Leicester City will make the short trip to the Pirelli Stadium on Wednesday for their second competitive game of the season on Wednesday, as they meet third-tier Burton Albion in the first round of the EFL Cup.
Following their relegation from the Premier League last term, the Foxes began life in the Championship with a victory away at Coventry City on Sunday, while their visitors suffered a defeat to Blackpool in their League One curtain-raiser.
After suffering an opening defeat last time out, Burton Albion now head into their second competitive match of the 2023-24 season – their first full term under the management of Dino Maamria.
He stepped into the hot season in early September last year, after the Brewers endured a dismal start to the League One season, and guided them to a commendable 15th-placed finish in England’s third tier, as they amassed 56 points from 46 outings.
They then turned their focus to the new term with the aim of building on that finish, and after ending pre-season with draws against Crewe Alexandra, Brackley Town and West Bromwich Albion and defeats to Stoke City and Scunthorpe United, the Brewers faced a tough start in League One with a trip to newly-relegated Blackpool on the opening day.
Maamria’s men did not enjoy a good start to that contest, as they found themselves 2-0 down inside the opening 25 minutes following a Shayne Lavery brace, and they were unable to fight back at Bloomfield Road, eventually leaving empty-handed as a result.
The Brewers will now look to bounce back from that defeat in their curtain-raiser and take a major scalp to advance in the EFL Cup and build confidence ahead of their return to league action on Saturday in another tough test at home to Derby County.
Preview: Burton Albion vs. Leicester – prediction, team news, lineups
They meet a Leicester City who headed into the new season with plenty of change around the club, following their relegation from the Premier League last term.
Just seven seasons after winning the English top flight, the Foxes were unable to avoid the drop to the Championship, with Dean Smith departing over the summer after taking over from previous boss Brendan Rodgers in the run-in.
In their bid to make an immediate return to the Premier League, the hierarchy turned to Enzo Maresca to lead them forward as manager, and after their preparations culminated in a 4-0 friendly defeat to Liverpool, the Foxes began their Championship campaign at home to Coventry City on Sunday.
They would fall behind early in the second half as Kyle McFadzean headed in an opener, but Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall would draw them level with a header of his own in the 77th minute, before curling a winner into the top corner three minutes from time to seal all three points for his side.
Maresca’s men will now aim to make it back-to-back wins to kick off the season to progress to the second round of the competition they reached the quarter-finals of last time around, before travelling to Huddersfield Town in their second league outing on Saturday.
Burton Albion form (all competitions):
Leicester City form (all competitions):
We say: Burton Albion 0-3 Leicester City
Leicester are bound to rotate heavily on Wednesday, but they certainly have the strength in depth to comfortably get past Burton Albion, especially with the likes of Iheanacho and Daka fighting to earn their new manager’s favour.