Plymouth Argyle vs Leicester City: Preview and Prediction

Plymouth Argyle will welcome a Leicester City side still reeling from their shock defeat to Millwall.

Plymouth Argyle will face off on Friday against league leaders Leicester City, who appear to be blessed by the heavens this season. The Foxes are top and also have a game in hand but their form in 2024 is a matter of concern. Enzo Maresca’s side have struggled to put points on the board and the loss to Millwall last time out is just the latest slip-up.

However, Leicester have not had to pay for it as both Leeds United and Ipswich Town have let opportunities slip away. With just a handful of games left, the Foxes still are the masters of their own destiny. The task, is however, not easy as Plymouth are a mere two points off the relegation spots and will fight tooth and nail for survival.

Leicester City’s 1-0 defeat against Millwall on Tuesday marked their fifth loss in nine Championship fixtures. This downturn in form contrasts sharply with their earlier dominance, having endured just four defeats in their first 32 outings this season.

While external pressure may have influenced their recent performances, it is plausible that the mental strain of leading the pack throughout the season has taken its toll on the squad. Despite boasting the league’s strongest away record, with an impressive tally of 42 points from 21 fixtures, Leicester’s recent away form has been lacklustre.

They have only managed to secure a solitary point from trips to Hull City, Bristol City, and Millwall. Maresca will likely find solace in the fact that three of their final four games will be held at the King Power Stadium. However, a loss in the upcoming fixture could significantly increase the likelihood of Leicester facing the playoffs, regardless of their performance on their home turf.

Meanwhile, Plymouth Argyle have experienced a resurgence under caretaker manager Neil Dewsnip. The team’s defensive solidity has been a standout feature, with eight consecutive games without conceding more than twice in a Championship fixture.

Their recent triumph over Rotherham United, secured with a narrow 1-0 victory, followed by a gritty 1-1 draw against QPR, has injected renewed optimism into the squad. Plymouth understand the importance of securing points in the upcoming matches against fellow relegation contenders Stoke City and Millwall.

The battle to retain their Championship status remains intense, and every point earned is crucial in their quest for survival. The Hard Tackle takes a look at how both sides could line up for the game and their tactics.

Team News & Tactics

Plymouth Argyle

Plymouth Argyle are a formidable side on their day and have given quite a few sides tough games this season. But their inability to perform over the course of a game has caught up, and they now find themselves in real danger of relegation.

However, picking up four points from the last two games has given them some breathing space. Leicester City are top but the Foxes have shown themselves to have a soft underbelly, potentially setting the stage for an upset at Home Park in the Friday fixture.

Having not changed his playing XI against QPR, there is every reason to believe Neil Dewsnip will move his players around. One constant is the 3-4-2-1 formation that could give Leicester City something to worry about.

Michael Cooper should retain his spot in the middle of the sticks with the trio of Ashley Phillips, Dan Scarr and Lewis Gibson forming the rearguard. Adam Randell and Jordan Houghton should hold the fort in the middle of the park, with Matthew Sorinola and Bali Mumba providing the width. The duo could also drop deep to form a back five if needed.

Morgan Whittaker and Mustapha Bundu will act as dual attacking midfielders, with Ryan Hardie leading the line.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Cooper; Phillips, Scarr, Gibson; Sorinola, Randell, Houghton, Mumba; Whittaker, Bundu; Hardie

Plymouth Argyle vs Leicester City: Preview and Prediction.

Leicester City

The Foxes have lacked bite and appear a pale shadow of the side that appeared night on unbeatable in the first half of the campaign. Plymouth Argyle have been defensively resolute of late and the game will be a true test of the Foxes’ mettle.

Enzo Maresca is expected to change the formation to a 4-2-3-1 in order to provide his attacking players with a solid foundation. They could always revert to a 4-3-3 when needed. Ben Nelson, Harry Souttar, Kasey McAteer, and Tom Cannon are all expected to remain sidelined, but the Foxes have an otherwise fully-fit squad to choose from.

Mads Hermansen should start in goal, behind the back four of Ricardo Pereira, Wout Faes, Jannik Vestergaard, and Callum Doyle. Harry Winks and Wilfred Ndidi will form the double pivot, freeing up Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall to push forward as the number 10. Abdul Fatawu and Stephy Mavididi should provide the width, with Patson Daka leading the line.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Hermansen; Pereira, Faes, Vestergaard, Doyle; Winks, Ndidi; Fatawu, Dewsbury-Hall, Mavididi; Daka

Plymouth Argyle vs Leicester City: Preview and Prediction.

Key Stats

  • Plymouth Argyle are unbeaten in their last ten home league games against Leicester City.
  • A win on the night will see Leicester City do the league double over Plymouth Argyle for the first time since 1955/56.
  • Leicester have won just two of their last 10 league games played on a Friday, both away to Southampton.
  • A defeat on the night will see Leicester City fall to three straight away defeats in the league for the first time since 2022.

Player to Watch

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall

Embed from Getty Images

The midfielder stands as Leicester City’s pivotal force, exerting significant influence on their Championship campaign’s outcome. Dewsbury-Hall is poised to assume a higher role in Friday’s match and should act as the linchpin connecting the midfield to the attack.

His adeptness at advancing possession promises to unlock opportunities for the Foxes’ frontline, providing pathways for scoring opportunities. However, if he is effectively neutralised, Plymouth may stand a chance at clinching a favourable result from the encounter.


Plymouth Argyle 1-1 Leicester City

While Leicester City are the favourites, their poor form coupled with Plymouth’s recent resurgence should even out the playing field a little. Given what is at stake for both teams, they are unlikely to take any unwarranted risks. The Hard Tackle predicts a right game with both sides settling for a point.

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