Leicester City shocked the whole world last season by going all the way to win the Premier League title defying all the odds. Champions League football is the big reward for the brilliant work Claudio Ranieri’s boys did last season. The Premier League holders will travel to Jan Breydel on Wednesday to kick off their first ever Champions League campaign with an away tie against Belgian Pro League holders Club Brugge.
Both sides won their domestic title last season but have failed to sustain that form this term. Leicester City have managed to get just four points this season from four games and are on the back of a heavy 4-1 defeat against Liverpool on Saturday. On the other hand, Club Brugge’s season has been dismal so far as they could pick up just seven points this season from 6 games.
Leicester City, having won just one of their five competitive fixtures this season, must ensure that come up with a much-improved display against Club Brugge and here are three things they need to do.
They have to improve on the ball
What has gone wrong with Leicester City? This question has been asked plenty of times this season after the Foxes’ horrible start of the season. Well, when the club who are the reigning Premier League champions have just 46% possession on an average and their team’s average passing accuracy is just 73%, you do not need to be a football pundit to see what is going wrong. Leicester have to ensure that they improve with the ball at their feet and their decision making.
The central players need to be more involved
Leicester City are too much dependent on their wide players which is evident from this stat.
The Foxes play in a traditional 4-4-2 formation and with two strikers up front, most of their attacks should be created from the middle rather than the flanks. Danny Drinkwater particularly needs to work on his passing to make this happen as 80.2% passing accuracy and just one key pass every game is not good enough for a midfielder of his calibre. The predictable system needs a bit more unpredictable, and for that, they need to make changes to their formation.
Sacrifice one striker, play a double pivot and a number 10 in midfield
Leicester City have conceded as many as 13.3 shots every game this season which is too much. The departure of Kante has hit the team badly and it is evident that the Foxes miss him. Ranieri must switch to a more protective formation and for that, he has to sacrifice one striker up front and push down Amartey and Drinkwater for a double pivot in midfield which will provide further support to the defenders. Slimani looks like a certain starter against Brugge and Jamie Vardy can be used on the flanks thanks to his pace. Mahrez can be used as a number ten, which will allow the team to have a bit more creativity in the middle, and either of Musa or Albrighton can feature on the other flank.
Stats via Whoscored.com