- Marc Albrighton says Leicester City are full of confidence after a productive run of form in domestic and European competition
- The Foxes head to Aston Villa on Sunday in the Premier League (2:05pm GMT kick-off)
- Albrighton knows City will be encouraged by their 3-1 triumph over Liverpool in their latest Premier League match
The Foxes have tasted defeat just once in their previous 15 outings across all competitions, and beat champions Liverpool 3-1 in the Premier League last weekend before a hard-fought goalless draw with Slavia Prague in the UEFA Europa League followed on Thursday.
Albrighton, involved in both matches, explained why City’s characterful performances, not least the success against Jürgen Klopp’s men have further elevated their spirit ahead of tackling his former outfit at Villa Park in England’s top flight.
Albrighton told LCFC TV: “Morale is high. When you get a win like that, it’s very positive for the camp. We’ve had some great results this season so far against the so called ‘big sides’. We’re full of confidence when we go into those games.
“It’s those games that people always say where you need to beat the teams around you and we’ve been doing that all season.
“For us, to be able to compete against these sides and to beat them, is massive for our confidence, and for us being able to believe that we’re just as good on them on our day.”
Goals: Leicester City 3 Liverpool 1
Leicester City came from behind to beat champions Liverpool 3-1 at King Power Stadium on 13 February, 2021.
Leicester’s switch in formation against Liverpool came at a period in the game where they were losing 1-0 at King Power Stadium after Mo Salah’s opener, and for Albrighton, that change came as a result of extensive work at LCFC Training Ground.
“We did it in training – I’m not sure how much the gaffer (Brendan Rodgers) has said about it – the day before,” he explained. “We set up a team, and he said: ‘If late on, we need to change the system, and we’re chasing the game, then we will do’.
“We ended up chasing the game, changing the system and we went on to win the game. I don’t know how much the gaffer has said on that, but that’s exactly what happened.
“The seven minutes of chaos followed, and we took our chances. We did exactly what we had said the day before, so it was brilliant that that paid off.
“It’s something that I’ve never experienced, really. Most of the teams that I’ve played in under managers that I’ve played under, we’ve usually had a set system and it’s usually worked, and we’ve stuck to that system.
This year, they’ve been fantastic. The manager there had said that he wanted to shore things up at the back, and that was the way that they could move forward as a team and as a squad, and they’ve done that.Marc Albrighton LCFC TV
“At the minute, we’ve got three or four systems that we’re able to rotate, whether that’s on a weekly basis, or in the game. I know the manager is really keen on us being able to change system in-game, with either the same personnel that’s out there, or whether it’s new players coming into the game.
“I think he’s been really pleased with how we’ve managed to be able to do that this season especially. It’s something that he mentioned early on when he first came into Leicester, and I think are the months and years have gone on since he’s been here, we’ve got better at doing that. That’s starting to show.”
Villa are currently enjoying a successful season in the Premier League after avoiding relegation in 2019/20, and the City No.11 was pleased to see them retain their top tier status to set up further encounters with his former employers.
“Last season, their aim was to stay in the league, and they managed to do that on the final day,” he said. “They had a bit of drama with it, and it sent pulses racing I’m sure at Villa Park, but I was delighted to see them stay in the league and have them here again this season.
“This year, they’ve been fantastic. The manager there had said that he wanted to shore things up at the back, and that was the way that they could move forward as a team and as a squad, and they’ve done that.
“They’ve had plenty of clean sheets, the goalkeeper that they’ve brought in (Emiliano Martínez) has been brilliant for them.
“They’ve made a couple of additions, but they’ve still got the core of what they had mainly, and I think they work hard as a team. That’s been crucial for them this season.”
Slavia Prague 0 Leicester City 0
Extended highlights from the Foxes' goalless draw with Slavia Prague in the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 first leg.
Both outfits have recorded credible results against each other over the past two seasons, during which they have contested five matches.
Their most recent meeting came at King Power Stadium in October, when Chelsea loanee Ross Barkley struck a 90th-minute winner for the visitors.
“That was a period we were going through where we were either winning games or losing games,” Albrighton explained. “As the season’s gone on, we’ve managed to turn some of them defeats into draws.
“You look at the Wolves game as a good example, probably at the start of the season we’d have lost that game maybe at the end, but I think we’ve managed to secure a little bit of resilience about us that we can just see a game out with.
“If we’re not going to win it, we just make sure that we don’t lose it. I think on the day we played Villa, that was a good example of not being able to do that.
“As much as we wanted to go on and win the game, we just left things open at the back and conceded the late goal, which ultimately cost us valuable points.”
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