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Cause for concern?

Cause for concern?
Although the final score in preseason friendlies is not particularly important, these matches are still interesting in terms of understanding where teams - and players - are in terms of fitness, attitude and ability. While Leicester City's 3-0 loss to AS Monaco yesterday afternoon is no real cause for concern, it did tell fans a few things.

1. The 3-5-2 formation needs a lot of work.

Only Nigel Pearson knows which formation he will employ in next Saturday's opener against Middlesbrough, but the back three of Wes Morgan, Zak Whitbread and Sean St. Ledger never really looked comfortable as a defensive trio. Of course the Foxes will not be expected to line up against Radamel Falcao every week (whom Morgan actually did a fairly solid job of marking), but the same principle still applies.

2. Nigel Pearson hasn't decided on his starting XI.

There's no way that the same starting XI against Monaco will take to the field against Middlesbrough. For one, Pearson will be praying that David Nugent is fit enough to start the match. Substitute Liam Moore probably played well enough to earn a place over Whitbread or St. Ledger - especially if the Foxes do play a 3-5-2 formation.

3. Leicester's central midfield will be extremely competitive for places.

The late emergence of Matty James towards the end of last season makes him an important part of the team for this season. But Andy King, Danny Drinkwater and Neil Danns will also be keen to make an impression. And, if Leicester do adopt a 3-5-2 formation, Ben Marshall and Anthony Knockaert will want to feature somewhere.

4. Kasper Schmeichel is still Leicester City's most important player.

The Danish international could do little about the three goals conceded yesterday afternoon, but Schmeichel, yet again, made an impressive string of saves throughout the match to keep the scoreline from getting out of hand, including a fantastic stop to deny Mounir Obbadi in the first-half. Foxes fans have become accustomed to such performances but it is no surprise to hear reports that Schmeichel has attracted Premier League interest.

5. Fans are losing interest in PR-friendly preseason games.

This may be a sign of current difficult economic times, or due to the match being televised on Sky, but fewer than 11,000 fans attended yesterday's fixture - and tickets were available for around 15. Over 32,000 people attended Leicester's preseason friendly against Spanish giants Real Madrid at the King Power Stadium two years ago, and tickets were nearly twice as expensive.

Writer:Simon
Date:Sunday July 28 2013
Time: 1:40PM

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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Leicester City 38 23 12 3 81 32
2 Arsenal 38 20 11 7 71 29
3 Spurs 38 19 13 6 70 34
4 Man City 38 19 9 10 66 30
5 Man Utd 38 19 9 10 66 14
6 Southampton 38 18 9 11 63 18
7 West Ham 38 16 14 8 62 14
8 Liverpool 38 16 12 10 60 13
9 Stoke 38 14 9 15 51 -14
10 Chelsea 38 12 14 12 50 6
11 Everton 38 11 14 13 47 4
12 Swansea 38 12 11 15 47 -10
13 Watford 38 12 9 17 45 -10
14 WBA 38 10 13 15 43 -14
15 Crystal Palace 38 11 9 18 42 -12
16 AFC Bournemouth 38 11 9 18 42 -22
17 Sunderland 38 9 12 17 39 -14
R Newcastle 38 9 10 19 37 -21
R Norwich 38 9 7 22 34 -28
R Aston Villa 38 3 8 27 17 -49
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