Tactically speaking - Leicester City

An in-depth look at how Leicester City could approach Tuesday’s Capital One Cup third-round tie – with WhoScored.com
Claudio Ranieri has been sporting the nickname ‘The Tinkerman’ since his tenure as Chelsea manager more than a decade ago, for his propensity to chop and change his starting XI.

That has certainly not been the case at unbeaten Leicester City this season, where no fewer than seven players have started all six Barclays Premier League matches so far, and two more have started five.

The Capital One Cup will give Ranieri a chance to regain his Tinkerman reputation, however, with the 63-year-old set to ring a few changes at the King Power Stadium – with half an eye on Saturday’s Premier League visit of Arsenal.

Goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, full-back Yohan Benalouane, Polish centre-back Marcin Wasilewski and Austrian defensive midfielder Christian Fuchs could come in, while French box-to-box midfielder N’Golo Kante is also a candidate for a starting place after impressing off the bench in the league.

Further forward, right winger Marc Albrighton has made a habit of tormenting West Ham United and could replace the unstoppable Riyad Mahrez, while youngster Joseph Dodoo netted a hat-trick in the second-round win at Bury and could be handed another chance to impress.

The same could be said for Croatian Andrej Kramaric, who also scored at Bury but has yet to play a single minute in the Premier League this season, and Argentine target man Leonardo Ulloa.

Whoever Ranieri picks – and he may well opt to name his strongest XI after making such an impressive start in the Premier League – the experienced Leicester boss is likely to stick with his tried and tested 4-4-2 formation, which he has employed in six out of seven matches in all competitions.

Leicester are a team that like to play on the front foot, get the ball into wide areas and into the box for their forwards to feed off. If Mahrez plays, expect the majority of the play to come down the Leicester right.

Statistically, Mahrez has been the best player in the Premier League so far this season – by a considerable distance – and his trickery, unstoppable dribbling, confidence and fantastic left-foot shooting will all need to be closely watched.

If England striker Jamie Vardy is picked, Leicester will also send long balls over the opposing back four for the lightning-quick, hard-working former Fleetwood Town man to chase.

Mahrez and Vardy have combined for nine Premier League goals this season – 69 per cent of Leicester’s total of 13 – which is a measure of the pair’s importance to the Foxes’ cause.

Another characteristic that Leicester have gained in the last few months is that of coming back from the dead in matches. In short, if West Ham take the lead, they should expect a strong response from their hosts.

Back in April, Leicester came from a goal down to win 2-1 in the Premier League – a victory that sparked their amazing late-season run to safety. Already this season, the Foxes have recovered six of their 12 points from losing positions.

Possible team: Schwarzer, Benalouane, Wasilewski, Fuchs, Moore, Kante, Hammond, Albrighton, Inler, Kramaric, Ulloa