The start of the 2010/11 season will be something of a novelty for Leicester fans. Only twice in the last 10 seasons have the Foxes started the campaign away from home. More worryingly, both of those matches ended in limp defeats. The opening day of the 2005/06 season saw a 4-1 thumping at Sheffield United. This was followed by a 2-0 surrender at Luton Town to begin the 2006/07 season.
Despite my prattling on about how Leicester didn’t win a single away match by more than one goal last season, City’s away form was by no means as desperate as that statistic suggests. Indeed, 31 points away from home in the Championship is a very respectable total.
The Foxes certainly have some favourite hunting grounds. City have won five of their last seven trips to Oakwell and five of their last 10 visits to Elland Road and Vicarage Road.
Elsewhere however, points are not so easy to come by.
City have fared poorly in recent derby encounters. The Foxes have won only two of their last nine visits to Pride Park and none of their last five matches at Coventry. Most depressingly of all Leicester haven’t collected three points at the City Ground since 1972, amassing 13 trips without a win since.
It’s not just locally that City have struggled. Leicester’s last winning goalscorer at Carrow Road was Emile Heskey in 1995, five matches ago. City have no wins in five attempts at Bramall Lane, just one win in 9 away visits to Hull City, and a pathetic return of one win in 14 league matches at Portman Road.
Of the current 23 Championship grounds to which Leicester will travel this season, City have won on their last visit at 6 of them. Last season six away wins was good enough to see Blackpool promoted to the top flight through the playoffs, but we have to go all the way back to 1994/95 to find another side (Bolton Wanderers, 5 wins) for whom such average away form was sufficient for a successful promotion campaign.
Leicester are likely to need a strong return from their away fixtures to make the playoffs. To do so it looks as though they’re going to need to overcome a few bogey grounds.