Leicester City will host Aston Villa in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final at the King Power Stadium.
Even though a league title seems unlikely, Brendan Rodgers could replicate the 2016 success with a trophy in the EFL Cup. Leicester trail leaders Liverpool by 13 points despite having played a game more. But Rodgers has a chance in the EFL Cup to bring a rare trophy to the King Power. Leicester have exceeded expectations by standing second in the league, ahead of defending champions Manchester City.
Rodgers has not completed a full season at the club, but the effects of his work are clear. The likes of Jamie Vardy and James Maddison are reaching new levels under him. Each player has impressed, and Leicester have a top-four berth in their sights. Manchester United in fifth place are 14 points below them, which is a very comfortable cushion. They were on a great run in the league before they faced Manchester City and Liverpool in December.
Both those games ended in losses but Leicester picked themselves up quickly. Successive wins over West Ham and Newcastle have meant that they are still in second place. Jamie Vardy did not feature in either of those wins, and Kelechi Iheanacho started in his absence. The likes of James Maddison and Ayoze Perez stepped up and got the job done. Both of them scored in the win against Newcastle last week. Vardy should be back to face Villa and Rodgers will most likely deploy his strongest lineup.
As for Villa, their aim is to secure Premier League status for another season. Dean Smith’s side 17th in the table, just one point above the relegation zone. The 2-1 win against Burnley was a huge result and pushed them out of the bottom three. Jack Grealish starred for Villa in the win at Turf Moor. He has been the outstanding player for his side this season. Despite the win, everything was not merry for Villa in that game.
Both Tom Heaton and Wesley suffered injuries in that game, and they are ruled out for the season. Heaton was a shrewd acquisition from Burnley in the summer, and he was solid in goal. Wesley also impressed in his debut season, but the goals had dried up of late. Smith will need to tinker with his lineup to deal with the injuries.
In their last meeting at Villa Park, Leicester claimed a 4-1 victory. Vardy scored a brace in that game, and it was a comfortable victory for the Foxes. Grealish’s goal for Villa was nothing more than a consolation in the end.
Leicester City vs Aston Villa Betting Tips
Leicester look to be back on track, and they will be the favorites against Villa at the King Power Stadium. The Foxes have lost just one league game at home, and that advantage should help them to get the win. The total goals should be over 2.5 as Villa’s defense is not reliable at the moment. Leicester should have an advantage before the second leg at Villa Park.