Opponents in focus - Leicester
Founded in 1884 as Leicester Fosse, Leicester City moved into their old ground on Filbert Street in 1891. They remained here for 110 years, before moving to the Walker's Stadium in 2002. In their history they won a total of six Second Division Trophies and three League Cups. They also won the League One title, in what was their only ever season outside of the top two tiers of English football.
In 2002, Leicester entered administration and were saved by a consortium led by fan favourite and Leicester and England legend Gary Lineker. After this, then-manager Micky Adams promoted the club to the Premiership along with Portsmouth. However, Leicester were relegated the following season, and they then began flirting with relegation in the Championship. Managers came ad went, and eventually in 2006 Milan Mandaric, the ex-Pompey chairman, went and took over buying the club for around £6 million.
Mandaric eventually settled on Ian Holloway as manager, and he was the first manager in over 50 years to win their first game in charge. Despite this, they were relegated to League One, with Nigel Pearson taking over from Holloway. Leicester's first ever season outside of the top two tiers in English football saw them win the League One title, and regain promotion to the Championship as champions. The following season, last season, was a strong one for a Leicester side that were hotly tipped for promotion, and it is widely expected that the team will hold their own again this season, and gain promotion to the top flight once more.
Leicester colours are predominantly blue, with the home kit consisting of a blue shirt with white trimming, white shorts and blue socks. The away kit is luminous yellow, and the third kit is a neat black all over, with a turquoise diagonal strip along the front of the shirt.
Last season was a very successful season for Leicester, given that they were newly promoted. The revival under Nigel Pearson saw them finish 5th, only losing out to penalties in the play-off semifinal, after what is possibly the worst penalty I've ever seen losing it for Leicester. One blow to Leicester over the summer is the departure of the man in charge Nigel Pearson, who has gone to Hull City.
The last meeting between the sides was six years ago, and it resulted in a 3-1 win to the Foxes. In fact, the last time Portsmouth beat Leicester was in 1996, when Deon Burton and Paul Hall scored the goals in a 2-1 victory.
Portsmouth v Leicester - 24th September 2010 - 7.45pm kick off
Leicester v Portsmouth - 19th March 2011 - 3.00pm kick off
Paulo Sousa has recently taken over from Nigel Pearson and is yet to play a game in charge of the Foxes. However, he was in charge at Swansea last season, who just missed out on a play-off place. It is as yet unknown whether or not Sousa will be a hit with the Leicester fans.
Most of Leicester's players from League One stayed in the squad to help fight in the Championship for promotion. Matty Fryatt, Leicester's leading goalscorer in League One with 32, will be a threat, despite missing most of last season due to a jaw injury. The £3m rated striker will be looking to fire the Foxes to Championship glory, and he'll take no prisoners, especially against Portsmouth.
Leicester have a lot of unknown, quality. Players such as Aleksander Tunchev and Dany N'Guessan will be key to Leicester's promotion hopes. Tunchev is a class defender, and N'Guessan along with ex-scummer Matty Oakley will form a water-tight midfield. Also, Yann Kermorgant (despite missing a penalty in the play-off semi final against Cardiff) will be looking to provide goals upfront. But there's quality in the wings, as Leicester can not only look to Fryatt and Yann, but DJ Campbell and Steve Howard.
Don't underestimate Leicester - I personally firmly believe they have a strong chance for automatic promotion this season, and on their day can beat anybody.
In their entire Football League history, Leicester have only played outside of the top two divisions once, and that was the season before last, in League One.
Portsmouth FC's heaviest EVER defeat came at the hands of Leicester. 10-1 to the Foxes in 1928. Incidentally this was two seasons after our record win: 9-1 over Notts County.
Famous fans include: Gary Linker, Kasabian, Roy Cropper from Corrie, Willie Thorne, Manish Bhasin (Football Focus), Engelbert Humperdinck, Rusty Lee and Bill Maynard (Greengrass from Heartbeat)
Written by PFCGino.
The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.
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