October, November and December - Season 2 - Post #11
October - 2 Champions League games at Home to Juve and Porto . League games in Lancashire against newcomers Blackburn and old rivals Burnley in between. We end the month with a double header against Liverpool at home. First in the league, then the league cup. On paper a very tough month.
I’m contemplating a change of format and will be adding more squad detail to the posts.
THE CHAMPIONSSSSSSSS, DU DU DU DU DU.
Juventus come to the King Power Stadium. They’ve picked a strong side in a 523 formation. Cristiano on the left wing with Barella and Pjanic as the midfield 2.
We line up in a 433: Schmeichel; Pereira, Benkovic, Maguire, Chilwell; Ndidi, Maddison, van de Beek; Pepe, Gray, Vardy
Substitutes: Evans, Tierney, Choudhury, Rice, Tonali, Marin, Sememyo
We start the game on fire, Juventus rather surprisingly start quite defensively and we pressure deep in their half. A ball wide from Maddison finds Chilwell on the byline. He cuts back for Vardy to strike which is saved well. The ball rebounds to Pepe who taps in. 1-0, 3’ on the clock. He would go off injured after 30 mins however.
By half time, Juventus have had one shot on goal to our 11. Cristiano is playing a 6.2.
More of the same in the 2nd half but Ronaldo has gone up top now. Maguire and Benkovic marshal him well. We get a corner on the hour, Maddison swings in from the left, Benkovic header which bounced off the bar onto Pjanic and in. 2-0 Leicester. We make changes with Rice and Choudhury on for van de Beek and Maddison to solidify us. It works and we win 2-0. A magnificent result and we are right back in the group.
MOM is Filip Benkovic
A few changes made for the visit to Blackburn, notably Jamie Vardy left on the bench for Antoine Semenyo. Blackburn are sat in 18th position but will provide a test for Leicester.
433 as usual: Schmeichel; Pereira, Evans, Benkovic, Tierney; Rice, Tonali, Maddison; Marin, Gray, Semenyo
Substitutes: Maguire, Chilwell, Choudhury, Ndidi, van de Beek, Pepe, Vardy
A solid/unsolid win. Semenyo got us off to a flyer but we didn’t press home our advantage. 1-0 seems precarious but Blackburn failed to register a shot. A great performance from our young side.
Antoine Semenyo MOM
An international break followed the game so we have a couple of weeks to recuperate before we head back north for the Burnley game.
Another changed side for this one as I wanted a few more seasoned pros in the squad.
433: Schmeichel; Pereira, Benkovic, Maguire, Chilwell; Ndidi, Choudhury, Maddison, Iheanacho, Gray, Varde
Subs: Evans, Tierney, Tonali, Rice, van de Beek, Pepe, Semenyo
Burnley, Burnley, Burnley, when will you learn. They sat back, we go 2-0 up, they attack. If they came at me in a game I’ve no doubt they would win. 2-0 after half an hour through the recalled Iheanacho and the main man Maddison. Burnley scored on half time but we were always seemingly in control. No goals in the 2nd half. I’ve included an example of our average positions compared to Burnley.
MOM James Maddison
Porto at home next in the Champions League. A win would really set us up to qualify for at least the Europa League which I feel is more our level at this point.
We were the dominant side but Porto were very good defensively. I probably made an error in selection with a young front line. Vardy and Gray were not able to open the Portuguese up. Worryingly, Gray is yet to score this season after getting 14 last. So 4 points after 3 match days. We have 2 away games left which puts us in a precarious position.
MOM Filip Benkovic
Match day 10 in the Premier League and we welcome champions Liverpool. They are also top of the league at this time and have yet to lose like us. Someones 0, has to go, unless it's a draw. Which I think we would have taken before a ball was kicked.
We go into the game full strength after resting 1 or 2 for the Porto game. Would the decision be a good one?
433: Schmeichel; Pereira, Benkovic, Maguire, Chilwell; Rice, Tonale, van de Beek: Pepe, Gray, Vardy
Subs: Evans, Tierney, Ndidi, Iheanacho, Semenyo, Maddison, Barnes
A fantastic performance against Liverpool to keep our unbeaten run going and end theirs. Vardy scored early from a cross from Pereira. Liverpool upped the anti and Salah equalised after 16 minutes. Both sides were going at each other and it showed in possession and shots stats being even. We made changes during the 2nd half as did Liverpool to try and find the 2nd goal. That 2nd goal did come for us, Vardy pushed in the box and after a check with VAR, penalty given. Vardy stepped up and smashed it, 2-1 Leicester.
Liverpool pushed to the end of the game but couldn’t find the goal. Magnificent boys!
Liverpool again, same result. To be fair they sent a reserve side for the League Cup game although Wilf Zaha was part of the starting XI. We included youngsters Isaksen, Rogers and Fitton on the bench.
Antoine Semenyo got the only goal of the game and we were comfortable winners in the end. We draw Chelsea in the 1/4's, the game is in December.
433: Schmiechal; Johnson, Evans, Maguire, Tierney; Ndidi, Tonali, Maddison; Iheanacho, Marin, Semenyo
Subs: Benkovic, Chilwell, Rice, Isaksen, Rogers, Barnes, Fitton
October Review - Unbeaten in the league and through in the cup. Beating Liverpool twice is great for our confidence. The Champions League is still in the balance but we must win at least 1 of our final 3 games to stand a chance in a tough group. Pereira probably deserves player of the month, he has been consistent and seems to have put the disappointment of a failed transfer behind him. I won manager of the month for October.
November - We sit 3rd in the league behind Liverpool and Man Utd so still above expectations. The fixtures for the month however are tough. Lots of TV coverage though…
4 games in the league and 2 in the Champions League. No games to rest anyone in the 1st 5 here so could be some tired legs by the time we play Stoke at the end of the month. Realistically we are hoping for 6 points in the league and maybe 4 in the Champions League. In spite of what we did last year I’m not expecting to smash City again.
My fears were right, although it wasn’t all one way traffic. We had more possession and shots at goal. Aguero is a maestro though and put City ahead. Silva killed the game late on as we pushed for an equaliser. Our 1st loss of the season.
451: Schmeichel; Pereira, Benkovic, Maguire, Chilwell; Ndidi, Pepe, Tonali, van de Beek, Marin; Vardy.
Subs: Evans, Rice, Tierney, Iheanacho, Maddison, Gray, Semenyo
Match day 4 of the Champions League and Porto away. Having drawn 0-0 with them at home it was imperative that we got a result.
We had a mad 10 minutes which cost us. Once again we were a match but gave away a soft goal. Then a Vardy sending off, then a 2nd goal on half time.
A 3rd Porto goal followed before they took their foot off the gas. We scored a couple of late goals and might have equalised but it wasn’t to be. We now had 4 points from 4 games. Lyon and Juve left.
Time to get back on track, oh wait, it’s Chelsea and Eden Hazard.
We went back to our 433 formation moving the wingers higher up the pitch.
Schmeichel; Pereira, Benkovic, Maguire, Chilwell: Ndidi, Tonali, Maddison; Pepe, Gray, Vardy
Subs: Evans, Rice, Tierney, Iheanacho, van de Beek, Marin, Semenyo
A very close game but we nudge in front thanks to Vardy. A shot from Pepe is spilt and Vardy pounces to tap in. Chelsea ramp up the pressure after half time and finally equalise through Jorginho. We’ve changed some of the attacking positions and van de Peek steals in deep into injury time to win it.
MOM Jamie Vardy for a tireless display.
Arsenal next up away. We reverted back to the 451 to solidify us. We haven’t been scoring as many this year so clean sheets are doubly important.
We got our wish and frustrated Arsenal from 1-90.
Nothing to choose between the 3 but joint MOM Pereira, Benkovic and Maguire.
451: Schmeichel; Pereira, Benkovic, Maguire, Tierney; Rice, Pepe, Maddison, van de Beek, Gray; Vardy
Subs: Evans, Ndidi, Chilwell, Iheanacho, Tonali, Barnes, Semenyo
After 13 match days were are in 4th place on 28 points. Another Champions League game next, Lyon at home.
We conceded the 1st goal here and really struggled to get back into the game. Lyon didn’t offer much after going 1-0 up and we laboured for much of the game. The penalty was a stupid push and Maddison converted from the spot.
We really missed Vardy who was suspended from the Porto game.
Without the win, we can no longer win the group. We go into the final round of fixtures bottom but still with a chance.
Lyon 8pts, Juve 7pts, Porto 7pts, Leicester 5pts
We need a Lyon win and to beat Juve to go through. We need a win regardless to stay in Europe.
MOM James Maddison but we were poor overall.
Stoke at home to finish off the month. Schmeichel has picked up an injury and will be out for 3-4 weeks. Danny Ward will step in to replace him.
433: Ward; Johnson, Evans, Maguire, Tierney, Ndidi, Choudhury, Maddison, Pepe, Marin, Vardy
Subs: Benkovic, Rice, Gray, Chilwell, Tonali, Barnes, Semenyo
Badou Ndiaye scores a 25 yarder to put our boys on the back foot. We do nothing until half time and I actually have to dish out a bollocking.
It does the trick and we come out flying in the 2nd period. A pen from Vardy and a Pepe goal get us in front. A Tonali edge of the boxer gives us breathing space. He could be the man to replace Tielemans if he keeps doing that.
Stoke get a consolation through Clark but the game is done.
Goal and assist, Nicolas Pepe MOM.
November Review - A real mixed bag but there were some tough games in there. We are virtually out of Europe unless we can perform a miracle in Turin on match day 6. We are up to 3rd (31pts) after 14 match days. Liverpool and Man Utd still slug it out at the top. Player of the month, James Maddison.
December - A busy month which includes no less than 6 Premier League games, my final Champions League group game and a League Cup 1/4 final away at Chelsea. I’m also set to go to Old Trafford and Goodison Park over Christmas.
In an ideal world, we will take 12 points from our 6 Premier League games, Everton and United away are tough and Bournemouth and West Ham are too. Wolves and Brighton should mean home wins.
Perfect start to December for the Foxes. Goals late in each half of a keenly contested game. Our defenders came out on top.
451: Ward; Pereira, Benkovic, Maguire, Chilwell; Rice, Pepe, Maddison, van de Beek, Gray; Vardy
Subs: Evans, Tierney, Ndidi, Marin, Tonali, Barnes, Semenyo
Tough call between our defenders and van de Beek, but Maguire gets it for a goal and a shut out. MOM.
Business as usual against Wolves. Not sure why we are so comfortable against them but we dominated form minute 1. Vardy with goals either side of half time gave us an easy win.
433: Ward; Pereira, Benkovic, Evans, Tierney, Ndidi, Tonali, Maddison, Pepe, Barnes, Vardy
Subs: Choudhury, Chilwell, Rice, Marin, van de Beek, Gray, Semenyo
MOM - Vardy again with special mention to out boys at the back with back to back cleano’s.
We are welcomed to Turin knowing a win is a must. I rested a few in anticipation of this game. We started with a slightly more defensive outlook. A 1-0 would be good enough to get at least 3rd.
451: Ward; Pereira, Benkovic, Maguire, Chilwell; Rice, Pepe, Maddison, van de Beek, Barnes; Vardy
Subs: Evans, Tierney, Ndidi, Marin, Tonali, Gray, Semenyo
Well, it backfired massively going defensive as we were peppered. Barella scored after 6 minutes with Ronaldo adding a 2nd just after the half hour. I felt like Burnley but had to gamble as my plan had gone. I brought off Pereira for Gray with Barnes going to RB. Soon after half time Tonali came on for Maddison and Semenyo on for Vardy. It seemed to do the trick, Juve were content with 2-0 and hitting on the break. Donny van de Beek got one back after 57 mins, and we were flying. Pepe was making recoveries and driving runs seemingly every highlight.
Then we won a penalty. No Vardy, no Maddison on the pitch to take the responsibility fell to Pepe in the 74th minute.
Poor guy missed, devastated.
Tonali rifled a 20 yarder after a corner had been cleared in the 84th minute. They held on, we finish 4th and are out of Europe at the 1st hurdle. Gutted.
Lyon - 9
Juventus - 8
Porto - 8
Leicester - 6
Only 6 goals scored in our campaign which was our real downfall. We aren’t scoring as many this season full stop.
That sparked a run of form which I hadn’t seen before in this group.
5 games, 5 losses and 2 goals in that time. Before the Bournemouth game I didn’t think we’d need different players but that has changed my mind. We were actually unlucky at B’mouth and Chelsea, but atrocious at Utd and Everton. As for Brighton, I made changes and it seemed to work. We had 26 shots to Brighton's 1. Sorry Leicester fans, I know what its like to be shit over Christmas.
December review. Out of 2 competitions and fell away in the league. Here is the league at the half way point which was just after the Everton game. Man Utd still unbeaten but only 2 points clear of Liverpool. We are sat just behind the next 2 sides, Chelsea and Man City being managed by Sarri and Allegri respectively.