Leicester City’s title defence seems to be getting worse with every passing match. They started off with a shocking loss against Hull City and that set the tone for the rest of the games it seems. They have looked flat and bereft of the cutting edge that set them apart last season. The Foxes have clearly missed the services of N’Golo Kanté and their midfield has looked shorn of confidence and graft. Apart from the midfield they also have been hampered by the loss of form of the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy.
Vardy has been horribly off colour since the start and the workload of the Champions League has also eaten into their energy reserve.
And in the latest blow to them, Leicester City’s appeal against Jamie Vardy’s red card has been rejected which will see the England international miss 3 games. With wins and points the need of the hour, let us take a look how Leicester City can cope with his absence and make sure they don’t lose any more ground over the next period of the season.
PLAY ISLAM SLIMANI AND OKAZAKI/MUSA UP TOP
Slimani has been the more successful of the two new signings as far acclimatising to the League is concerned. He is their 2nd highest scorer with 4 goals and 3 assists and his goals lent Leicester some sort of normalcy when the chips were horribly down. His physique and hold up play has also been prevalent and in Vardy’s absence he could be the solution to freshen things up at the top. Okazaki will be the most likely candidate if they retain two at the top.
CHANGE FORMATION TO 4-2-3-1
Ranieri has tweaked slightly in a game or two but he needs to be more adaptive and let go of the 2-man up top tactic. With Vardy absent, Slimani can play up top. Albrighton, Musa and Mahrez can line-up behind the striker thus lending balance and losing none of their attacking threat.
CHANGE FORMATION TO 4-3-3
Alternatively, they can also change to a 4-3-3 formation. With Drinkwater and Mendy returning from injury and pushing for places in midfield the options have increased. Ranieri can opt for a 3-man midfield with Drinkwater, Mendy, Amartey and King vying for the 3 places.
The likes of Albrighton, Musa, Slimani, Vardy and Mahrez will be vying for a front three in such a formation. Mahrez will be nailed on in the right wing with Musa and Albrighton likely battling out for a left-flank role. Vardy or Slimani will lead the line.