Leicester City will try to move out of the Premier League’s bottom three with a win at Bournemouth on Saturday after finally getting off the mark with a win this week.
The Foxes come to the Vitality Stadium on the heels of a 4-0 thrashing of Nottingham Forest, while the hosts are in the midst of a four-game undefeated run that has propelled them to the middle of the league, five points ahead of their visitors.
Our Match Preview: Bournemouth vs Leicester City
Leicester, pleased to halt a six-match Premier League losing run, travel to the South Coast looking to continue the momentum. City’s first win of the season pushed them off the bottom of the league thanks to James Maddison’s first-half double.
After a challenging run of matches, Leicester’s run-up to the World Cup presents an opportunity to build points and climb the rankings. Only five clubs in the Premier League have scored more goals than Leicester this season, and Maddison’s form has been key.
The England international has been personally involved in 19 goals in 24 Premier League games (12 goals, 7 assists), a statistic only three players can better, and just one Englishman – Harry Kane.
Leicester has won two of their past three Premier League matches against Bournemouth after losing their earlier seven. Since becoming caretaker manager, Gary O’Neil has helped Bournemouth go undefeated and climb the standings.
The 39-year-old is being considered for a permanent job after picking up points against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Nottingham Forest, Newcastle United, and Brentford. He will be eager to evaluate his credentials against a proven Premier League manager.
O’Neil faces Brendan Rodgers after Bournemouth’s goalless draw with Brentford last weekend. The Cherries have drawn three of eight league games since promotion and won two.
Bournemouth last went longer without a Premier League loss in 2018, but they have failed to score in each of their earlier three home games. Only once in the club’s league history have they done so in four straight – 17 years ago in League One.
Precedent is on their side as they try to stop their scoreless run and continue O’Neil’s strong start.
Our Team News: Bournemouth vs Leicester City
Wilfred Ndidi suffered a recurrence of the hamstring problem that forced him to withdraw from international duty for Nigeria last month.
Although Brendan Rodgers may be reluctant to make too many changes in the lineup following Leicester’s victory on Monday, the team’s manager will have to do so because Wilfred Ndidi suffered the injury.
Following a collision of knees in training that left him nursing an injury, fellow midfielder Nampalys Mendy is a significant doubt to play, thus Boubakary Soumare should start in a position that requires him to anchor the midfield.
Except for long-term injured players Ricardo Pereira and Ryan Bertrand, Brendan Rodgers has complete freedom in selecting players from the rest of his team.
Jamie Vardy has been personally involved in five goals throughout his past three games against Bournemouth, so he will hope to get on the scoreboard if he is expected to continue playing up front for Leicester.
Ben Pearson and Joe Rothwell, both of whom play in the middle of the field, and Ryan Fredericks, who plays fullback, are all candidates to return for the home team on Saturday afternoon.
The trio of players might be on the bench for the match. The visit of Leicester, on the other hand, is likely to come too soon for Junior Stanislas, and it is almost inevitable that captain Lloyd Kelly will be out for a third consecutive match due to injury.
Neto will continue to serve as the final line of defense for the Cherries, and he currently holds the record for the greatest save percentage of any goalie who has played in more than one Premier League match this season (82.4%).
Dominic Solanke, who plays up front, needs only one more goal to reach the 50-goal mark in the league.
- Bournemouth Possible Starting Lineup: Neto; Smith, Mepham, Senesi, Zemura, Cook, Lerma, Tavernier, Billing, Christie, Solanke.
- Leicester City Possible Starting Lineup: Ward, Castagne, Evans, Faes, Justin, Soumare, Maddison, Tielemans, Dewsbury-Hall, Barne, Vardy.
Our Prediction: Bournemouth 1-2 Leicester City
The most important component that has been lacking for Leicester this season has been a belief, which means that Bournemouth’s 100th home game in the Premier League might end in disappointment.
Now that some of their lost confidence has been regained, the away team will be able to make the most of the higher individual talent they have and compensate for defensive weaknesses.