By George Overhill

18th Oct, 2022 | 11:10am

Leeds United receive big James Maddison boost, Leicester have problems - Phil Hay

James Maddison being suspended is a big boost for Leeds United against a Leicester side who have “got problems”, according to Phil Hay.

The Foxes star number 10 was booked late in their goalless draw at Crystal Palace on Saturday (15 October), his fifth of the season, ruling him out for the Whites game on Thursday (20 October).

After losing a match they could have won against Arsenal on Sunday (16 October) Jesse Marsch badly needs a win to avoid slipping towards another relegation battle, and Hay believes the next match is the ideal opportunity against a team that are already in one.

On the Monday 17 October episode of The Phil Hay Show (24min 45sec), host Dan Moylan raised the Maddison suspension and suggested it was a “big boost” to Marsch and the Whites.

Hay responded: “It is. I always think of Maddison as one of Leicester’s best players and a player who another club will go big on at some point.

“They’ve got problems, Leicester. They’ve gone beyond the point now where you can say they’ve just had a little bit of a stumble to begin with.

“They are badly out of form, the league position for them is terrible, it’s five points from 10 games and they are already in for a pretty major fight to stay up.

“So it’s a winnable game, and I look at the performance against Arsenal and think if Leeds play anything like that then they should win at the King Power.”

100%

The season isn’t over if United fail to take three points on Thursday but it will surely negate all the positivity that has built up by the much-improved showing at the weekend.

Running the league-leaders so close is only a good sign because it suggests that playing in such a way will win subsequent games.

But if those subsequent games end up going begging the side will be left with nothing, so the finishing will need to be far sharper than it was at Elland Road.

If they can stay out of their own way would also be a great help, as so much good work has been undone with self-sabotage lately.

Rodrigo’s wild cross-field ball towards Pascal Struijk was what led to Bukayo Saka’s goal in the Arsenal loss, while two mistakes from captain Liam Cooper came before the two Palace goals a week before.

Add to that Luis Sinisterra’s needless sending off against Aston Villa and it is every game since the international break that has seen crucial elements play into the hands of the opposition that could have been avoided.

If there is any team in the league not called Nottingham Forest who will struggle to capitalise though it is Leicester, especially with Maddison out, so if the Whites can keep it tight and get the win then perhaps the added belief can spark them into another one against Fulham next Sunday (23 October).

In other Leeds United news, one of the loan managers for the young Elland Road talents admits the player has been treated unfairly.