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