Three aspects of Leicester City's system under Brendan Rodgers for Leeds United to look out for

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
IN the latest of a new series for the Yorkshire Evening Post, Jon Mackenzie takes a deeper look at Leeds United's next opponents - Leicester City.

Jon runs All Stats Aren't We, a Leeds United media channel that focuses on the tactical and statistical aspects of the game.

It’s been a funny sort of start to the season for Leicester City.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

One of the more recent additions to the Premier League’s elite, the Foxes have put up the sort of results that might be expected from a team of their calibre - wins against Manchester City and Arsenal - whilst also being on the receiving end of results that probably shouldn’t - losing to West Ham and Aston Villa in consecutive weeks.

ONE TO WATCH: Leicester City's James Justin from the left wing back position. Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images.ONE TO WATCH: Leicester City's James Justin from the left wing back position. Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images.
ONE TO WATCH: Leicester City's James Justin from the left wing back position. Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images.

Even despite this wild variance, Brendan Rodgers’ side find themselves in the sort of position in the league that they will hope to occupy by the end of the season.

Under Rodgers, Leicester have adopted a level of flexibility when it comes to their tactical approach.

This season, they have shifted between a more defensive back three and a more proactive back four although Rodgers’ hand has been forced by a number of injuries to some of his more important players.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Here are three aspects of Rodgers’ system to look out for on Monday evening:

1. Which Formation?

So far this season, Leicester City have segued between two systems: a more defensive 3-4-3 that becomes more of a 5-2-3 out of possession, and a system that uses a back four which, when Wilfred Ndidi was available, formed a 4-1-4-1 but which has more recently looked closer to a 4-2-3-1 with Nampalys Mendy and Yuri Tielemans in a double pivot.

The 3-4-3 is the more defensive system, allowing Leicester to sit deep and defend and then decompress quickly on the counter, using the pace of Jamie Vardy and the wing backs to hurt opponents.

The question is: does Rodgers consider Leeds a side to sit back against and hit on the break? Or will he be more proactive and take the game to them?

2. Watching the Wing Backs

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

During his time at Leicester, Brendan Rodgers has used his full backs to good effect.

Last year, Ben Chilwell and Ricardo Pereira proved to be productive outlets for him, Chilwell in particular putting up 1.3 chances per 90 minutes.

But with Chilwell now at Chelsea and Pereira sidelined for months through injury, Leicester’s wing backs have taken on a more direct attacking role.

With James Justin on the left and the now injured Timothy Castagne on the right, Brendan Rodgers is encouraging them to make blind side runs into the opponent’s box to get shots away.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Keep an eye out on Monday evening to see how Leeds deal with this threat.

3. Blunting Vardy

Last Friday, we watched Leeds largely contain Jack Grealish for 90 minutes with one powerful drive the only real threat from the England player.

This week sees another dangerous attacker facing Leeds who will require careful treatment. Jamie Vardy thrives on having space to run into.

Teams this season have blunted him by preventing space for him to run into but that isn’t Marcelo Bielsa’s style.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Monday night will be a stern test of Leeds’ libero system—the man over at the back.

Will Robin Koch and whoever eventually partners him be able to cope with the Leicester striker’s pace between them?

Leeds has a fantastic story to tell - and the Yorkshire Evening Post has been rooted firmly at the heart of telling the stories of our city since 1890.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

We believe in ourselves and hope you believe in us too. We need your support to help ensure we can continue to be at the heart of life in Leeds.

Subscribe to our website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app.

With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Click here to subscribe.

For more details on our newspaper subscription offers click here.

Thank you Laura Collins