Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Europa League clash between Leicester City and Slavia Prague, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Each team will be relatively satisfied with the outcome of the game in the Czech Republic, keeping the tie in the balance ahead of the fixture at the King Power Stadium.
Brendan Rodgers surprised many Leicester supporters last week by naming a full-strength side for the first leg of this tie, a decision made on the back of several injuries to key men.
However, despite the frustration of only earning a goalless draw, the extra fixture did not prevent the Foxes from seeing off Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday.
Given their lack of recovery time, Leicester were impressive against one of their domestic rivals, earning a result which kept the club in third spot in the top flight.
While qualifying for next season’s Champions League remains a priority, Rodgers showed in the Czech Republic that he is eager to win this competition, relishing the tag of dark horses behind the tournament favourites.
Despite only losing one of their last 16 matches in all competitions, Rodgers will know that a couple of slip-ups in defence on Thursday could end their time on the European scene with immediate effect.
Slavia have lost some momentum in league action of late, drawing their three most recent fixtures to see their lead at the top of the standings reduced to eight points.
Nevertheless, Jindrich Trpisovsky will feel that his side are in a better position than their hosts on Thursday, aware that they can play with a sense of freedom in the East Midlands.
Slavia have put together a 12-match unbeaten streak since their 4-0 defeat away at Bayer Leverkusen in this competition back in December.
Despite being the star of the show since the turn of the year, Jan Kuchta has scored in just one of his last four outings.
Leicester City Europa League form: WWDLWD
Leicester City form (all competitions): WDWWDW
Slavia Prague Europa League form: WWWWLD
Slavia Prague form (all competitions): WWDWDD
Rodgers is likely to use many of his senior players for this game, only resting players who have recently returned from injury.
The rest of the team should stay the same with Trpisovsky sensing an opportunity to go deep in this competition.
Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Amartey, Evans, Soyuncu, Thomas; Ndidi, Tielemans; Albrighton, Under, Barnes; Vardy
Slavia Prague possible starting lineup:
Kolar; Bah, Kudela, Zima, Boril; Provod, Hromada; Sima, Stanciu, Olayinka; Kuchta
We say: Leicester City 2-1 Slavia Prague
Failing to score an away goal last week is not ideal for Leicester, who will fear that Slavia can take full advantage in the East Midlands. However, Leicester may benefit from having to push for victory, something that they have made a habit of this season.
— to www.sportsmole.co.uk