View on the Visitors - Leicester City

Leicester Mercury's chief football writer Rob Tanner gives us the lowdown on the Foxes
Leicester Mercury’s Chief Football writer Rob Tanner gives us the lowdown on Saturday's visitors. 

Few may have predicted this, but we’ve got a top of the table clash to enjoy this Saturday!

“They certainly didn’t, but last Saturday was a fantastic start for Leicester. You have to put it into context by saying Sunderland were terrible but despite the managerial upheaval over the summer with Nigel Pearson leaving and Claudio Ranieri coming in, they seem to have picked up from where they left off.

"They finished last season off with a 5-1 win over QPR and carried it on by despatching Sunderland last weekend in emphatic fashion.”

It’s always good to start the season off with a win, what have you made of Claudio Ranieri so far?

“I’ve been very impressed with him. It’s early days of course but the way he handles the media and goes about his business is very impressive. The performance last weekend said it all really.

"He hasn’t changed too much; he’s recognised that Nigel Pearson had put in place some solid foundations and a certain way of playing. Particularly in the last nine games of last season they had a lot of pace, speed and width. He has tinkered with it a little bit, as you’d expect from ‘the Tinkerman’ but only one of the new signings, Shinji Okazaki, started on Saturday.” 

Who are Leicester’s key men this season?

“Riyad Mahrez was outstanding last Saturday. He was playing out wide whereas Pearson played him just behind the striker in a more central area. He is very effective when he’s got the ball, he likes to run at people and he was very influential. Marc Albrighton’s deliveries from out wide and set pieces were outstanding. Every time he puts it into the box it looks like they might score.” 
Do you expect much more transfer business before the window shuts?

“Oh yes, I’m sure there will be. They’ll try and bring in a midfielder following Esteban Cambiasso’s departure. Ranieri has said he wants a high-profile champion from somewhere around the world. I think there might be a striker on the way too.” 

What are your hopes for the season?

“The great escape was very exciting and a fantastic experience but I’m sure City fans are hoping they won’t go through that again. I think Leicester will finish mid-table, possible even top half if all goes well. Having said that, the priority is staying in the division, especially with the new TV deal coming in, Premier League survival is crucial.” 

This is probably the last time Leicester will come to the Boleyn Ground, what are your stand out memories?

“To be honest, it’s not a particular game, I’ve covered several teams in the Midlands and been many times but it’s the atmosphere before a game that sticks in the mind most. When Bubbles comes on, that’s unique. A few years ago I remember covering a Birmingham City game, and the bus driver scraped the bus against the railings, much to the delight of the West Ham fans!”

What is your prediction for Saturday's score?

“West Ham played unbelievably well against Arsenal last week so it’ll be tough but I’m going for a draw, 1-1.”