Harvey Barnes was in exceptional form before a knee injury derailed his 2020-21 campaign, but now the Leicester City winger is eager to hit the ground running, starting with Saturday’s clash against Wolves.
Barnes scored 13 goals across all competitions last season, but his campaign was ended by a knee injury in February.
The 23-year-old has returned to fitness over pre-season, however, and played 79 minutes of Leicester’s Community Shield victory over Manchester City last weekend.
Now, Barnes is determined to make up for lost time as Leicester look to mount another successful season under Brendan Rodgers.
“I’m feeling really good,” he told CITY Matchday Magazine. “I feel like I’ve come back in really good shape and, on the match fitness side, I think I’m pretty much there now. I’ve had a good pre-season, where I was able to gradually build up my minutes from game to game. The work I did during the off-season has really helped and put me in good stead for the season ahead. Hopefully I can pick up from where I left off.
“Wolves are never easy opponents and as you’ve seen over the last few seasons, games between us are usually quite tight. They obviously have a new manager now so there will be an element of the unexpected. But we’re feeling confident and really looking forward to it.”
Wolves are now under the tutelage of Bruno Lage, who has replaced Nuno Espirito Santo at the helm.
“I am talking with the board, they already know the profile of the players we want, the positions for the players we want, so I trust them. We know what we need to do to be a better team,” Lage said when asked if Wolves would be looking to make any more signings before the end of the transfer window.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Leicester City – Jamie Vardy
Vardy has scored six goals in six Premier League appearances in their opening match of the season, the joint-most of any current Premier League player on MD1, along with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.
Wolves – Raul Jimenez
Jimenez was a huge miss for Wolves last season, and Lage will be hoping the striker picks up where he left off after missing so much time with a serious head injury.
KEY OPTA FACTS
Of Leicester striker Vardy’s 118 Premier League goals, 84 have come since he turned 30. Only Ian Wright (93) has scored more Premier League goals after turning 30 than Vardy.
Only bottom side Sheffield United scored fewer away goals (8) in the Premier League than Wolves (15) last season. Meanwhile, Leicester conceded 30 home goals last term, the most by a side finishing in the top five of the top-flight since Queens Park Rangers in 1992-93 (32 conceded, finished 5th).
Leicester have lost three of their last four Premier League games (W1), as many as they had in their previous 13 prior to this (W7 D3). At home, the Foxes have lost their last two league games, conceding four goals each time. They had only conceded 4+ goals in two of their previous 75 league matches at the King Power Stadium beforehand.
Leicester have won their opening fixture in just one of the last five Premier League campaigns (D1 L3), though that victory was last season against West Brom (3-0).
Since Wolves’ return to the Premier League in 2018, they’ve failed to score in five of their six meetings with Leicester (W1 D3 L2), with the exception being a 4-3 home win in January 2019. Three of those five failures have been in goalless draws.