Premier League Preview – Leicester City
Many would have hoped but few would have predicted that Palace would have secured five wins from the last six games. It has been an incredible turnaround for a club looking in real trouble when Sam Allardyce took over in late December.
With wins at champions elect Chelsea followed up with a comfortable home victory over Arsenal, the blip at Southampton in between was instantly forgotten.
The Eagles welcome defending champions Leicester City to South London this weekend who travel to Selhurst following a narrow defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarter finals. That result in itself may have an impact on this game with the return leg taking place at the King Power on Tuesday evening.
It is unlikely recently appointed boss Craig Shakespeare will put out a strong side with one eye on their big European game on the horizon but Palace still have a team to beat whoever plays so must not be complacent regardless of their recent big scalps.
Sam Allardyce said when he arrived at the club that it would take him until March to sort things out. Those were very wise words indeed as he was pretty much spot on. Little did we know that he would have the side playing well enough both defensively and offensively to pick up such an impressive run of results. However, they will mean very little with defeat this weekend and Allardyce will no doubt be warning his players of exactly that in the build up.
CRYSTAL PALACE – Andros Townsend (heel) is a slight doubt while Loic Remy (calf), Scott Dann (knee), James Tomkins (calf), Frazier Campbell (hamstring), Steve Mandanda (knee) and Patrick van Aanholt (ankle) are unlikely to feature. Connor Wickham (knee), Jonathan Benteke (knee) and Pape Souare (leg) remain long term absentees.
LEICESTER CITY – Wes Morgan (back), Nampalys Mendy (ankle) and Molla Wague (shoulder) are doubts for the visitors.
These two sides last met back in October at the King Power and it was the hosts who put themselves into the lead right before the break courtesy of Ahmed Musa. Doubling their lead almost twenty minutes into the second half was Shinji Okazaki and Christian Fuchs scored from distance to seal all three points for the Foxes. Yohan Cabaye scored a late consolation in a game that the Eagles edged possession but could not capitalise.
Who Scored man of the match – Wilfried Zaha (9.4)
Last FIVE meetings between the two sides;
- 22/10/2016 Leicester City 3-1 Crystal Palace
- 19/03/2016 Crystal Palace 0-1 Leicester City
- 24/10/2015 Leicester City 1-0 Crystal Palace
- 07/02/2015 Leicester City 0-1 Crystal Palace
- 27/09/2014 Crystal Palace 2-0 Leicester City
Last FIVE results for Palace;
- 10/04/2017 Crystal Palace 3-0 Arsenal
- 05/04/2017 Southampton 3-1 Crystal Palace
- 01/04/2017 Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace
- 18/03/2017 Crystal Palace 1-0 Watford
- 04/03/2017 West Bromwich Albion 0-2 Crystal Palace
Last FIVE results for Leicester;
- 12/04/2017 Atletico Madrid 1-0 Leicester City
- 09/04/2017 Everton 4-2 Leicester City
- 04/04/2017 Leicester City 2-0 Sunderland
- 01/04/2017 Leicester City 2-0 Stoke City
- 18/03/2017 West Ham United 2-3 Leicester City
FORM PLAYERS (courtesy of Who Scored)
Top two rated players from each team so far this season;
- Wilfried Zaha 7.50
- Christian Benteke 7.34
- Christian Fuchs 7.05
- Riyad Mahrez 6.89
ONE TO WATCH
Former clubs – Nath Boys Academy, Genk
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Ndidi began his professional career in Belgium with Genk, making his debut in 2015. After over sixty appearances and four goals, the midfielder signed for Leicester for £17million in the January transfer window after the two clubs originally agreed a deal in December. Ndidi has appeared for Nigeria at under 20 level and has made six full international appearances to date.
Final league position – 12th
The Champions League clearly takes priority this season and rightly so but not at the expense of their Premier League status. Seeing the need to sack the man that helped bring them the title was needs must as the decision has been justified by the results that have followed. Whether or not the Foxes go any further in Europe, either way, it is likely to have an effect on their league form between now and the end of the season. This will hinder there hopes of a top four finish but it could have been much worse.
- TEB prediction – home win
- Jim Knight’s prediction (see link below) – draw
- Who Scored prediction – home win
BETTING ODDS (courtesy of Paddy Power)
- Home – 3/4
- Draw – 14/5
- Away – 7/2
- Both teams to score – 4/5