Will Kelechi Iheanacho Be Leicester City’s Hero?
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By Mazi Jaka
If Rodgers and Leicester are to pull of the FA Cup win – the first in the Foxes’ history – they’ll need to find a way through Chelsea’s mean defence. Under Thomas Tuchel, the Blues have kept 19 clean sheets in 26 games.
However, while Jamie Vardy (two goals in his last 24 games) has struggled to re-find his goal-scoring form since having a hernia operation earlier this year, Kelechi Iheancho has stepped up.
Leicester’s Nigerian striker has hit 15 goals in his last 17 games and has an outstanding record in FA Cup ties, finding the net 14 times in his last 19 appearances in the competition.
Sky Sports football writer Ron Walker says sustaining that output will be the next challenge for Iheanacho, 24, as he looks to establish his reputation, but believes Leicester have the tools at their disposal to trouble Chelsea.
“Iheanacho has always looked like he had something about him,” Walker told the Pitch to Post Preview Podcast. “Even when he was at Man City and he was very raw. There was a reason he was on the fringes there and sometimes you just need something to fall for you and then it goes like that.
“It will be interesting to see whether this is a purple patch or if he can keep these sort of numbers up to be a first-choice striker for a team in the Champions League places.
“But Rodgers, to a certain extent, would have been sat quite happily watching Arsenal against Chelsea. I know Chelsea made a lot of changes but Arsenal were happy to sit back, soak up pressure and try – although not massively succeed – to hit Chelsea on the break.
“I know Rodgers has made Leicester into a team more comfortable on the ball but the way they won the Premier League was hitting teams on the break. I know Vardy has changed his game a little bit and he’s becoming more of the man to play alongside Iheanacho at the moment but they have plenty of pace in the team.
“Chelsea have only scored more than two goals in one game in the entire time Tuchel has been there. They’re just not that prolific, so if you can frustrate them, with the pace, trickery and guile Leicester have got on the break, they’re always going to get chances.”