Premier League


Preview: Leicester City vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Leicester City vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers - prediction, team news, lineups:ID:367593: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews the Premier League clash between between Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
By , European Football Editor | 7d

One of the most intriguing matches on the opening weekend of the 2019-20 Premier League campaign will take place at the King Power Stadium on Sunday afternoon as Leicester City welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The two teams will fancy their chances of challenging for a spot in the top six this season, with both impressing during the 2018-19 campaign - Leicester claiming ninth and Wolves finishing in seventh.

Match preview

Losing Harry Maguire during the summer transfer window was far from ideal, but Leicester's fans will have been pleased with their business ahead of the new season. A permanent deal for Youri Tielemans was secured, while Ayoze Perez, Dennis Praet and James Justin have all pitched up at the King Power Stadium.

Perhaps more importantly, though, the likes of James Maddison and Ben Chilwell have remained at the club. It remains to be seen whether the Foxes are capable of challenging for the top six, but Brendan Rodgers will be delighted with his options heading into the 2019-20 campaign.

Leicester won five of their six pre-season matches, including a 2-1 victory over Atalanta BC last time out. The Foxes will be keen to start well, but they have actually lost their opening league fixture of the season for the past three years. That said, Jamie Vardy has four goals in his last four games on the opening weekend.

Rodgers's side have a tough start to the new season considering that they will travel to Chelsea and Manchester United in two of their first five matches, in addition to visiting Sheffield United and hosting Bournemouth. A strong start will be important if they are to stay in touch with the top six.

Leicester are unbeaten at home to Wolves since December 1971, meanwhile, and will be the fresher of the two teams considering that their opponents have been in Europa League action over the last few weeks. That said, the added match fitness could well work in the away side's favour on Sunday afternoon.

As mentioned, Wolves have already played three competitive matches this summer. The 2017-18 Championship winners recorded a 6-1 aggregate win over Crusaders in the second qualifying round of the Europa League before beating Pyunik in the first leg of their third qualifying round fixture on Thursday night.

Raul Jimenez scored twice for the English club in Armenia, and it will be interesting to see how many changes head coach Nuno Espirito Santo makes for the trip to Leicester. In truth, it was not the most demanding of games for Wolves as they cruised to a four-goal success but the travelling might be an issue.

Santo's team proved to be the best of the rest last season as they claimed seventh in the Premier League table - three points clear of eighth-placed Everton. There will be fresh challengers for the club this season, but the fans will have been delighted with the transfer business that has occurred this summer.

Jimenez and Leander Dendoncker have turned their loans into permanent deals, while Pedro Neto, Patrick Cutrone and Jesus Vallejo are also amongst those to have made the move to Molineux. Exits have also been minimal, with the likes of Ruben Neves remaining at the club.

Wolves have a busy fixture list in the coming weeks when considering that they will host Pyunik in the second leg of their Europa League tie next Thursday before welcoming Manchester United in the league on August 19. European football could end up being an unwelcome distraction this term - Nuno, though, has assembled a strong squad capable of dealing with the volume of matches.

Leicester form: WWWWDW

Wolverhampton Wanderers form: WWWWW

Team News

Perez is expected to make his Leicester debut following a summer move from Newcastle United, while fellow new arrival Praet could also be involved in the first XI.

Maguire's departure has opened up a spot in central defence, meaning that Wes Morgan and Caglar Soyuncu are expected to battle for the position alongside Jonny Evans.

Rodgers, who has a clean bill of health in terms of injuries, could deploy a 4-2-3-1 formation with Vardy at the tip of the attack, while Maddison and Tielemans should also both make the starting XI.

As for Wolves, Nuno is expected to stick with a 3-5-2 formation. Neves and Jonny Castro were both second-half substitutes against Pyunik on Thursday but should return to the XI here.

Diogo Jota and Joao Moutinho are both expected to keep their positions, meaning that summer arrival Cutrone might have to make do with a spot on the bench.

Morgan Gibbs-White is actually the club's only fitness doubt heading into the contest. As a result, Nuno has a very strong squad to choose from and could spring a surprise on the opening weekend.

Bournemouth possible starting lineup: Schmeichel; Pereira, Soyuncu, Evans, Chilwell; Ndidi, Tielemans; Perez, Maddison, Albrighton; Vardy

Sheffield United possible starting lineup: ​Patricio; Bennett, Coady, Boly; Doherty, Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho, Jonny; Jimenez, Jota

We say: Leicester City 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

As discussed above, there are few fixtures on the opening weekend more intriguing than this one. Both teams will be pushing for the top six during the 2019-20 campaign and it will be fascinating to see what occurs on Sunday. There has not actually been a draw between these two since 2007 but we fancy that result on this occasion.

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last updated article - 2019-08-14 06:14:07:
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