Crystal Palace-Leicester City Preview
Despite a surge in coronavirus cases within the city of Leicester, the Foxes still appear poised to go ahead with their next match as scheduled.
Leicester will try a fourth time, within the league, to earn their first victory out of the coronavirus lockdown on Saturday against visiting Crystal Palace.
With the city of Leicester recently placed on lockdown due to increased coronavirus cases, the status of this contest was reported to be in jeopardy earlier in the week. However, the club, the Premier League and the local Safety Advisory Group decided it was safe to go ahead with this match as planned.
"All parties remain entirely that, through the continued implementation of our Covid-19 operations plan, the club's football operations can continue to safely function under existing protocols and, in doing so, there will be no greater risk posed to Club personnel, visiting teams or our surrounding communities," as noted in a statement from the Leicester City club.
At the moment, Leicester (16-7-9) sit third in the league table on 55 points. However, Chelsea are a point back, with fifth-place Manchester United and sixth-place Wolverhampton each three behind.
Leicester rolled past Aston Villa 4-0 in the final match before the lockdown. Upon return, though, they are 0-2-1 in the league. That defeat came in their most recent contest, 2-1 at Everton on Wednesday. The Foxes were down 2-0 within the first 16 minutes, and only managed a Kelechi Iheanacho goal early in the second half.
"We need to do more, it's not good enough for us," Iheanacho, who has nine goals over all competitions, told Leicester's official website. "We just need to get back and work on training ... We need to do more and get back to winning ways. In the next game, we need to fight and get the three points."
Leicester, who also fell 1-0 to Chelsea in FA Cup play last weekend, do have an opportunity to do the double over Crystal Palace this season. In the reverse fixture on Nov. 3, the Foxes got a 57th-minute goal from Caglar Soyuncu and a late Jamie Vardy insurance strike to win 2-0 at Selhurst Park.
Palace (11-9-12), 12th in the table, were one of the hottest clubs in the Premier League with a four-game winning streak that began before the lockdown and continued with a 2-0 victory over Bournemouth out of the down-time.
However, the Eagles have been outscored 5-0 in losses at Liverpool and Burnley in the two league matches that have followed. On Monday, Palace conceded Ben Mee's goal in the 62nd minute of a 1-0 loss to Burnley.
"We have to do our jobs," defender Patrick van Aanholt told Crystal Palace's official website. "No excuses, we are still on the field and we have to do our jobs. (Against Burnley), it was not our day and we have to move on to Leicester."
Crystal Palace have twice already this season lost three consecutive contests within the Premier League. However, they have never been blanked in three straight top-flight games this season.
Updated July 2, 2020