No match over the weekend, Leicester left for Dubai for three days to rest. The initiative by Craig Shakespeare, the interim coach who will finish the season of the Foxes, recalls that of Joe Fagan when he concentrated Liverpool in Israel before the final of the European Cup in 1984. Among beers, the reds cleared their minds, played even a friendly with hangover and became the first team to win the competition at the stadium of the host team, Roma. Now, Leicester is a dangerous rival.
Sevilla comes to the Midlands to defend the 2-1 of the first leg in a game stage very different from that of the February 22 match. Ranieri, having been dismissed as the Roman General, the blue gladiators have started to run like wolves for Shakespeare. His victory against Liverpool was proof that there remain traces of the Premier League team in Vardy’s explosive runs, Mahrez’s dribbles and the droplets of brilliance offered by Musa and Albrighton. However, as much as it has changed, it does not appear that Leicester will contest ball possession to Sevilla. In the Sánchez Pizjuán they had 32% of the ball, just to sting with that goal of Vardy that gives them next round hope.
Everything points to a Leicester that is going to push and a warm atmosphere in the King Power Stadium with a sold out of32,312 spectators, but Sevilla is used to that, what they need are legs and football. Sampaoli was sincere and accurate in the analysis after the match against Leganés. “We lost flight.” Today, we will see if also if there’s some tactical novelty to surprise us, he will have all his pieces: hierarchy in defense with Mercado, Pareja, Rami, deployment in the wings with Mariano and Escudero, temper with Nasri and Vitolo and hunger and instinct with Jovetic. It’s a night of superstars. A good night to measure where is the ceiling of this Sevilla team, which since 1958 has not reached the quarterfinals. It’s a good night to cross the Rubicon in Leicester.