Tuesday June 23rd – 6pm on Sky
In our match preview Colin Hall believes the Seagulls could set stiff test for Foxes
Brighton will arrive in Leicester in buoyant mood after snatching a last-gasp victory over Arsenal on Saturday.
Neal Maupay’s strike, with virtually the final kick of the game, gave Albion their first Premier League win of the calendar year, and lifted them into 15th place, five points clear of the drop zone.
Although this margin is far from secure, the indifferent form of several of the sides below them suggests they may struggle to close the gap during the eight remaining rounds of the campaign.
In addition, Graham Potter’s side showed considerable resilience during the weeks prior to the season’s pause, claiming away points at high-fliers Wolves and Sheffield United.
Although not among the more frequent visitors to Leicester during their 119-year history, the Seagulls have proved to be banana-skin opponents on numerous occasions.
As well as being the only side to have beaten City in each of the top three tiers of league football, Brighton also twice caused upsets at Filbert Street as a third-tier outfit, winning 2-1 in an FA Cup 3rd round tie in 1930-31, and 2-0 in a League Cup 2nd round 2nd leg clash in 1994-95.
Their most recent victory in Leicester came in April 2014, on an evening where the effects of the previous weekend’s promotion celebrations were still very much in evidence among the hosts.
Nevertheless, once Albion’s own promotion dreams ended in the playoffs that season, City were quick to swoop for two of the key players involved in handing them a 4-1 hiding.
Although defender Matthew Upson made only a limited impact during his injury-ravaged spell at the King Power Stadium, the same could not be said of fellow signing Leonardo Ulloa.
The Argentine striker finished as top scorer during the 2014-15 “Great Escape” but is even more fondly remembered by the Blue Army for his contributions as a member of the squad that clinched the Premier League crown the following year.
Since Brighton’s promotion to the top flight in 2017, they have tended to struggle on their travels.
Indeed, they endured a baptism of fire during their first away game at Premier League level, when Shinji Okazaki found their net within the first minute to put City ahead. Home debutant Harry Maguire (wonder what became of him?) completed the scoring in a 2-0 victory.
In the four subsequent clashes, Jamie Vardy has proved to be a particular thorn in the Seagulls’ side, netting in each game, including the 2-0 victory in Sussex last November.
Although he did not enjoy the best of games at Watford – against a manager with whom he is especially familiar – in his return to league action, the City frontman will eagerly await another opportunity to reach the much-coveted milestone of 100 Premier League goals.
Vardy’s role will be especially significant during the coming weeks as his team chase success on two fronts.
While the visiting defence may prove more challenging to him here than on previous occasions, this is a game where City must make extra quality and depth tell.
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