There can be few Leicester goals which have been more beautifully constructed than Andy King’s winner at Pride Park last season. The build up was incisive, the final pass outstanding, the silencing of the Rams delicious. Leicester haven’t reached those heights since (indeed, they would win just five more games all season) but perhaps this weekend, in front of a Saturday tea time audience, the Foxes will click as beautifully as they did last February.
Last season’s meeting at the King Power Stadium had a similar meaning for Derby. It’s easy to forget that the Rams arrived that November afternoon fourth in the table on the back of seven wins from nine matches. After a 2-0 defeat, Derby went on to win just five league matches for the remainder of the season.
Can Leicester break Derby again? Well there are a few factors pulling in their favour. Leicester have kept three successive clean sheets and are unbeaten in six. After Saturday’s game, the Foxes will have played five of the current top six. There can be no argument that Sven’s men are standing up to the toughest tests in the Championship at the moment.
Derby meanwhile might owe their lofty league position to a relatively gentle fixture list. Nigel Clough’s side have played only one team outside the bottom ten, and whilst it’s true you can only beat what is put in from of you, it’s also the case that four of Derby’s six league wins this season have been by just a single goal.
For Leicester, breaking down what has thus far proven to be a resilient Derby defence might rely on the fitness of David Nugent. The Foxes have scored a goal every 66 minutes with the former Pompey striker on the pitch, but only once every 121 minutes without him present. With just two goals for Leicester in their last four league matches and with the visitors only finding the net four times themselves on the road this season, this could be another tight match.