DEADLY Leicester City provided the perfect blueprint for Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace on how to beat Leeds United.

The Eagles take on the Whites on Saturday after seeing the fabulous Foxes dismantle Marcelo Bielsa’s side 4-1 at Elland Road on Monday night in the Premier League.

Former England boss Hodgson will be looking to execute a similar game-plan to the one that Leicester coach Brendan Rodgers employed to dish out United’s worst home defeat under Bielsa.

In his pre-match conference, Rodgers identified the space that Leeds’ front-foot football gives the opposition, and his men – Jamie Vardy in particular – took advantage in a wonderful display of rapid counter-attacking football.

Palace play in a similar vein. Solid defending, a strong-tackling midfield and speedy attackers like Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend will also cause Leeds problems if they reach Leicester’s level of play.

Injured midfielder Kalvin Phillips and record signing Rodrigo, who has gone into self-isolation because he has been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, will miss the trip to South London. Another recent big-money arrival Raphinha (ankle) was also ruled out against Leicester and is a further doubt for the visit to Palace.

Bar defender Robin Kock, the squad against Leicester were all members of last season’s Championship-winning outfit. There were times on Monday night that they looked like a Championship side taking on a well-drilled, dynamic Premier League team.

There was an explosive start to the game. Patrick Bamford headed a golden chance tamely into Kasper Schmeichel’s hands from close range in the opening minute. In the blink of an eye, Leicester launched the ball downfield where Koch’s poor back-pass enabled Vardy to set up the simplest goal for Harvey Barnes, son of former York city poacher Paul.

Behind after 121 seconds, Leeds looked badly shaken. In midfield, passes went astray, tackles were lost and City sprang into attack quickly with Vardy pulling the ragged defence apart.

Inevitably Vardy had a hand in the second goal on 21 minutes. His diving header was well saved by Ilan Meslier but Youri Tielemans ran in unchallenged to slot in the loose ball.

“In the first 30 minutes we defended poorly and after that we didn’t create enough danger. That is one of the main responsibilities of the manager,” said Bielsa.

“I am not taking the blame, just stating they players were not correctly distributed. The players are disappointed. Every game is an opportunity to recover, especially after a defeat.”

Leeds badly missed Phillips’ defensive nous in front of the defence and that will remain a concern for the Palace game.

Leeds got back into the match early in the second half when Stuart Dallas’ cross eluded everyone on its way into the net. That signalled the start of extended United pressure and only the junction of bar and post denied Pablo Hernandez an equaliser.

City could find no way out of their half so Rodgers turned to his bench. On came James Maddison and he soon made an impact, combining with fellow sub Cengiz Under to fashion a deserved goal for Vardy. In added time, Maddison then drew a VAR penalty, converted by Tielemans, after a foul by Mateusz Klich, to confirm Leicester’s rise to second place.