Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Leicester City will look to climb to top two in Group C when they take on Spartak Moscow at their King Power Stadium on Thursday evening. The Foxes did well to beat Spartak 4-3 in Moscow two weeks ago, with summer signing Patson Daka scoring four goals at Otkrytiye Arena. The Zambia international should replace Jamie Vardy in the starting XI, with Lookman and Barnes pushing for a start as well. All Pereira, Justin, Fofana, and Albrighton remain in the recovery room.
The Russians, on the other hand, have been struggling at the back of late, and seeing that they were hammered by Zenit (1-7) in their last away game, we believe that there is a big value in betting on Brendan Rodgers’ troops. Belgium international Caufriez returns from suspension, while all Maslov, Melkadze, Ponce, and Umyarov should miss out with injuries.
Highlighted Player (Jamie Vardy):
Spending his early career playing no-league football, Jamie Vardy made the headlines when he joined Leicester City in a £1 million deal in 2012, but little did he know that he would go on to become a genuine Premier League star just three years later.
The experienced forward helped the Foxes gain promotion to the elite division and then score more than 20 goals as they mounted an unlikely title bid, earning worldwide acclaim as well as a place in the England squad. Vardy went on to score his first two goals for the Three Lions in March 2016 friendlies, with his back-heel goal against Germany in Berlin seeing him instantly become a fans’ favourite.
Over the years, Vardy has earned a reputation as a striker who never gives up and can be a real menace for opposition defenders, but his excellent goalscoring record and good link-up play are enough to suggest he can be described as a mix of old-style pacey forwards and modern strikers.
Highlighted Team (Spartak Moscow):
Spartak Moscow are the most successful club in Russia. The Narodnaya komanda did well to win the Soviet championship on 12 occasions and they won their tenth Russian Premier League title in the 2016/2017 season.
Speaking of the club’s European success, Spartak Moscow made it to the European Cup (Champions League) semis in the 1990/1991 season, but Ligue 1 side Olympique Marseille proved to be a big catch for the Russian champions. Spartak were beaten by OM 3-1 in Moscow, while suffering a 2-1 loss to the French side in the return leg at Stade Velodrome.
The club was founded in 1922 and they are considered as “the people’s team”. Spartak Moscow welcome their rivals at Otkrytie Arena, the stadium which was opened in September 2014. The venue will be called Spartak Stadium during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The club’s main rivals are Dynamo Moscow and there have always been fireworks in clashes between the two capital clubs.