The Champions League action returns to England on Tuesday with the English Champions looking to overturn a first leg deficit (1-2) against Sevilla. With a new boss at the helm, the liberated foxes have put together good performances in Premier League and will look to upset the Spaniards. It will be a pulsating contest between tournament’s two dark horses.
Shakespeare redeeming the Foxes fairy tale
It was the night that ended Ranieri’s fairy tale or as he would later go on to say “Today, my dream died’. The defeat at Sanchez Pizjuan meant the end for Ranieri and many believed that it would spell the end of football’s most fascinating underdog tale. Things have changed drastically ever since and there will be optimism in the King Power stadium that they can produce a magical night on Tuesday and join the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Dortmund and Bayern Munich into the last eight.
Shakespeare’s appointment as the manager up till the end of the season is no surprise after he oversaw two good performances against Liverpool and Hull. The Foxes will be confident especially knowing that Vardy’s goal in Spain will unsettle the visitors who will have to find the back of the net or keep a clean sheet. The players look liberated post the sacking of Ranieri and it is showing in their performances. Their high tempo pressing, rapid counterattacks won them the title and it will be once again similar strategy for Shakespeare’s men on Tuesday night.
— Andy King (@10_kingy) March 13, 2017
Leicester City Team News:
There are no major injury concerns for the English Champions. They will be without Mendy due to injury. There is only one change expected to the starting eleven. Okazaki provides more balance to the team and will step in for summer signing Musa. Barring one change, the same team which took the stage in Sanchez Pizjuan will look to get the job done in King Power, this time under the watchful eyes of Shakespeare.
Sevilla look to underline Spain’s European dominance
Sampaoli’s men will look to put their weekend struggle behind them as they will be up against a rejuvenated Leicester side. Sevilla are locked in a three horse race for Spanish title and are in verge of making it to Europe’s top eight. Their recent form has seen them drop off the boil as back to back draws against newly promoted sides has dampened the spirit in Andalusia. There are also speculations going around about the fatigue factor settling in the squad due to high pressing game employed by the Argentinean coach. They will look to prove their critics wrong and seal their passage into the last eight for the first time in the club’s history.
Sevilla are undefeated on road in Europe and have kept clean sheets in all of their away games so far. They are also the team with the highest number of clean sheet in this season’s Champions league. Sampaoli’s men should have won by a bigger margin in their home leg after putting in a dominating performance and they cannot afford to repeat such deficiencies in front of the goal in England. They will be up against it as the English champions have won all their Champions league home matches so far. It will be a dog fight for a place among Europe’s elite.
— Sevilla FC (@SevillaFC_ENG) March 13, 2017
Sevilla Team News:
Sampaoli will be without the services of Vietto and Carrico. Trémoulinas is also expected to miss out. The Europa league winners still consist of some very talented players in their line-up. Sampaoli will hope that Jovetic and Vitolo can get the job done in the absence of Vietto.
Leicester City: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez, Drinkwater, Ndidi, Albrighton, Okazaki, Jamie Vardy
Sevilla: Rico, Pareja, Rami, Mercado, Mariano, N'Zonzi, Nasri, Escudero, Iborra, Jovetic, Vitolo.
Player to watch out for:
Steven N'Zonzi: While both the teams boast of some of the finest attacking talents, it will be in the centre of park that this game is expected to be won. The 28 year old has become an important cog for Sampaoli’s system and he has attempted the most number of passes in Champions league this season. His previous experience from playing in England could be vital and one can expect him to put in a performance that can put the visitors on the front foot.
1 – Sevilla have only won one game in La Liga this season without Nzonzi as starter (2D 1L). Dependence pic.twitter.com/RRGAAi9cjP
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) March 11, 2017
Match Prediction: Leicester City 3-2 Sevilla*
The Foxes are in excellent form whereas the visitors are in a slight wobble. The English champions will put in a performance that could see them win on the night but we expect Sampaoli’s men to prevail on aggregate score. They are expected to become the third Spanish club into the top eight. (By the end of the night, it could mean four Spanish clubs in top eight of Europe).