Whilst this blog relies heavily on the past to shed light on what we might see in the future, it is well known that history is not always a reliable indicator. As we can all recall far too painfully, Leicester’s last visit to the site of a recent League Cup victory was, shall we say, less than successful. Just four days separated Leicester advancing to the 4th Round of the League Cup from their worst drubbing in seven years.
In this spirit it seems a little pointless to point out that Leicester have a good record at Elland Road, so let’s move on.
As the signings of Kyle Naughton and Curtis Davies have evidenced, restoring Leicester’s defence has been the new boss’ first priority. City are on a run of nine league matches without a clean sheet, the longest sequence in the Championship. That City didn’t hold out for a clean sheet on Saturday was perhaps unfortunate. Robert Koren’s strike was the sixth goal the Foxes have conceded from outside the area this season. One suspects those shots won’t fly in at a rate of one screamer in every four goals conceded for the rest of the season.
Likewise Leeds will be hoping to shake off some bad luck. Simon Grayson’s side have hit the woodwork on a dozen occasions this season, nearly twice as many times as any other Championship side. This hasn’t stopped Leeds from scoring of course. The Whites have hit the back of the net in their last 8 consecutive home league games. Swindon Town were the last side to successfully shut out Leeds at Elland Road in April this year.
And whilst Leicester have a great scoring record at Elland Road (they have netted on each of their last 10 league visits), Leeds are certainly not one of the Championship sides you can write off after going a goal behind. Grayson’s men have taken seven points from the six matches in which they have conceded the opening goal, a points per game record bettered only by Cardiff City.
Perhaps Sven’s biggest worry will be City finding themselves bullied out of the game early. No team in the Championship has committed more fouls than Leeds (151). No side has committed fewer fouls than Leicester (99).
City will need steel to win, but it’s certainly not out of the question.