Leicester City will be looking to finish the job and qualify for the UEFA Europa Conference League Round of 16 when they take on Randers this midweek.
The second leg of the UEFA Europa Conference League knockout playoff stages will be played out on Thursday night. And Premier League club Leicester City will be in action in Denmark as they gear up to take on Randers FC. The Foxes already have a foot through the door for the Round of 16 after winning the first leg 4-1 and will need to get the job done professionally at Cepheus Park Randers this week.
Leicester City are going through a torrid run of results since the turn of the year. Brendan Rodgers’ side have won just two games in 2022 in all competitions, one of which came in the first leg against Randers. The Foxes head into Thursday’s encounter on the back of a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Wolves in the Premier League and will be aiming to ensure that they do not leave the door open for an upset.
Randers, meanwhile, are also going through a lean patch, having gone without a win in their last five matches (three friendlies). The Danish outfit lost 1-0 to Viborg in their most recent game in the Superliga. Thomas Thomasberg’s men have an impossible task at their hands to overturn a three-goal deficit. Still, their opponents’ current form should give them some incentive to push for an unlikely comeback.
Ahead of this encounter in Denmark on Thursday night, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.
Team News & Tactics
Randers manager Thomas Thomasberg does not have any fresh injury concerns for the game against Leicester City. The head coach made several changes for the league game against Viborg to rest some of his regulars and gave some game-time to other players who were not involved against Leicester, considering that they have only just resumed competitive football action.
Randers are expected to line up in a 4-4-2 formation against Leicester City in front of goalkeeper Patrik Carlgren. January signing Hugo Andersson should keep hold of his spot at the heart of the hosts’ backline, where he should pair up with Simon Piesinger, with Simon Graves dropping out to the bench. Mikkel Kallesoe and Bjorn Kopplin should be the two full-backs who will have the license to push forward.
Lasse Berg Johnsen will be in charge of keeping things tight in the middle of the park, where he will have support from captain Vito Hammershoy-Mistrati. However, Frederik Lauenborg is also an option for the manager to consider.
Tosin Kehinde and Jakob Ankersen should line up out wide and provide the service to the two strikers, who should be Stephen Odey and Alhaji Kamara, while Nicolai Brock-Madsen will be an option from the bench.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Carlgren; Kallesoe, Piesinger, Andersson, Kopplin; Kehinde, Hammershoy-Mistrati, Johnsen, Ankersen; Kamara, Odey
Leicester City will welcome Harvey Barnes back to the squad after he missed the Wolves clash with a minor hamstring problem. However, the Foxes could rest injury-prone right-back Ricardo Pereira after he played the full 90 minutes over the weekend. Jonny Evans, Jamie Vardy, Wesley Fofana, James Justin, Timothy Castagne and Ryan Bertrand remain injured.
Next stop, ??????? ?? ?? pic.twitter.com/UWsqIkdYh5
— Leicester City (@LCFC) February 23, 2022
Brendan Rodgers is likely to make a few changes to the side that lost to Wolves over the weekend. As mentioned earlier, Pereira is expected to be rested, paving the way for Daniel Amartey to move to the right-back slot. It should see Jannik Vestergaard start alongside Caglar Soyuncu at the heart of the Leicester defence. Luke Thomas should continue at left-back in the absence of other options.
Wilfred Ndidi should hold on to his spot at the base of the Leicester midfield to ensure that they stay in control of the contest. He will have support from Boubakary Soumare, who is likely to replace Youri Tielemans. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, who was one of the Foxes’ star performers in the first leg, should helm the creative role in midfield, with James Maddison again on the bench.
Ademola Lookman, who was on target against Wolves, should hold on to his spot on the left flank while Marc Albrighton is likely to slot in on the right-wing. Spearheading the attack for the Foxes again should be Patson Daka.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Schmeichel; Amartey, Vestergaard, Soyuncu, Thomas; Soumare, Ndidi, Dewsbury-Hall; Albrighton, Daka, Lookman
- Leicester City have not won any of their last nine away matches and have lost each of their previous seven on the road.
- This will only be the second competitive meeting between Leicester City and Randers.
- Leicester City have picked up just one victory in their last seven matches across all competitions (D2 4L).
- Patson Daka has been Leicester City’s top performer in European competitions this season, scoring six goals in the Europa League and the Conference League combined.
- Leicester City have not kept a clean sheet in their last eight matches in all competitions.
Player to Watch
"I am a kid playing for his boyhood club. It's a dream come true"
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall reflects on his first-ever Leicester goal at the King Power ?
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 17, 2022
The 23-year-old’s emergence this term has been one of the very few positives of the season for Leicester City. After spending the last season out on loan at Luton Town, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall has slowly but surely carved out a place for himself in Brendan Rodgers’ side, impressing with his guile on the ball and industry without possession.
The Englishman has scored two goals in his breakthrough campaign for the Foxes, both of which have come in European competitions, including one in the win against Randers last week. He will be hoping to build on that display and put in another strong performance to ensure that his team secures safe passage through to the next round.
Randers 1-3 Leicester City
It will be a big occasion for Randers as they welcome a team of Leicester City’s stature to their stadium on Thursday. While the general atmosphere will be buzzing, it is hard to visualise the minnows mount a challenge and oust the Foxes from the Conference League. They might get another odd goal, but Leicester’s overall quality should shine through with them likely to secure another comfortable win to progress to the next round.