When will Leicester’s defence be ready?
On the brink of a major relegation battle, Leicester City’s defence is expected to be in flux after a week-long break.
With their players in Italy for their pre-season tour, the Foxes are set to return to England for the start of their Premier League campaign on Saturday against Norwich City.
Manager Claudio Ranieri has already indicated that the club will be playing in a 3-5-2 formation with goalkeeper Fraser Forster in the centre, while winger Jamie Vardy and winger Danny Drinkwater will be joined up with their centre-backs, both of whom were part of Leicester’s successful Europa League win over Sevilla.
And while the arrival of Vardy’s arrival will help the forward, it will also give Ranieri a fresh look in the backline, with new signing Adam Lallana expected to start at left-back.
Vardy has been praised for his performance against Sevilla and his goal against Arsenal in their Champions League last-16 tie was a brilliant performance by the 21-year-old, who scored the opening goal.
“Adam has been a big asset to our team,” Ranieri told the club website.
“I think he has played very well this season.
He is a young player and he has developed quickly.”
The Blues will be without their key players in the Premier League, while the likes of Chelsea’s Petr Cech and Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale are also expected to miss out on the game.
Meanwhile, the club are preparing for their Premier Conference opener against Norwich, with their manager set to be without the services of goalkeeper Fraser Weighill, who has been recovering from a hamstring injury.
But the defender is unlikely to be sidelined for much longer, with the former Tottenham and Chelsea man set to make his comeback in a matter of days, with a full return to action on Sunday.
“We’re working on that,” Raniersi told the Leicester website.
“He’s going to be a few days away from returning.”
Ranieri has yet to reveal a number of his team’s players for Saturday’s game, with defender Vardy, who is in his second spell with the Fox, being the only one of the trio to be named.
“He’s been in good form,” Raniere told reporters after Leicester’s 3-0 win over Bournemouth last Sunday.
“The way he played against Bournewale, it was fantastic.”
Rutgers goalkeeper Alex Cuthbert has also not been included in the squad, with his absence compounded by the absence of midfielder Charlie Davies.
The Foxes have been without their captain in recent weeks due to injury, with midfielder Kieran Trippier being one of his few teammates to play.
The 27-year is expected back against Norwich on Saturday and the Fox hope to have him fit to return.
But it’s unlikely that he will play in the match against Norwich.
“It’s not an easy game,” Ranier said.
“We have to do something with our goalkeeper.”
Kieran will be back for Saturday.