Tonight Leicester travel to Ukraine and will be looking to get back in to the form that propelled them to the top of the Premier League and their Europa League group respectively. With qualification already in the bag the Midlands side have travelled with a weakened squad but still should have more than enough quality too get the job done and secure top spot in the group.Embed from Getty Images
Stanley Challenor will be taking you through the action as it takes place.
Brendan Rodgers’ side haven’t managed a win in their last three games across all competitions and his side has struggled tremendously with a plethora of injuries to their back line. But he has confirmed Wilfred Ndidi, Caglar Soyuncu and Ricardo Pereira have travelled with the squad and should feature in some format this evening.
Luhansk were outclassed at the King Power 3-0 back on matchday one, but after a shock 3-0 win in Athens last Thursday they’ll be hoping Luhansk will be looking to make a positive finish to a frankly underwhelming European campaign and are need of a miracle if they still wish to qualify. While the foxes secured qualification thanks too a last gasp equalizer in a six goal thriller last out.
Leicester have kept Jaimie Vardy, Kasper Schmeichel and Youri Tielemans all at home for this tie with one eye on Sundays trip too Brammell Lane
Perhaps in response to critiques too how Rodgers set up his side at home to Fulham Monday night but actually it is more likely down to personnel but he has opted for a 4-2-3-1 tonight it seems. Danny Ward comes in for Schmeichel , with James Justin, who has played practically every single defensive position at some point so far season playing at left back. Pereira on the right making his first senior start since before March so we will assume he will be monitored very closely since his dynamisms has been sorely missed for the foxes.
Zorya Luhansk Starting XI:
23. Nikola Vasilj, 21. Dmytro Ivanisenya, 45. Denys Favorov, 20. Joel Abu Hanna, 28. Artem Gromov, 80. VladlenYurchenko, 97. Andrejs Cigaņiks, 7. Vladyslav Kochergin, 27. Yehor Nazaryna, 11. Olexandr Gladkyi, 22. Vladyslav Kabaev
30. Mykyta Shevchenko, 9. Mihailo Perović, 8. Maksym Lunov, 53. Dmytro Matsapura, 43. Danyil Alefirenko, 50. Sergiy Gryn, 90. Allahyar Sayyadmaneshshiadeh, 34. Maksym Agapov, 47. Dmytro Piddubnyi
The home side look to be set up in a 4-3-3 tonight but with qualification no longer a possibility they will more than likely just be looking to put up a good fight against a much superior Leicester side.
With kick off not far away, I think it will be very interesting to see how Rodgers will use his substitutions tonight since Leicester have gone with very young bench with the youngest Ben Nelson being of just 16 years of age. If any of the youngsters do get a run out tonight it will surely give them some excellent experience. It shows a testament to how active Leicester’s youth system is with players like Luke Thomas who grabbed a goal in Portugal in their last European outing and players like Kieran Dewsbury-Hall who is having wonderful joy on loan at Luton and has just picked up consecutive man of the match awards.
Both teams are now on the field now with Morgan taking the armband tonight with Schmeichel not included in the squad.
0′ Leicester get things underway going left to right on your screens.
2′ Well it’s the home side who have started the brighter of the two and it’s the danger man Kochergin who has the ball one on one with Pereira on the left corner of the box, he cuts in on his right and drills a shot low to Wards left but the Welshman looks sharp and parries it to safety and Pereira can clear.
6′ Free kick now for Luhansk right on the edge of the area after a trip from Ndidi, it hits the wall and the rebound shot is blocked again and it goes for a corner.
9′ Without a true ball playing midfielder in the side Leicester are struggling to keep create any competent passages of play and are currently finding it difficult to beat the first press of the home side.Embed from Getty Images
13′ Leicester also worryingly have started very similarly to how they started in Portugal last week being very flat and directionless with the ball, but without their big players on the bench other than James Maddison and Ayoze.
15′ Horrible signs for City fans Soyuncu has just gone down holding his groin the injury that has kept him out for most of this season.
16′ Not what you want too see but Soyuncu is replaced by Wesley Fofana. So ‘big Wes’ and ‘little Wes’ at the back now.
20′ Once more Kochergin gets the ball in between the lines, he only has one thing on his mind but his shot is way over the bar and troubles no one.
24′ Cengiz Under, who has probably looked the brightest for City beats numerous players as he travels into the opponents half but he can’t find the overlapping run from Pereira and is dispossessed.
27′ The foxes are finally coming into the game now and are not so hasty with giving the ball away with Ndidi breaking down the play in the middle of the field and getting the ball out to Under who again opts to cut inside on his left and strike the ball over the bar. Having only featuring as a substitute mostly this season the Turkish international seems to be maybe trying too hard to make a first team case for himself and is perhaps forcing the issue.Embed from Getty Images
30′ Well that was the opportunity for Under. Leicester are breaking down play much higher up the pitch and Dennis Praet does so this time and slips through Under but because of the angle of the pass he has to use his not as reliable right foot and he can’t direct the ball goal wards. Much better from Leicester.Embed from Getty Images
32′ First booking of the night and it’s for Cigaņiks.
35′ Ward has been busier than he would of hoped so far tonight, it all stems from a corner that Leicester can only clear to an incoming Cigaņiks who connects well with his left foot, but the volley is equally matched with the save by Ward.
40′ Despite the game being fairly uneventful it is still nonetheless a very intriguing contest, with Leicester struggling to get Branes involved in the game who you’d have to say is probably their most dangerous player.
42′ Yellow card for Pereira for a fairly soft push in the centre of the pitch.
45+1′ The referee has brandished another mystifying yellow card now this time for Kelechi Iheancho who was only challenging for a header but seems to have lightly caught the Luhansk defender with his hand.Embed from Getty Images
Not much to shout about from that first half with the best chance of the half going to Under, Rodgers will gutted to have seen Soyucu come off so early and looks to have reaggravated his groin issue. I can’t see Barnes playing much longer with him more than likely needed for Sunday, I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Ndidi and Pereira being pulled soon as they wont want to risk another injury to either of them.
Luhansk on the other hand look to be going out of the competition with Braga leading 3-1 in Athens and will really only be playing for pride in this second half.
45′ One change at the break for Leicester and it’s Pereira off for Thomas so Justin moves over to the right full back position, as Luhansk gets proceedings back underway.
49′ Thomas involved in the action early, quite clearly has a taste for goals after his first senior goal in Braga last week he cuts inside onto his right but the shots never really under control and it flies over.Embed from Getty Images
51′ First time we’ve seen Kochergin this half he clips a lovely ball into the box which is met by Yurchenko but he can only hit the bar. Closest either team has come so far tonight.
55′ This some good sustained pressure from Zorya they are putting some really testing balls into the Leicester box but currently is being dealt with fairly well.
56′ Not much of a surprise now with changes from Rodgers Ndidi and Morgan make way for Nampalys Mendy and Christian Fuchs who looks like he’s going to slot in along side Fofana at the back.
58′ He’s only just entered the field and Mendy is already in the book, from what looked like a very decent strong challenge.
62′ With it seeming very plausible that numerous top teams will be entering the knockout stages via the Champions League such as Real Madrid and Manchester United getting the top spot in the group is vital in delaying teams of that calibre and Leicester would much rather get that done tonight.
69′ Although Zorya at the least need a win they aren’t throwing much caution too the wind and are still being patient but still have very little cutting edge in the final third, very similarly to Leicester in fact.
74′ Very cynical challenge from Nazaryna stopping Barnes from breaking and is subsequently booked.Embed from Getty Images
76′ Wonderful delivery by Under from a free kick around 3o yards out he picks out a completely unmarked Fofana around eight yards out but he completely skews his his header wide. Best chance in the second half for Leicester by far.
78′ Last change of the night for Leicester and it’s Maddison for Praet. So no room for the Leicester youngsters tonight.
80′ Iheanacho does really well to win the ball on the edge of Zorya’s box he strikes a shot with real venom and is saved well but the goal keeper can only palm it to Maddison who drills it in low and hard from the right hand side of the six yard box but Vasilj produces an even better save this time with his feet. What an introduction that would have been for Maddison.Embed from Getty Images
81′ The first substitution for the home side and it’s Gladkyi off for Allahyar Sayyadmanesh
83′ Maddison is already changing the game in the final third he plays a neat one-two with Justin who’s shot hits the side netting.
84′ Goal Sayyadmanesh Zorya Luhansk 1-0 Leicester City
Unbelievable stuff here in Ukraine just as Leicester looked like they were going to get the winner its a quick counter-attack down the right-hand side, the balls slid across the box to Sayyadmanesh completely free at the back post and he smashes it home.Embed from Getty Images
86′ Important foul by Fofana because the substitute was nearly in again but he’s blocked off by Fofana and is booked.
90+3 Perovic comes on to waste a few vital seconds for Gromov.
90+4 Under so nearly gets the equaliser from the edge of the area he bends it right into the top corner but Vasilj claws it away.Embed from Getty Images
That’s it, Leicester have shockingly been defeated here in the Ukraine and will have to wait till next week to seal top spot in group. It was a fairly toothless performance from Rodgers’ side without players like Vardy but they still had more than enough fire power and should have got the job done.