive record.
Tranmere have gone ten games without a win away from Prenton Park. Its been six matches since they took any points at all on the road. Swindon Town comfortably beat Rovers on the opening day at the County Ground and a further Carling Cup defeat at Grimsby seem to indicate this record is set to continue.
Tranmere aren’t exactly comeback specialists. When their opponents scored first in 2007/08 Tranmere managed one win, four draws and 14 defeats.
Reasons To Be Worried
No game between these two sides has ever been settled by more than one goal. In this fixture these is no such thing as a two-goal cushion.
In the last six meetings between the two sides there have been three own goals. Neil Lennon was the last City player to put through his own net against Tranmere.
There are suspiciously few statistics which point towards a Tranmere victory. Pessimists unite!
Leicester – 8/11 (Blue Sq)
Draw – 13/5 (Bet365)
Tranmere – 9/2 (Bet365)