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Championship | Gameweek 26
Jan 1, 2024 at 3pm UK
King Power Stadium
HL

Leicester
4 - 1
Huddersfield

Cannon (40', 61'), Pereira (47'), Mavididi (77')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Helik (63')
Ayina (76')

Preview: Leicester City vs. Huddersfield Town - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Leicester City vs. Huddersfield Town - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Monday's Championship clash between Leicester City and Huddersfield Town, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Two teams entering 2024 at opposite ends of the Championship table prepare for a New Year's Day scrap at the King Power Stadium, as Leicester City pit their wits against Huddersfield Town.

The Foxes ended 2023 in victorious fashion by getting the better of Cardiff City 2-0, while the Terriers' frenetic affair with Middlesbrough ended in a 2-1 home defeat.


Match preview

Out to rectify some Boxing Day mistakes after seeing their winning streak snapped in a 1-1 draw with title rivals Ipswich Town, Leicester took full advantage of the Tractor Boys' failure to sink Queens Park Rangers during a Friday night trip to the Welsh capital.

With just 18 minutes on the board, joint-top scorer Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall shifted the ball onto his left foot and picked out the bottom corner with aplomb, before James Justin ensured yet another Foxes victory with a magnificent long-range strike 10 minutes after the restart.

Thriving under the high-pressing system implemented by Enzo Maresca, Leicester still have a firm grip on their one-way ticket back to the Premier League and enter 2024 atop the second-tier standings, eight points better off than closest challengers Ipswich after 25 matches.

Even with the notoriously challenging festive fixture schedule threatening to derail their title aspirations, Leicester came through the month of December with a near-unblemished record, winning six of their seven fixtures over the course of the month and scoring at least twice in all of those triumphs.

Eight of the hosts' last nine matches at the King Power Stadium have also ended in victory - the aberration being a surprise 1-0 beating at the hands of Leeds United - and a mere six goals conceded on home soil is unsurprisingly the best defensive record of its kind in the Championship.

Huddersfield had briefly rediscovered their own defensive nous on home turf with a 3-0 Boxing Day beating of Blackburn Rovers, but Darren Moore's men reverted to old ways during the visit of Middlesbrough, whose number 11 Isaiah Jones produced one of the misses of the season in the first half.

Terriers attacker Josh Koroma also rattled the crossbar with the goal gaping, but Michael Carrick's men would eventually come good thanks to strikes from Josh Coburn and Jonathan Howson, who had seen a penalty saved by Jacob Chapman mere seconds before atoning for his error.

Michal Helik's equaliser ended up proving inconsequential for Huddersfield, whose 10th loss of the new term leaves them hovering dangerously above the dotted line in 21st place, although they do boast an unassailable four-point lead over QPR at this juncture.

Neither the away form book nor the New Year's Day omens will fill the Huddersfield faithful with confidence either, as their side have won just twice away from home all season and have never won a January 1 battle in the 21st century, losing eight of their 10 such fixtures.

Former Premier League foes for two seasons, Leicester marched to three successive top-flight wins over Huddersfield before the Terriers' demotion to the second tier, and the Foxes made it four successes on the bounce over their upcoming visitors in August, where Stephy Mavididi came up with the decisive moment.

Leicester City Championship form:

Huddersfield Town Championship form:


Team News

No Leicester players reported any physical problems after their success in Cardiff, leaving a trio of long-term victims in Jamie Vardy (knock), Marc Albrighton (knee) and Kasey McAteer (hamstring) in the treatment room, and they have been joined by Kelechi Iheanacho, who suffered a muscular issue against Ipswich.

However, Manchester City loanee Callum Doyle was on the bench for the second fixture in a row against Cardiff, having now recovered from the serious knee injury he picked up earlier in the season, and he may now be deemed ready for some minutes as a substitute on Monday.

Doyle's return to the XI could even be fast-tracked if Maresca opts against risking Justin for two starts in quick succession, although Ricardo Pereira represents another pair of fresh legs, having lost his place at right-back to Hamza Choudhury last time out.

In contrast, Huddersfield's Friday night battle with Boro saw the Terriers lose long-serving skipper Jonathan Hogg to illness in the first half; Moore revealed that the 35-year-old was only given the green light to play after being dosed up on medication.

Rarmani Edmonds-Green will be on hand to deputise for Hogg if need be, and the Terriers are also sweating over the fitness of Delano Burgzorg, whose ankle problem prevented him from making the cut against Boro.

A plethora of Huddersfield players remain sidelined by injury, though, as Chris Maxwell (knock), Daniel Ward (leg), Matty Pearson (knock), Lee Nicholls (concussion), Josh Ruffels (groin), Kian Harratt (hamstring), Oliver Turton (ACL) and Patrick Jones (hamstring) are all unavailable.


Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Hermansen; Pereira, Faes, Vestergaard, Justin; Winks, Ndidi; Fatawu, Dewsbury-Hall, Mavididi; Daka

Huddersfield Town possible starting lineup:
Chapman; Lees, Nakayama, Helik; Kasumu, Wiles, Rudoni, Edmonds-Green, Headley; Koroma, Thomas


We say: Leicester City 3-0 Huddersfield Town

Leicester have been largely unaffected by the unforgiving demands of the winter schedule, and even with Iheanacho now joining a few stricken teammates in the infirmary, there should only be one outcome to Monday's game.

The thumping of Blackburn appears to have been a one-off for a Huddersfield side whose away form has left a lot to be desired all season long, so the Foxes ought to start 2024 as they mean to go on.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data


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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leicester CityLeicester432941081394291
2Ipswich TownIpswich432611685533289
3Leeds UnitedLeeds43269876344287
4Southampton43259985562984
5West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom4420121267442372
6Norwich CityNorwich442191477611672
7Hull City431812136254866
8Coventry CityCoventry4217121366521463
9Middlesbrough43189166156563
10Preston North EndPreston44189175661-563
11Cardiff CityCardiff44195205061-1162
12Bristol City441611175147459
13Sunderland44168205251156
14Swansea CitySwansea441511185762-556
15Watford441217155958153
16Millwall441411194355-1253
17Stoke CityStoke441311204460-1650
18Queens Park RangersQPR441311204157-1650
19Blackburn RoversBlackburn441310215874-1649
20Plymouth ArgylePlymouth441212205869-1148
21Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds44138233968-2947
22Birmingham CityBirmingham441210224864-1646
23Huddersfield TownHuddersfield44917184774-2744
RRotherham UnitedRotherham44412283285-5324
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