FOOTBALL

16 September, 2021

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW Thurs: Leicester City v Napoli

After narrowly missing out on Champions League football again last season, Leicester City begin another Europa League campaign with a tough opening assignment against Italian giants Napoli at the King Power Stadium on Thursday evening.

The Foxes have taken six points from their opening four matches, but haven’t looked entirely convincing in any of those fixtures. They were swept aside by West Ham and edged 1-0 by Man City and, even in their narrow victories against Wolves and Norwich, Brendan Rodgers’ looked far from their best.

James Maddison – who was the subject of plenty of transfer speculation in the summer regarding a potential move to Arsenal – hasn’t looked at his scintillating best and things surely won’t be helped by star midfielder Youri Tielemans publicly declare he was “keeping his options open” regarding his Foxes future.

Things should improve though; the squad and the manager are too good for them to struggle for too long. They’ve proven that they’re capable of mixing it with the big boys in the Premier League – now it’s time to show that they can do the same in Europe.

Leicester City v Napoli
UEFA Europa League Group Stage
20:00 BT Sport 2 / BT Sport Ultimate

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
First-ever meeting between two sides

Napoli will be going into this game in confident mood after goals from Matteo Politano and Kalidou Koulibaly gave Napoli a massive 2-1 win over Juventus at the weekend.

Under the tutorship of experienced Italian coach Luciano Spalletti, Napoli have started the new Serie A season very brightly by winning their first three matches in impressive fashion.
Fabian Ruiz, in particular, has looked excellent in the centre of the park for Napoli. The cultured, classy midfield player has pulled the strings in midfield so far this season and will absolutely be a player that Leicester need to keep an eye on.

This will be a really tough match for Leicester against an in-form Napoli – even with the home advantage at the King Power. Given the Italians’ form, and the fact they don’t play till Monday, they look big to take all three points against Rodgers’ side.

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