City 1 Valencia 1
Report by Kate Thompson
City played Valencia in their only home fixture of pre-season. Valencia finished third in La Liga last season, after the two Madrid clubs, so this would be a good test of City’s credentials.
The first point of interest to the watching fans was the omission of several players, including Andy King, Danny Simpson, Islam Slimani, Demerai Gray, Leonardo Ullo and Bartosz Kapustka. Puel later said that Gray had a slight injury and it transpired that King and Simpson had played for the under-23s earlier that day.
Since the game, it has been confirmed that Musa has been transferred to a club in Saudi Arabia, a sad end to what looked like an excellent signing. With Evans injured and Maguire not back from England duty, the centre back pairing was Morgan and Benalouane; hardly the safest pair of hands but Puel had little choice.
Leicester opened the scoring in the 11th minute, Iheanacho picking up a loose ball after Maddison appeared to be fouled in the box and drilling it into the net. City were not in front for long as some poor defending led to the equaliser in the 18th minute from the Valencia captain Parejo. It was an entertaining game but I am not sure how relevant it was to the upcoming Premier League season, as Leicester will face sterner tests – starting at Manchester United in a week’s time.
As expected, there were a number of changes in the second half and somewhat surprisingly Puel brought on several under-23 players, none of whom disgraced themselves. Apart from Schmeichel in goal, the player who stayed on the longest was Diabete and for me he was not up to the standard required – perhaps Puel needed him to get more game time.
In the second half, Darnell Johnson – who I made man of the match against Notts County – replaced Benalouane and made a good case for partnering Morgan next Friday. Amartey replaced Pereira at right back, Silva came on for Ndidi and Callum Elder for Iheanacho.
There were further changes in the 63rd minute: Fuchs for Chilwell, Choudhury for Iborra, Ndukwu for Albrighton, Knight for Morgan and Gordon for Maddison. The final substitution was in the 75th minute when Thomas came on for Diabete. Thomas has since gone on loan to Scunthorpe.
As ever with pre-season games, it was difficult to draw any conclusions. The link-up play between Maddison and Iheanacho looked good and it would appear that they will start against Manchester United in the absence of Vardy.
Pereira looked like a good buy and is almost certain to replace Simpson, and Ndidi was his usual busy self. I remain unconvinced by Ben Chilwell and hope that Gray is fit to start instead of Diabete; I have been a critic of him but he has looked good so far, perhaps coming out of Mahrez’s shadow?
Two other talking points were that Maddison wore no 9 and Johnson no 15 but I’m sure we can read nothing into this!
The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation