MX23RW : Thursday, July 19 21:34:36
Jan 25, 2014 at 3pm UK at ​King Power Stadium
LeicesterLeicester City
2-0
Middlesbrough
Vardy (52'), de Laet (73')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Ayala (72')

Preview: Leicester City vs. Middlesbrough

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between league leaders Leicester and playoff hopefuls Middlesbrough.

Leicester City have a chance to extend their lead at the top of the Championship table to eight points on Saturday when they host Middlesbrough at the King Power Stadium.

Neither second-placed Queens Park Rangers or third-placed Burnley are in Championship action this weekend, meaning that the Foxes could open up a sizable gap with a seventh straight league win.

The hosts boast the joint best home record in the division so far this season, losing just once and picking up 32 points in front of their own fans, as well as scoring a league-high 27 goals.

Only Burnley have managed to take any points off Nigel Pearson's side in their last five home games, and the last two matches at the King Power Stadium have yielded nine goals for the hosts.

Sean St Ledger and Chris Wood are still missing for the Foxes, while recent signings Riyad Mahrez and Kevin Phillips are likely to start on the bench once again.

Leicester will face a tough test in the shape of playoff-chasing Middlesbrough, however, as the visitors also come into this match in good form.

They are unbeaten in their last six Championship games, picking up 16 points from a possible 18 in that time to lift them to ninth in the table, five points off the playoffs.

Only Derby and Leicester have scored more goals than Middlesbrough in the league this season, and manager Aitor Karanka appears to have sorted out the team's defensive issues as well, with five clean sheets in their last six Championship outings.

Having only won one of their first nine away games this season, Boro have improved on their travels recently, with two wins from their last three and no defeats in four.

Another victory would see them climb at least one place in the table, while they could move as high as seventh depending on the result in Blackburn Rovers' game against Derby County.

Kei Kamara and Jonathan Woodgate are still doubts for Karanka and are likely to start on the bench alongside new boy Nathaniel Chalobah.

Recent form

Leicester: WWWLWW

Middlesbrough: WWDLWW

Possible starting lineups

Leicester: Schmeichel; De Laet, Moore, Morgan, Konchesky; Knockaert, James, Drinkwater, Dyer; Vardy, Nugent

Middlesbrough: Given; Williams, Gibson, Ayala, Friend; Leadbitter, Whitehead, Carayol, Emnes, Ledesma; Main

Sports Mole says: 2-0

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Brian McDermott. manager of Leeds United looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United at Hillsborough Stadium on January 11, 2014
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Preview: Leeds vs. Leicester
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