Leicester City had a good 2020-21 season in the English Premier League and finished fifth in the league table. They started the current season with a 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the first round, but have since struggled to find consistency. That game remains their only clean sheet this season, and their defense has been a concern for the manager.
Caglar Soyuncu and Jonny Evans’ partnership in defense has been preferred by the manager. He is without Wesley Fofana, who remains out for an indefinite period. The Foxes signed Southampton defender Jannik Vestergaard to improve their defense, but he has only made four starts this season.
The above viz shows the expected goal against (xGA) stats of all the teams in the Premier League till gameweek 13. Leicester City have conceded 25 goals in 14 games, and their xGA rate is the third highest in the league. They average 1.724 xGA per 90 this season. Last season, Leicester City conceded 50 goals with an xGA rate of 48.64. The average xGA per 90 was down to 1.19, and this shows that the team defended well. Leicester City have conceded more than one goal in ten different matches.
The above viz shows the successful defensive duels contested by the Foxes last season. Brendan Rodgers’ men contested 2,627 defensive duels and averaged 64.42 duels per 90. They managed to win 1,644 defensive duels with a win rate of 62.5%. Leicester City were ranked in the top three for the most number of aerial duels won. This season the total number of defensive duels contested is 903 and the average is almost the same. They have managed to win 552 duels this season, with a 61% win rate.
The form of midfielders, especially defensive midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, has seen a dip. Last season, he gave good performances consistently, helping his side keep a good defensive record.
When looking at the above chart, the general rule is that the longer the bar, the better the performance – you can see the league average in the middle, and the % is the percentile rank the player is in. The images are set according to the season, and the first image shows the defending dashboard of the last season.
In the 2020/21 season, Wilfred Ndidi was ranked top amongst the other midfielders in the league. He averaged more defensive actions last season and had a high win percentage. The number of duels contested by him is almost similar in both seasons, but his interceptions and recovery rate have fallen. This season he has made more recoveries in the opposition’s half, meaning that the player is playing a high defensive line.
Leicester City’s poor defense has cost them a lot of points. The manager has very few defensive options in his team due to injuries to some of the players. He is without Wesley Fofana, James Justin and Ricardo Pareira in defense. All these players would have been regular starters for Brendan Rodgers. They will look to keep more clean sheets to improve their defensive record and rise in the premier league table.