It seems like the ‘must-win’ label has been thrown at every Leicester match for the last month. Sven started the trend at QPR, and then Norwich became a ‘must-win’ game. City picked up a victory at Scunthorpe, but then failed in their ‘must-win’ encounters against Portsmouth and Middlesbrough. The truth is had City emerged with three points from just one more of those matches, talk of this weekend’s fixture having playoff significance might have been less far fetched. As it is, the likely consequence of a Leicester victory this weekend would be to condemn Burnley to another season in the second tier.
The fixture list has Leicester replaying the opening 10 fixtures of the season at the moment, a sequence which began with the visit to Cardiff and will end with the trip to Reading. At the start of the season City took eight points from those 10 games. So far, with three to play, the Foxes have won seven points in the return matches under Sven.
Burnley arrive at the Walkers Stadium in rotten form themselves. The Clarets have taken just one point from 12, and failure to win on Saturday would see them extend their longest winless streak of the season to five games. Defeat could also see Eddie Howe’s side drop to 12th, their lowest league position of the season.
In Jay Rodriguez lie Burnley’s hopes. The 21-year-old product of the Burnley youth system has hit five goals in his last seven league matches to become the Clarets’ top scorer this season. Travelling supporters will also be encouraged at their sides’ exemplary record in Leicester. Burnley have secured three successive 1-0 victories on their most recent visits to the Walkers, and haven’t lost any of their last 6 league games in Leicester – keeping clean sheets on every occasion.
Leicester will be looking to kick-start their season in what will be the 200th regular season fixture for the Foxes at the Walkers Stadium. Since moving from Filbert Street City have won 84, drawn 67 and lost 48 at their new home, taking an average of 1.6 points per game. And despite the past, it is possible Burnley could make the occasion very exciting indeed. The Clarets have won more points from losing positions (24) than any other championship side, but equally 10 of the 48 league goals they have conceded this season have come in the final 10 minutes.
Let’s hope that this weekend City will be the beneficiaries of some late drama.