Leicester City vs Crystal Palace

Christian Benteke headed in Andros Townsend’s cross in the 19th minute to score his first goal of the season

Christian Benteke headed in Andros Townsend’s cross in the 19th minute to score his first goal of the season

Leicester won four of six points from Crystal Palace last season, winning 3-1 at King Power Stadium and drawing 2-2 at Selhurst Park.

Mamadou Sakho is out of the Leicester game with a muscle injury while fellow defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah will have a scan after picking up a hamstring injury on Tuesday.

Jamie Vardy has had a hand in a goal in each of his last three Premier League starts against Crystal Palace (two goals, one assist).

Matty James and Robert Huth will not return from their respective long-term injuries before Christmas.

The Red Star Belgrade striker has been linked with a move to Crystal Palace.

The Eagles are sure to be in a buoyant mood after Tuesday night, and the fact that they are six games unbeaten shouldn't be sniffed at, although their away record needs to add some realism to their jubilation. Defensively, Leicester are still in the bottom half with 23 goals allowed but have been better since Claude Puel took over as manager.

Given the state of Palace's defence this season - the Eagles have kept just two clean sheets - their backline will have to be on top form to keep out Mahrez and co, especially left-back Jeffrey Schlupp who will be directly faced with the former Le Havre man.

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"We are closer to the pack and that's the important thing", Hodgson told a news conference on Thursday.

"But if you were asking if I'm happy to play two very, very important matches - Man City at home and Southampton away - with one day in between then I can't lie and sit here saying it's perfectly fine because we'll find it very hard. The work of their manager has seen them improve and they have good players in good positions".

The Foxes made sure Claude Puel's homecoming in Southampton was a glorious one.

They could go seven Premier League games unbeaten for the first time. "But if you ask am I pleased with what we have done in the last 10 games, the table does look better". A man up, Bakary Sako scored in the 89th minute and James McArthur scored the victor three minutes later.

With games against Arsenal and runaway leaders Manchester City coming up, Hodgson stressed the importance of keeping up with teams immediately above them.

While Leicester's goalscoring form has meant that the problems at the back have gone unnoticed, it's something that Puel must be wary of, considering how Crystal Palace have gone about their job since Roy Hodgson's arrival.

Christian Benteke is without a goal in his last 13 Premier League games - his longest barren run in the division.

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