Where Crystal Palace’s Premier League clash with Leicester will be won and lost on Sunday


Crystal Palace take on Leicester City at Selhurst Park on Sunday with both clubs hoping a positive result will help kick their season on after indifferent starts.

Palace have won just once so far under the management of Patrick Vieira but both their losses (away at Chelsea and Liverpool) have come against title contenders.

They’ve picked up credible draws against Brentford and West Ham, and were forced to settle for a point with bitter rivals Brighton on Monday night following Neal Maupay’s stoppage-time equaliser.

All this has left them 15th in the Premier League table, though with away trips to Arsenal and Man City in their next four Vieira will be keen to get a good result against the Foxes on Sunday.

Brendan Rodgers’ side have failed to hit the ground running this season, and after six league games find themselves just two places above Palace in 13th.

Wins have come against Wolves and Norwich, but defeats away at West Ham and Brighton, as well as a 2-2 draw with Burnley last time out at the King Power Stadium have left the side chasing the pack.

Leicester also have European commitments to keep them busy this season, with the side losing 1-0 away at Legia Warsaw on Thursday night.



Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester) during the UEFA Europa League group C match between Legia Warszawa and Leicester City at Wojska Polskiego Stadium on September 30, 2021 in Warsaw, Poland. (Photo by Foto Olimpik/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Kasper Schmeichel applauds the away fans after Leicester suffered a 1-0 defeat to Legia Warsaw in the Europa League

football.london caught up with Midlands football writer Amie Wilson to see how she assessed Leicester’s start to the campaign.

How have Leicester started the season?

It’s fair to say that the start of the season is probably not what Leicester City fans hoped for, or even expected when the first ball was kicked.

While seven points from the opening six games of the season isn’t too bad on paper, it means City are playing catch up, in comparison to the last two seasons, if they wish to again challenge for a Champions League place, which has to be the aim this campaign after falling short in the last two.

It’s hard to put a finger on what specifically hasn’t quite clicked so far this season. But an injury to Jonny Evans has had a big impact, along with the injury Wesley Fofana suffered in pre-season.

How important is Evans to Brendan Rodgers’ team?

Evans is yet to start a Premier League game this season due to an ongoing foot injury but is slowly making his way back.
He was due to play in the Europa League game against Legia Warsaw on Thursday but illness prevented him from travelling meaning he is now a doubt for the trip to Selhurst Park.

Should Evans make it, then that would be a big boost to City. The Northern Irishman adds calmness and leadership to a defence that can be shaky without him.

It was the case in the 2-2 draw against Burnley, while City looked better in an attacking sense, Burnley’s attackers caused all sorts of problems for a central defensive partnership of Jannik Vestergaard and Caglar Soyuncu.

Who should Crystal Palace fans be wary of?

Summer signing Ademola Lookman started his first Premier League game for the club against Burnley and was one of the top performers against the Clarets, looking a danger every time he got on the ball.

The former Fulham man has impressed in all of his appearances so far and is likely to again start against Palace.



LEICESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: Ademola Lookman of Leicester City in action during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Burnley at The King Power Stadium on September 25, 2021 in Leicester, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Ademola Lookman during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Burnley in September

Who else will pose a threat on Sunday?

Jamie Vardy looks as sharp as he’s ever been and has started the season in brilliant form, currently sitting alongside Michail Antonio and Mo Salah in the goalscoring charts after his double vs Burnley.

There are also growing calls for Kelechi Iheanacho to get a chance in the starting lineup as his form from last season has continued into this one.

The striker has had an impact when coming off the bench in every game so far this season, and a documentation problem in Poland meant that he was not able to play in the Europa League game this week.

There’s no doubt that Sunday’s visit of Leicester will be a tricky one, but Palace have a unique opportunity to get three points against a side who haven’t started the season as well as expected.

Palace have conceded just once in three home matches this season and could field an attacking front three of Wilfried Zaha, Odsonne Edouard and Michael Olise for the first time together.

Added to that is Leicester’s mileage that has seen them fly to Poland and back during the week for their European commitments. A 1-0 loss in Warsaw will not have done the squad any good in terms of confidence, and Rodgers will have preferred not to have had to bring Vardy, Harvey Barnes, James Maddison and Lookman all off the bench in an attempt to salvage a result.

The task for Palace on Sunday is to recreate the same energy they started the game against Brighton with, and maybe that fast start will be enough for them to tackle a wounded Leicester side.





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