Sickness bug and Jamie Vardy woe for 'disappointed' Leicester City as Leeds United trip draws near

A Leicester City side hit by a sickness bug were held to a 1-1 draw against Thursday's Europa League visitors Spartak Moscow, three days before Sunday's Premier League clash against Leeds United at Elland Road.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 10:58 pm

Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers was without James Maddison, Harvey Barnes and Jannik Vestergaard due to a sickness bug which has also hit James Justin although Justin would not have been available anyway having only just returned to group training following an ACL injury.

Ricardo Pereira, Marc Albrighton and Wesley Fofana are also out injured whilst Wilfred Ndidi started on the bench after his recent return from a hamstring problem.

The Foxes lined up in a 3-5-2 formation, spearheaded by Kelechi Iheanacho and Patson Daka upfront as star striker Jamie Vardy dropped to the bench as one of three changes made to the side.

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FRUSTRATION: Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy closes his eyes after seeing his penalty saved in Thursday night's 1-1 draw against Europa League visitors Spartak Moscow. Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images.

Daka, Ayoze Perez and Ryan Bertrand came into the side as Vardy, Maddison and Luke Thomas dropped out.

Perez - himself back from illness - filled the no 10 role often deployed by Maddison as key player Youri Tielemans sat ahead of the holding player Boubakary Soumare in the middle of the park.

Timothy Castagne played wide right with Bertrand on the other side, flanking a back three of Daniel Amartey, Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu in front of Kasper Schmeichel in goal.

With Tielemans pulling the strings in midfield, Leicester dominated the opening exchanges and a thunderbolt of a shot from Soumare from 25 yards smashed against the upright before bouncing clear.

Spartak could hardly get a touch and Iheanacho produced some brilliant footwork in the box four minutes before the break only for Daka to dispossess his own team mate by attempting a shot which was blocked.

Leicester continued on the front foot after the break but Spartak went ahead in the 51st minute when Mikhail Ingatov got away from Bertrand down the right and sent in a perfect cross which Victor Moses headed past Schmeichel.

The Foxes drew level just seven minutes later when a corner was flicked on by Perez to Amartey who planted a firm header into the left hand corner of the net.

Rodgers then made a double change as Ademola Lookman and the returning Ndidi replaced Perez and Bertrand.

With 20 minutes left, star man Vardy was introduced for Daka and the striker was heavily involved as the Foxes were awarded a penalty just four minutes later, Moses penalised for pulling Iheanacho's shirt.

But Vardy's spot kick towards the bottom right corner was saved by Alexander Selikhov and Rodgers made a fourth change with seven minutes left when Soumare was replaced by Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall.

With seconds of coming on, Dewsbury-Hall's goalbound header was blocked by Iheanacho who turned and fired against the post.

Leicester were then given five minutes of added time to bag a winner but the Foxes had to settle for a draw, Rodgers left shaking his head as Iheanacho wastefully blazed over the bar in the 94th minute.

Asked for the overriding emotion at full-time, former Whites 'keeper and Foxes captain Schmeichel admitted: "I think disappointment. The game was there to be won."

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Thank you Laura Collins