It has been a dismal return to the Premier League for Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City side. Once firmly entrenched in Champions League spots for next season, the Foxes have gone winless in their return to play, while also bowing out of the FA Cup. They enter Saturday a desperate side, clinging onto their successes from earlier in their campaign. However, with Roy Hodgson’s pesky Crystal Palace side coming into the King Power Stadium, it will not be an easy match to reverse a losing streak.
For Palace, a promising start has reverted back to mediocrity. Though they do play good defense and show good structure, Palace remains in tough to score goals. With zero threat of relegation, and a slim-to-none chance of qualifying for European competitions, Palace is really playing for pride for the remainder of the season. Though they value a top-half finish and perhaps their best ever in the top flight, Leicester definitely enter Saturday the more desperate squad.
With Brendan Rodgers being so visibly upset following Leicester’s last outing vs. Everton, the pressure will be on the Foxes to rebound in a big way against an inferior Palace side. Can Leicester revive their season and hold off the likes of Man United and Wolves for Champions League spots? Read on beneath the posted odds for a match preview, tactical analysis, and betting prediction for Crystal Palace vs. Leicester City.
Leicester City vs. Crystal Palace Betting Odds:
Leicester City (-145)
Crystal Palace (+465)
Over 2.5 (+115)
Under 2.5 (-135)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Leicester City vs. Crystal Palace Pick:
For Leicester City, it’s long overdue they get back to playing in the manner in which they’re capable of. Well-organized, solid at the back, with excellent offensive potential when on the ball. That said, it is in desperate need of a return from their main midfield maestro, James Maddison. The creative midfielder is rumored to again be a doubt for this fixture, which makes monitoring the posted lineups pretty crucial before this clash.
Elsewhere on the field for Leicester City, expect Brendan Rodgers to not change too much about his lineup. Though he was upset with his group, let’s not forget that Leicester carried much of the chances against Everton mid-week, and their underlying goal metrics remain quite solid.
Up front, Leicester has a lethal and pacy attack with Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho at the striker position. That duo plays off each other quite well, and should be hard to handle for a usually sturdy Palace back-line. Vardy in particular will be looking to add to his league-lead in goals. If and when Maddison returns to the field, it will only add to the legitimacy of the Foxes’ attack, as the Englishman is a clever passer of the ball and very skilled.
For Palace, manager Roy Hodgson enters this game with some injury concerns of his own. It is believed that the Eagles could be without Martin Kelly and James Tomkins at the back, making them even more vulnerable to a potent Leicester attack.
Crystal Palace do enter this game in a bad run of form, especially with their offense. Jordan Ayew hasn’t scored in forever, while Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend have a lot of skill and trickery on the ball – but it’s not translating to offense. Against a stifling Leicester defense and Wilfried Ndidi prowling in the midfield, don’t expect many chances for the Eagles on Saturday.
Leicester are fortunate to catch a down team at a time where they desperately are seeking victory and a full three points. Crystal Palace are really struggling and though they can be difficult to break down, they currently don’t possess too much of an offensive threat. This should allow the likes of James Maddison and Jamie Vardy to have a lot of possession on the ball, and create chances throughout the 90 minutes. Without much to play for, expect another down outing from Palace – and Leicester finally gets back in the win column with a nervy, low-scoring victory.
Pick: Leicester City 2-0