Stoke City-Leicester City Preview
Leicester City return to Premier League play this weekend aiming to break out from an 0-1-2 top-flight stretch with a home tilt Saturday against Stoke City.
Prior to the FA Cup break, the Foxes (9-8-10) produced one of their worst performances of the season in a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City on Feb. 10. Leicester held their own against the league leaders through 25 minutes as Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy traded goals, but then it became the Sergio Aguero show. Aguero netted four second-half goals as City pulled away.
Despite the heavy defeat, the Foxes bounced back with a 1-0 win over Sheffield United in the fifth round of the FA Cup thanks to a 66th-minute goal by Vardy.
It was a nice result for a club that could have lost some confidence after getting battered by Manchester City, but captain Wes Morgan is insisting the team is taking things one game at a time.
"It was very disappointing day for us (against City) and, even though we came up against probably the best team in the Premier League this season, we still expect better of ourselves," Morgan said. "It's about putting that behind us and the only way we can do that is by getting a positive result in our next game against Stoke and we want to show what we can do."
"It's pretty tight and we don't want to look too far ahead," he said. "We'll keep going as we are, we'll keep picking up points and we'll see where we are at the end of the season. All we can do is our job, keep winning games, keep picking up points because there are not many games left between now and May."
Stoke City (6-7-14), meanwhile, are in the bottom three of the table and trying to stop their own 0-2-1 stretch in league play following a 1-1 draw against Brighton & Hove Albion on Feb. 10. Jose Izquierdo opened the scoring for Brighton on 32 minutes, but the Potters equalised through a goal from Xherdan Shaqiri in the 68th to claim a point.
The Potters have some injury concerns heading into the weekend as striker Peter Crouch will miss this weekend as he recovers from an ankle injury.
"The game will come around a little bit too early for Peter, but he is making good progress which is pleasing," Stoke manager Paul Lambert said. "Realistically, he could be back in contention for the Southampton game next weekend."
Recent history in this fixture favors Leicester City as the Foxes have lost only one of their seven previous Premier League matches against Stoke City (3-3-0), a 1-0 defeat at King Power Stadium in January 2015.
Vardy has scored in each of his last four Premier League matches (four goals), his longest consecutive run of scoring since his record 11-match run between August-November 2015.
Updated February 22, 2018