Leicester move off the bottom as they beat Forest 4-0 and send their Midlands neighbours into 20th
Man-of-the-match James Maddison scores two, including one gorgeous freekick, with Barnes and Daka also on target
Forest have their moments but a lack of quality in front of goal leaves Steve Cooper on the brink
For the winner survival; for the loser quite probably the sack. It always felt the stakes in this desperation derby were that high and so it was Brendan Rodgers who revived Leicester City and his own prospects of remaining in charge and Steve Cooper who unfortunately faces being the fourth Premier League manager to be dismissed this season. After just eight games.
There was plenty of love for Cooper from the Forest fans, and credit them for the relentless noise, but how much is there left for him in the boardroom? He stood stony-faced and looked like he knew the game was up as Rodgers sported the biggest of grins in sheer relief. What a stark contrast and it appears that Rafael Benítez is now poised to take over at Forest.
Afterwards Rodgers talked about it being a “season-changing game” and it felt like that as he stressed it was the opportunity to “reboot and reset”. That relief was increasingly palpable as he wished reporters a safe journey home. Rodgers will enjoy the drive himself for the first time in a long time.
With that he owes a huge debt to the endlessly creative James Maddison who produced a remarkable performance, including two goals, to again stoke the debate as to whether he could be in England’s World Cup squad, with a display that also made a mockery of the fact that Leicester started this encounter bottom of the table.
That place is now occupied by newly-promoted Forest and although they were last position in the Championship when Cooper took over his incredibly impressive charge to gain promotion is unlikely to cut it for club owner Evangelis Marinakis who was here for this damning defeat. As was Leicester’s owner Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, who attended his first games in six weeks, and was gleefully high-fiving as the goals went in.
Leicester are still in the bottom three, with just four points, the same as Forest, but this first league win will surely point to a rise up the table even if it comes with the caveat that they beat an opposition who, at times, gave the impression that they were a collection of strangers. Which is pretty much what they are as they recorded a fifth successive league defeat.
Both teams sensed each other’s vulnerabilities. But only one exploited them and it was Leicester who dominated from start to finish and so they scored twice, just 109 seconds apart, and once more before half-time to rip the heart out of Forest.
Maddison was involved in all three and later collected another assist. Indeed, since the start of last season, Harry Kane is the only English player to have more league goal involvements (34) than Maddison (17 goals and 10 assists). “It’s such a shame for the country and for James,” Rodgers said of the midfielder’s continued England exclusion as he suggested there had to be a place for him in Gareth Southgate’s selection for Qatar.
Maddison was mesmerising. If the first goal was fortunate then the second and third were simply sublime – as, indeed, was the fourth. He opened the scoring when the ball fell to him just outside the penalty area after Jesse Lingard had made an ugly attempt at a clearance and there was undoubted fortune as his shot struck Scott McKenna’s arm and changed direction.
Sensing the opportunity Leicester poured forward once more with Maddison flighting a pass out to Jamie Vardy who hunted the ball down and turned it back to Harvey Barnes. He used Neco Williams to shield his intent before curling a right-footed shot beyond Dean Henderson’s grasp. There was no luck in that.
Would it have been different had Forest not fluffed a golden chance before the flurry of goals? Cooper will argue so and certainly Taiwo Awoniyi should have scored when he was put through by Morgan Gibbs-White. With only goalkeeper Danny Ward to beat the striker shot low against the post.
Instead they fell further behind and were falling apart. Leicester had spurned three clear, Maddison-inspired chances before the scoring started and then another free-kick, central and 25 yards out was conceded by Forest. Maddison stood over it and arced a wonderful right-footed effort off the post and beyond Henderson. Once more the goalkeeper stood rooted. He just did not even see it.
Leicester were liberated and running riot. Forest were like a boxer who had hit the canvas, managed to stagger back up to beat the count but were in desperate need of the bell and a glimmer of hope even if hope there was none.
Cooper made a triple substitution at half-time and Forest almost grabbed an unlikely lifeline when Awoniyi ran through from half-way, from a clearance upfield, only to shoot early. Ward parried, the rebound fell to Brennan Johnson who had an open goal but his touch was heavy and it was squandered.
Leicester finished them off and did so in style with substitute Patson Daka exchanging passes with Maddison, meeting his low cross with the most audacious of flicks with his heel. It confirmed the result, if ever it was in doubt, and sadly probably also Cooper’s fate.
Leicester City 4 Nottingham Forest 0: As it happened
"First half, we were not tactically good enough and came away from the game plan. Gave them too much space. Not good enough in the duels. They are good players.
"That said, at 0-0 we had the big chance of the game to go 1-0 up. Big moments three games in a row now. We had a couple of yellows, and so we made three changes at half time. I thought we were better in the second half, then we had another one v one and if you take that, it's 3-1 and who knows. We did not make enough of the big moments.
"We were not setting up tactically as we meant to be. So we gave (away) that impetus. I would not say I am soft or easy with the players but I refuse to be too critical of them in the dressing room because this is such a tough challenge being a new group. We are finding out about ourselves in the toughest league in the world. We re finding our way, and there are moments where we are disconnected and not quite a team. We have to fight to improve. It is not easy. I am getting to know players who have come through the door last week. It's a unique situation. And moments we fall short we are getting punished. Amazing support. They never gave up, and the players never gave up. We are just not a team.
"It is not a good look. But I am more disappointed that this great club that I love has lost a football match, not my own situation. I'm not thinking about whether I am given the backing, I am thinking about how I can be at my best to get the best out of these players. At the moment I am in a position to do that. I am not thinking about my job, I am thinking about doing my doing my job."
seems like an excellent lad. I would think he'll be a fixture in the football media, should he wish to be, for years to come. "He's going to put us out of work!" says Jamie Carragher. Well, perhaps, but not for some time yet. Congratulations to Maddison and to Leicester, let's turn now to Jason Burt's match report. If Steve Cooper comes on the TV I'll add those quite in. Si non, bon nuit.
James Maddison on Monday Night Football
"Feels good to get the first win and very much needed. Confidence has been low in the camp as you can imagine.
"It was the perfect game for us. Everything felt right, the preparation, the manager's team talk.
"We have worked long and hard in training. There were promising signs at Tottenham in the performance, so it was about building on that in this one. This is a unique game, a derby. Good for the fans.
"My strengths are in between the lines. Youri is the right number eight, he takes up the half position with our fullback pushed high, that allows me to find the space in side. Youri is so good at dictating from deeper so that gives us the side triangle. That is something I have improved on tactically, knowing when I can come inside."
"The form we have been, just the first goal, a bit of luck that is what we need. This is a big game around this way, Leicester and Nottingham. Might not be for the rest of the country.
"I thought, I should score from this freekick. Not being bigheaded. But I have practiced that since I was a kid and I would have been disappointed if it had not gone in.
"I know Dean (Forest keeper) very well from England Under 21s and I have practiced against him a lot. Generally I have gone over the wall so I knew he would be heading that way. He was standing quite central so I knew if I hit it well (to his left) then he has got a long way to go. I practice those freekicks all the time. I am licking my lips and thinking, this should be a goal. If I hit the shot I want to hit from that position then regardless of the position of the keeper and wall it should go in.
England? "Has been a weird position. We have been bottom but I have never played better or felt better. It is an ambition of mine to play for England. I am a football man. I want to play at that level."
Neville asks him if he would be a good traveller if he was 19th man.
"Questioning my personality and my professionalism is insulting. I am not naive. There are top players in that position but so am I. I can be that man. You see Phil and Jack, but England play in a different way. I would listen to the coaches. I would work hard. There are top players in there but I think there could be a space for me."
Brendan Rodgers talks to Sky
"It was too long coming to be honest, although we have had some tough games. There was some pressure on us. Good night for the players and the supporters. A season changing game and now we can press on.
"We showed the players some videos of the last time we played Forest (who won). We have technically gifted players and tactically very good players but you cannot win matches without mentality and without defending well.
"We have to be tactically cuter. You cannot win games just with the ball at this level. It's about how you press the game without him."
"Such a shame for the country and the boy himself (that Maddison is not even in the England squad) to have a player of that quality, and his personality as well. I really hope he can somehow get into the England side. He has personality, quality. He is up there. I love Phil Foden and Mason Mount, Jack more from the side.
"He's 25. When I first came in he was a young guy, haircuts and bags and all that but he has now matured. He has become a father, He is very focused. He is a guy that would be so supportive of the squad. To have him there, if you are in a trouble in a game, he can beat a man, get you a goal, you've seen his freekick. I'd hope he'd at least be in the squad."
"Very tough summer. We have been able to reset. We want to remind the players, encourage, support and coach. These guys have pints of resilience. We have tuned the corner but now we have to back it up at the weekend."
Gary Lineker: "Confirmed: LCFC is the best team in the land…….that is East Midlands".
Jamie Carragher: "Massive. Big for both managers but even more so for Brendan, it would have been very hard if they didn't win this".
Gary Neville: "Just a bit of quality in the final third tonight [that let Forest down]".
Leicester are off the bottom into 19th
and I'm sorry to say that Forest, also on eight points but with a much worse goal difference, are now 20th.
We will have reaction from both managers. Stick with us for a bit just in case Cooper does go right away. And then we will get to the thoughts of Jason Burt and John Percy.
Full time: Leicester City 4 Nottingham Forest 0
Could hardly have gone better for Forest. Maddison, excellent, scored two. A classy finish apiece for Barnes and Daka. Three lovely goals followed a lucky opener. Forest look in bad trouble, they played okay in patches but had nobody who could finish. Whether Steve Cooper is given time to bed these players in or not remains to be seen.
But Brendan Rodgers is safe for a while yet, at least.
90+ mins: Leicester City 4 Nottingham Forest 0
Soumare breaks and Cook is trying to catch him. The tiring Forest captain chops down the Leicester man. Wouldn't have been a massive surprise to see a red there but thankfully it is yellow.
90 mins: Leicester City 4 Nottingham Forest 0
The 90 minutes are up, Maddison has unsurprisingly been named the MoM. The Leicester fans are enjoying a good barrack of the poor old Forest goalie and I think almost everyone involved will be happy to see the ref wrap it up.
88 mins: Leicester City 4 Nottingham Forest 0
Game draws to a close.
84 mins: Leicester City 4 Nottingham Forest 0
Maddison now taken off. Warm applause from the crowd and a kiss and a cuddle from Brendan. Marc Albrighton, for it is he, comes on.
82 mins: Leicester City 4 Nottingham Forest 0
James Maddison pretty much completes the set with a yellow card. He caught Lodi dos Santos, lightly, as the Forest man went past him. Seemed a harsh yellow to me but hard to tell if Maddison said something or....
78 mins: Leicester City 4 Nottingham Forest 0
Leicester give it away foolishly, Johnson is sent through, and that's a smart save from Ward at the near post. Corner.
77 mins: Leicester City 4 Nottingham Forest 0
One jammy goal, and three lovely ones for Leicester. Doesn't quite feel like a 4-0 but Leicester won't care about that. Forest plugging away gamely, I guess the manager could make the case that he hasn't loss the dressing room but on this evidence at least they don't have anyone who can put it in the net.
GOAL! Leicester City 4 Nottingham Forest 0 (Daka 73)
Oh Forest! At least one player has his head in his hands, chap there's actually pulled his shirt over his head in dismay.
Daka plays it out to Maddison, who drills in a hard low cross back at him. Patson Daka with a cheeky, technically superb wee flick and that's a delightful goal.
Penny for Jamie Vardy's thoughts? He could probably do with the cash after Becky's three mil folly I guess.
71 mins: Leicester City 3 Nottingham Forest 0
Soumare's not been on long but has already had his name taken.
A freekick for Forest, this is a decent chance to put Leicester under some pressure.
Dear me. Floated out in the most pathetic manner.
69 mins: Leicester City 3 Nottingham Forest 0
Lingard, who looks a fraction of the player at West Ham last term, was booked a few minutes ago and is now getting the hook.
Here is John Percy: "Forest's fans are now chanting the name of Steve Cooper, who will be under huge pressure to save his job.
"It seems a message to the Forest board, but there is little doubt that Cooper could pay for this defeat by becoming the latest Premier League manager to be dismissed.
"Forest will be bottom of the league if this result stays as it is, and owner Evangelos Marinakis did not envisage a relegation battle after that £150 million spend."
68 mins: Leicester City 3 Nottingham Forest 0
Maddison recovered well enough from that knock; here he is driving forward and shooting not far wide. Hat-trick is on.
63 mins: Leicester City 3 Nottingham Forest 0
Awoniyi missed a good chance in the second half. He has been subbed off. His replacement, Dennis, has just missed a good one here as well. He's very relieved to see the offside flag.
Clearly wiser football sages than me have made this point, but no question that the goalscorer role is the one that really sets the established Premier League teams apart from the promoted ones.
61 mins: Leicester City 3 Nottingham Forest 0
While the Leicester physio busies themself with that, Vardy comes off. Not quite at his best but will come on for the run I expect. Patson Daka replaces him.
Forest fans in good voice, reports Jason Burt: "Credit to the Forest fans. 3-0 down away to Leicester and they are making all the noise with a chant of 'Forest are magi'. Fair play to them."
60 mins: Leicester City 3 Nottingham Forest 0
No sooner, have I said that, than he has gone in for a hard challenge with Lodi dos Santos and come off the worst. Got his foot trapped under the Forest player. He's down. Is he ok?
Leicester fans are having a nice evening
Maddison getting a hero's reception anytime he's near the ball, or the side of the pitch.
Meanwhile, Barnes shoots, and hits the arm of Cook. But the ref reckons that wasnae Cook's fault.
56 mins: Leicester City 3 Nottingham Forest 0
NCFC deal with that corner and another subsequent one.
They have had two brilliant chances, one in each half. I guess they aren't second bottom for no reason. Leicester, though, look much more like their old selves. Brisk, buzzy.
55 mins: Leicester City 3 Nottingham Forest 0
Jason Burt reports from the ground: "Steve Cooper cutting a forlorn figure on the touchline. He has made a triple substitution at half-time but looks like a man who knows the game is up – and not just this match. Would be a huge surprise if the Forest manager survives this. Forest fans valiantly trying to get behind their team; Leicester supporters goading Cooper with a chant of 'getting sacked in the morning'".
54 mins: Leicester City 3 Nottingham Forest 0
High speed duel between Vardy and Aurier. The latter wins, at the expense of a corner
51 mins: Leicester City 3 Nottingham Forest 0
How's he missed that? Forest break, shoot, and the Leicester keeper palms it straight into the path of Johnson, who surely only has to guide it into the empty net. But instead he produces a truly horrific first touch and the moment passes.
50 mins: Leicester City 3 Nottingham Forest 0
Leicester have a corner, Maddison goes over to take it and gets a big hand from the crowd. Faes, the new Belgian, has done some decent defensive work in this half so far, and now has a chance to make an impression at the other end. Floats his shot over.
49 mins: Leicester City 3 Nottingham Forest 0
LCFC have let in 15 – FIFTEEN – second-half goals so far this season.
47 mins: Leicester City 3 Nottingham Forest 0
And the visitors have had most of the ball in the early exchanges.
46 mins: Leicester City 3 Nottingham Forest 0
Leicester make one change
Ndidi has come off, Soumare comes on. Ndidi had been carrying an injury into the match.
Triple change from Forest
O'Brien, Kouyate and Williams off.
Yates, Freuler and Aurier on.
The Forest players were at each other in the first half.
— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) October 3, 2022
Here is a sneak peak
of Jason Burt's take on the match: "Even this early in the season the stress is palpable in the East Midlands. So far this is not what Leicester expected and not, reasonably or otherwise, what Forest (or rather Marinakis) expected after such an incredible spree post-promotion with 22 players signed and close to £150 million spent."
Some half-time reactions
Daniel Zeqiri: "Two pretty slow Forest centre-backs dropping off to cover Vardy, oceans of space between the lines with midfielders not retreating. Either sit in a shape with two tight lines or squeeze up – neither here nor there at the moment".
Leicester fan account Come On Leicester: "Really like what I've seen from Wout Faes so far, very assured on only his second start in the PL".
Nick Miller: "Thing about the Premier League is I’m used to Forest losing, just not while everyone else is watching".
Two goals in 110 seconds
And the second one 35 seconds after the restart.
Maddison the main man
but a peach for the second from Harvey Barnes.
Half time: Leicester City 3 Nottingham Forest 0
Leicester well on top, probing and teasing, and the ref brings the first half to and end.
Is Steve Cooper about to deliver his last half-time team talk as Forest manager?
45 mins: Leicester City 3 Nottingham Forest 0
Quite a good brace of celebrations from Maddison. A 'throwing darts' and then a 'cups ears to crowd'.
He has touched the ball more than anyone in the match, 44 and counting, and is running the game.
43 mins: Leicester City 3 Nottingham Forest 0
Maddison delivers but no dice on this occasion.
42 mins: Leicester City 3 Nottingham Forest 0
Leicester not yet singing 'can we play you every week' but I bet they would like to hack the fixture computer accordingly. They break now, streaming forward, everyone suddenly wants the ball. It goes to Vardy who wins a corner.
38 mins: Leicester City 3 Nottingham Forest 0
A good chance for Lingard, who receives the ball in the centre with a bit of space around him. But he looks short on confidence, he dithers, he fails to control it and the moment passes.
GOAL! Leicester City 3 Nottingham Forest 0 (Maddison 34)
Gorgeous freekick from James Maddison. The keeper has his weight going the wrong way, he thinks Maddison is aiming to curl it the other way but, well, he's not. It kisses off the inside of the post. Even if he had gone the right way, it was a perfect hit. Maddison has 50 PL goals for Leicester; this is his 8th free.
33 mins: Leicester City 2 Nottingham Forest 0
Dewsbury-H with a good run. Kouyate, tracking back, brings him down. Tough for the NFFC DMC because the backline, shocked and stunned. have sat back very deep, ceding a lot of space to Leicester's quick, direct runners.
It is handily placed for a freekick.
29 mins: Leicester City 2 Nottingham Forest 0
Lineker: "Keeping my gob shut until the end of the game. I do realise some of you would like that to be permanent."
Other Leicester fans, though, are singing their hearts out.
28 mins: Leicester City 2 Nottingham Forest 0
With 11, no side has dropped more points from winning positions this term than Leicester. But they will have no better chance than this to get a win in the bag.
GOAL! Leicester City 2 Nottingham Forest 0 (Barnes 27)
They can do better than that - they can double it. That's a smashing strike from Harvey Barnes. He cuts in from the left, he gets his head up, and he strikes with both accuracy and power into the far corner. Cracking goal, well played young man.
26 mins: Leicester City 1 Nottingham Forest 0
An element of good fortune. Now can Leicester hold the lead?
GOAL! Leicester City 1 Nottingham Forest 0 (Maddison 25)
James Maddison has looked better than most on the pitch and he gets first to a second ball here, tries his luck at goal and gets a lucky break as it hits the defender, McKenna as he tries to get back into position.
21 mins: Leicester City 0 Nottingham Forest 0
Forest's best moment! They have cut LCFC open down the centre. Good work from Lingard and then a fine pass from Gibbs-White to slip it through for Awoniyi who gets a decent contact on it, beats the keeper and......... hits the post!
Faes got the wrong side of his man there.
20 mins: Leicester City 0 Nottingham Forest 0
N Williams now has a chance to deliver a freekick in for Forest. Ward claims this well.
17 mins: Leicester City 0 Nottingham Forest 0
LCFC, who are making all the running, go close again with a freekick that just needed a final tou h as it flashed through the Forest box.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) October 3, 2022
15 mins: Leicester City 0 Nottingham Forest 0
Williams has attracted the attention of the referee when Barnes flicks the ball at Williams's hand. Bit harsh to be booked for that. On the other hand, he could/should have been given a yellow for the foul a minute ago.
14 mins: Leicester City 0 Nottingham Forest 0
Vardy has another chance a few seconds later when he is sent through but he looks a bit low on confidence and has shot wide. Sort of opportunity he was burying without fail in his pomp.
13 mins: Leicester City 0 Nottingham Forest 0
Williams slides in hard, and illegally, on his fellow number seven, Barnes.
From the resulting freekick, a nice delivery (I think from Maddison) and Vardy gets into space, to head wide.
11 mins: Leicester City 0 Nottingham Forest 0
That corner was something from the training ground for Leicester. And it ought to have stayed there.
However, they are well on top and playing the better football. Another shot over.
9 mins: Leicester City 0 Nottingham Forest 0
Cross sails all the way over from the right. Barnes, on the Leicester left, controls it and plays it back. Justin has a shot, which is deflected behind for a corner.
7 mins: Leicester City 0 Nottingham Forest 0
NF have a freekick near the LCFC goal. Whipped in, and deflected behind for a corner. Oh gosh....
Defended ok on that occasion.
5 mins: Leicester City 0 Nottingham Forest 0
Making a nuisance of himself is Vardy, a dinked cross across. Then Maddison keeps it alive with some excellent footwork, stands the ball up for Dewsbury-Hall, who should have done a lot better with a header from five yards. Well, to be clear, he should definitely have scored.
3 mins: Leicester City 0 Nottingham Forest 0
Forest's Captain Cook is caught offside from that second corner.
2 mins: Leicester City 0 Nottingham Forest 0
Forest have an early corner, Leicester defend it with all the assurance we have come to expect from them at set pieces, ie none. Keeper comes out waving at his mother, it's half cleared and O'Brien can have a shot. Deflected behind.
1 mins: Leicester City 0 Nottingham Forest 0
Excellent atmosphere there as Dewsbury-Hall makes the first move of the game, driving forward and shooting over.
Leicester: Ward, Castagne, Evans, Faes, Justin, Ndidi, Maddison, Tielemans, Dewsbury-Hall, Barnes, Vardy. Subs: Albrighton, Iheanacho, Perez, Amartey, Daka, Praet, Iversen, Thomas, Soumare.
Nottingham Forest: Henderson, Williams, Cook, McKenna, Renan Lodi, Kouyate, O'Brien, Johnson, Gibbs-White, Lingard, Awoniyi. Subs: Worrall, Mangala, Hennessey, Surridge, Yates, Freuler, Aurier, Dennis, Boly.
Referee: Robert Jones (Merseyside)
The players are ready
It looks like a back four for Forest. Let's play.
More Midlands news
Julen Lopetegui and Bo Svensson are emerging as Wolverhampton Wanderers’ top targets after the dismissal of Bruno Lage, writes John Percy and Mike McGrath.
Wolves are close to finalising their shortlist and Lopetegui, the Sevilla manager, and Mainz’s Svensson are understood to be high on the list of candidates.
Lopetegui was close to taking over at Wolves six years ago after the takeover by Fosun but accepted an offer to manage the Spain national team instead.
The 56-year-old went on to manage Real Madrid, but is in danger of being dismissed this week following Sevilla’s poor start to the season.
Wolves remain interested in the Spaniard and will monitor the situation with Sevilla, who play Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League tomorrow night.
Svensson, 43, is also under serious consideration after his impressive work in the Bundesliga. After taking charge in January last year, the former Denmark international has guided Mainz to 12th and eighth-placed finishes and earned praise for his coaching methods.
"A few went away to internationals but quite a lot stayed behind. We have used the time wisely. Get to know the players, build.
"Lingard has undoubted quality and experience and we need a good version of him to give us a chance. We neeed everybody to think about what it takes to win, about our game plan."
There is a home debut tonight
for Wout Faes, who will play at the back for Leicester. He is a 24-year-old Belgian.
Monday Night Football
Don't want to draw focus from this important fixture, but more very good sports broadcasting on this just now as Gary Neville explains why Trent Alexander-Arnold's body position is defensively wrong, and holding him back. Gary, showing off the footwork that made him a very useful young cricketer, demonstrates how Trent needs to get low and move.
Jamie Vardy's return to Leicester's starting line-up in the only change to Brendan Rodgers' side for the home match against fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest.
Vardy replaces Patson Daka as Rodgers otherwise keeps faith with the side that lost 6-2 to Tottenham on September 17, with Wilfred Ndidi fit to start after leaving Nigeria's international camp early with a hamstring problem.
Jesse Lingard returns for Forest as Steve Cooper makes three changes from the side beaten 3-2 by Fulham last time out.
Lewis O'Brien and Cheikhou Kouyate also returne as Remo Freuler, Ryan Yates and Willy Boly all drop to the bench, where Serge Aurier awaits his debut.
Fans ready to cheer their team on
Carragher on Haaland - excellent TV
"You remember that picture of Maradona against Belgium when there is all those players around him and they look frightened? I reckon that is how the United players were against Haaland. When you play someone genuinely world class there is that fear factor. The only player I had that against was Thierry Henry 2002-2004. You don't think, I am going to stop him scoring. You think, I hope he does not embarrass me. When I played him I could not think about the other players or the game. Just him."
Jamie reckons that the striker is going to take MCFC to another plane. Gurreh agrees. God knows how anyone catches them now.
The two teams on display tonight, of course, have many different problems.
"Continuing positivity about the attacking side of our game because that has been okay but sometimes the game is about the desire to stop the ball going in your own goal. We played well against Tottenham but this is a league where you have to close down every bit of space. The international break has given us time to work.
"This is a season-changing game. We should have won a game. A victory in a derby gives you confidence. Great opportunity for Vardy, he loves these occasions and he will be a threat, however long he plays for."
Band on the run
have been beaten in their last four. No shame in losing to City and Spurs, but getting turned over at home against Fulham and Bournemouth is bad, especially given that they led in both matches.
Leicester City: Ward, Castagne, Evans, Faes, Justin, Ndidi, Maddison, Tielemans, Dewsbury-Hall, Barnes, Vardy.
Subs: Albrighton, Iheanacho, Perez, Amartey, Daka, Praet, Iversen, Thomas, Soumare.
Nottingham Forest: Henderson, Williams, Cook, McKenna, Renan Lodi, Gibbs-White, O'Brien, Kouyate, Lingard, Johnson, Awoniyi.
Subs: Aurier, Worrall, Mangala, Hennessey, Surridge, Yates, Freuler, Dennis, Boly.
Referee: Robert Jones (Merseyside).
Any fans heading to the game...
"Supporters heading to the LCFC stadium tonight should be advised that the M1 is in the process of being closed in both directions between Junction 20 and Junction 21" = helpful tweet from the club's supporter account.
Smiling broadly there as he enters the stadium. Nervous?
Boss is in the building
Apparently he doesn't come very often. Presumably it's not because he's dying to see Forest, but rather to run the rule over B-Rodge and/or tell him something man to man.
What's going on in the Midlands, then?
Perhaps we can get Mr Percy to explain what the heck is going on with football in the region at the moment! These two, bottom and second bottom as discussed, and then Wolves 18th and Villa 14th. In the Championship, similarly grim viewing for Midlanders as a collective: Blues 15th, Stoke 17th, Baggies 21st i.e. one point above the dropzone, and poor old Coventry flat last on just six points. Although, in fairness, they have played just eight matches and others in the division as many as 11. But still. Whappen?
Points - and jobs - on the line
Good evening and welcome to our Monday night football blog of Leicester City vs Nottingham Forest. The home side are flat bottom of the Premier League and they have managed just one point in their first seven fixtures. It's not quite historically awful (Palace in 17/18 lost all of their first seven) but it is pretty bad and a man of Brendan Rogers's experience must be expecting that the bell will toll soon if he doesn't start winning.
Their visitors have not got a lot to shout about either, of course. Nottingham Forest have got only four points so far from their seven fixtures, they have lost four of their last five, so Steve Cooper likewise won't be planning a kitchen extension for the time being. If there is a sense of a shared plight between the two gaffers, you wouldn't now it from Cooper's press conference comments the other day: "Brendan is a really experienced manager and a really good manager as well - he doesn’t need any sympathy or support from me. In regards to any manager, we go through all of those emotions and some guys have done it a lot longer than I’ve done it, I’ve only been doing it for three years."
It's you or me, by the sounds of it... Funnily enough, though, neither of these leads the betting market for the next Prem manager to go odds. The man with his backside in that particular bacon slicer is Ralph Hasenhüttl of Southampton, even money favourite to be on his bike next.
Brendan has said: "I’m really looking forward to it because I know the heat is on. Everyone is looking at us and that’s what you want, you want to go and perform." We will see which 11 men he sends out to fight for his job at about an hour before kick off, which is to say 7pm ahead of an 8pm start. No doubt Gary Neville and/or Roy Keane will be on Sky Sports Monday Night Football ABSOLUTELY DESTROYING Manchester United later so I expect we'll check in on that in case one of them does something especially
That brilliant Midlands football man Mr John Percy will be dropping in I am sure with expertise and nuggets of news about Leicester and Forest. And here is Perce with his preview: Leicester City vs Nottingham Forest has become ‘El Sackico’