Leicester City make their home debut in the Champions League on Tuesday night and are aware that a win on home turf would go a long way to ensuring they progress to the knockout stages of the competition.
FC Porto are the first Champions League visitors to the King Power Stadium, and the Portuguese side will come up against a Foxes team that recorded a comfortable win in their first-ever Champions League clash.
Claudio Ranieri’s men were convincing winners in Belgium two weeks ago, as they swept aside Club Brugge 3-0. That victory seemed to be a real statement that Leicester do not see the European competition as merely a chance to mix with the big boys, but that they intend to hold their own.
Porto, however, will be a much sterner test for the Foxes and they will need to be at their best to defeat a side that has multiple Champions League winner Iker Casillas between the sticks.
Leicester go into the match off the back of a heavy defeat to Manchester United in the Premier League. Goals from Chris Smalling, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba ensured that the Premier League champions trailed 4-0 at half-time, before Demarai Gray’s second-half wonder goal proved to only be a consolation.
That was the second heavy Premier League defeat in Leicester’s last three outings, so Ranieri will need his players to improve significantly if they are to secure three points against Porto.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s men come into the fixture in good form. The Portuguese side currently sit third in the Primeira Liga, after winning four of their opening six league fixtures. Porto’s only competitive defeat so far this term came in a 2-1 defeat to title rivals Sporting.
Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel could return for the visit of Porto. The Dane has missed Leicester’s last three fixtures – with his most recent appearance being in the convincing win over Club Brugge.
Summer signing Ron-Robert Zieler, who has deputised in Schmeichel’s absence, will drop back down to the bench.
Fellow summer signing Nampalys Mendy misses out due to an ankle injury.
Islam Slimani will partner Jamie Vardy in Leicester’s attack, and will be hoping to build on his impressive goalscoring form against Porto. Slimani joined the Foxes in a big-money move from Sporting on deadline day and has scored five goals in his last three games against Porto.
The visitors, meanwhile, will be without midfielder Sergio Oliveira through injury. The 24-year-old is yet to feature for his side this season.
League Positions: Leicester City – 1st (3 pts); FC Porto – 3rd (1 pt)
Last Meeting: This is the first competitive meeting between Leicester City and FC Porto
Form: Leicester City – WLWWLL; FC Porto – WLWDDW
Key Men: Leicester City – Islam Slimani; FC Porto – Yacine Brahimi
SHOOT Says: Leicester City 2-1 FC Porto