Just before the visit of Millwall Nigel Pearson said his side effectively had an eight game season to secure their playoff place. Two defeats later and the remaining six matches now look more like a knockout competition – lose again and it’s all over.
A five point gap to the top six with just five games to go would be a big ask for most sides, but for a City team so desperately out of form it would be all but insurmountable.
Leicester’s task at the Amex then is to at the very least avoid defeat, but only a win would really begin to restore confidence within the side.
So what reasons are there to feel confident? Perhaps Brighton’s patchy recent form is one reason to have hope. The Seagulls have won only one of their last six league games and have beaten only four sides at home from outside the bottom five.
But after that it all starts to look much more gloomy.
In theory this match pits the division’s best defence (City’s) against the Championship second best back line. More recently though it is the home side who have more reason to celebrate their defensive strengths. The Foxes haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last seven outings whilst Brighton have conceded only three league goals at home this year.
More worryingly, Leicester have picked up the worrying habit of conceding late goals. City have conceded in the final five minutes four times in their recent barren spell (at Peterborough, Ipswich, Cardiff and at home to Millwall) and its cost them five crucial points.
If City drop more points in this match thoughts will turn to Rob Kelly. Milan Mandaric lost patience with him in 2007 after a run of eight matches without a win. There were five games to go that season. City will go eight without a win if they fail to secure three points this afternoon. There will be five games to go…