Talking Tactics

Albrighton back in title-winning form

Adrian Clarke 11 Jan 2018
Marc Albrighton, Leicester City

Adrian Clarke on why Chelsea must beware threat of Leicester City winger on Saturday

In each of the past two Premier League campaigns Marc Albrighton delivered two goals and six assists for Leicester City

In 2017/18 the winger has already matched those feats with 16 matches still left to play. 

Albrighton was on the bench for Claude Puel’s first two matches as manager, but soon won over the Frenchman with his high workrate and consistent delivery. 

Since mid-November he has started 10 of 11 matches for Leicester, and he will almost certainly carry a threat for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Left is best

While Albrighton has shown enough versatility to operate on the right of midfield, at wing-back, and in a No 10 role this term, he has been most effective on the left. 

This is where I’d expect him to start against Chelsea. 

To his credit, Puel was quick to spot that Albrighton’s pinpoint right-foot deliveries from the left are one of the team’s strongest assets. 

Four of Albrighton’s five assists under the new manager have been similar in style. 

CC

As the video above demonstrates, right-footed inswinging crosses from the left set up goals for Jamie Vardy (v Tottenham Hotspur), Riyad Mahrez (v Watford and v Huddersfield Town) and Harry Maguire (v Manchester United).

So whenever Albrighton goes down that wing at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, Chelsea would be advised to get tight enough to block any attempted cross.

Albrighton's beneficiaries 2017/18
Assists forChances created for
Vardy2Mahrez6
Mahrez2Gray6
Gray1Vardy5
Maguire1Maguire3

The chemistry Albrighton struck up with Mahrez and Vardy during Leicester’s title-winning season has come to the fore again. 

The moment he shapes to deliver a ball into the box both Mahrez and Vardy instinctively get on the move.

Although he is asked to take a lot of Leicester’s set-pieces, Albrighton is undoubtedly Puel’s best and most prolific crosser from open play.

He has supplied 23 accurate crosses this term, eight more than his nearest team-mate, Mahrez, and his total of 15 accurate crosses is ranked seventh in the league for this metric, excluding corners. 

Albrighton’s end-product 
Contribution15/1616/1717/18
Mins per assist460.8403.8262.5
Mins per goal1382.51211.5787.5
Mins per chance created44.650.850.8

Statistically, Albrighton’s form is comparable with the fantastic levels he reached in 2015/16. 

While he is not creating quite as many goalscoring opportunities, his output in terms of goals and assists is far superior. 

As an industrious, no-frills midfielder who largely sticks to basics, the 28-year-old is likely to remain an unsung hero at King Power Stadium. 

But his output should not be underestimated. 

When the two most recent Premier League champions lock horns this weekend Albrighton could well prove to be the biggest thorn in Chelsea’s side.

Also in this series

Part 2: How Alonso has become a threat for Chelsea
Part 3: Liverpool pace can end City's unbeaten run
Part 4: How Lingard has sped up Mourinho's Man Utd

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