There must have been good times to visit the City Ground in the past, but it’s difficult to remember them at the moment. Instead, far more depressing facts loom large ahead of this weekend’s East Midlands derby.
The basics are bad. Leicester have conceded eight goals on their last two visits to the City Ground, and whilst the Foxes have won 10 league games there against the Reds not one of those victories has come any more recently than 1972.
It gets worse. On the back of consecutive home defeats for the second time this calendar year, Sven’s men are attempting to beat a Forest side which has lost just five of their last 50 home league games.
Sven is tasked with finding a winning XI from the 18 players he has already used in the league this season. Of those to have featured so far, only Kasper Schmeichel, Paul Konchesky, Sol Bamba and Ritchie Wellens have completed every minute. The likes of Michael Ball, Michael Johnson, Matt Oakley, Steve Howard, Bruno Berner and Franck Moussa still await their first league action of the season.
Leicester’s lack of alternative attacking options was cruelly highlighted by Nicky Maynard in midweek, and it has escaped the attention of no-one that City need a little extra in this department. The Foxes have produced two goals from a grand total of 37 attempts. Just 13 of those have been on target.
But despite the lack of firepower, Leicester do stand a chance of taking points from the match, in part because Forest in this respect are actually worse.
It took Steve McClaren’s new charges three matches to register their first attempt on target in the Championship this season. Whilst Leicester’s shooting accuracy is poor (35% of efforts have been on target) Forest have troubled the goalkeeper with just 33% of their attempts on goal. Only Barnsley (6) have hit fewer shots on target than Forest. The very same Barnsley that Forest failed to beat on the opening day in a goalless draw at the City Ground.
Leicester have been bad this week, but there is at least some evidence from the season so far to suggest that this Forest side haven’t exactly hit top gear themselves. Roberto Manchini might have got the better of Sven last season, but there is a chance another of his former pupils will be taught a lesson in the Championship playground this weekend.