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Leicester City v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship

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Fan Focus: Leicester fan Chris is backing Enzo Maresca’s side to score three past Sunderland!

Ahead of Sunderland’s trip away to face the league leaders, Matty spoke to Leicester fan Chris of the Leicester Till I Die Podcast, to discuss their brilliant start under Enzo Maresca. Which players should we be wary of?

Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images

Leicester have started the season wonderfully under Pep Guardiola’s disciple, Enzo Maresca, what changes has he made which has brought so much success?

Apart from a virtually new squad, it’s the simple things like playing players in their preferred positions and not throwing them under the bus.

Although his style of play is similar to Brendan Rodgers, as in playing out from the back, you can now see a purpose and an end product.

With Southampton and Leeds currently sat well behind the Foxes, what do you think the club did so well in the summer that has led to what seems like a certain return straight back to the Premier League?

The new manager is top of the list, but he has also been backed.

Everything the owners did wrong last season they are doing right this time. They got rid of average players on very high wages, sold our sellable players early, and did our buying early in the transfer window.

Leicester City v Stoke City - Sky Bet Championship
Jamie Vardy has been in fantastic form since Leicester’s relegation to the Championship.
Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images

It is noticeable that a large amount of seasoned Premier League players stayed at the club, such as Wilfried N’Didi, Ricardo Pereira, Kelechi Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy - do you think this was the crucial factor in ensuring the club made such a fast start?

I wouldn’t say that was a ‘large amount’ it's less than half of the number of the same players we got rid of.

But yes of course it helps, especially with bringing the young players through.

One player Sunderland fans absolutely adored during his time with us is Leicester loanee Callum Doyle, how has he performed so far this season and where has he played?

We play with a back four which transitions into a back three when attacking. Being a left-footed player, something we don’t have a lot of.

Doyle has been playing on the left of the back three and Enzo seems to prefer him in this position.

I think average, as he came with such a high profile following his recent loans. Most fans have been impressed, but he is currently out injured until the New Year.

Sunderland v Wycombe Wanderers - Sky Bet League One - Play Off - Final - Wembley Stadium
Callum Doyle made 44 appearances for Sunderland during our promotion campaign under Alex Neil, scoring once.
Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images

One thing I found interesting is the current goalkeeping picture, ex-Sunderland target Dan Iversen and old first-choice Danny Ward appear out of the running, with new signing Mads Hermansen the new number one - is that entirely a play-style decision?

Danny Ward deserved his chance between the sticks when we sold Kasper Schmeichel. But the team and especially the defence, were poor so he didn’t stand a chance to do well.

Iversen did well when replacing him, but in my opinion, Hermansen is a class above both and is much the better ‘sweeper keeper’ that managers seem to prefer these days.

I expect both to leave the club.

Leicester signed an array of players in the summer, including Harry Winks. Conor Coady and reported Sunderland target Tom Cannon - who has impressed you the most so far?

Tom Cannon has been injured and has only just started light training.

Coady was injured but has found his way back into the first team hampered by Vestergaard's form.

Winks is like a Duracell Bunny. Too good for this division, our signing of the summer.

Leicester City v Stoke City - Sky Bet Championship
Leicester’s top scorer so far this season has come from midfield in Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall.
Photo by Stephen White - CameraSport via Getty Images

Aside from the above-mentioned players, who do you think is most likely to cause Sunderland problems during the match?

The whole team?

Sorry if that appears big-headed but we are playing so well as a unit, and in my opinion the squad, well the 5 subs we are allowed, is rotated after 60 minutes of every game, so it's hard to predict the starting lineup.

Watch out for our wingers is all I will add.

Leicester are likely to dominate possession with Sunderland looking to hit on the break, do you think your side is vulnerable on the counter with the lack of pace that Wout Faes and Jannik Vestergaard possess?

Seven goals conceded all season so far, a league-low. That's how 95% of the teams that have come to the King Power play against us and we have only lost 0-1 to Hull City.

Leicester City v Sunderland
Sunderland’s last victory at the King Power stadium came back in 2007, with Tobias Hysen and David Connolly scoring.
Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Maresca has been known to change his side regularly, which eleven players do you think will start?

4-3-3, Hermansen (GK), Ricardo, Faes, Vestergaard, Justin, Dewsbury-Hall, Ndidi, Winks, Mavadidi, Iheanacho, Fatawau.

Sunderland’s last victory at the King Power stadium came back in 2007 - what is your prediction for the final score?

I actually have you down to finish in the playoffs (so don’t let me down).

Swansea then Sunderland I thought would be our hardest games with you both top five in the form table.

But we beat Swansea, you lost at the weekend, so I’m going 3-1 to Leicester.


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