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Leicester City U21 (Leasing.com Trophy) Preview

4 December 2019

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Rovers take on Leicester City U21s in the Leasing.Com Trophy second round stage at the Keepmoat Stadium on Wednesday night.

Darren Moore’s side go into the game looking to get back to winning ways after the 3-0 defeat at Gillingham in the Emirates FA Cup second round.

 

Leicester’s group stage story

The young foxes got their campaign underway with a 1-1 draw at Sky Bet League Two side Scunthorpe United back in September. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall opened the scoring before Ryan Colclough’s leveller for the home side. They managed to gain an extra point though with a penalty shootout victory at Glanford Park.

They secured their first outright victory in this season’s competition when they beat Grimsby Town 2-1 at Blundell Park. A double from Josh Eppiah was enough to put Leicester on the verge of qualification to the knockout stages.

They secured their progression in their final group game, as a penalty from George Hirst followed by a strike from Dewsbury-Hall sealed another 2-1 victory, this time coming against Sunderland at the Stadium Of Light.

 

Who’s the gaffer?

Former Rovers manager Steve Beaglehole as been in charge of Leicester’s U21s side since the start of the 2012-13 campaign. He first joined the Foxes in the late 90s under then manager Martin O’Neill, and has also been in caretaker charge on a couple of occasions over the years.

 

Ones to watch

Elden Jakupovic

The experienced goalkeeper has been one of the older players used by the Foxes in this season’s Leasing.com Trophy. Having spent time with eight different clubs across four countries throughout his career, Jakupovic joined Leicester in the summer of 2017 from Hull City, following then teammate Harry Maguire to the King Power Stadium. He has seen his appearances for the club limited largely to cup competitions since then, but provides a good back-up option to first-team manager Brendan Rodgers.

 

Filip Benkovic

The Croatian U21 international joined Leicester in the summer of 2018 after a successful season with Dinamo Zagreb. The 22-year-old stands at 6ft 4’ and had made a name as one of Europe’s best young defenders prior to his move to the King Power Stadium, and played in two UEFA Champions League campaigns for Zagreb. He spent his first season at Leicester on loan at Scottish Premier League champions Celtic, before returning this summer.

 

George Hirst

A highly rated striker, Hirst came through the youth system at Sheffield Wednesday and was linked with several big money moves away from Hillsborough as a teenager. His move would come eventually but it was somewhat of a surprise when he joined Belgian second division side OH Leuven, who were then managed by former Foxes manager Nigel Pearson. He returned to English football to sign for Leicester in the summer, and is already off the mark for his new club in the Leasing.com Trophy.

 

Who’s the ref?

Ollie Yates will be the man in the middle when Rovers take on Leicester City U21s on Wednesday night, and you can find out more about him here.

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