EPL: Palace, Foxes in cagey duel

first_imgRelatedPosts EPL: Vardy primed for another prolific season after brace at West Brom Klopp wins Premier League Manager of the Season award Ndidi linked with Man U move Crystal Palace vs. Leicester City Venue: Selhurst Park Kick off: 3PMTwo of the Premier League’s surprise packages so far this season face off at Selhurst Park this afternoon when ninth-placed Crystal Palace host fourth-placed Leicester City. Palace have lost just one of their last five league games going into this match, while Leicester have won four of their last five, including a record-equalling 9-0 humiliation of Southampton last weekend. Brendan Rodgers has insisted that Leicester have moved on from last Friday’s bonanza at St Mary’s, but such a result will no doubt make opposition all the more wary of a team which has quite rightly earned glowing praise so far this season. Many tipped the Foxes to push for a top-six spot this term, but few had them sitting third after 10 games and only five points behind champions Manchester City, who are also the only team to have outscored them in 2019-20. Victory today would give Leicester their best-ever start in the top flight, with their current tally of 20 points from 10 outings. Such is the standard being set at the moment that Leicester are still 11 points off Liverpool’s pace at the top of the table, but they look perfectly capable of challenging for a top-four spot this season, with three points already separating them from fifth-placed Arsenal. Manchester United and Liverpool are the only teams to have beaten Leicester in 13 matches across all competitions this season, and nine of their last 11 have ended in victory – including a 3-1 triumph away to Burton Albion in the EFL Cup on Tuesday. That made it 12 goals in their past two outings with two vastly different starting lineups but, as impressive as their attack has been, their defence has also made light of losing Harry Maguire in the summer and boast the joint-fewest goals conceded in the league so far this term. Such a record may concern a Palace side that has only averaged one goal per game in the league this season, but Roy Hodgson will nonetheless be just as happy as his fellow former Liverpool boss Rodgers with how the opening 10 weeks of the campaign have gone. The Eagles go into the weekend sitting sixth in the table, above Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur and only one point behind Arsenal, against whom they recovered from two goals down to draw 2-2 last weekend. Granit Xhaka’s act of petulance under provocation stole the headlines in that match, but you can be sure that Hodgson fully appreciated the fightback from his side having been beaten at home by Man City a week previously. Palace’s record of one defeat in five is made all the more impressive by the fact that this will be their fourth successive game against a team starting the day in the top five – a difficult run which is almost certain to stretch to seven with Chelsea and Liverpool next up after Leicester. One cause for optimism lies in their record against the Foxes having won each of their last four editions of this fixture, scoring 13 times and conceding just once in the process, and the most recent of those wins prompted Leicester to sack Claude Puel in February. Only once before in their history – against Wimbledon from 1989 to 1991 – have Palace won five successive top-flight games against a particular opponent, but they will be expecting a completely different test against Rodgers’s Leicester this time around. Crystal Palace possible XI: Guaita, Ward, Tomkins, Cahill, Van Aanholt, Townsend, Kouyate, Milivojevic, McArthur, Zaha, Ayew. Leicester possible XI: Schmeichel, Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell, Ndidi, Perez, Tielemans, Maddison, Barnes, Vardy.Tags: Brendan RodgersCrystal Palace FClast_img