Premier League Preview – Leicester City
This weekend Palace face a tough trip to the reigning Premier League champions, Leicester City.
The fact that the Foxes won the title last season remains an outstanding achievement since Blackburn Rovers did the same in 1994/95 and will be rememberd by all for a very long time.
This season, however, it seems the big teams have strengthed their sides in a desperate bid to stop such an event occuring again as the vitorious Leicester side clearly embarased the under achievers below them. Nevertheless, teams like Leicester can still believe they can do the same with Palace no exception.
The Eagles go into the match off the back of a disapointing home loss to a struggling West Ham United side. It was a results that could have easily turned in another direction had Belgian striker Christian Benteke buried his penalty. Many will hope that result was just a just a blip and with Leciester returning from Champions League duty midweek, there is reason for Palace to feel optimistic on the road.
TEAM NEWS (courtesy of Physio Room)
CRYSTAL PALACE – Jonathan Benteke (knee), Pape Souare (leg) and Loic Remy (thigh) all continue to miss out while captain Scott Dann (hamstring) is expected to return.
LEICESTER CITY – Nampalys Mendy (ankle) and Matty James (ankle) will not be fit while Jamie Vardy (groin), Andy King (shin) and Wes Morgan (hip) are all doubts.
In the last meeting between these two sides, Palace hosted top of the table Leicester at Selhurst Park with the scoreline proving a disapointing one for the home side. The hosts had thirteen attempts on goal with four on target compared to the visitors eight with three on target. Taking chances when they are offered is very important in football and the Foxes proved the point when Riyad Mahrez found the net in the before half time. The second half was fairly quiet apart from Damien Delaney striking the bar in injury time as Claudio Ranieri’s men left South London with all three points.
Last FIVE meetings between the two sides;
- 19/03/16: Crystal Palace 0-1 Leicester City
- 24/10/15: Leicester City 1-0 Crystal Palace
- 07/02/15: Leicester City 0-1 Crystal Palace
- 27/09/14: Crystal Palace 2-0 Leicester City
- 20/04/13: Crystal Palace 2-2 Leicester City
Last FIVE results for Crystal Palace;
- 15/10/16: Crystal Palace 0-1 West Ham United
- 30/09/2016: Everton 1-1 Crystal Palace
- 24/09/2016: Sunderland 2-3 Crystal Palace
- 21/09/2016: Southampton 2-0 Crystal Palace
- 18/09/2016: Crystal Palace 4-1 Stoke City
Last FIVE results for Leicester City;
- 18/10/2016: Leicester City 1-0 FC Copenhagen
- 15/10/2016: Chelsea 3-0 Leicester City
- 02/10/2016: Leicester City 0-0 Southampton
- 27/09/2016: Leicester City 1-0 Porto
- 24/09/2016: Manchester United 4-1 Leicester City
FORM PLAYERS (courtesy of Who Scored)
Top two rated players from each team so far this season;
- Scott Dann 7.53
- Jason Puncheon 7.53
- Christian Fuchs 7.04
- Danny Drinkwater 7.02
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY
“We come off a disappointing performance against West Ham, particularly the first half where we didn’t dictate the game as I would of liked. I want my team to respond and we need to turn up for this one. We were very close to getting something last year against them in both games but because of the season they had they edged both, and you have to admire them for that but now we need to look at doing the same.” – ALAN PARDEW courtesy of BBC Sport.
“We are up and down, up and down. But it’s normal for a team like Leicester who are in the Champions League for the first time. I want to find the right solution but this season I have to change something during the campaign when we play Champions League and Premier League.” – CLAUDIO RANIERI courtesy of BBC Sport.
ONE TO WATCH
The Algerian striker joined Leicester City in the summer for £28million to boost their striking options, signing a five year deal in a record fee for the club. The six foot tall international arrived at the King Power after being much sought after all across Europe. He impressed in his time in Portugal with Sporting Lisbon scoring 48 goals in just 82 appearances after arriving in 2013. His career began at JSM Cheraga in Algeria before he moved on to CR Belouizdad in 2009. The twenty-eight year old, born in Algiers, has 44 international caps, scoring 23 goals.
Final league position – 12th
The Foxes were always going to find the defence of their title extremely difficult but their terrific start in the Champions League could suggest that is where their priority is this season. You certainly cannot blame them for that and their is a real feeling that they have saved their best form for that competition so far this season. There is no doubt that they will need to keep one eye on the Premier League the further they go in the established European competition but there is plenty about them to cause some upsets along the way to finishing comfortably mid-table.
- TEB prediction – draw
- Jim Knight’s prediction (see link below) – draw
- Who Scored prediction – home win
BETTING ODDS (courtesy of Paddy Power)
- Home – 21/20
- Draw – 12/5
- Away – 11/4
- Both teams to score – 4/6