Foxes to be kept from their quarry in Prague
Runaway 1. Liga leaders Slavia Prague will be tough nuts to crack on their patch in Czechia's largest ground, the Sinobo Stadium. Červenobílí finished runners up in their group to German giants Bayer Leverkusen in the final decisive match, and will show little fear or awe when taking on Brendan Rodgers' similarly on form Leicester City side. The Foxes are only goal difference from being Manchester City's nearest challengers in the Premier League, but are likely to stick with the mishmash of first teamers and squad players when they kick off on Thursday night. Read our preview here:
Kuchta's on full blast
Slavia head coach Jindřich Trpišovský has steadily risen through the ranks in his home country, having never been sacked in his 10 years of management. Now firmly ensconced at the perennial Fortuna liga champions for the past four years, his team have only tasted three defeats all season long, and each of those have come in continental competition. Domestically, they have won 16 from 19, and drawn the other three, and only a tie away against Příbram has blighted their otherwise perfect nine game unbeaten run. Strategically, they will match the visitors' 4-2-3-1, although right-sided attacking midfielder Abdallah Sima will often join sole striker Jan Kuchta when they mount an attack. The Senegalese youngster actually matches the scoring output of his teammate, who has incidentally yet to be capped at senior level (although surely only a matter of time), and they lead the way in their division. Sima will have the beating of veteran Christian Fuchs for pace, but may well meet his match in Çaglar Söyüncü. That individual battle will go a long distance to determining the outcome of the game.
Cengiz needs to stop being Ünderwhelming
Rodgers will shuffle his pack somewhat, although will still be without a number of players in any case - centre backs Wes Morgan and Wesley Fofana are definite absentees, and full-back James Justin has joined them on the sidelines. Ayoze Perez might also still be missing, ensuring a place on the right of the triumvirate behind Kelechi Ihenacho for Cengiz Ünder. The Roma loanee has barely had enough time to truly show his quality, and has been limited to a single start in the Premier League. He's actually had more minutes in the Europa League, a trend that is set to continue for as long as the Foxes remain participants. Versatile, and with a propensity to cut inside on the dribble, his goal return has been poor, even considering the stifling of his opportunities. Nevertheless, his manager will need to make full use of his roster as the home stretch of the campaign comes into view, especially as they're still in the FA Cup in addition to their Champions League tilt. Naturally, his opponents on Thursday had a more difficult time maintaining their defensive solidity against some of the best teams in Europe's secondary cup, but they will be well protected, particularly on the break.
Though Leicester have more quality on paper than their hosts, Slavia will be far from pushovers. They emerged from their group, having beaten French outfit Nice twice and Leverkusen once. The Czech side are bound to be in the hat for the Champions League qualifiers next season, but could help attract a slightly better calibre of player to their cause with further progress on the continent in 2020/2021. bet365 have them at 3.40 to hold Rodgers' men to a draw in Prague.