The first leg began with Wes Morgan conceding an early penalty, but luckily for the Foxes, Kasper Schmeichel had it covered. That would be the theme of the rest of the evening - Huth and Morgan struggling to keep up with Sevilla and Schmeichel keeping Leicester in the game. Sevilla eventually went up 2-0, but Jamie Vardy snagged a crucial away goal that keeps the Foxes very much in this tie as they host Sevilla.
While Leicester are enjoying a small “new manager bounce” after Claudio Ranieri was dismissed, Huth and Morgan at the back are a liability that needs to be accounted for. Their two 3-1 wins under new boss Craig Shakespeare however, could provide a template for making it into the quarter-finals. In their win over Liverpool, Leicester reverted to the 2015-16 game plan that gave them so much success - concede possession, keep teams in front of you (especially important with a slow back line), and strike on the counter.
Leicester have won all three UCL matches they’ve played at home, and a 1-0 win would see them through. At a time when Sevilla are struggling for goals (scoring three in their last three), we should be treated to a nail-biter.
Last year’s improbable season gives Leicester a chance to prove themselves at the highest possible level (sorry, World Cup). While it would be foolish to discount their chances, competing in the Champions League in addition to defending their Premier League title and playing in two domestic cups is a tall order for any club - let alone one that was built a year ago for one purpose: avoiding relegation. The Foxes managed to hold onto the talent they need to get out of the group stage, the question is whether they have to squad depth to compete on multiple fronts.
For Sevilla, the Champions League has been merely a warm-up for the Europa League trophy they’ve come to own for three years straight (as well as in both 2006 and 2007). Their five Europa League trophies in 11 years have given them more silverware in Europe than Manchester City, Chelsea or Arsenal. Things aren’t as optimistic as you’d expect, however, after director of football Monchi, the most influential figure in the club’s recent success, was denied a request to quit after suffering from considerable burnout. In addition, they lost their highest scoring player last year, Kevin Gameiro (among four other high profile losses) but Monchi has brought in plenty of reinforcements, including Ben Yedder, who scored 17 in 35 for Toulouse last season. They’ll also begin the season with former Chile manager Jorge Sampaoli taking the helm. With Juve the only big contender in their group, a trip to the Round of 16 is within reach.
Vardy scored in 11 consecutive matches last season, a Premier League record.
The Dane kept 15 clean sheets in the EPL last season.