Tonight, Leicester City travel to Portugal in a pivotal, Europa League bout against Braga. With a win tonight Leicester can all but assure qualification for the knockout stages and top spot of the group.
Braga will be in good spirits though as they defeated Benfica 3-2 at the weekend but the European form of Leicester has been impeccable and meaning they will surely go into this tie as the favourites.
Leicester comfortably won the previous contest, when these sides met at the King Power on matchday three.
Stanley Challenor will be taking you through the action as it takes place.
Brendan Rodgers’ side had their 100% away record snatched away from them on Sunday after they were underwhelmingly swept aside by a depleted Liverpool.
Despite the very much one-sided first affair between these two, the foxes know they have their hands full tonight and are not taking Braga lightly, especially James Maddison.
Having played on Sunday it is more than likely that Rodgers will make wholesale changes to the side, with the foxes also already positioned superbly at the top of group G.
Leicester make numerous expected changes to the one on Sunday, Hamza Choudhury, Cengiz Under, Kelechi Iheanacho, Dennis Praet and young left-back Luke Thomas all come in for the foxes. With senior players such as Jamie Vardy and James Maddison who is still being eased back into first team. They are still without Ricardo Pereira who did feature for the U23s last weekend which with give a lot of hope to Leicester fans.
Carlos Carvalhal does have Ricardo Walter starting tonight, he missed the return fixture at the King Power and will give them much needed fire power up front.
Both teams give a minute of silence to the great Diego Maradona who sadly passed away last night.
1′ Leicester get proceedings underway going left to left on your screens.
3′ Very cagey start to the affair neither side looking too fluid in possession.
4′ Goal Al Musrati SC Braga 1-0 Leicester City
What a start here in Portugal a through ball clipped behind Christian Fuchs on the left-hand side to Medeiros who weaves in and out the Leicester defenders but has his shot blocked by Evans the ball ricochets to Al Musrati around 25 yards out who drills the ball superbly across Kasper Schmeichel into the bottom corner. Impossibly good start from Braga.
9′ Goal Harvey Barnes SC Braga 1-1 Leicester City
Well it’s the perfect response from the foxes as their high press is causing a lot of issues. Iheanacho wins the ball high up the pitch, he travels into the 18 yard box is tackled initially but the ball falls kindly too Barnes who smashes the ball into the roof of the net.
14′ Leicester are really coming into the game now with Under dropping into the little pockets in behind the midfield of Braga. Al Musrati will have too keep an eye on him as this game goes forward.
Embed from Getty Images
18′ A couple of very petty fouls just been given Braga’s way, hopefully the referee will let the game flow a bit more than he is currently.
20′ Danger for Leicester, this time down Marc Albrighton’s side on the right as Galeno has looked really bright so far giving him issues. He beats him on the outside but can only direct his cross into the arms of Schmeichel.
23′ Rodgers’ side are being completely pinned in at the moment as they try too play out from the back and without Vardy up top don’t seem to currently have an outlet to relieve the pressure.
24′ Goal Paulinho SC Braga 2-1 Leicester City
Just as I say that, the pressure is too much for this Leicester side. It’s a lovely bit of intricate work from Walter as he receives the ball into the box dances round Schmeichel and pulls it back to a trailing Paulinho who slots it underneath the Leicester goalie.
28′ Huge chance for Under and he should of taken it. Iheanacho wins the ball back off the centre back who then panics tries to play it back to the goalkeeper but its picked off by Under but he can only shoot straight at the outstretched right hand of Matheus and then can’t sort out his feet off the rebound and the defender can clear.
33′ Better from Leicester, although they are without the creative sparks that Youri Tielemans and Maddison, they are managing to play some expansive football. Barnes receives the ball on the left flank beats his man with ease delivers the ball into the box but it is headed hastily by the left-back Thomas and goes out for a goal kick.Embed from Getty Images
36′ Well this doesn’t look good as James Justin is down holding his groin after a tackle from Al Musrati. But it looks he will continue although, he’s moving fairly gingerly at the moment .
39′ End to end action there, after a swift attacking move from Braga, a shot comes in from the edge of the box, Schmeichel spills it, but recovers really well and smothers the rebound shot from Walter. Galeno then looks to strike the rebound and runs straight into the referee.
From that, Leicester break with Under and Iheanacho the loanee drives with ball to the edge of the Braga box but he ignores the run of the Nigerian and selects to shoot but doesn’t really get hold of it and its trickles into the keepers arms.
44′ With the half coming to a close Braga are looking to step on the throat here, Galeno receives the ball down the right chased by Praet, he manages to gets the ball into the box along the floor which takes a deflection straight into the path of Paulinho who instinctively pokes the ball at goal but is thwarted by the feet of Schmeichel. The Dane has singlehandedly kept Leicester in this tie.Embed from Getty Images
Well Braga are fully deserving of their 2-1 lead going into the break and in all honesty would be out of sight if not for the Leicester captain. Rodgers will be unhappy with the lack of creativity so far, but more so their lack of resilience up against this Braga attack, both Thomas and Albrighton are being exposed as Braga’s overlapping full backs are running them both ragged. It is unlikely to see Leicester change system this early but I wouldn’t be shocked to see Rodgers change personal going into the second half.
Despite being down Leicester aren’t fairing much worse than the other British clubs so far this evening.
Leicester have made a few substitutions, Tielemans and Wesley Fofana have come on for Praet and Fuchs. Can these be the catalyst for getting them back into this game.
46′ Braga gets things back underway here at the Quarry.
48′ Leicester are already looking much more assured on the ball thanks to the substitutions. Tielemans has already looked for a few balls in behind to Albrighton something they didn’t do in the first half.
51′ The first booking of the night and it’s for Albrighton.
52′ And just like that its another for Leicester now for Jonny Evans, which at second glance looks like the centre back challenged fairly for an aerial ball.
57′ The Foxes are starting to press the issue as they look for an equaliser in this tie, much of the thanks to Fofana he has really solidified this Leicester defence in this second half.Embed from Getty Images
60′ Albrighton has had a lot of joy down this right hand side he plays it to the overlapping Tielemans, who in turn cuts it back too Under on the edge of the box unmarked, he looks to bend it into the far corner but the shot is palmed away and the ball is cleared.
61′ Rodgers is quite clearly looking to get something out of this game as he brings on Vardy and Maddison for Barnes and Under.
62′ Straight away the pace of Vardy is causing issues, Tielemans plays a cute ball in behind Vardy takes it round the goalkeeper but the striker has strayed just offside and its a free kick Braga’s way.Embed from Getty Images
64′ Those changes have completely shifted the momentum in this game with some really slick play leads to Fofana being fouled cynically by Al Musrati and he is subsequently booked.
67′ The Leicester goalkeeper is called into action after a phenomenal ball into the box from Medeiros met by the head of Paulinho who can’t direct it either side of the goalkeeper and it goes for a corner.
68′ First change of the night for Braga as Raul Silva comes on for Walter and Rodgers brings on Ayoze Perez for Iheanacho.
70′ With news in Athens that Zorya Luhansk have taken the lead means that a point will be good enough to take Leicester through.
76′ What a chance that was, another front post corner by Maddison the ball is flicked on by Vardy to Evans who just can’t position himself well enough and his header goes wide.
77′ Second change for Braga they take off Medeiros who has been excellent tonight for Fransergio.
78′ Goal Thomas SC Braga 2-2 Leicester City
What a time to get your first senior goal, the foxes have been probing and probing for the last 15 minutes. Maddison receives a lofted pass on the left hand side from Fofana, he fakes the cross on his left cuts back on his right drills it low into the box to an unmarked Thomas. Rodgers is delighted for the academy lad. As it stands Leicester are through to the knockout stage with still two games to play.
83′ The intensity of Leicester has been night and day in this second period compared to the first as they are looking the more likely side to win this game.
84′ Paulinho is now in the book for catching Fofana on the ankle as he dribbled passed him.
87′ Carvalhal opts to bring off Castro and Paulinho for Guilherme and Andre Horta.
90′ Fransergio SC Braga 3-2 Leicester City
An excellent counter attacking goal from Braga to break Leicester hearts. Brilliant skill by Galeno to skip past Fofana on the left by line he drives in at Evans slips in the substitute Fransergio and he cooly lifts the ball over Schmeichel.
90+5 Goal Vardy SC Braga 3-3 Leicester
You just cannot write this stuff; with it looking like Braga had done enough to grab all three points here, a ball in behind from Thomas down the line to Vardy he cuts back, lays it off to Maddison who lets the ball come across him, he then switches the ball to Albrighton to the other side of the box. Albrighton manages to put a superb ball across the box and is met at the back post by an unmarked Vardy who makes no mistake and surely puts Leicester through to the knockout stages.
That certainly was the last action of the 90 minutes but what a sensational way to end a mesmerizing night here at the Quarry, Leicester seal their place into the round of 32 thanks to Luhansk winning 3-0 in Athens and an inspired second half performance lead by the substitutes Maddison and Vardy.
Braga will feel hard done by but they only have themselves too blame for not capitalizing on their dominant first half display.