Stowell Looks To Chelsea
Leicester City coach Mike Stowell has spoken about the challenge that will be Chelsea this weekend as we host them at the King Power Stadium.
Welcoming Antonio Conte's reigning Premier League champions to our ground on Saturday, Stowell knows that with the options available to them we need to be prepared for every eventuality when it comes to the side they select for the game.
Speaking to lcfc.com as he met with the media ahead of the game to preview the match, Stowell explained.
'Chelsea had that blip against Burnley, but they`re the champions. They`re a very good team and they`ve strengthened this season. They`ll come to us in a 3-4-3 formation. We know the shape they play - they`re a very expansive and very good team. Everybody knows Chelsea, they`re household names and it`ll be a good battle, but we`re well up for that battle.'
He went on to add.
'Arsenal were very similar in that they`re possession based and have some very good attacking flair players. Chelsea will be the same. They`ve got Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses, who these days are basically wingers. Alonso is such an attacking force and a good strength and Moses on the other side. We coped against it at Arsenal and we`ve got willing workers in our wide men as well. In our system, in the 4-4-2, our full-backs deal with the inside strikers and our wingers deal with their wing-backs so sometimes it`s a match-up in there. Their shape is a good one and it`s worked well for them, but we like our shape as well and we`re comfortable in that. Hopefully it`ll be a good contest and a good match-up.'
With four Premier League games this month for manager Craig Shakespeare ahead of the next international break, Stowell went on to say.
'When I always say about looking at the next game, that`s what we do. In our heads as staff, we also have to plan forward but make sure we don`t get ahead of ourselves. The lads aren`t focused on Huddersfield or any other team, it`s Chelsea. Of course, when you look at it, we have a points figure in our heads that we`d like to have. We keep it to ourselves, but first and foremost is Chelsea and every ounce of our concentration will go into it.'
With players returning from international duty this week, it's been another busy time at Belvoir Drive as we prepare for the game.
'Things have changed here at Leicester City with where we have virtually 75 per cent of our squad away on international duty. That`s great recognition for the Club and it leaves us with a shadow squad. We get some sharpness into those players and any lads who haven`t played first team football of late. It`s mainly a ticking over for them and we then get a chance as staff to discuss what`s gone on as a block of games. You don`t want anybody to come back injured and we`ve got an array of internationals. Shinji Okazaki is always the one who goes the furthest - he`s travelled something like 17,000 miles over these last 10 days. There`s also different time zones and we get information and keep a look out about how many minutes they play and when they train, but it`s a tough ask for them. We monitor them and we`ve had them all back today (Thursday) for the first time all fit and well, which is good news. It`s also a case of having a look on the training pitch at them, not doing too much with them.'
He added about international recognition.
'The recognition is fantastic. It`s been great for Harry Maguire to get in the England squad and it`s good for Kingy to become the most capped Leicester City player - that`s a fantastic achievement for him. Shinji has also qualified for the World Cup with Japan. They go away with their countries and come back and play the slog of the Premier League, but it`s great for them to be able to look back on how successful they`ve been.'