Preview: A sad and difficult day for Leicester who visit Cardiff for first game since tragic death of their owner


Football will seem to matter very little on a day where Leicester play their first game since the tragic helicopter clash that killed their owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others. The helicopter carrying Leicester’s Thai owner crashed in the King Power Stadium car park killing all five people on board.

The Filberts’ match on Tuesday against Southampton in the League Cup was canceled but this Saturday the side, apparently at the request of the players, take the field against Cardiff City in Wales.

Forward Jaime Vardy told Sky Sports:

“We need to make sure we go out there and honour his name and put in a performance that will hopefully get the win.

“We all spoke about wanting to play. It’s what Vichai would have wanted and that’s what we are going to do.

“It’s going to be tough and very emotional and what the lads wanted to do was play this game and honour the man himself.”

Manager Claude Puel said on Thursday that he would give the players the opportunity to travel to Thailand for the funeral, which is due to begin on Saturday, and Vardy is keen to be there.

“It’s been the hardest week of everyone’s lives. It’ll be massively important we attend, we are a close-knit group and one big family and one of the main reasons for that is Vichai so it’s massively important.”

As much as the occasion will be tough for the visiting players and fans, there is an onus of course on the Cardiff players to put the circumstances out of their own minds and try and secure a vital three points.

The Bluebirds share that third bottom slot with Fulham and only lead the West London side on goal difference. Five points from ten games is relegation form and Neil Warnock’s side have just one league win, against Fulham themselves. With Newcastle at home to Watford and Huddersfield hosting Fulham on Monday, there is every chance that the two sides below Cardiff will pick up points this weekend and send them into the bottom three.

Leicester’s Jamaican Captain Wes Morgan is available after completing a suspension but Daniel Amartey is out for four months following ankle surgery.

Cardiff midfielder Joe Ralls serves the final game of a three-match ban but Republic of Ireland international Harry Arter, who is one booking away from suspension, may return to the starting line-up.

The home side are the worst passers in the Premier League with a passing accuracy of 63%. As turnovers are more often punished the higher up you go, this is something Warnock will have to fix, especially once Fulham get Captain Tom Cairney back to full fitness and their rate of turnover falls.

Leicester have won six of their last eight Premier League games against newly-promoted sides and were the circumstances surrounding this match not so unusual would probably start favourites.

The clubs have not met in the top-flight for 56 years. When they did, Leicester dominated winning the last three encounters with a goal difference of 10-0.

It is very hard to predict how any one of 22 players will react to the shadow looming over the game, never mind a team. I would predict a 2-1 win for Leicester under normal circumstances.

Sadly the day will be anything but normal.


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