Walter Mazzarri was always going to face scrutiny for dropping Troy Deeney for the third time inside a month but said footballing reasons had been behind his decision to start Stefano Okaka in the captain's place at Leicester today.

Deeney had to settle for a place among the substitutes at the King Power Stadium and was a spectator until the 67th minute, when he replaced Etienne Capoue.

Okaka played well despite precious little service in the South Midlands, but Deeney's omission is sure to stoke further speculation over the talisman's future.

Already linked with a move to West Brom in the summer, Deeney was subject to a rumoured bust-up with Mazzarri last month, an assertion denied by the Italian however.

And while his answers about Okaka's selection may be perfectly logical, there may be a feeling that there is more to today's team-sheet than meets the eye.

"There was Okaka instead," said Mazzarri of Deeney's place on the bench. "I wanted to give more depth in the game, he could attack more. He had some chances and played very well.

"It has been a long time since we scored away from home, and I wanted to change things a little bit. Troy was ready from the bench, and of course when he came on it was already 2-0 it was difficult for him.

"But when they played together, they did well."