Leicester City vs Aston Villa 2015
Villa find themselves in a pivotal point in the season. Performances so far have generally been something of an anti-climax (despite the undeniable quality of the new signings) and there’s still a sense that the team need a few more matches before they properly shine.
With matches against Leicester, West Brom and Birmingham City on the horizon though, Villa need to start performing to their potential if they are to avoid another disappointing season.
Despite the shock sacking of Nigel Pearson, Leicester have started the season brilliantly and will be expecting a good result on Sunday.
Can Sherwood mastermind a victory over the Foxes to dent their early season feel-good factor?
Leicester’s tally of 37 top-tier goals in 2015 is beaten only by Chelsea, Arsenal, and Man City
Ranieri on Villa
“It’s important we restart with the right mentality. From Sunday, we start with zero points and give our best.
“Aston Villa lost some good players in the summer, but signed some good ones too. They have a good team.”
Albrighton on Villa
“I won’t approach the game any differently.
“Obviously there’s a bit more riding on it in terms of bragging rights with my family.
“Other than that it’s pretty much the same as usual. I’ll go into the game, prepare myself well and look to do as well as I can.
“I think it’s been a bit of a mixed bag but obviously they started with a win at Bournemouth.
“They’ve got a lot of new faces in and that will take a while to gel but it’ll be interesting to see what kind of team they put out – whether they use them all or stick with some of the lads that have been there a while for that stability.
“Either way we’ll go into in the game the same way we always do.”
Sherwood on Leicester
“Leicester have carried on from where Nigel Pearson left them. They are a hard working side. We know it’ll be a tough game and we’re looking forward to it.
“The break was disruptive as we played so well against Sunderland. We had momentum. It’s fragmented and it’s a bit of an annoyance. That’s part and parcel of having international footballers at the football club.
“Claudio has been in the game for a long time. He’s still around and has worked in many countries. For someone to look so well, he’s obviously done a fantastic job.
“He works well with the players he has. He recognised it wasn’t broken at Leicester so there was no need to fix it”
24th October 2006 Leicester City 2 Aston Villa 3
A 119th minute winner from Gabriel Agbonlahor knocked Leicester out of the Carling Cup almost 10 years ago.
Leicester – Last five matches at home: W 4, D 1
Villa – Last five matches away: W 2, L 3
Villa have won just once during the last five trips to Leicester
One to Watch
Riyad Mahrez – The Algerian winger already has four goals this season
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
It seems fair to suggest that Villa are visiting the King Power stadium at the worst possible time.
Unbeaten this season, Leicester have been scoring for fun, picking up good results – they don’t seem to fear any opponent. The Foxes are one of the best Premier League teams of the 2015 calendar year.
As well as current form, the history books tell you that trips to Leicester usually end in disappointment for the Villans – the Foxes have only been defeated once in their nine home league games against us.
Leicester’s tally of 37 top-tier goals in 2015 is beaten only by Chelsea, Arsenal, and Man City.
While Ranieri’s side have been scoring goals, Villa have been conceding them. We’ve conceded 11 goals in our last four league away games. Worrying when you consider that no Premier League side scored fewer away goals than us last season.
“Aston Villa lost some good players in the summer, but signed some good ones too. They have a good team” – Ranieri on villa
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
Despite the disappointing result against Sunderland, Sherwood’s right to say we should have been out of sight.
We played well in the first half to come back from a goal down but the same old defensive problems saw us throw away the lead in the second half.
Villa seem to have one good half per match (as per previous seasons) – let’s hope that we see a much more ‘complete’ performance against Leicester.
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag
There’s always curious stats when it comes to managerial records. Ranieri, in this instance, has averaged just 1.43 points in seven league games against Villa.
While Leicester are a formidable force at home, they’ve only won once against Villa in the last five league meetings.
Both Albrighton and Ranieri have recognised that despite key departures, Villa have an the makings of a good squad.
The likes of Gana and Amavi, who has attempted more dribbles than any other Premier League player this season, have impressed, while familiar faces such as Scott Sinclair have made up for other under-performing forwards.
There’s still a sense of optimism with Sherwood at the helm, but we haven’t quite replicated some of the performances seen at the end of last season – yet.
Especially given that Sherwood’s win ratio has fallen to 48.7%, let’s hope we start our season of derby games in style with three points against Leicester.
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