LEICESTER VS WEST BROM - MATCH PREVIEW
With the dust settled on any plans to form a European Super League, the focus once again returns to matters on the field and with a top four race still to be run in England, a dramatic end to the season lies in wait.
One of those teams that is hoping to return to the Champions League next season is Leicester and after securing a place in next month’s F.A. Cup Semi-final, the Foxes now need to make sure their other domestic matters get back on track.
That’s because the King Power Stadium outfit have lost their last two league outings and although they go into this upcoming Premier League fixture lying third in the table, there is a sense that momentum is stalling.
Which is why the visit of West Brom on Thursday is an incredibly important one and with the Baggies still harbouring hopes of staying in the division, they are certainly not ready to roll over anytime soon.
Sam Allardyce’s men have won their last two league contests and although they are nine points from safety at present, they do possess a game in hand over Burnley and if they can win in the East Midlands, belief within the camp will only grow further.
Whether that belief is misplaced or not remains to be seen and although time is certainly running out in terms of the great escape, Allardyce and his players will not give up until mathematics goes against them.
While for a side that has struggled to score goals all season, the one-time England manager will be wondering where such recent attacking exploits have been hiding and after scoring eight across those league wins, West Brom are finding more confidence in the final third.
Staying on the topic of confidence, it is an attribute that has been lacking within the Leicester camp as of late and manager Brendan Rodgers, will hope Sunday's victory over Southampton can now act as a vital catalyst.
League losses to both Manchester City and West Ham have asked more questions of the manager rather than the players and one wonders, whether it is Brendan Rodgers who lacks bottle when it really matters?
For a man who fluffed his Premier League winning lines at Anfield seven years ago and oversaw Leicester’s collapse during “Project Restart” last summer, the last thing the Ulsterman needs is a third round of failure.
Something that could be avoided, if Leicester can rediscover their early season swagger and with results over the past few days going their way, this is the perfect opportunity for the 2016 champions to capitalise.
With West Ham losing at the weekend and both Liverpool and Chelsea drawing at the start of the week, Leicester could put some welcome breathing space between themselves and the trio above. Which means, it may be a case of win or bust for both sides, albeit it for far differing reasons.