Welcome to my EPL Draw value soccer picks, where I’ll be looking to exploit the bookies with value plays for our readers. The Premier League returns from the recent international break and my first draw pick for this weekend features Brighton playing host to Leicester City with both teams keen to break into the top half of the division — Kickoff: 1000hrs (EST)
Brighton will be hoping they can return to winning ways when they play host to Leicester City at the AMEX Stadium on Saturday as the Premier League returns from a two-week interval due to the international break.
Brighton headed into the break having suffered back-to-back defeats to Everton and Cardiff City in 3-1 and 2-1 losses respectively, both of which were inflicted upon them away from home.
However, prior to those recent defeats, Brighton had put together a promising looking three-match winning streak with victories over West Ham United, Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers which in turn hauled them away from the bottom three.
The Seagulls now sit in the relative comfort of 12th place in the Premier League and are just two league positions and three points behind their visitors, Leicester City ahead of today’s clash.
Along with Wolves, Brighton have registered the most wins (4) amongst the teams sitting in the bottom half of the division so far this season.
Home Form & Team News
Brighton’s top priority again this season is to avoid relegation and maintain their top flight status, so home form will be crucial in achieving their objectives this term.
The hosts possess a decent home record so far which stands at 3-1-1 8/6 and includes wins against Manchester United as well as the aforementioned victories over West Ham and Wolves.
The Seagulls also earned a point in a 2-2 draw with Fulham and indeed, have suffered just one defeat on home turf so far this season which was an understandable loss to fourth placed Tottenham.
Manager, Chris Hughton, will be particularly pleased with his side’s recent back-to-back clean sheets being a former defender himself, and The Seagulls have actually lost just 4 of their last 23 at the AMEX Stadium.
Striker and leading goalscorer, Glenn Murray (6 goals) continues to bang the goals in for the hosts but Brighton will be without suspended Dale Stephens as well as the injured Alireza Jahanbakhsh. Key midfielders, Davy Propper and Pascal Gross are hoping to make a return from their respective injuries.
Leicester City are still trying to come to terms with the recent and tragic death of their chairman last month, but this tragedy seems to have galvanized the squad and they head into this clash with Brighton on the back of a three-match sequence without defeat.
Draws against West Ham United and Burnley at their King Power Stadium have book-ended a useful 1-0 win away at Cardiff City as The Foxes have picked up five points from the last three matches prior to the international break.
Manager, Claude Puel will also be delighted with his side earning back-to-back clean sheets and they’ll make their way down to the south coast in reasonably confident mood having done the ‘double’ over Brighton last season, winning 2-0 in both home and away matches.
This recent improvement of form has lifted Leicester City into 10th place in the Premier League and another three points in Saturday afternoon’s encounter could see them move within striking distance of the top five places of the division.
Away Form & Team News
If Leicester are to lift themselves up into the top half of the division though and make a serious challenge for a European spot, The Foxes will need to be more consistent on their travels.
An away record of 3-0-3 9/10 is too loose as Leicester have tended to either trade in wins or losses on the road so far this season; wins at Southampton, Newcastle United and Cardiff City have been against teams situated near the bottom of the league.
However, defeats at Manchester United, Bournemouth and Arsenal have offset their aforementioned wins and have been against teams sitting in the top half of the Premier League.
Leicester have lost 10 of their last 16 away matches and have gained just 5 wins during this pretty average sequence of results on their travels, so a point at Brighton would be considered a reasonable result as they look to extend their unbeaten run to four league matches.
England defender Harry Maguire missed the recent internationals against USA and Croatia and may not be ready for this clash. There are also injury doubts over midfielders James Maddison, Daniel Amartey and Rachid Ghezzal while striker Jamie Vardy (3 goals) will face a late fitness test prior to the match.
Brighton have made themselves a tough unit to beat at their AMEX Stadium under manager Chris Hughton, while Leicester City have picked up some decent results in recent weeks. A point for both sides wouldn’t be the worst result for either team here.
The Bet: Draw +210 SportsBetting.ag