Leicester City pulled off an early season shock with a 5-2 win over Pep Guardiola's Manchester City team at the Etihad Stadium in gameweek two but were one-upped by their guests in the final league game before the international break as Aston Villa stunned the reigning champions Liverpool and hit the Reds for seven, yes seven goals, in a 7-2 win at Villa Park. Brendan Rodgers led his Leicester City team to a 5th place finish last season and they have Europa League football to look forward to next week but for now they will be looking to build on their nine point tally and overtake their opponents who sit ahead of them in second on goal difference having played one game less.
Leicester's sensational win over City was quickly dampened by a 3-0 home defeat to West Ham as they signed off for international duty and it was their fourth loss in seven home matches since football returned in June. Prior to lockdown Leciester hammered Villa 4-0 at the King Power but their form has worsened and it ultimately cost them a Champions League place last term. Nonetheless, it's always hard to write off a Brendan Rodger's coached side as they will always be well drilled and well organised. The Foxes have lost just 6 of their 25 home league games under the Northern Irish manager and lost just four of 19 in Rodger's first full season in charge last season. The hosts haven't lost at home to Villa since a 3-2 League Cup defeat in 2006 and are without defeat in the Premier League since 2004 versus the Villians at the King Power Stadium. Surprisingly, the defensively sound Leicester City team have kept just four clean sheets in 13 league matches and will do well to keep out Villa who have scored in seven straight PL games and netted 11 times in their first three matches this term.
Villa have enjoyed an incredible start to this campaign after surviving by the skin of their teeth in July. A Jack Grealish goal against West Ham on the final day of the season meant Dean Smith's side stayed up by a single-point margin and after a strong transfer window it's no wonder they have improved. The Midlands' club bought in every area of the pitch that needed strengthening including in goal, at right-back and up front. The late addition of Ross Barkley on loan could prove pivotal as the Everton lad starred on his debut against Liverpool but despite the improvements no one could have imagined a 7-2 thrashing of the champions. The visitors have won all three games so far and have already accumulated more points than they did after eight games last year. Away from home they won just two of their 19 league games in 19/20 whilst losing 12 but they did win their opening game on the road at Craven Cottage back in September.
Last season you could not have predicted anything but a Leicester win in this fixture but how the world has been turned on its head and the beautiful game with it. We have seen so many goals so far this season and I feel a huge contributing factor is the absence of fans at stadiums. Many teams are tending to express themselves more freely as examplified by Leicester at the Etiahd and I think we could see Villa going for this game as well. I'm expecting both teams to score in this one.