Leicester City-Crystal Palace Preview

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·3 min read
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Roy Hodgson is glad Crystal Palace will get a chance to quickly hit back from their latest disappointment when they host high-flying Leicester City on Monday.

The Eagles lost 3-0 to Aston Villa on Boxing Day, a week on from a record 7-0 home defeat against Liverpool, as their winless run stretched to four games.

The fixtures come thick and fast over the festive period, meaning Palace are back in action 48 hours after their last match, and Hodgson is targeting an instant response.

"I don't think it would have been a good thing for us to dwell on the Villa defeat any longer than we had to," he said.

"I do think we have to analyse it, though. We have to look ourselves in the mirror and ask 'what have we done wrong? What could we have done to prevent this?'

"We are going to have to make certain that we find out a way around that and try to prevent it happening again in two days' time."

Leicester defeated Tottenham and drew 2-2 with Manchester United either side of Christmas to keep their title hopes alive.

The Foxes have been fantastic on their travels this season, winning six of their seven away league matches - just one fewer than they won on the road in the whole of 2019-20.

That includes victories at Arsenal and Spurs, though not since 1966 have Leicester won three successive matches in London.

Head coach Brendan Rodgers is eager for his side to maintain their momentum and prove they deserve to be dining at the top table.

"That's always going to be the challenge. We want to be competitive," he said. "The definition of the top six is based around the financial side, and of course we're not in that.

"But if we can be competitive in a football aspect, that's important. Against Man United, a top team that have shown how good they are away from home, we were competitive.

"There's still an awful lot of improvement for us to make, but that's the bit we enjoy, that development."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Crystal Palace - Vicente Guaita

Hodgson's side have kept just one clean sheet in their last 23 Premier League games, a run that includes a goal conceded in each of their last 14 outings.

Goalkeeper Guaita has shipped 10 goals in two games and, against a Leicester side averaging 1.87 goals per game - the fifth-best return in the division - he needs to stop the rot if Palace are to have any hope.

Leicester City - Harvey Barnes

Barnes was on target in the draw with Man Utd, taking the attacking midfielder's tally for the season in all competitions to seven goals in 20 matches.

That is as many as he netted in 42 appearances last time out, with the 23-year-old fast becoming one of the key men in this Leicester side.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- After winning four consecutive league games against Leicester between 2017-2019 by an aggregate score of 13-1, Palace have lost their last two against the Foxes without scoring (five conceded).

- Leicester won this exact fixture 2-0 last season - they last won consecutive away league games against Crystal Palace in April 1998.

- Palace have not won their final league game in any of the last eight calendar years (D6 L2), last doing so against Millwall in the Championship in 2011 (1-0).

- Leicester have lost their final league game in two of the last three calendar years, meanwhile, which is more than they had in the previous 10 years (W6 D3 L1).

- Leicester striker Jamie Vardy has scored 19 goals in his last 19 Premier League away games. Vardy has also scored nine goals in his last 12 Premier League appearances in London, netting the Foxes' winners against Tottenham and Arsenal this season.