Thursday, 4 August 2011

Looking ahead to the start of a new season

Leicester City will begin their pursuit of the Championship title and promotion to the Premier League when they visit Coventry City's Ricoh Arena on Saturday lunchtime.

With the Sky Blues making just two signings (goalkeeper Joe Murphy on a free transfer from Scunthorpe and Northampton Town's Chris Dunn), Foxes fans will be hoping that Sven Goran Eriksson's new star-studded line up will get off to a flying start.

But Leicester have never won at the Ricoh Arena and with the last three meetings between the two sides finishing in a draw, it seems that duck may be harder to break than the two clubs' differing summer fortunes may tell. That said, Coventry have not replaced two key men from last season, Marlon King and Aron Gunnarson both leaving and Andy Thorn thwarted in his attempts to strengthen a very much weakened team.

Despite a win over Kettering Town the week before the Poppies held Leicester to a 1-1 draw, Coventry's pre-season was marred by a 3-0 defeat to newly promoted Norwich City, the only friendly the Sky Blues played against a team not in a lower division.

Contrast that to a Leicester City pre-season that saw narrow defeats to Spanish giants Valencia and Real Madrid, plus a draw to Turkish Champions' League outfit Bursaspor. On paper the Foxes' results may not appear to be as strong, but against better opposition Eriksson's team could not be better prepared.

This is a season in which Foxes fans are expecting the very best of their team, with a heavy weight of expectation placed upon the shoulders particularly of the twelve new men to wear royal blue this term. There is a buzz of excitement around the King Power Stadium, a buzz of expectation, of hope and of belief that this could be Leicester City's year.

First, though, they face a test away from home, against a team in very differing fortunes to their own. And, this being football, that could be the toughest test of all.

Foxes' Colours
Kick Off:
Saturday, 6th August 2011 (12:30pm)

Coverage:
Full commentary on BBC Radio Leicester, BBC Radio 5 Live and Foxes Player with updates on Sky Sports News and highlights on The Football League Show, BBC One.

Odds:
Coventry City 13/5, Leicester City 1/1, Draw 5/2
(Source: Bet365.com, correct at time of publication)
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