Leicester City vs Middlesbrough: Preview and Prediction

Leicester City are inching closer to a return to the Premier League as they prepare to face Middlesbrough on Saturday night

Leicester City welcome Middlesbrough to the King Power Stadium full of confidence and with a 12-point lead at the top of the EFL Championship standings.

The Foxes have been the best side in the English second tier this season and are the heavy favourites to return to the top flight. Second-placed Leeds United are 12 points worse off and appear unlikely to catch Enzo Maresca’s side.

Middlesbrough are comfortable in the middle of the table but are just seven points off the playoff spots. With 42 points still to play for, a win on the night could open the door for a surprise turnaround in the second half of the season.

Beating Leicester is not for everyone but Middlesbrough can take heart from the fact that they got the better of the Foxes in the reverse fixture.  The 1-0 win at the Riverside Stadium gives the visitors an opportunity to secure their first league double over Leicester in over two decades.

However, the King Power Stadium has been nothing short of a fortress this season. Leicester have the second-best record at home this season and have lost just twice at home all campaign. Given that they are enjoying a fine spell of form at this moment, it is difficult to see Enzo Maresca’s men slip up.

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough are on a winless run of four games. With little to lose, it remains to be seen if the visitors will go for the jugular. It should, at the very least make for entertaining viewing.

The Hard Tackle looks closer at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Leicester City

The Foxes made short work of Sheffield Wednesday midweek and will in all likelihood make few changes for their second home game in a row. Marc Albrighton and Wilfred Ndidi are out injured but Jannik Vestergaard’s return is a welcome boost.

Kelechi Iheanacho is also back from the AFCON but given Patson Daka and Jamie Vardy’s form, he is at best the third option in attack. Maresca is expected to retain his 4-2-3-1 formation with the core of the side from mid-week retained.

Mads Hermansen should start in goal behind the back four of James Justin, Jannik Vestergaard, Wout Faes, and Ricardo Pereira. Having his first choice back four available again is a good omen as we enter the business end of the season.

Harry Winks and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall should form the double pivot in central midfield, with Dennis Praet deployed as the number 10. Kasey McAteer and Stephy Mavididi should provide the width, with Jamie Vardy making way for Patson Daka upfront.

With several game-changing options available on the bench, Maresca has options at his disposal should the need arise.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Hermansen; Pereira, Faes, Vestergaard, Justin; Winks, Dewsbury-Hall; McAteer, Praet, Mavididi; Daka

Leicester City vs Middlesbrough: Preview and Prediction.


Boro are in a poor run of form and are winless sin their last four games. The King Power Stadium would be an excellent place for them to end that streak and regain momentum to salvage their campaign.

Michael Carrick’s side will be without Josh Coburn as he struggles with a groin issue. The Manchester United legend is expected to make changes to his side as he aims to end his side’s rut.

Middlesbrough are expected to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, mirroring Leicester on the night. In the end, it could come down to the difference in quality between the two squads as much as the tactical astuteness between the managers.

Having lost against Preston North End just two days before, it will not come as a surprise should Carrick rotate his squad. Tom Glover should start in goal behind the back four of Luke Ayling, Rav van den Berg, Matthew Clarke and Luke Thomas.

Jonny Howson and Hayden Hackney should hold down the fort as the double pivot with the trio of Marcus Forss, Lewis O’Brien and Finn Isaac Azaz playing further upfield. Sam Greenwood was Leicester’s bane in the reverse fixture and should get the nod upfront.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Glover; Ayling, Van den Berg, Clarke, Thomas; Howson, Hackney; Forss, O’Brien, Azaz; Greenwood

Leicester City vs Middlesbrough: Preview and Prediction.

Key Stats

  • Leicester City are unbeaten in their last seven games against Middlesbrough at the King Power Stadium.
  • A win on the night will see Middlesbrough complete the league double over Leicester City for the first time since 2001-02.
  • Leicester City have won 13 home games in the league this season, they last put up better numbers during their 2013/14 season which saw them secure the second-tier title and return to the Premier League.
  • Middlesbrough have defeated the recently relegated sides from the Premier League in two of the three meetings so far this season.

Player to Watch

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall

Embed from Getty Images

The Englishman has been the driving force for Leicester City this season as they aim for an immediate return to the English top flight. The impressive return of 10 goals and 12 assists in 31 Championship games this season puts the 25-year-old in a league of his own.

Dewsbury-Hall is the first Foxes star since David Nugent in 2013/14 to secure 12 league assists in a single campaign. With 14 games still to go, one can bet on the midfielder to break that record sooner rather than later. Whether that happens on the weekend against Middlesbrough remains to be seen.


Leicester City 2-0 Middlesbrough

The Foxes have started off 2024 with a bang and are relentless in their pursuit of a spot in next season’s Premier League. Middlesbrough could yet sneak into a playoff spot but will need to put on a winning run over the next few weeks. Unfortunately, it appears unlikely that the visitors will kick it off at the King Power Stadium this weekend. Leicester have the quality and the depth, not to mention the momentum to come away with all three points.





Leave Comment


Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.