Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
Football has been very much of secondary importance throughout the last week in Leicester. The tragic death of club owner Vichai Srivaddhanapraba in a helicopter crash as he left the stadium after last weekend’s 1-1 draw with West Ham has left the club, and indeed the city, grief-stricken. How the players – and particularly Kasper Schmeichel, who was one of the first people on the scene of the accident – will deal with the tragedy remains to be seen.
In light of last weekend’s events, this game will be a tough one for both sides. Leicester will want to do Khun Vichai, a man who developed a strong affinity with his adopted city, proud. Cardiff, who are in the deeply unenviable position of being the team that needs to stop them, have not been in the best of form recently. Given the non-footballing circumstances around this encounter, it’s a tough game to speculate on.
Cardiff City vs Leicester Prediction: Cardiff City 1-2 Leicester
Leicester come into this game on the back of a three-game run in which they have taken just one point – that coming in the recent, tragedy-stricken meeting with West Ham. During that spell, Cardiff themselves have found some form and some goals, knocking four past Fulham to eke out their first and only win of the season. However, Fulham are terrible and most teams will beat them. Leicester, particularly with a resolve to pay tribute in style, will be a different consideration, and we’d fancy them to win narrowly – though probably without managing to keep a clean sheet given recent defensive tribulations.
Our recommended tip: Leicester to win
As already noted, no-one would envy Cardiff the role they have this weekend. They need points, their current position placing them on the brink of relegation, but manager Neil Warnock has himself said that the game feels almost irrelevant with what has happened in the past week. No-one knows how the Foxes will be affected once they take the field, but considering the strong bond between owner, players and fans it seems reasonable to expect that each player will find an extra few percent of performance – and that should be enough to get them the three points here.
The last time these sides were in the same division was in 2012/13, when Cardiff won the Championship and were promoted. They would then be immediately relegated, while Leicester won the 2013/14 title and have remained in the top division ever since.
The sides met twice that season, with the game in Cardiff ending 1-1. Michael Keane headed home for Leicester on 72 minutes, before a late, injury-time equaliser from Rudy Gestede. At the King Power, the visitors won 1-0 through a Craig Bellamy goal. While the Cardiff City side that played those games are all elsewhere now, names such as Schmeichel, Vardy and Morgan were part of the Leicester squad then, and will be today.
Top 3 Premier League Bookies
Players to watch: Callum Paterson & James Maddison
Paterson, with two goals, is Cardiff’s joint-top scorer this season, and has notched twice in his last two games. This run of scoring form has coincided with the former Hearts man being selected up front, ahead of other strikers at the club. The single fly in that particular ointment is that Paterson is a right-back by trade and has been deployed mostly in central midfield by Warnock. That he’s performed better in an advanced attacking role than actual strikers is a credit to him, but not to them.
Maddison may not have been through the highs and lows of the last eight years, since Leicester City were bought by the Srivaddhanapraba family, but one thing he certainly shared with Vichai is that both innately and immediately “got” Leicester City. The former Norwich man has been the standout player for the Foxes this season, and would be a good bet to bring out a superb performance here, in a match which has come to mean more than anyone would have imagined.