Leicester make their Champions League bow tonight away to Club Brugge in Belgium. Luke Moore casts his eye across the betting...
"It's very hard to know how Leicester will cope with this added pressure and the occasion of their Champions League debut. But Ranieri is a wily old fox and should be able to put his experience to good use here - I think there's a bit of juice in this price on an away win."
Club Brugge v Leicester
Live on BT Sport 2
It's been a fairly inauspicious start to the domestic season for Club Brugge, the champions of Belgium. Sitting tenth in the Jupiler League, FCB haven't won since the second game of the season and are coming into this game against Leicester off the back of two draws and a defeat (to Waasland-Beveren, a team who are struggling themselves to get a foothold in the division).
We've seen how European competition can be a welcome distraction for teams in the past though, and they'll be anxious to put right the disaster they endured against English opposition last time around - a 7-1 on aggregate defeat to Manchester United in the Champions League playoff round a year or so ago.
This is Club Brugge's first appearance in the group stage since 2005-06, they'll want to make it count.
The reward for winning the Premier League last season was not only an appearance in this year's Champions League but seeded status for Claudio Ranieri and Leicester, meaning they face the likes of Club Brugge and Copenhagen rather than the modern European heavyweights which will (all being well) come later in the season. Porto aside, there shouldn't be anything to worry about here for the Foxes.
Porto of course may be a different story, but Club Brugge are up first, and, although Ranieri (who has managed at this level before) won't take the Belgians lightly, he'll have this won slated in as a must-win - it's the first taste of the Champions League for this club and a lot of these players. It's vital they start as they mean to go on and get something positive out of the game.
Danny Simpson will miss this one with a hamstring injury, and Namplys Mendy has an ankle complaint.
Leicester will go into this game as favourites, chiefly because of the poor start Brugge have endured to their league campaign and the relative strength of the domestic competition in Belgium. Leicester, despite not having a brilliant start domestically themselves, are 2.568/5 to bring all three points back to England. The home side are currently a 3.1511/5 chance, with the draw trading at 3.412/5.
It's very hard to know how Leicester will cope with this added pressure and the occasion of their Champions League debut. But Ranieri is a wily old fox and should be able to put his experience to good use here - I think there's a bit of juice in this price on an away win.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
I like Overs in this game, priced up at 2.226/5. It's true that FCB's games this season domestically have been dull in terms of numbers of goals (just 12 in total across six games), but I don't think they can keep Leicester out, and I don't think the Foxes will keep a clean sheet either. An odds-against price on this outcome is tempting.
Unders is 1.814/5.
Back Over 2.5 Goals at 2.226/5
Back Leicester to win at 2.568/5
Luke Moore 2016/17 P/L