Leicester’s final hope of building on the momentum of last season’s heroics depend on their second-leg tie with Atletico Madrid this evening at the King Power Stadium, as they once again bid to defy the odds.
Atletico, beaten finalists in two of the last three years, are the overwhelming favourites to progress and hold a slim 1-0 lead from the first leg after a controversial penalty went their way.
Craig Shakespeare’s men will have a mountain to climb with Robert Huth ruled out though suspension and captain Wes Morgan only half-fit.
Atletico have not lost any of their last 21 away games by more than one goal, emphasising the immensity of Leicester’s task ahead. Manager Diego Simeone, who came close to exiting the club last year after coming so agonisingly close to continental success, will be prioritising the Champions League over any other.
Their only loss ahead of the tie is striker Kevin Gameiro who is likely to miss out due to a hamstring strain and a near to full strength team will be sure to come out all guns blazing this evening.
What time is kick-off?
The match kicks off at 7:45pm.
Where can I watch it?
The game will be shown on BT Sport 2.
It’s a big game for…
Jamie Vardy: After a poor performance in the first-leg, Vardy has everything to prove this time around. The Leicester forward managed just 11 touches, completed only one pass and failed to have a single shot as his team crashed to defeat at the Vicente Calderon.
That being said, his timely goal for the Foxes against Crystal Palace on Saturday has seen the England attacker rediscover his goal-scoring touch just in time for what is arguably the biggest game in his career.
Atletico have the most clean sheets in La Liga this season (16). Only Paris Saint-Germain (17) have more across Europe’s top five divisions.
Leicester overcame Sevilla 3-2 on aggregate to reach the quarter finals of the Champions League for the first time in their history.
Player to watch…
Koke: The midfielder held all the cards and played them superbly in the first tie, including a rocket shot from 20-yards out that hit the post, nearly giving Atletico the opener. Koke orchestrated the midfield trio of himself, Gabi and Saul with precision and the Spanish international will again be searching for only the smallest of spaces for Antoine Griezmann run into, testing the Leicester defence at any given opportunity.
A key battle to note may be that of Koke and the partially injured Wes Morgan, whose questionable fitness may be a liability at a time when Leicester cannot afford for Atletico to score an away goal.
Leicester City: DLLWWW
Atletico Madrid: WWDWWW
Leicester to win: 17/5
Atletico to win: 45/50