29 August 2020 22:30
Manager Brendan Rodgers was able to welcome back to his squad defenders Wes Morgan and Luke Thomas, Belgium international Dennis Praet and strikers Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho for the clash in north Leicestershire. The venue proved to be a familiar one for several young members of Saturday's matchday squad – defender Darnell Johnson, Zimbabwe senior Admiral Muskwe and Harvey Barnes, the scorer of City's 2019/20 Goal of the Season. The trio of Foxes were all involved at Loughborough Stadium, where nearly four years prior they represented the Club in the UEFA Youth League against FC Porto and FC Copenhagen, with Barnes going on to make his first team debut in the UEFA Champions League not long after. City's first opportunity to score came on six minutes, when James Justin – the only player to complete the full 90 minutes – ventured deep into the Owls box before having a strike blocked at the last minute, while at the other end, Dominic Iorfa missed a huge chance for Garry Monk's side. More good work from Justin this time saw him send in a fine pass to Vardy, whose first-time effort was saved at the front post by shot-stopper Cameron Dawson before Youri Tielemans fired the rebound over the bar.
Rodgers was then forced into making a change on the half-hour mark as captain Morgan went down, and had to be replaced by young defender Johnson for the final 15 minutes of the first half. At the interval, Iheanacho came off the bench to make his first appearance of pre-season, replacing Vardy, while young midfielder Sidnei Tavares was introduced in place of the returning Praet, and a largely untested Kasper Schmeichel made way for Danny Ward. Changes followed on the hour mark, too, with defenders Vontae Daley-Campbell and Filip Benković, and midfielders Hamza Choudhury and Demarai Gray providing fresh legs throughout the XI for the Foxes. A chance for half-time substitute Iheanacho followed as the Nigeria frontman won the ball on the halfway line, sprinted towards goal and dragged wide of the target with 66 minutes gone in Loughborough. Both sides then traded blows, with Gray spurning two excellent chances – one of them well saved by Joe Wildsmith – within the space of a few minutes sandwiching a miss from Sheffield Wednesday attacker Charles Hagan. Youngsters Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Josh Knight and Josh Eppiah were then afforded minutes on the pitch, with Tielemans, Çağlar Söyüncü and Barnes all making way with just over 10 minutes to play. In the closing stages, one last push from City followed, as Dewsbury-Hall combined with Gray, but the latter's touch fell into the arms of substitute goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith, who collected the ball. Major moment Expand photo Jamie Vardy Jamie Vardy made his first appearance of pre-season against the Owls. City's best opportunity of the match fell to their all-time leading Premier League goalscorer Jamie Vardy, who forced Cameron Dawson into a good save at the near post on 18 minutes. James Justin's well-weighted pass – played with his left foot – was struck first time by the Foxes No.9, but the Sheffield Wednesday 'keeper spread himself well to keep his clean sheet intact. Who impressed? Expand photo James Justin James Justin was the only player to feature from start to finish against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday. Former City centre-back Matt Elliott told LCFC TV: "When the players have been rotated heavily, it's difficult to select a Man of the Match, but James Justin springs to mind because he played the entirety of the game. He did well in the first half and less so in the second 45 minutes. He's got the flexibility to play at right-back or left-back." Coming up… Expand photo Brendan Rodgers Brendan Rodgers saw 21 players take to the field on Saturday. Leicester City will next be in pre-season action at King Power Stadium, where they host Blackburn Rovers on Saturday 5 September (1pm kick-off). Their Premier League campaign, meanwhile, gets underway eight days later when they head to The Hawthorns to take on Slaven Bilić's West Bromwich Albion (2pm kick-off). All times BST.