Leicester face a poor season getting much worse
An erratic Leicester City face the prospect of having to go to the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium early on Thursday evening all out for a win against Italian giants Napoli if they are to maintain their pursuit of the Europa League next May. Both sides have injury issues, which were thrown into sharp relief by damaging defeats to Atalanta and Aston Villa respectively, but whilst that loss means Luciano Spalletti's men are now two points off the Serie A summit, the Foxes are marooned in mid-table in the Barclays Premier League, with the only consistent aspect of their season being a very suspect defence. Read our preview here:
Spine missing but not spineless
Spalletti must find a way to negotiate the tricky tie and with it the group without a whole slew of starters. Kalidou Koulibaly, André-Frank Zambo Anguissa, and Victor Osimhen are all definitely out, whilst Fabián Ruiz and Lorenzo Insigne are both severe doubts. It could come down to priorities for both board and the management team, and whether continued participation in the Europa League could potentially derail their first Scudetto in over a generation. Bit-part striker Andrea Petagna is set to lead the line in a much changed XI, and he will be hoping the guile and craft of Piotr Zieliński and Hirving Lozano will combine to leave a leaky opposition backline flat-footed and anxious.
Will the real Çaglar Söyüncü please stand up?
The Foxes' defensive deficiencies have been well written about, and the treatment table has seen a rotation of players requiring physiotherapy this season. Çaglar Söyüncü has not been one of them, but the Turkish stopper must wish at times that he could be taken out of the firing line. He has not been solely culpable, but his individual performance levels have not reached anything like the heights of the previous two campaigns. Elsewhere, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall's channelled aggression should see him retain a spot ahead of the below-par Boubakary Soumaré, whilst evergreen striker Jamie Vardy is set for a recall.
Hunters become the hunted
Again, many fans will be tuned into the Legia Warszawa-Spartak Moscow game, the result of which will determine the two favourites' fates. The hosts are weaker on paper, but the Russian outfit have massive injury concerns of their own. Leicester simply cannot afford to lose, and their defence has been too weak for anything other than going for the jugular. That ought to play into Napoli's hands, and odds of 2.10 with Casumo can be had for a home win.