Leicester team news vs Watford as Brunt makes debut in makeshift defence

by 24britishtvJan. 8, 2022, 4 p.m. 16
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Lewis Brunt is handed his Leicester City debut as a mass of injuries force Brendan Rodgers to field a makeshift defence for the FA Cup tie against Watford.

The 21-year-old, a summer signing after his release by Aston Villa, has been chosen to partner Jannik Vestergaard in the centre of defence at the King Power Stadium.

He is selected ahead of 17-year-old Ben Nelson, who had played for City in pre-season, with the England youth international only among the substitutes.

Timothy Castagne has not passed a late fitness test, and so it means 17 senior outfield players are unavailable in total for City, including all of the defenders other than Vestergaard.

That means Marc Albrighton, the captain for the day, and Vontae Daley-Campbell, making his third start for the club, will take on the full-back roles.

In the midfield and attack, there is plenty of experience. Hamza Choudhury and Youri Tielemans look set to take on the deeper midfield roles in a 4-2-3-1, with the in-form James Maddison ahead of them in a number 10 role.

Harvey Barnes, who has missed the last three games, returns on the wing, while Ademola Lookman, who scored the winner in City’s final match of 2021 against Liverpool, starts on the opposite flank.

Ayoze Perez, as he did in the FA Cup third round last season, leads the line.

There is a change in goal too, with Danny Ward brought in for a rare start. Kasper Schmeichel is among the substitutes, which is filled with youngsters.

Attacking midfielder Kasey McAteer, who made his debut last month in a cameo against Newcastle, is joined by centre-back Nelson, midfielder Wanya Marcal-Madivadua and Sammy Braybrooke, and number 10 Will Alves.

The latter four will all be making their debuts if they come on, while 16-year-old Alves will be the youngest player to appear for the club in 15 years.

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