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FPL Deep Dive – Leicester City

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Leicester City

Image Courtsey - lcfc.com

Today we will take you to the East Midlands in England, where we will be looking at the city of Leicester. Leicester City finished first in the Championship with 102 points in the 2013–14 season, which earned them automatic promotion to the 2014-15 Premier League season.

On 2 May 2016, Leicester City were declared as Champions of the 2015–16 Premier Division season, finishing first in England's Premier League for the first time in the club's history, in what has been characterised as one of the greatest sporting stories of all time. Before the season began, the team was 5000-1 to win the division, according to the bookmakers.

The achievement ensured Leicester's participation in the UEFA Champions League the following season, a first in the club's history. Individual players within the team created history during the season, with striker Jamie Vardy breaking the Premier League record for consecutive games with a goal and winger Riyad Mahrez being the first African and first Algerian to win the PFA Players' Player of the Year award.

Years have gone by and Leicester City have made their mark in the Premier League as well as in European football.

Claudio Ranieri was the main man who led Leicester City to their maiden Premier League title. Things didn’t pan out well the following season, as he was sacked following a string of defeats and a low league position.

In February 2019, Leicester City appointed Brendan Rodgers as their head coach as he decided to leave Celtic FC for a job in the Premier League. He has been phenomenal for Leicester City, especially in his man management skills. In 2021, Brendan Rodgers won the FA Cup against Manchester City in his second full season with the club.

Brendan Rodgers has provided opportunities for many youngsters at Leicester to explode onto the scene, with the likes of James Justin, Luke Thomas and many more who have found their strides under his guidance.

This Leicester side, under the eyes of coach Brendan Rodgers, has a lot of players that could prove to be a key factor in providing points for their FPL teams. In this article, we will take a look at Leicester City’s guaranteed/potential key players, starters and player potential. Stay tuned!

Leicester City in 2020-21


In the 2020-21 Premier League season, Leicester City finished 5th in the table as they narrowly missed out on Champions League football as they slipped up to Tottenham Hotspur on the final day of the season.

It was the second season in a row where Leicester City were in pole position to play Champions League football, but sadly, the club were not able to get the job done when it mattered the most.

Having said all that, Leicester City fans should be highly impressed with the steps that their club is taking. The Foxes have spent efficiently on the construction of their new training ground, which is of the highest calibre.

In the 2020-21 Premier League season, "The Foxes" got off to an electrifying start to their campaign as they won three Premier League games in a row where they secured victories of 3-0 against West Bromwich Albion, a 4-2 victory over Burnley and an astonishing 5-2 victory against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Things were looking bright as a diamond for the Foxes as they went on to grab victories against Arsenal, Leeds, Spurs, Chelsea and Liverpool midway through February.

By the end of the Premier League season in May, Leicester had a tough run to complete their season on a high.

They had to face Manchester United, Chelsea and Spurs to round off their season. A 2-1 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford was a stepping stone to Leicester’s hopes of featuring in the Champions League for the 2021-22 season.

But, the pendulum swung against them as they lost to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, which left them in a "must-win" situation to secure their place in Champions League football.

While they welcomed Spurs to the King Power Stadium, they got off to a bright start but eventually lost the fight at the end as Spurs came back to add salt to Leicester’s wounds of not being able to play in Europe’s top club competition.

It is not all doom and gloom for the Foxes. They are set to have another impressive campaign this season.

They have had many bright moments on the field, as many players, including the likes of Harvey Barnes, Kelechi Iheanacho, James Justin and Luke Thomas, have shown that Leicester have some really good assets on the field.

Their signings have been on another level as compared to their counterpart clubs. Leicester City don’t go out on the market as big favourites to sign a player, but they are strategic in their signings as they employ the right personnel who fits the dynamic of the club.

The real test will come for Leicester City when the 2021-22 Premier League season comes to a close. Their mental and physical tests will be tested to a whole new dimension as the season rolls on.

What to Expect from Leicester in FPL?


The Foxes provide FPL assets that are attractive and provide a lot of FPL value if you decide to invest in them. They are a team that may have 2-3 players that are expensive in FPL terms, but they always provide decent and attractive returns if you invest in them at the right time.

Leicester City’s FPL assets are those assets that provide a "surprise package" in case they hit their form.

A few notable examples of this are James Justin, Kelechi Iheanacho, Harvey Barnes, James Maddison, and a few more.

This season, you could expect Leicester to provide more points from midfield (provided that they remain fit and injury free). Brendan Rodgers and the FPL managers were hit with multiple injuries throughout the season, which further put their season in jeopardy.

In attack, you may have to invest only in one of two assets for a while, but according to us, it is in midfield where the points will be coming.

During the season, there will be a stage where the big hitters may not provide FPL returns consistently. This is where a Leicester City asset will come to the fore.

These Leicester boys will be raring to go again this season after disappointments in the last two seasons.

However, we may have to be a little bit careful in investing in a particular player as Leicester City will be competing in the Europa League this season and, hence, FPL managers should be wise in getting a player from the Foxes.

Players as Potential “Regular” Starters


Goalkeepers

  1. Schmeichel - £5.0m - Kasper Schmeichel will undoubtedly be Leicester City’s number one man in between the posts. He is a Premier League winner with this Leicester side in 2015-16.

    During Leicester’s title winning season, his performances were over the moon. He was sensational in goal, pulling out multiple saves regularly.

    This season, he is once again set to be the man in between the sticks at an attractive FPL price of £5.0m. He was a touch too expensive last season at £5.5m in FPL terms, which reduced his overall appeal as a fantasy asset last season.

    He is their captain and he marshalls his defence while being in goal. He is a reliable shot-stopper and makes multiple huge saves that define the course of a game.

    Last season, he was the 4th highest Leicester City player in terms of "Overall Points" and kept a total of 11 clean sheets for Leicester City. Consequently, he made a total of 88 saves throughout the entire Premier League campaign.

    At the same time, he let 50 goals go past him last season, which is a number that suggests that it was not a season to remember for Kasper Schmeichel.

    At £5.0m, Kasper Schmeichel is owned by 13.3% of FPL managers (as of 02/08/2021).

    What Is Our Opinion? - If Leicester City’s defence looks promising after the first 4 gameweeks, then, Kasper Schmeichel could be a really attractive FPL goalkeeper option.

Defenders

  1. Evans - Centre-back - £5.5m - In the 2020-21 Premier League campaign, towards the tail-end of the season, Jonny Evans was missed to such a large extent that his absence put a dent in Leicester’s hope for Champions League football last season.

    However, his consistency is not yet assured this season as age keeps catching up with him. By the end of last season, he was playing with discomfort in the heart of Leicester City’s defence to help power Leicester through. But, his efforts were in vain as his discomfort got to a stage where he had to sit out and Leicester City managed to miss out on playing Champions League football.

    Jonny Evans also found and provided a few goals for Leicester City when they were in dire need, scoring 2 and assisting a further 2. He is one of the primary targets for Leicester in set-pieces to score goals.

    Evans is a huge figure in Leicester’s defence and he is a colossal figure on whom Fofana and Soyuncu can look at. Defensively, he has an outstanding win rate in "aerial duels", where his win percentage was nearly 72%. Below are his stats as a Leicester City player:

    SeasonMatchesGoalsAssists
    2018-192410
    2019-203811
    2020-213822

    Our Opinion? - Avoid. There are many other better options at £5.5m.

  2. Pereira - Right/Right wing-back - £5.5m - It is interesting to see the amount of time and minutes the Portuguese right back will have this season in the Premier League with competition knocking at his door.

    Sadly, Pereira suffered an ACL injury in March 2020 which kept the Portuguese right-back out on the sidelines. A groin injury further kept him away from a return to the Leicester City frame.

    Ricardo Pereira brought a lot to the table for Leicester City when he signed for them back in 2018. He had a sensational breakthrough season at Leicester City by contributing a lot defensively as well as from an attacking point of view.

    He is quick and he is able to get into good positions to stop a cross from entering the box from the right hand side of Leicester City’s defence. With his pace, he is able to get in for last-ditch tackles and has a decent impact while defending set-pieces.

    When Leicester are on the attack, Pereira is an important body on the wings to supply vicious deliveries into the box. He also carries the odd goal in him while he gets into positions within the penalty box to poach home for Leicester. Here are his stats:

    SeasonMatchesGoalsAssists
    2018-193526
    2019-202832
    2020-211501

    Our Opinion? - It will be key to whether Brendan Rodgers keeps Ricardo in his Premier League or Europa League plans.

    He is sure to get his minutes in the Premier League, but those minutes might not be regular. It will also be interesting to see his fitness levels after he returned from injury at the end of last season. Wait and watch with the Portuguese right-back!

  3. Castagne - Right and Left-back/wing-back - £5.5m - Timothy Castagne is versatile in Leicester City’s defence. Since he joined Leicester City, he has been given a lot of freedom by Brendan Rodgers to go up ahead and score goals.

    His quality on the ball is impressive as he is decisive on both feet as they can notch up a high class goal if Castagne leathers them well.

    At £5.5m, he gives FPL managers something to think about when they opt for defenders that cost a bit more.

    Even though FPL managers may go for the big guns in their teams, Castagne can be a real FPL point provider as a differential FPL asset in your FPL teams.

    Here are his stats during his time at Atalanta and Leicester City:

    SeasonMatchesGoalsAssists
    2017-18
    Atalanta B.C.
    2002
    2018-19
    Atalanta B.C.
    2842
    2019-20
    Atalanta B.C.
    2712
    2020-21
    Premier League
    2723

    Our Opinion? - If you are looking to invest in Leicester City’s defence, Timothy Castagne is the primary pick of their defensive assets as he provides points defensively as well as from an attacking perspective.

  4. Soyuncu - Centre-back - £5.0m - The Turkish centre-back is another regular starter in the heart of Leicester City’s defence along with Evans and Fofana. The Turkish centre-back is a high-prized asset to Brendan Rodgers.

    Soyuncu is a defender who is aggressive in the air as well as on the floor. His presence in the opposition box is vital as he has a very good header in his locker.

    Adding to that, he is even more vital in his own box as he defends set-pieces. He doesn’t shy away from getting into a tackle or two.

    Our Opinion? - Avoid.

  5. Bertrand - Left-back/wingback - £5.0m - Leicester have signed an experienced left-back in Ryan Bertrand as he will bring a lot more experience into their defensive set up (Although we are not sure about the stability that he could provide.)

    During his time at Southampton, Bertrand has been a regular starter for the Saints. At Leicester, he may not feature much in the Premier League for the Foxes.

    He does carry a decent attacking threat with him from time to time.

    Our Opinion? - Avoid. According to us, he may get his chances if Leicester are down with injuries in their defensive line.

  6. Fofana - Centre-back - £4.5m - The 20-year old French Centre-back has found his way immediately into the defensive set-up that Brendan Rodgers has deployed at Leicester City. At £4.5m, he can be a really good FPL asset to provide FPL points in case Leicester City are able to keep clean sheets on a regular basis.

    Last season, he made 28 Premier League appearances where he failed to provide goals or assists.

    But, his performances during Ramadan were sensational while he was fasting and yet, he was able to play the game at an exemplary rate.

    Leicester were able to create multiple set-piece chances, although they were not able to convert those chances into goals.

    Defensively, Fofana is quick and agile. He doesn’t shy away from an aerial duel. At 20 years of age, he is set to be a really good defender in the years to come, and this season will define him more as a defensive player and as an FPL asset too.

    Our Opinion?- As mentioned earlier, he provides really good value if Leicester are able to keep clean sheets regularly. We admit that he does have a small sample size in the Premier League. If you decide to go for him, keep him on the bench. But we won’t stop you if you decide to start and rotate with him in certain games.

  7. Thomas - Left-back/wingback - £4.5m - Luke Thomas has a very small sample size to make any case for him in FPL terms.

    But, this young left-back has already made a huge name for himself when he scored against Manchester United at Old Trafford at the tail end of last season.

    Our Opinion? - He is set to be on the bench, but Brendan Rodgers will surely give him a few opportunities in the Premier League as the season progresses. Again, if Leicester City are going to suffer from injuries in their back-line, then Luke Thomas could be a really good differential in FPL.

Midfielders

  1. Maddison - £7.0m - James Maddison is highly adored and glorified in Leicester along with veterans Vardy and Schmeichel. There is no doubt that James Maddison is their most exciting player on the pitch.

    The 2020-21 Premier League season was a mixed rollercoaster ride for Maddison as he suffered multiple injuries and was also left out of the squad for breaching Covid protocols.

    Since then, he has been respectful to his manager and has been disciplined ever since.

    As football lovers, we all love Madders when he is on song. He has the eye to pass the ball through tight spaces for the Leicester attackers to hunt for.

    He is on set-piece duty and he also has a delightful free kick under his belt. When you watch him on the ball, he always looks to create an opportunity or find a way to score a goal himself.

    His set-piece deliveries are usually on the money and he can help FPL managers take home many FPL points.

    When Leicester City are on the counter, Maddison is most likely to create an opening for his teammates to score. He holds the “creativity key” for Leicester. Below are his stats in a Leicester shirt:

    SeasonMatchesGoalsAssists
    2018-193677
    2019-203163
    2020-213185

    Our Opinion? - If Leicester City get on a roll at the start of the season, it is most likely because James Maddison is clicking in midfield for “The Foxes.” If he does click, you better get a hold of that train!

  2. Barnes - £7.0m - Harvey Barnes has been slowly grabbing attention in FPL from this Leicester side. Since the 2019-20 season, he has been among the goals for Leicester City that has hugely contributed to Leicester’s success in the Premier League.

    Since he has been colossal for Leicester going forward, Brendan Rodgers has made him a regular starter in his attacking set-up. He has teamed up well with Jamie Vardy in attack and he has enormous potential to have a much better season up front for Leicester.

    Barnes has a thunderous strike in him as well as he motors along at his pace while he takes opposition defenders down. His quick feet and skills draw fouls on him in the penalty box, which also presents an opportunity for FPL managers to get assist points if Vardy or Tielemans score from the spot. Here are his stats as a "Fox."

    Young gun Harvy Barnes suffered a knee injury against Arsenal in February which ended his Premier League season. He was at the peak of his form as he scored goals for fun.

    SeasonMatchesGoalsAssists
    2017-18300
    2018-191612
    2019-203668
    2020-212594

    Our Opinion? - He may start this season as a substitute after just returning from injury. But, midway through the season, he will get his opportunity and his game time, along with his performances will have to be analysed.

  3. Tielemans - £6.5m - Youri Tielemans was the surprise package for Leicester last season, when he took his game to a whole new level.

    He has been upland down the pitch on multiple occasions, contributing to Leicester’s attack and defence as well. At the same time, he has also played his fair share of the Euros with Belgium.

    He has got tons of minutes under his belt and he is set to be a key player for Brendan Rodgers this upcoming season too.

    Having said that, he provides decent value at £6.5m as he is also on penalties when Jamie Vardy is not on the pitch, which is an added benefit for FPL managers as it provides bonus points as well if he finds the net from the penalty spot. Here are his stats below:

    SeasonMatchesGoalsAssists
    2018-191334
    2019-203736
    2020-213864

    Our Opinion? - If you struggle to find a few FPL pounds for Barnes and Maddison, then Youri Tielemans is your next option. Although, his goal scoring numbers and potential for FPL points may not be highly significant when compared to Barnes and Maddison.

Forwards

  1. Vardy - £10.5m - Jamie Vardy has got a premium price-tag on him yet again after an impressive start to the 2020-21 Premier League campaign. He is their talisman in front of goal and there are no doubts about his presence and value in that Leicester City dressing room.

    In the 2020-21 Premier League season, Jamie Vardy has recorded 15 goals and 9 assists throughout the campaign. His 15 goals last season were the 4th highest in the Premier League.

    This shows that he is still the man for Leicester City at 34 years old. He is on penalty as well.

    One interesting aspect of Vardy is that he has an immense pace at the age of 34. He makes a lot of late runs in the box, which helps him to get ahead of defenders.

    At the same time, he has the luxury of having those creative players in his team who are capable of supplying those clear-cut chances so that Vardy can run through on goal with his pace. Here are his stats as a Leicester City player:

    SeasonMatchesGoalsAssists
    2014-153458
    2015-1636246
    2016-1735135
    2017-1837201
    2018-1934184
    2019-2035235
    2020-2134159

    Our Opinion? - With Jamie Vardy priced at £10.5m, we think that it's an expensive ticket to purchase, especially with age catching up to the veteran talisman.

    But, we are certain that “If” Jamie Vardy gets on a scoring streak, you've got to purchase that expensive ticket. He is certain to provide FPL points. Make sure you're not too late to get that ticket!

  2. Iheanacho - £7.5m - Iheanacho was the light to Leicester City’s darkness during the final stretch of the season. With James Maddison and Harvey Barnes out, Leicester found it difficult to get goals and create goal-scoring opportunities.

    Even with the likes of Jamie Vardy, Leicester were struggling as Vardy was not able to capitalize on the few chances that Leicester created.

    Just then, Kelechi Iheanacho arrived on the scene and provided a lot of hope for the faithful of Leicester. He came in and raked up goal after goal. He was fantastic in the penalty box as he found a way to get the ball into the back of the net on multiple occasions.

    Even when Leicester were in a losing cause, Iheanacho found a long-range goal to inspire a comeback.

    Kelechi Iheanacho is the first Premier League player to score a goal on each of the seven days of the week in a single season. Here are his stats during his time at Leicester:

    SeasonMatchesGoalsAssists
    2017-182133
    2018-193013
    2019-202053
    2020-2125122

    Our Opinion? - Iheanacho was a starter in only 2 out of the first 21 Premier League games. As injuries piled on, he got his opportunity in the main team.

    The numbers that he went on and recorded for himself were through the roof.

    According to our opinion, Brendan Rodgers will need goals to secure a Champions League spot for the 2022-23 season. Iheanacho has proven that he can be the guy that provides goals on a regular basis. He is set to start alongside Vardy and chip in with goals and assists in the upcoming Premier League season as well.

  3. Daka - £7.5m - Patson Daka is a serious talent that Leicester City have acquired this season. He was signed from RB Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga.

    His statistics in the Austrian Bundesliga are impressive for a player at just 22 years of age. Yes, there are major differences in the Austrian Bundesliga and the Premier League, but he is a player worth considering in your FPL teams.

    In the Austrian Bundesliga, Patson Daka made 28 league appearances where he was sensational in front of goal. He scored 27 goals and provided a further 4 assists in his 28 league appearances.

    Across all competitions, Patson Daka recorded 34 goals in 42 appearances. In the 2020-21 Austrian Bundesliga, on average, Patson Daka managed a goal every 72 minutes.

    SeasonMatchesGoalsAssists
    2017-18800
    2018-191531
    2019-2031246
    2020-2128274

    Our Opinion? - He will be mostly used as an impact substitute in his first season in the Premier League. Even though his numbers are highly impressive, we will have to wait and see how he fares in the Premier League.