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Preview: Leicester City vs. Villarreal - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Pre-Season Friendlies clash between Leicester City and Villarreal, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Leicester City welcome Villarreal to the King Power Stadium on Wednesday evening as they play their final pre-season friendly.

With Manchester City to come in the Community Shield at the weekend, Brendan Rodgers will be hoping that the Foxes can record their first victory of the summer.

Match preview

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers pictured on March 3, 2021© Reuters

Having opted to delay the start of Leicester's friendly matches until July 24, Rodgers will understand why his players are behind other teams in terms of match sharpness and general fitness.

Nevertheless, Rodgers would have still expected at least one win against Burton Albion, Wycombe Wanderers and Queens Park Rangers during the final week of July.

Two draws either side of the defeat at Wycombe will not necessarily be regarded as a disaster, but Leicester needed to rally late on to earn a thrilling share of the spoils against their latest opponents.

The biggest positive of the afternoon was an appearance from Harvey Barnes, who has spent several months on the sidelines with a knee injury.

However, with games to come against Villarreal and Manchester City, Rodgers need to see widespread improvements ahead of their Premier League opener with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Like their opponents, Villarreal have gone through their pre-season campaign without picking up a win, instead having to settle for two draws and two defeats.

The Europa League winners have been squaring off against tougher teams with their losses coming by narrow margins to Valencia and Marseille respectively.

When you include a 2-2 draw against Lyon in the equation, Unai Emery will have few complaints with how his squad have fared in recent weeks.

As it stands, the arrival of Aissa Mandi on a free transfer from Real Betis represents the only incoming of the summer.

Leicester City pre-season friendlies form:
  • D
  • L
  • D

Villarreal pre-season friendlies form:
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L

Team News

Villarreal manager Unai Emery pictured in December 2020© Reuters

While Rodgers will name a strong Leicester XI for this contest, the Northern Irishman will likely make changes after the six-goal thriller with QPR.

Barnes could drop down to the substitutes' bench alongside Jamie Vardy, allowing for Patson Daka and Kelechi Iheanacho to come into the team.

Filip Benkovic, Luke Thomas and Marc Albrighton may also feature, while James Maddison should return after his partner gave birth at the weekend.

Despite returning to training earlier than scheduled, Villarreal forward Gerard Moreno may be given a few more days before making his first outing of pre-season.

Pau Torres is currently representing Spain at the Olympics, but the likes of Ruben Pena, Alberto Moreno and Javier Ontiveros are pushing for starts.

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Jakupovic; Pereira, Fofana, Soyuncu, Bertrand; Soumare, Ndidi, Tielemans; Maddison, Iheanacho, Daka

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Asenjo; Gasper, Foyth, Mendi, Albiol, Moreno, Iosifov, Morlanes, Trigueros, Pino, Nino

SM words green background

We say: Leicester City 1-1 Villarreal

Given the personnel which should be selected for this game, we make Leicester the favourites to claim victory.

Nevertheless, Villarreal have impressed against English opposition in recent months, leading us to predict a share of the spoils for the Spaniards.

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