Date: 23rd January 2016 at 7:51am
Written by:

Second-placed Leicester City will be looking to keep pace at the top of the table when they welcome Stoke to the East Midlands on Saturday.

The Foxes suffered a setback as they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Tottenham in midweek, but they can now concentrate on sustaining their excellent league form.

After initially setting his team a target of survival, Claudio Ranieri has now challenged his team to aim for 79 points; more than double the number they were going for at the start of the campaign.

Such ambition is warranted, however; City have lost just two games in the Premier League and are the joint-second top scorers, with 39 goals. Their stand-out stars so far, Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, are each without a goal since before Christmas; those two need to get firing again if Leicester’s European dreams are to remain a reality.

Stoke travel to the King Power Stadium sitting just four points off a European spot in seventh place, with the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final at Anfield to come this week.

The Potters threw away a 2-0 lead and had to settle for a point in the reverse fixture between these two teams in September; the home team has not won when these two sides have met in the Premier League, a trend Stoke will hope continues this weekend.

Perhaps surprisingly given the array of attacking talents at Mark Hughes’ disposal, games including the visitors this season have included just 46 goals; the lowest total in the Premier League.

Team News

Leicester right-back Ritchie de Laet is doubtful for Saturday’s clash after injuring himself in the warm-up in midweek, whilst Matty James and Jeffrey Schlupp remain sidelined.

The visitors are confident that mercurial winger Xherdan Shaqiri will be fit after a hamstring problem, and are monitoring the fitness of Marko Arnautovic. Stephen Ireland, Phil Bardsley and Marc Muniesa are all in contention having overcome various knocks.

League Position: Leicester – 2nd (44 pts); Stoke – 7th (33 pts)
Last Meeting: Stoke 2-2 Leicester (September 19, 2015)
Form: Leicester – WLDDWD; Stoke – LWWLWD
Key Players: Leicester – Jamie Vardy; Stoke – Bojan Krkic
Shoot Says: Leicester 1-1 Stoke

 
Brought to you by Shoot!