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A fresh start

The new season kicked off this past weekend with Leicester easing to a comfortable 3-0 win over their hosts, West Brom. Points were secured courtesy of 2 Jamie Vardy spot-kicks that followed a superbly headed goal by debutant Timothy Castagne.

Castagne’s signing from Atalanta the week before was a very mild salve on some fans’ frustration in the pre-season over what was perceived to be a lack of action in the transfer market.

The preseason itself, a short series of toothless encounters from Championship opposition did little to inspire much enthusiasm for the arrival of the new season. Coupled with the downturn in form and the end of last season and the growing injury list, perhaps some doomsayer fans might have been forgiven for claiming that Leicester were relegation fodder this season.

Except, what many of these vocal dissident minority may have forgotten is that the Leicester squad still contains some world-class players. Despite taking music of the first half to settle in to a makeshift backline and essentially condensing a full competitive pre-season into the first half hour, Leicester dominated from then on. Tielemans and Praet dictated all play in the midfield with Mendy capably deputising for N’Didi, himself deputising for the suspended Evans. Praet’s left-footed cross from the byline for Castagne’s goal was sublime as was the finish - in fact, Castagne hardly put a foot wrong all game and looked exciting going forward - it will be an interesting selection for Rodgers to make when Ricardo returns to fitness. Although starved of chances in open play, Vardy’s finishing from the spot was precise, sending the keeper the wrong way on both occasions. Lastly, to see Maddison join the party with 15 minutes to go, playing as if he’d only popped out for a minute was a further boost to the squad.

Overall, we didn’t learn much about City or West Brom in this game; City dominated much of the play but struggled to break down West Brom on many occasions; West Brom came to City with a plan, but looked woefully underprepared for their return season in the Premier League.

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