Date:Friday January 13 2006
At first it may seem of little consequence, a Football League U21 match against the Italian Serie B U21's at Hull. Yet Leicester City could have five players in contention for the team.
Those justifiably hopeful of a call for the game, on Tuesday, February 21, are Matt Fryatt, Ryan Smith, Richard Stearman, Alan Sheehan and James Wesolowski if, of course, he gets some expected games in over the next few weeks.
Considering this, and that people like Paddy McCarthy, Iain Hume and Stephen Hughes only miss qualifying for the game by a year or so, that amounts to eight young Leicester players who are among the best for their age playing in the Championship.
And it begs the question therefore: why are we in such a dire position League wise?
First of course, Fryatt has only just arrived, Wesolowski has had a broken leg, Sheehan is rarely used and Hughes has only just recovered from injury.
That suggests the second half of our season should be better because all eight of these young internationals will be available.
However, much depends on the manager's decisions and whether he will address all the weaknesses that have left us in such a predicament. Like:
a) Continually playing people out of position unnecessarily.
b) Conceding far to many goals through the left-back area.
c) Not scoring enough from set pieces.
d) Not having enough aerial presence in the penalty box both for set pieces and for conventional attacks.
e) Having an ineffective right winger who neither scores nor makes goals.
f) Not thinking sufficiently about our final ball into the box.
g) Not playing sufficient attack-minded players in the side and therefore being too negative in our tactics.
i) Going too long without a second recognised goalscoring centre-forward.
j) Our poor chance conversion ratio.
These are serious shortcomings most of which need to be rectified by the time the transfer window closes.
If they are and with our eight youthful internationals, plus any new signings and the mid-teenaged Ashley Chambers ready in the wings, there is every reason to be optimistic of our clambering to safety.
It would however be ironic indeed, if half the Leicester team turned out in the League representative match at Hull while the club they came from slipped into the bottom three.
According to the official Leicester City website, The Football League side will be managed by ex-Leicester City, England Under 21 and now Hull City boss Peter Taylor while the Italian side will be managed by Giampiero Marini.
Emphasising the League's 'Fans For The Future' campaign to encourage the next generation of supporters, all under 7's accompanied by an adult will be able to attend free. Tickets for adults are £8, concessions £4 and the match kicks off at Hull City's ground (7.45pm).
It will the 13th such match between the sides.
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|1. Leicester City||33||23||5||5||+30||74|
|3. Derby County||33||18||7||8||+18||61|
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