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Nov 25, 2021 at 8pm UK
LeicesterLeicester City
3-1
LegiaLegia Warsaw
Daka (11'), Maddison (21'), Ndidi (33')
Thomas (61'), Albrighton (89')
FT(HT: 3-1)
Mladenovic (26')
Mladenovic (39'), Wieteska (48'), Jedrzejczyk (87')

Preview: Leicester City vs. Legia Warsaw - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Leicester City vs. Legia Warsaw - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Leicester City and Legia Warsaw, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Separated by just a point and a place in the Group C table, Leicester City welcome Polish champions Legia Warsaw to the King Power Stadium on Thursday, for a potentially decisive Europa League encounter.

While Legia would be confirmed in the top two if they win and group rivals Spartak Moscow do not, the Foxes must avoid defeat and hope Napoli falter if they are to avoid either an early exit or finishing third - which means demotion to the Conference League.


Match preview

Since their defeat to Thursday's opponents on the second matchday, which left them with just one point from a possible six and in danger of being cut adrift, a minor revival has kept Leicester in the hunt for a place in the Europa League's last 32.

Late last month, the Premier League side went 2-0 down in Moscow just before the half-time interval, seemingly leaving their hopes in tatters, but stand-in striker Patson Daka then took matters into his own hands and struck four times, as the game ultimately finished 4-3 to the visitors.

Brendan Rodgers then saw his team held at home by the same opponents - who had suffered a record 7-1 league defeat in between - when former Chelsea winger Victor Moses opened the scoring and Leicester's blushes were spared by a Daniel Amartey equaliser.

Therefore, the Foxes are still in a perilous position coming into the penultimate round, so Rodgers will hope the club's unbeaten record at the King Power throughout five previous Europa League group games will stand them in good stead.

If the FA Cup winners want to continue their journey into the knockout stages in their second straight competition appearance, then a significant improvement on their stuttering league form will be required.

Forced to settle for a draw against Leeds just before the international break, Leicester returned to action with a deflating 3-0 loss at home to Chelsea last weekend, so find themselves languishing 12th in the domestic standings: with 15 points from 12 games leaving them closer to the drop zone than the top-four place they occupied for much of last season.

While their hosts are struggling to meet expectations in the Premier League, Legia are currently crashing and burning in defence of their Ekstraklasa title this term, as they sit just a place above the foot of the table with more than a third of the season gone.

Separated from the shame of rock-bottom only by goal difference after Sunday's last-gasp defeat at Gornik Zabrze, the Legionisci have incredibly lost eight of their nine matches in all competitions since getting the better of Leicester in September.

On that occasion, as Mahir Emreli's strike earned the home side their second straight Europa League win, then-manager Czeslaw Michniewicz spoke of his joy at sharing a touchline with his counterpart Rodgers, who he named as a "role model" coach.

However, things have turned spectacularly sour in the intervening period, and Michniewicz was summarily replaced last month by his assistant Marek Golebiewski. A change in the dugout has engendered little positive effect in terms of results though, as Legia have now lost four games in a row - by a cumulative margin of 12 goals to four.

Amid that woeful run, the Polish champions were beaten 4-1 by Napoli last time out in Group C, so having begun their continental campaign at the height of summer in the Champions League first qualifying round, they will not want to let domestic failings further derail their European journey.

Leicester City Europa League form:
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D

Leicester City form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L

Legia Warsaw Europa League form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Legia Warsaw form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

Ahead of a potentially pivotal clash, Brendan Rodgers will again be without one of his midfield lynchpins, as Youri Tielemans suffered a calf injury just before the international break and has now been ruled out until mid-December.

Wing-back Ricardo Pereira is also a major doubt for Leicester, after he was left out of the squad last weekend having picked up a hamstring injury in training. Meanwhile, both Wesley Fofana and James Justin remain sidelined for the mid-term.

With a positive result needed, James Maddison or Ayoze Perez may come back into the side to add attacking impetus, while Patson Daka has established his credentials in the Europa League and will be vying for a start alongside either Jamie Vardy or Kelechi Iheanacho.

By contrast, Legia may revert to the more cautious template which helped them beat the Foxes in Warsaw, when three defensive midfielders featured in the starting side.

The visitors will be without the services of Josue, who often plays in a more advanced midfield role, as the former Braga man must serve a suspension.

Former Leicester winger Bartosz Kapustka is still out with a knee injury sustained when celebrating a goal during Champions League qualifying, and veteran goalkeeper Artur Boruc is yet to overcome a back problem, so will again be replaced by his deputy Cezary Miszta.

Mahir Emreli scored the winner when these sides last met and was on target again in a losing cause last weekend, so he should start up front in a probable 3-5-1-1 formation.

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Amartey, Soyuncu, Evans; Castagne; Ndidi, Soumare, Bertrand; Maddison; Daka, Iheanacho

Legia Warsaw possible starting lineup:
Miszta; Jedrzejczyk, Johansson, Wieteska; Ribeiro, Slisz, Kharatin, Martins, Mladenovic; Kastrati; Emreli


We say: Leicester City 2-0 Legia Warsaw

With their visitors in complete disarray, this is the time for the Foxes to strike in Group C, as they face a tough trip to Naples in their final game.

Even if Leicester make a handful of changes, their squad players are more than capable of picking off an ailing Legia side which will surely sit back and hope to survive for 90 minutes.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data



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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City1511223292335
2Liverpool15104144123234
3Chelsea1510323592633
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham158342819927
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs148151617-125
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd157352524124
7Arsenal157261822-423
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves156361213-121
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton154831416-220
10Aston Villa156182124-319
11Leicester CityLeicester155462327-419
12Everton155371925-618
13Brentford154561921-217
14Crystal Palace153751921-216
15Leeds UnitedLeeds153751522-716
16Southampton153751421-716
17Watford1541102029-913
18Burnley141761421-710
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle151771730-1310
20Norwich CityNorwich15249831-2310
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