Leicester City vs. Burnley
Venue: King Power Stadium
Kick off: 7PM
Burnley get their 2020-21 Premier League campaign off to a belated start when they face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium this evening.
The Foxes opened their season up with a comfortable victory at West Bromwich Albion, whereas Burnley have been forced to wait to get underway after their opening-day showdown with Manchester United was postponed.
Leicester fans would have had reason to be cautious heading into their opening-day clash at West Brom following such a poor end to the 2019-20 season, which ultimately cost them a Champions League spot.
However, the Foxes got straight back to winning ways and, while they were forced to wait for the breakthrough, they eventually ran out comfortable winners courtesy of a header from debutant Timothy Castagne and two penalties from Jamie Vardy.
Leicester have not won back-to-back Premier League games since New Year’s Day and will see this first home match of the campaign as a good chance to do that and take a big step towards proving that the second half of last season is now behind them.
History appears to be in their favour: they have only lost their opening home outing of a top-flight campaign once in the last 13 seasons, and that came 19 years ago.
However, they have also only won their opening two games of a Premier League season twice before – most recently in their title-winning campaign – so Brendan Rodgers will know the significance of doing so this time around.
Victory would set them up nicely for a difficult week ahead which sees them face Arsenal in the EFL Cup and then Manchester City away in the Premier League, the first major test of whether they can threaten the Champions League places again this season.
Burnley will also be hopeful of a repeat of last term as they prepare to get their campaign underway, although the relationship between manager Sean Dyche and chairman Mike Garlick is unlikely to have improved over another quiet summer which has seen the already-small squad further depleted.
Dyche appears capable of getting results from this set of players regardless, though, amid uncertainty over his future.
Burnley lost just two of their last 16 games in 2019-20 to secure a top-half finish.
Indeed, Manchester City is the only home team to beat a visiting Burnley in the league since Chelsea did so on January 11.
The Clarets finished the season with 15 league wins – their best tally in the top flight for 45 years – and 15 clean sheets – their best total in 66 years – so they will represent a stiff challenge for Leicester even if they are marginally behind them in terms of match fitness.
Dyche’s side have developed a welcome habit of starting well too, winning two and losing none of their last three opening fixtures, and if they can continue that run at the King Power then it would be an early indication that perhaps they are capable of another top-half finish.
Burnley were in EFL Cup action on Thursday night as they progressed past Sheffield United via a penalty shootout, but their only outing other than that since the final day of last season was a goalless friendly draw with Preston North End at the beginning of the month.
Incidentally, a home victory would give Brendan Rodgers his 100th Premier League win in his 210th game as a manager – Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Kenny Dalglish and Kevin Keegan are the only British managers to have reached the milestone quicker.
Leicester City possible XI: Schmeichel, Castagne, Morgan, Soyuncu, Justin, Ayoze, Tielemans, Ndidi, Maddison, Barnes, Vardy.
Burnley possible XI: Pope, Bardsley, Tarkowski, Long, Taylor, Brady, Brownhill, Westwood, McNeil, Wood, Rodriguez.