With the Eagles returning to action, TEB had a chat with the guys at FIRST4LCFC about the season so far, thoughts ahead of the game and much more.
Q. What did you make of the game between the two sides at Selhurst Park earlier in the season?
It was a typical Leicester performance that we would have lost years ago under Puel. It was a very depleted squad that game for us as well, but we still dominated possession but could not find a break and then end up giving up a goal on the counter. Luckily, Harvey Barnes rescued an equaliser but those were two 2 points dropped in my opinion
Q. How has the season been so far for Leicester?
It has been fantastic, even after all of the injuries we have stayed in the race for the top four so much to a point that we caused a new league that lasted two days! The Europa League campaign was a disappointment going out so early but our FA Cup run has been magical and if we can stay in the top four it will be the second best season in the clubs history.
Q. Last season must have been tough seeing the side drop out of the top four late in the season, but will this season be different?
We will see won’t we. I was so sure of us staying in the top four last season that I am scared to predict it. We have a very favourable next three games, but then we face Manchester United, Chelsea, and Tottenham to end the season with the FA Cup Final sprinkled in there. If we win our next three games we will have a decent shot to stay in the top four.
Q. It has been a long season for the Foxes with their interest in cup competitions both domestically and abroad – how much of a challenge has that been?
It has been extremely challenging, especially with all of the injuries we have suffered. I think only Liverpool has lost more games due to injury than we have. Going out of the Europa League however tough and disappointing it was certainly helped us. But Brendan has done a terrific job in rotating the squad.
Q. How was your business in the January transfer window and do you have needs that have not been addressed?
Our business in January was non-existent in terms of bringing players in, but the players that have returned from injury has almost been our window. We definitely still have needs we need to address in the summer mainly another holding midfielder to help out Wilfred Ndidi. We also may still need a striker even though Kelechi Iheanacho has been absolutely on fire as of late.
Q. Who has been the stand out player for Leicester so far this season?
As of late it has to be Kelechi Iheanacho. A lot of the fanbase had given up on him but after Vardy was struggling and injured he has absolutely turned it on. There is not a more in form striker in the league right now and very few in the world. Also, Wesley Fofana has been absolutely outstanding, he plays far older than his age and in my opinion he is neck and neck with Ruben Dias for best signing of the season.
Q. What do you make of Palace this season?
It has not been the worst of seasons but it really hasn’t been great. Palace reminds me of LCFC with Puel and that you rely on your top guy to get you the goals and just hope that you can keep the ball out of the net. It’s a very wide ranging display of performances you have your really good ones like at West Brom and then go to the other extreme and get beat 7-0 in a span of 14 days.
Q. Fans not being able to go to games has been huge for what has been almost a year but how does it feel that there is some real light at the end of the tunnel with the potential for a return next season?
It’s about time is what I keep saying. Me being in the United States and our sporting events are up to 50% capacity and even full capacity in one place, all I keep saying is can England just get on with it. But it’s been something the game has severely needed in England. Going on over a year since having fans it has been the hardest thing the sport has had to endure up until a week ago. Especially at a place like Selhurst Park that is known for the fans and being a tough place to play.
Q. Name one player from each team that you believe will be a threat to the opposition in this match.
For Leicester, it is going to be Youri Tielemans, when he is on I don’t think there is a team in the country that can control what he does. He just runs the middle of the park and if you don’t know how to defend it he will just start picking apart defenders and keep putting Leicester on the front foot. For Palace it has to Wilfred Zaha. He is the one player every time I watch Palace that will scare the opposition. When he gets running at defenders one-on-one is when he is at his most dangerous.
Q. …and finallly, your all important prediction?
I think Leicester will win this 3-0. After the West Brom game we finally have some momentum into going back where we need to be to finish top four. As long as Ndidi, Tielemans, and Maddison are on there game it will become a one way affair.