Leicester City V Hull City

Craig Shakespeare offers congratulations to Riyad Mahrez

Leicester City came from a goal down to beat Hull City as caretaker boss Craig Shakespeare made it two wins from two games to strengthen his case to be the Foxes next permanent manager.

Following the brilliant win against Liverpool, the reigning champions started brightly but went behind after ex Leicester player Sam Clucas started and finished a brilliant counter attacking move, which involved the impressive Kamil Grosicki.

Equally industrious was Jamie Vardy who set up Christian Fuchs for the Foxes equaliser, before Riyad Mahrez netted his first goal since November.

The victory was sealed when Hull City’s Tom Huddlestone headed into his own net following a corner to put the gloss on a well deserved victory for the Foxes.

Hull have heart

Despite the scoreline, Hull City showed some real flair and in Sam Clucas and Kamil Grosicki, they have two brilliant players.

Grosicki, in particular, gave Leicester right back Danny Simpson a torrid time.

The Tigers winger was often allowed to run at will one on one against Simpson, and with Foxes winger Mahrez offering no help whatsoever defensively, Simpson had no answer to his speed and directness.

Therefore it was no surprise that Grosicki was at the centre of the Hull goal.

Clucas intercepted a poor square pass from Wilfred Ndidi then fed Oumar Niasse before he found Grosicki who had made up over 5 metres on Simpson.

 

The Pole then had the presence of mind to cut the ball back across goal for Clucas to tap home after a counter attack of lightning speed.

Maguire must mark

Whenever I have seen Hull this season, one player has always stood out, Harry Maguire.

He has been a fantastic purchase from Sheffield United and can play in a back three or five, as Hull have done this season.

He is virtually impossible to mark when he is sent up to attack set pieces, and defensively, I have rarely seen him beaten in the air.

Therefore, against such a big side like Leicester, it was strange to see him in a three-man wall outside the box, when the obvious danger was lurking at the back post.

Maguire is circled now attempting to effect the second phase ball, whilst the job of marking Robert Huth and Wesley Morgan fell to Oumar Niasse and Grosicki, a complete mismatch.

Leicester lack width from their wingers

Leicester under Shakespeare have fallen back into the formation and personnel that served them so well last season.

Although it is touted as 4-4-2, I see them more as a 4-2-3-1 side at present, with Ndidi and Danny Drinkwater playing as two holding midfielders and Shinji Okazaki ahead of them, providing the link with the lone forward Jamie Vardy.

Mahrez and Marc Albrighton work as inverted wingers, a tactic that served them so well last season, although so far it has proved far more difficult to work.

This season, teams appear to have condensed the centre of pitch slightly more to limit the spaces when the two wingers do cut inside onto their favoured foot.

This dictates that Vardy is often the one penetrating into wide areas, which I feel limits his presence in the box.

Against Hull he was terrific but spent too much of his time in the areas of the pitch natural wingers would occupy, as circled below.

It would be interesting to see how Leicester would do if Mahrez and Albrighton played off their natural foot and penetrated beyond defensive lines, rather than receiving in front as they so often do at present.

If they played on their natural sides, they would utilise the wide areas more often, which would then allow Vardy to remain in a more central area as circled above.