Leicester

Ricardo Pereira was Leicester’s unsung hero in Watford win

Ricardo Pereira was Leicester’s unsung hero in Watford win

Leicester City supporters have been in fine voice in recent times after seeing their team record a sixth Premier League victory of the season on Saturday.

Claude Puel’s men went into their clash with fellow mid-table side Watford at the King Power Stadium unbeaten in their last four league matches, and thus full of confidence ahead of the visit of Javi Gracia’s Hornets. And the Foxes extended that unbeaten run to five games with a 2-0 success in the Midlands on Saturday, with goals from Jamie Vardy and James Maddison inspiring the hosts to eighth place in the Premier League table.

As such, there have been many delighted Leicester fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have been heaping praise on playmaker Maddison for his excellent goal and fine all round display at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

The Englishman has made a hugely encouraging start to life at Leicester following his summer move from Norwich City, and Saturday was another example of just how talented the 22-year-old is, what with his superb goal helping the Foxes negate the threat Watford were posing.

And while Maddison thus deserves huge credit for his exploits on Saturday, it was the performance of right back Ricardo Pereira, valued at £18 million by Transfermarkt, which played a vital role in Leicester’s success at the King Power Stadium.

The 25-year-old made the move to the Midlands outfit during the summer after impressing at Portuguese giants Porto last season, and he is certainly beginning to showcase his ability in English football after another very accomplished display at the weekend.

The right back touched the ball on 57 occasions during the 90 minutes to underline his busy involvement in proceedings (as per WhoScored), only two Leicester players touched it more often, and while he only completed 16 of the 23 passes he attempted, one of those was a key pass to underline his desire to get forward and help out in attack – something Puel wants of his full backs.

And while he wasn’t able to get on the scoresheet or contribute an assist, there is little doubting that the 25-year-old did carry a threat going forward, but it was defensively, an area that he hasn’t always been particularly effective, in which Pereira really shone on Saturday.

The Portugal international won a team-high six aerial duels over the course of the 90 minutes to help deal with that threat from Gracia’s Watford, while he completed all four of the tackles he attempted – no Leicester defender completed more.

Add in an impressive three interceptions, a block, and a staggering 15 clearances, and it’s clear just how well the 25-year-old read the game on Saturday, but significantly he showed true defensive ability in dealing accordingly with the threat posed by the visitors.

Ultimately, Pereira hasn’t always proven his defensive worth in the early stages of his Leicester career, but the right back was very impressive in his own defensive third at the weekend – Maddison may get the plaudits for a fine display, but Pereira was the man behind the Foxes’ victory on Saturday.

Leicester fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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