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

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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
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2 Spurs 35 19 12 4 69 39
3 Arsenal 36 19 10 7 67 25
4 Man City 36 19 7 10 64 30
5 Man Utd 35 17 9 9 60 12
6 West Ham 35 15 14 6 59 17
7 Southampton 36 16 9 11 57 14
8 Liverpool 35 15 10 10 55 11
9 Stoke 36 13 9 14 48 -14
10 Chelsea 34 12 11 11 47 7
11 Everton 35 10 14 11 44 6
12 Watford 35 12 8 15 44 -6
13 Swansea 36 11 10 15 43 -13
14 WBA 36 10 11 15 41 -14
15 AFC Bournemouth 36 11 8 17 41 -20
16 Crystal Palace 36 10 9 17 39 -10
17 Newcastle 36 8 9 19 33 -25
18 Sunderland 35 7 11 17 32 -18
19 Norwich 35 8 7 20 31 -26
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