Last week I mentioned to Rob Henton of Foxpodder that City would lose a match before the end of the season. At the time I didn’t think this was a particularly risky prediction to make, but given that the Leicester Mercury had once again hailed City as invincible it needed to be said. To be fair I thought City would manage a draw at Prenton Park, the trips to Millwall and Peterborough were much more concerning.
Foxblogger is taking on a new structure. Due to increasing work commitments it will now be updated once a week, usually on Thursdays, with a look back at the last week and a preview of the next seven days. If you have any comments on features you’d like to see in the blog, please let me know.
The Week That Was
The visit of Martin Allen’s Cheltenham provided easy predictions for pundits everywhere. The only sport in this match was in predicting how many City would score. Cheltenham have conceded twice as many goals in the second half as the first, so you could make the case that Leicester took their foot off the accelerator after half-time (Matt Oakley’s goal in particular was scored almost at walking pace). Leicester’s domination was total. The Foxes had 60% of the ball, five times as many attempts as the Robins and 10 times as many on target.
The situation could not have been more different at Tranmere as City’s club record 23 match unbeaten run was surrendered without any real fight. As it turns out, the result shouldn’t have been such a surprise. Rovers have the second best home record in League One (behind City of course) and have conceded just 17 goals at home. Leicester seemed to lack any creative spark with Joe Mattock on the left and to be fair to the teenager it’s clearly not his position. Somehow his replacement, Max Gradel, managed to be the player who committed the most fouls by Leicester on the night, despite only being on the pitch for 30 minutes.
The Week Ahead
City take their sixth keeper of the season along with the rest of the now no longer unbeaten squad to the New Den to face the only team in League One who can still do the double over City. The Foxes put in one of their most uninspiring appearances of the season at home to Kenny Jacket’s side in September to slip to what would be their lowest position of the season, sixth.
City were simply bullied out of what was always going to be a physical game, and one would hope Nigel Pearson has prepared his side for the brute force of the Lions this time around. In the reverse fixture at the Walkers Stadium Millwall committed 19 fouls, the most any team has managed at the Walkers this season. Millwall’s disciplinary record is pretty dreadful. The Lions have committed the most fouls (514) and been show more yellow cards than any other side (73). They’ve also picked up six red cards, including one at the Walkers.
Like Tranmere, Millwall have only conceded 17 at home. The Lions have only been beaten four times on their own patch with MK Dons, Scunthorpe, Brighton and Oldham taking maximum points. Leicester might fancy their chances more knowing that 3 of the top six have already won here and that Millwall have won just one of their last five home matches.
But the Lions have shown a dramatic improvement in form since February. Three successive wins in March have put to bed fears that the wheels were falling off their promotion bandwagon after they took just 14 points from 11 games after Christmas. And whilst no-one in Millwall’s squad has scored more than 10 goals this season Leicester will need to take note of the 9 league strikes the Lions have made in the last 5 minutes.