Premier League

The Hawthorns

Sunday 13th September 2020 -  14:00
West Brom
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Leicester
Key Events

    Slaven Bilić’s Baggies will kick off their Premier League campaign when they host Leicester City at The Hawthorns on Sunday afternoon (ko 2pm).

    Leicester City

    Their latest campaign

    Leicester City finished fifth last season. They were just four points off third-placed Manchester United, but also only three points ahead of seventh-placed Wolves. A run of eight wins through October, November and into December meant the Foxes were in second position in the table, but they didn’t put more than two league wins together for the rest of the campaign.

    Rodgers’ men also had good cup runs in both domestic competitions, reaching the semi-final of the Carabao Cup only to lose late on to Aston Villa, while they were beaten by Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the Emirates FA Cup.

    In the dugout

    Brendan Rodgers landed his first senior managerial job at Watford in 2008. Since then he has managed Reading, Swansea City, Liverpool, Celtic and Leicester. Rodgers’ highlights so far include guiding Swansea to the Premier League for the first time, taking Liverpool from a seventh-placed finish to the cusp of winning the title, and securing Celtic’s first-ever ‘double treble’.

    He has been at Leicester since February 2019 and built on their ninth-placed end to the 2018/19 campaign to narrowly miss out on Champions League football last term. He currently has a win ratio of more than 50% with the Foxes.

    One to watch

    A name that is synonymous with Leicester City, Jamie Vardy had another wonderful season for the Foxes, scoring 23 Premier League goals. The peak of his goalscoring form coincided with Leicester’s best spell of the campaign as he netted 11 times in their eight-game winning streak, notably notching a hat-trick against Southampton in their 9-0 thumping of the Saints at St Mary’s Stadium.

    Our last meeting

    Albion’s most recent victory against the Foxes was in 2016, but the last time the Baggies triumphed at The Hawthorns against Leicester was back in 2010.

    James Morrison opened the scoring before Robert Koren hit a double to ensure the home side secured a comfortable victory.

    The opposition view

    "For Brendan Rodgers, it has been a case of reinvigorating his current group, rather than bringing in fresh faces, with just one major departure and arrival.

    "With Ben Chilwell taking the increasingly well-trodden path from the King Power Stadium to Stamford Bridge, the energetic, versatile Belgian international Timothy Castagne has been signed as a replacement.

    "Leicester still have injuries hanging over them from the end of the last campaign, and have endured a disrupted pre-season, like most clubs.

    "There are plenty of reasons for optimism for the new campaign. The ageless Jamie Vardy, a regular scorer at The Hawthorns, has shown no signs of slowing down, while they have a core of impressive young players, ranging from overseas talents like Wilfred Ndidi and Youri Tielemans, to homegrown stars like James Maddison and Harvey Barnes, the latter coming on leaps and bounds thanks to a fruitful loan with the Baggies."

    - Jordan Blackwell, Leicestershire Live 

     

    Stats

    Albion 

    • The Baggies are unbeaten in three of their last four opening day outings in the Premier League (W2, D1, L1). 
    • Overall, the history of this League encounter favours Albion who have defeated the Foxes 46 times compared with Leicester’s 34 wins. 
    • Albion Head Coach Slaven Bilić edges the success rate from previous clashes with Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers, winning two and losing once while managing Besiktas and West Ham. 

    Leicester 

    • Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers has only won once out of the five League matches he’s managed against Albion at The Hawthorns and that came while in charge of Swansea in 2012. 
    • The last match that ended goalless between the Baggies and Leicester was in 1970.
    • Despite a successful fifth-placed finish last term, the East Midlands outfit finished their Premier League campaign with just one win from five (W1, D1, L3) going into the 2020/21 season.

    Head to head

     

    Albion wins

    Draws

    Leicester wins

    League

    46 22 34
    FA Cup 1 0 2
    League Cup 4 1 0
    Total 51 23 36

    Our man to watch

    Cedric Kipre could make his first start in an Albion shirt against the Foxes.

    The 23-year-old towering centre-back arrives at The Hawthorns after impressing at the DW Stadium last season, where he helped keep 12 clean sheets in 36 Sky Bet Championship appearances.

    If he was to play against Leicester, he would be facing one of his old clubs. He spent three seasons there from 2014 to 2017 after being released by PSG.

    Kip

    Follow the game

    Gez Mulholland will be joined by once midfield-now-microphone maestro Andy Johnson to provide proudly partisan commentary and an expert insight for WBA Radio.

    To listen live to Baggies-biased commentary on WBA Radio for free for every home and away match during the 2020/21 season all you have to do is sign up for a free My Albion account.

    If you haven't already you can create your My Albion account here. Click Create Account or register quickly with your Facebook or Google account. 

    Live commentary starts from 15 minutes before kick-off and will be accessible through the live match centre or WBA TV.

    If you have any issues registering or accessing your My Albion account please contact myalbion@wbafc.co.uk.

    Despite a positive performance, Albion fell to defeat in their opening Premier League fixture of the 2020/21 campaign.

    Second-half goals in the form of a Timothy Castagne header and two Jamie Vardy penalties ensured Leicester left The Hawthorns with all three points.

    Slaven Bilić’s Baggies had a handful of chances, but were punished late on. 

    Bilić set his side up in a new-look 3-4-3 formation; Johnstone started in goal, Dara O’Shea, Semi Ajayi and Kyle Bartley made up a back three, while Darnell Furlong and Kieran Gibbs played on the wings.

    Romaine Sawyers and Jake Livermore took the task of controlling the centre of the park, while up front, Grady Diangana and Matheus Pereira flanked Callum Robinson.

    The Baggies started brightly, with an eagerness to press and forced a number of errors from the Foxes, including a panicked passback from Wilfred Ndidi which gifted Albion a corner.

    An early promising attack from the home side saw Diangana slip Robinson into the box. His dangerous cross ran through to Furlong, but he could only put it back across the face of goal by the time he met the ball.

    But still, Bilić’s men continued to impress. A sublime Johnstone kick found Furlong on the edge of the Leicester box, and he was brought down by James Justin, earning the Foxes full-back a booking in the process as Albion gained a free-kick in Pereira territory - however the Leicester wall managed to divert it wide.

    The Brazilian would have another opportunity shortly after. He controlled a slashed Çaglar Söyüncü clearance on his chest and lashed goalwards, but his effort rose over the bar.

    Just before the half-hour mark, the visitors had their best spell of the game to-date, culminating in two powerful saves on two separate occasions from Johnstone in the Albion net to deal with both goal-bound strikes from former Baggies loanee Harvey Barnes.

    Just before the break, Livermore split Leicester’s backline in two, playing Pereira into space in the box. The Brazilian Baggie fizzed a ball across the face of the Foxes goal, but Kaspar Schmeichel cleared to Robinson, who was judged to have handled as he attempted to bring the ball down.

    After the interval, Leicester took the lead.

    Dennis Praet lofted a cross into the Albion box and Timothy Castagne rose highest to head the visitors ahead.

    Ayoze Pérez thought he had doubled Leicester’s lead moments later, when he turned in a deflected Barnes strike from close range, but the flag was up for offside.

    Youri Tielemans was the next Foxes player to go close, with a long-range free-kick which Johnstone pushed over the bar.

    As the game pushed past the hour mark and with Albion still trailing by a goal, Bilić rolled the dice throwing Robson-Kanu on for Robinson, with Academy graduates Rekeem Harper and Kyle Edwards entering the action shortly after in place of Sawyers and Furlong.

    With just less than 20 minutes to play, Leicester were awarded a penalty. Barnes raced through on goal and despite Johnstone making a save, the referee pointed to the spot for a foul on Vardy by Bartley. The visitors’ No.9 tucked into the corner on 74 to double their advantage.

    Vardy scored a second penalty to secure the points on 84 after O’Shea fouled Justin in the box.

     

    ALBION: Johnstone; O’Shea, Ajayi, Bartley; Furlong (Harper 68), Livermore, Sawyers (Edwards 68), Gibbs; Diangana, Robinson (Robson-Kanu 60), Pereira.

    Substitutes: Button, Hegazi, Grosicki, Austin.