Monday 8th March 2020. The night of our last visit to Leicester and the King Power Stadium. It was a miserable trip, a humiliating 4-0 defeat against a side we’d fought hard to beat over 2 legs a month earlier in the Carabao Cup Semi-finals. Little did we know, it would also mark the final time we’d be allowed inside stadiums for the foreseeable future. All in all, not a fond memory.
Remarkably that was already 7 months ago, but as Villa head East again, things couldn’t feel more different in the Claret and Blue camp. Even if we still can’t be present in the stands, or watch on TV – due to the deeply unpopular PPV debacle – we can still at least hold a belief that we now have a team capable of producing a much improved performance this time around.
Ahead of an intriguing clash against our East Midlands neighbours, we spoke with Jamie From @thefoxesarms for the low down on Leicester and their thoughts on tonight’s match.
1. Our last meeting at the King Power Stadium proved to be the last domestic fixture played with fans present and being a 4-0 victory for Leicester will be much more fondly remembered by you and your fans. Do you think the lack of fans has had a more negative effect on the team and their performances?
The lack of fans has made a huge difference. There is no home advantage anymore and I think that’s why so many goals are being scored.
2. You’d had an impressive start to the season before the surprise defeat to West Ham before the international break. How do you feel your season will go this season? Do you think you’ll have a better season than last and do you think you have dealt with any of the issues that saw you fall away during last season’s run in?
To be honest most fans where a bit nervous about this season, so to get off to a great start was a huge relief and hopefully we can finish top 6/7 for Europe again this season.
3. Last season we had mixed fortunes against each other. You comprehensively winning the league duels and us battling to League Cup success. With both sides having made bright starts to this campaign, how do you think this fixture will play out?
The biggest regret of last season was the semi-final defeat to you guys. It was hard to take to be honest. I think this will be a tight home win.
4. How do you expect Leicester to set up and are there any weaknesses that you think Villa can attack?
You never what formation Brendan Rodgers will play. He threw a curve ball against Man City by playing a back 3 with Daniel Amartey playing his first league game in 2 years. Also, having at least 4 first team players out and 4 players currently 50/50 we will have to wait and see. The main problem we have would be set pieces.
5. What strengths in Villa’s side do you think can cause problems and what areas of weakness do you think you can best exploit?
Your biggest strength/worry is Jack Grealish, what a great player he is. Our pace down both wings and breaking fast out of defence is something we use well.
By the end of last season, Leicester seemed like a team desperate for the end of the season after impressing for a large chunk of it. This season they seem rejuvenated and headline making victories like the 5-2 win at Manchester City show just how threatening they can be. But the 3-0 defeat at home to West Ham also shows that they are still prone to being picked apart.
Our start has been an enjoyable progression from strength to strength, culminating in the shock demolition of Champions, Liverpool. Our belief is as good as it’s ever been and hopefully we can once again show our new positive mentality and emulate our Claret and Blue counterparts from East London.
It’ll be a tight game between two teams who’ve started in positive fashion, but with Leicester facing something of an early season injury crisis, hopefully we can find a way of exploiting that and come away with the win to continue the football league’s now solitary 100% record.