By 90Min
December 15, 2017

Leicester City welcome Crystal Palace to the King Power Stadium this Saturday for the early kick off, where they'll look to extend their winning run to five matches - having recorded four wins from their last four games. They will however have to overcome an inspired Palace side fresh from snatching victory from the jaws of defeat against Watford on Tuesday. 

The Eagles managed to turn a 1-0 deficit around within the space of two minutes against the Hornets, scoring the equaliser in the 89th minute before grabbing a winner in the 91st, and despite their lowly position in the table their spirit at the moment must be immeasurable. 

Claude Puel's Foxes do seem like a force to be reckoned with at the moment, however, and with Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy rekindling their spark of a few years back, Roy Hodgson's men must be cautious of letting the duo run riot; the fact that Palace still haven't scored an away goal this season will also pose another mental block. 

Here's everything you need to know about this Saturday's clash...


Classic Encounter

Ross Kinnaird/GettyImages

Leicester 2-1 Crystal Palace (AET)

This Saturday's fixture was in fact the 1996 First Division play-off final, a match in which the Eagles faced the Foxes at the old Wembley in a bid to win promotion to the Premiership. 

Palace took the lead after 14 minutes through Andy Roberts' drilled effort in front of a crowd of 73,573, and held onto their slender lead for the majority of the game only to concede a penalty with 15 minutes remaining. 

Garry Parker converted from the spot to send the tie into extra time, where Palace would be met by their cruellest nightmare. With just two seconds of extra time to play, Steve Claridge shinned home a winner from 20 yards to win promotion at the death. 

Martin O'Neill had substituted on his 6ft 7in keeper Željko Kalac just moments before Claridge's goal to replace Kevin Poole as he anticipated a penalty shootout, with some Palace players later admitting that the change had distracted them. 


Key Battle

Riyad Mahrez vs Jeffrey Schlupp

Michael Regan/GettyImages

Leicester's Algerian winger has scored three times in his last four games and seems to be rediscovering the mesmeric form he displayed in the Foxes' title winning season, and with Jamie Vardy running the channels and stretching defences, Mahrez has space to exploit. 

Given the state of Palace's defence this season - the Eagles have kept just two clean sheets - their backline will have to be on top form to keep out Mahrez and co, especially left-back Jeffrey Schlupp who will be directly faced with the former Le Havre man. 

Schlupp, formerly of Leicester himself, will be tasked with restraining Mahrez on his first return to the King Power since signing for the Eagles back in January, a tough ask for the Ghanaian who isn't in the best of form personally. 


Team News 

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Despite the jubilation of Tuesday night's victory, Hodgson finds himself having to deal with a bit of an injury crisis at the back. Manchester United loanee Timothy Fosu-Mensah, who started against the Hornets, had to be withdrawn due to a hamstring complaint and is unlikely to face Leicester. 

Mamadou Sakho remains sidelined and will be for many more weeks as a result of a calf injury, whilst Joel Ward remains a doubt due to a similar injury. Luka Milivojevic sits out the trip to the King Power after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season. 

Damien Delaney, Connor Wickham and Lee Chung-Yong are all still absent. 

For Leicester, Puel finds himself without Robert Huth and Matty James, but other than them the Frenchman has a fully fit squad to choose from. 


Potential Leicester Starting XI: Schmeichel, Simpson, Maguire, Morgan, Fuchs, Mahrez, Ndidi, Iborra, Gray, Vardy, Okazaki

Potential Crystal Palace XI: Speroni, Kelly, Tomkins, Dann, Schlupp, Cabaye, McArthur, Loftus-Cheek, Townsend, Benteke, Zaha


Prediction

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

The Eagles are sure to be in a buoyant mood after Tuesday night, and the fact that they are six games unbeaten shouldn't be sniffed at, although their away record needs to add some realism to their jubilation. 

Having not scored an away goal yet this season, Hodgson's side may be viewed as easy pickings for Puel's rampant Leicester side, and given the shambolic nature of Palace's defensive work for the majority of the season, they may be just that come Saturday. 

Leicester 3-1 Crystal Palace

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