It’s been an inauspicious start to the 2022/23 Premier League season for Leicester City, who are currently propping up the table having recorded just the single win in their opening nine games. Crystal Palace are faring slightly better in 15th, but Patrick Vieira will be acutely aware that defeat in the East Midlands this weekend will close the gap between these two early strugglers to just two points.
Brendan Rodgers is no doubt feeling the after-effects of losing Wesley Fofana and Kasper Schmeichel in the summer, with his side shipping in a league-high 24 goals — more than Bournemouth, whom Liverpool put to the sword in a 9-0 thrashing towards the backend of August. If the pendulum is to swing favourably in Leicester’s direction soon, then he will need to firm up his rearguard and start putting points on the board — and quickly.
Vieira’s Palace have enjoyed moments of success this campaign, but have been far too inconsistent to mount a genuine push for the Premier League’s upper reaches. A recent 2-1 win over Leeds United at the weekend should give the south Londoners some momentum and impetus heading into Saturday’s crunch clash. And crucially for Vieira, the Eagles are unbeaten in their last 12 Premier League games against sides starting the day in the relegation zone.
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Leicester City v Crystal Palace match stats
Despite Leicester’s collective struggles, individual quality has continued to shine through. World Cup aspirant James Maddison is arguably enjoying his best start to a Premier League season with seven direct contributions in eight games (five goals, three assists). His paradoxical form in conjunction with Leicester’s perils have only worked to elevate his status — and he will be desperate to continue that purple patch this weekend. So far, no player has had more shots from outside the box than Maddison in the Premier League this campaign (15). In fact, three of his five goals have come from distance – also a league-high.
For Palace, Eberechi Eze got the winning goal against Leeds United, but he may prove more of a creative catalyst this weekend. The unpredictable forward is the only Palace player this campaign to register more than one assist (two). Wilfried Zaha meanwhile has both scored (seven) and been directly involved in (nine) more Premier League goals against Leicester than he has any other opponent. That Eze-Zaha combo could prove Vieira’s most succesful link-up this weekend.
Leicester City v Crystal Palace: Squawka Says
Scoreline prediction: Leicester City 1-2 Crystal Palace
10 Apr 2022: Leicester 2-1 Crystal Palace: Premier League
03 Oct 2021: Crystal Palace 2-2 Leicester: Premier League
26 Apr 2021: Leicester 2-1 Crystal Palace- Premier League
28 Dec 2020: Crystal Palace 1-1 Leicester- Premier League
04 Jul 2020: Leicester 3-0 Crystal Palace: Premier League
Palace are winless in their last six games against Leicester, so the capital club may feel that this weekend is their best opportunity to change the complexion of that recent head-to-head record. Only six months ago, Rodgers’ side recorded a 2-1 win over Palace at the King Power thanks to goals from Ademola Lookman and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall.
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