Crystal Palace v Leicester City Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
December 11, 2018
Selhurst Park - Premier League
Crystal Palace host Leicester City this weekend, with both sides looking to recover from disappointing defeat last weekend. The home side sit just two points above the relegation zone, meaning anything less than a draw could ruin Roy Hodgson side's Christmas festivites.
Last season very much belonged to Crystal Palace with their 3-0 away win followed up with a 5-0 win over the Foxes. The Eagles were already two up through Wilfred Zaha and James McArthur before Marc Albrighton saw red. With the away side down to 10, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Patrick van Aanholt each scored and Christian Benteke finished a ninetieth minute penalty.
Wilfred Zaha and James Tompkins are both suspended after picking up cautions last weekend, putting further strain on a Palace side that are already without Christian Bentke, Connor Wickham and Scott Dann. Hodgson is likely to start Aleksandr Sorloth up front, with Jason Puncheon not yet fit to play a full 90 minutes.
Claude Puel is likely to make a number of changes to last weekend's side with Harry Maguire returning to fitness after six games out. Whether or not Jamie Vardy will be deemed fit to return is a different matte, meaning yet another start for Kelechi Iheanacho.
Crystal Palace v Leicester Preview and Predictions
Leicester travel to London on Saturday looking to bounce back, having had their unbeaten run ended by Tottenham on Saturday evening. Fortunately for the Foxes, this week's capital opponents are in far worse form, with Crystal Palace losing their last two games - conceding three in each.
The Eagles' poor defensive solidarity will be a good sign for Puel's men, who looked toothless against Spurs. Without Jamie Vardy the Foxes are a very different team, and even with the forward they have managed just two goals in their last six games. Playing a 4-3-3 formation with three defensive midfielders, with James Maddison, a natural attacking midfielder, on the wing, may have shored up Leicester's leaky defence, but offers little going forward.
Saturday's game could well end-up being a match-up between two mis-firing defences, with Benteke's absence now compounded by Zaha's suspension for Palace. Hodgson will be furious at his star player for not managing to hold off on picking up a fifth yellow-card before the reset in three weeks, with out-of-form Sorloth and forgotten man Jordan Ayew now the only fit strikers in the squad.
One slight glimmer of hope for the manager will be of Andros Townsend's decent who has two goals and an assist from his last six games. Given that the club's joint top-scorer is currently defensive Luka Milivojevic, who incidentally is also one game away from suspension, Hodgson should be running double shifts at set pieces this week.
Despite Palace's thrilling 3-2 defeat to West Ham, Saturday's game has all the hall-marks of a dull, low scoring result. However, with the likes of Townsend, Maddison and Demarai Gray likely to feature, the game could well be secured by a moment of brilliance.
Maddison to score anytime at 11/4
Leicester's joint top-scorer this season will be their biggest threat if Vardy is yet to recover.
Under 2.5 goals scored at 8/13
Neither side has been prolific in recent weeks although Leicester may be inspired by their recent defeat.