Clarets to go Fox hunting on New Year's Day

Last updated : 31 December 2004 By Tony Scholes
David Connolly
Down from the Premiership at the end of last season but worse than that they let one of the top coaches in the country leave and join Burnley as manager.

By the time we got to Leicester back in September they were settling in just above half way in the table but as pre-season favourites had been expected to be up at the top right from the off.

They were having disciplinary problems with players being sent off every other match and a month later as things failed to improve manager Micky Adams decided to call it a day.

Director of Football Dave Bassett took over and brought in Howard Wilkinson to assist him and they didn’t lose a single match. They didn’t win one either with four draws out of four before Hearts manager Craig Levein was appointed.

He soon made changes and Bassett was the first to go along with other members of the coaching staff although changing the playing squad hasn’t been quite so simple.

A bad error in the 1-0 home defeat against Sunderland was one too many for goalkeeper Kevin Pressman and Levein went straight out and brought in Arsenal’s Stuart Taylor on loan and he has played in the last seven games.

It hasn’t been an easy start for Levein and Leicester have failed to win any of their last four games, the last victory coming against Leeds at Elland Road early in December. They even lost at home to Rotherham on Boxing Day.

A second Christmas defeat at Sheffield United was marred with a red card for former Blackburn winger Keith Gillespie and he will now miss the Turf Moor fixture through suspension.

Leicester are currently 15th in the table with 32 points and that is a long way from what was expected last August. A quick return to the Premiership now looks a very unlikely prospect.

Click HERE to see all Leicester’s results this season.

It’s high time Leicester lost a game at Burnley, they have won on each of their last four visits and haven’t been beaten since Keith Newton gave us a 1-0 win in the 1975/76 season.

Craig Levein is expected to make changes from the side that lost at Bramall Lane and he has already hinted that there will be a return for Martin Keown who was left out with the manager saying that it is now impossible for him to play twice in three days. Former Newcastle defender Nikos Dabizas is also likely to return to the side.

As well as Gillespie there are two other players now ruled out in Nathan Blake and Trevor Benjamin. They have both left the club today on loan with Blake going to Leeds and Benjamin dropping down into League Two to play with Northampton. Both of them had been in the squad on Boxing Day but both were left out two days later.

Danny Tiatto is also ruled out along with long term injury victim Ian Walker and Levein will select from:

Stuart Taylor, Matt Heath, Chris Makin, Jordan Stewart, Dion Dublin, Lilian Nalis, Gareth Williams, Scott Gemmill, Joey Gudjonsson, James Scowcroft, David Connolly, Lee Morris, Tommy Wright, Stephen Dawson, Nikos Dabizas, Martin Keown.

Blake’s gone from Leicester but right now Burnley’s Blake is still with us although it is looking very unlikely that manager Steve Cotterill would put him back into the starting line up.

Steve does have a problem though and that is whether to recall Frank Sinclair who completed his two match ban last Tuesday when we beat Wigan.

With Gary Cahill, now with us until the end of the season, and John McGreal in such form it is a difficult choice and Frank will most likely have to go on the bench against his former club.

If that’s the case then it is likely that we will start with the side that beat Wigan and that would mean lining up:

Brian Jensen, Michael Duff, Gary Cahill, John McGreal, Mo Camara, Lee Roche, Micah Hyde, Tony Grant, James O’Connor, Graham Branch, Ian Moore. Subs from: Paul Scott, Frank Sinclair, Joel Pilkington, Amadou Sanokho, Richard Chaplow, Matt O’Neill, Robbie Blake.

Leicester’s last visit to the Turf was in March 2003, just nine days after our FA Cup exit at Watford. It followed two awful performances at Sheffield United and Walsall but despite losing 2-1 it was an unfair result from a much improved performance.

It looked as though we were going to have to settle for a point in a goalless draw but then we fell behind to a Paul Dickov goal eleven minutes from time before Trevor Benjamin added a second.

It was only consolation but Leicester substitute Frank Sinclair put through his own goal in stoppage time.

Burnley: Marlon Beresford, Dean West, Steve Davis, Driss Diallo, Arthur Gnohere (Dimitri Papadopoulos 82), Glen Little, Paul Weller, Paul Cook (Alan Moore 57), Lee Briscoe (Tony Grant 45), Robbie Blake, Ian Moore. Subs not used: Nik Michopoulos, Mark McGregor.

Leicester: Ian Walker, Andy Impey (Frank Sinclair 78), Gerry Taggart, Matt Elliott, Callum Davidson, James Scrowcroft, Billy McKinlay (Trevor Benjamin 74), Muzzy Izzet, Jordan Stewart, Paul Dickov, Brian Deane (Nicky Summerbee 22). Subs not used: Paul Murphy, Jonathan Stephenson.

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Click HERE to see all our results against Leicester since we were beaten by Leicester Fosse in 1897.