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Oct 20, 2021 at 3.30pm UK
Spartak MoscowSpartak Moscow
LeicesterLeicester City
Sobolev (11', 86'), Larsson (44')
Litvinov (33'), Lomovitski (90+5')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Daka (45', 48', 54', 79')
Pereira (30'), Soumare (88')

Preview: Spartak Moscow vs. Leicester City - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Spartak Moscow vs. Leicester City - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Europa League clash between Spartak Moscow and Leicester City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Leicester City will aim to keep the momentum going from their crushing win over Manchester United when they travel to Spartak Moscow for Wednesday's Europa League Group C battle.

Brendan Rodgers's side have only taken one point from their opening two clashes, while their Russian hosts have one win and one loss to boast in Group C so far.

Match preview

Spartak Moscow's inaugural Europa League clash of the season may have ended in a dampening defeat to Legia Warsaw, but the Russian giants did not dwell on that disappointment for one second as they produced the goods to sink Napoli on their own turf last time out.

As both sides finished the encounter with 10 men, a second-half flurry of strikes from Quincy Promes (2) and substitute Mikhail Ignatov saw Spartak claim a memorable win on the Naples turf, but defensive deficiencies once again bedevilled them in league action at the weekend.

Indeed, Rui Vitoria's side were forced to come back from two goals behind against Dynamo Moscow to salvage a 2-2 draw, as centre-backs Georgiy Dzhikiya and Samuel Gigot struck after the 87-minute mark to extend their side's unbeaten run to four games.

While the manner of their comeback against Dynamo was admirable, the draw with their top-flight counterparts ended a three-game winning run for Spartak in all competitions as they sit second in the Group C rankings.

Furthermore, only two of Spartak's last 11 Europa League home encounters since 2011 have seen the Russian outfit come out on top, but their upcoming visitors have not been renowned for any sort of sparkling away form in the 2021-22 season.

After coming so close yet so far to returning to the Champions League last year, the Europa League is now proving to be a challenging enough assignment for Leicester, who were sunk 1-0 by Legia Warsaw in a shock defeat on matchday two.

Mahir Emreli's 31st-minute effort was all that separated the two sides on the day, with that result seeing Leicester sit at the bottom of the rankings after their maiden continental game of the season saw them throw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with Napoli.

However, the wounded Foxes ended their three-game winless run in some style against Man United in the Premier League, as Youri Tielemans, Jamie Vardy, Caglar Soyuncu and Patson Daka all struck in a thrilling 4-2 success at the King Power.

While Leicester have not had things all their own way this term, victory over United marked the third domestic in a row that they have scored at least twice - as well as conceded twice - and Rodgers's side must harness all that attacking energy if they are to chalk up just a third away win in all competitions here.

Wednesday's game marks the first-ever meeting between Spartak and Leicester in any competition, and the hosts have previously won five of their nine home clashes against teams from England, most recently drawing 1-1 with Liverpool in 2017.

Spartak Moscow Europa League form:
  • L
  • W

Spartak Moscow form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Leicester City Europa League form:
  • D
  • L

Leicester City form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W

Team News

Spartak will be forced into a defensive alteration with Maximiliano Caufriez, with either Nikolay Rasskazov or Ilya Kutepov likely to fill in this week.

The hosts have also been dealt several injury blows on the attacking front with Promes, Ezequiel Ponce and Georgi Melkadze absent, while centre-back Pavel Maslov and midfielder Nail Umyarov are also set to sit this one out.

Jordan Larsson and Aleksandr Sobolev are therefore the most likely candidates to lead the line this week, with ex-Chelsea man Victor Moses continuing in a wing-back role.

Meanwhile, Leicester continue to make do without Wesley Fofana, Wilfred Ndidi and James Justin, while Jonny Evans has emerged as a doubt after coming off with cramp against his old club United.

Daka should certainly benefit from some rotation up top this week, while Ayoze Perez should also return to the first XI after providing two assists off the bench against United.

Jannik Vestergaard can expect to earn a start in place of Evans, while Hamza Choudhury and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall will both be eyeing minutes in midfield.

Spartak Moscow possible starting lineup:
Maksimenko; Dzhikiya, Gigot, Kutepov; Moses, Zobnin, Umyarov, Lucas; Larsson, Sobolev, Bakaev

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Amartey, Soyuncu, Vestergaard; Pereira, Soumare, Tielemans, Castagne; Perez; Daka, Iheanacho

We say: Spartak Moscow 1-2 Leicester City

Both sides have posted a mixed bag of results in recent times, but Leicester may feel that the momentum is with them given their more eye-catching domestic performance at the weekend.

The hosts have never been ones for strong Europa League results on home soil either, and we can envisage Rodgers's side continuing a mini-revival of sorts with a narrow triumph on the road.

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