Leicester can keep their remarkable title challenge alive with a win at Villa Park.
Remi Garde picked up his first Aston Villa win on Wednesday and now his side faces another tough test as title contenders Leicester come to town. Over the last 30 games Leicester have picked up four more points than any other side while Villa have picked up the fewest. In fact Leicester have picked up as many points in that run as Villa and the Champions, Chelsea, have from their 60 games combined.
Villa’s win was their first in 20 games and they needed a hand as Wayne Hennessey helped a relatively harmless looking shot into his own net. They’ve still scored just nine times in their last 14 matches though and with Leicester having recorded three straight clean sheets it won’t be easy for them to add to that tally. Defensively, Garde has got them playing OK and this has led to six of their last seven matches having fewer than three goals, as has been the case in 11 of their last 14 home games against top-half teams.
Robert Huth’s expertly placed header was Leicester’s first goal in four games but those matches were in quick succession and they did score another couple against Spurs in the Cup so they’ve hardly been suffering a long goal drought. Their away record is the best in the league and they’ve now won nine of their last 14 matches on the road. Furthermore, they are unbeaten in their last 10 trips to bottom-half teams as they’ve recorded six wins, of which four came to nil.
One thing for sure is that Riyad Mahrez will enjoy playing against this defence and he picked up two assists in the 3-2 comeback win when the teams met in September. He’s not found the net in the Foxes last two away games, at Spurs and Liverpool, but prior to that he’d scored in four of his last five away starts in the league (eight goals in total) while picking up an assist in the other.
Leicester look a fair price for the win but there are unlikely to be too many goals in this one and the Win to Nil looks a better bet at 3.75 while the Win and Under 2.5 Goals at 4.6 is very tempting. For a more speculative punt, we like a Scorecast selection of Riyad Mahrez and Leicester City 2-0 at 50/1.
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