Wolverhampton-Leicester City Preview
Leicester City must control their emotions to win their fight for Premier League survival, says Dean Smith, starting with Saturday's home clash with Wolves.
Leicester were beaten 3-1 at Manchester City in Smith's first game at the helm last week, a result which leaves the 19th-placed Foxes two points adrift of safety.
With the club's Premier League future potentially hinging on a huge trio of games against Wolves, Leeds United and Everton, Smith knows Leicester must keep their heads.
"They will have managed occasions before, but probably not at this end of the league table. I have no doubts that they can manage it," Smith said of his players. "We've spoken about that, about emotional control and sticking to the game plan. Players will make mistakes, so be a good team-mate. We'll all work hard together. When we haven't got the ball, we all have to shift together and work together.
"Wolves are a very improved team. They've just had some really good results, beating Chelsea and Brentford. They look really well organised."
While Leicester are staring at relegation, Wolves have dragged themselves seven points clear of the bottom three with back-to-back home wins against Chelsea and Brentford.
Wolves are looking to win three successive Premier League games for the first time since last January when they visit the King Power Stadium, while they could also win three consecutive league matches to nil for the first time since June 2020.
While boss Julen Lopetegui has inspired huge improvements since arriving at Molineux, he maintains there is still work to be done.
"We are not safe yet and we have to work very hard to achieve a lot of points," Lopetegui said. "There's no space to relax. We are fighting. You only achieve your aims when you achieve them, not before, it's very clear for me."
Leicester City – Jamie Vardy
Vardy has scored three goals in his last four Premier League games against Wolves, with Leicester winning all three of the matches in which he has found the net. His only league goal so far this season came in the Foxes' 4-0 win in the reverse fixture at Molineux, and Smith needs the striker to step up in this pivotal encounter.
Wolves – Diego Costa
Costa scored his first Premier League goal for Wolves in their 2-0 win against Brentford last time out. He last scored in consecutive top-flight matches in February 2018 (for Atletico Madrid), and last did so in the Premier League when representing Chelsea back in March 2017.
- Wolves have never scored in five Premier League away games against Leicester – only Birmingham City have visited a side more without ever finding the net in the competition, doing so on seven trips to Manchester United.
- While Wolves have won just one of their last 25 league games at Leicester (D9 L15), the Foxes have lost eight of their last nine Premier League matches (D1), and 12 of their last 16 (W2 D2).
- Despite their good record at home to Wolves, Leicester are looking to clinch their first top-flight double over the West Midlands side since 1980-81. Their Premier League status could depend on them doing so.
Leicester City 47.5 per cent
Wolves 24.5 per cent
Draw 28.0 per cent
Updated April 21, 2023