“I think they’re an all-round team, that’s the problem,” he said in his pre-match interview. “They’re very good when passing, they have composure and front players that are very dangerous when attacking.
“Then they have the midfield players that can find them with passes. They don’t have any weaknesses at the back – basically we’re describing a team that’s one of the top teams in the country and that’s why they are in third place.”
Hodgson was disappointed to go more than a fortnight without a game after defeat to Chelsea last time out.
“Perhaps we won’t know until the game is underway,” he said, “but it is an unwanted break. It’s not something we signed up for. To keep some sort of rhythm going and trying to get that balance right between training for matches and playing matches I think is quite difficult.
“We had recovered a large part of our squad anyway before this 16-day break. I must say it’s something we’ve not enjoyed too much, especially since we now have to fit those games in and it means we’ve got a very hectic schedule in the last few weeks of the season.
“It’s not nice to go into long breaks when you haven’t given the performance you were hoping for. Unfortunately our programme will be a bit like that: it started with Chelsea and continued with Leicester tonight; we have Man City coming and we’ve still got to go to Liverpool.
“This run of fixtures is likely to throw up a lot of challenges.”
Hodgson confirmed that Gary Cahill’s absence was injury related, but that he expects the defender to be back amongst the action very soon.
“He has a very minor strain,” he explained. “This came around a day or two early. I fully expect him to be recovered for the game against Man City but he’s not with us for this one.”
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