Leicester v Huddersfield preview: Claude Puel labels game as 'crucial'
Last Updated: 01/01/18 7:54am
Claude Puel has labelled Leicester's New Year's Day clash at Huddersfield as "crucial", with the Foxes looking to end their winless run.
Since claiming victory four times in a row in the Premier League, Leicester have taken only one point from the four games that have followed and the Frenchman is targeting Monday's game as a must win.
"This is a crucial game for us," Puel said. "We need to build new momentum. It is not a good period for the results. We need to make progress with our quality, after we regain possession for example.
"There is fantastic hard work from all the team, with togetherness and a positive outlook. We were leading a lot in these last few away games but often the team can come back against us. We need to have more control of the game."
Eighth-placed Leicester face a Huddersfield outfit who they lead by three places and three points in the table, but the Terriers are unbeaten in their last four Premier League games (W1 D3) - their longest streak in the competition.
"It's all about survival," Wagner said of staying in England's top flight. "This chapter we started with the first game of the Premier League, I think we are on track, not more.
"We know we have to improve. We're on a good starting point to achieve our target, to survive in the Premier League, not more, not less. Anything else is totally irrelevant."
Leicester will assess Ben Chilwell ahead of the game after the defender missed Saturday's 2-1 loss at Liverpool due to illness.
Robert Huth, sidelined since the summer by an ankle injury, has been nearing a first-team return but is not set to make it in this contest and Danny Simpson (hamstring) is still out.
While Adrien Silva will be registered for the Foxes in January, it will not be in time for him to be involved in the game against the Terriers.
Huddersfield will assess defender Florent Hadergjonaj after he took a knock during Saturday's goalless home draw against Burnley, so skipper Tommy Smith could return to the starting line-up.
Centre-half Michael Hefele returned to the bench on Saturday after a long-term Achilles injury, but still needs game time with the U23s. Philip Billing (ankle) and Jon Gorenc Stankovic (knee) are still unavailable.
Leicester are unbeaten in their last eight home league games against Huddersfield since October 1954, two draws followed by six consecutive wins.
Huddersfield's 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture at the John Smith's Stadium ended a run of seven straight league defeats against the Foxes, since beating them 3-1 in November 1995.
This will be Leicester's first home league game played on New Year's Day since 2013 - when they beat Huddersfield 6-1 in the Championship.
Leicester haven't lost at home to a newly promoted Premier League side since August 2001, when they lost 5-0 to Bolton; the Foxes are unbeaten in 13 games since (W8 D5 L0).
After winning four in a row under Claude Puel, the Foxes have since gone four Premier League games without a win (D1 L3) and have lost consecutive league games for the first time since September.
Laurent Depoitre has scored in his last two away league games - the last Huddersfield player to score in three consecutive league games on the road was Nahki Wells in April 2014.
Jamie Vardy has found the net in both of his last two league appearances against Huddersfield, including a penalty in the reverse fixture at the John Smith's Stadium.
Pick your dream team for the Champions League final to be the latest £50k jackpot winner.
Leicester have not been in great form lately but I think they will have too much for Huddersfield with their attacking players. Huddersfield have managed to get a couple of away results recently but I don't expect them to get anything here.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1 (12/1 with Sky Bet)