EFL Championship

Plymouth v Leicester: Foxes forward stands out at 6/5

Enzo Maresca - Leicester
Enzo Maresca has urged Leicester not to obsess over the Championship table

Friday night football between Plymouth and Leicester from Home Park has potential repercussions at opposite ends of the Championship table. Betfair writer Mark O'Haire is backing an in-form striker to get on the scoresheet.


Plymouth v Leicester
Friday April 12, 20:00
Live on Sky Sports

Plymouth 6.005/1 avoided a sixth successive home defeat at Home Park as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with fellow Championship relegation battlers QPR on Tuesday night, thanks to an 85th minute own goal. It was Argyle's first goal in those six home league games and insured the Pilgrims stay above the dotted line ahead of Friday night's fixture.

Director of football - and caretaker boss - Neil Dewsnip felt his players showed 'incredible resilience' to claim what could be an invaluable point. He said, "We genuinely thought we could win the game, at half-time we still thought the same. We had to show incredible resilience and we see it as a point gained, not an opportunity missed at home."

Argyle fielded the same starting XI that won 1-0 away at Rotherham last Friday evening and were perhaps fortunate to escape with a point after conceding five Big Chances to their fellow strugglers, whilst managing only five attempts from inside the opposition penalty area. Dewsnip admitted, they'll need to step-up if they're to thwart Leicester next.

Match Preview

Plymouth - Leicester
Plymouth
  1. W
  2. L
  3. L
  4. W
  5. D
  6. W
Leicester
  1. L
  2. W
  3. W
  4. W
  5. L
  6. L
Full Stats Powered by Opta

Stuttering promotion challengers Leicester 1.501/2 fell to a fifth defeat in nine Championship matches in midweek at Millwall. The Foxes dominated possession at The Den for large periods, especially in the first half, but struggled to create clear-cut chances. However, substitute Patson Daka should have equalised deep into stoppage-time.

Head coach Enzo Marasca had promised rotation ahead of the away trip yet made only two changes to his team with Yunus Akgun handed a rare start on the wing and Jamie Vardy captaining the side up front in place of Daka. The Foxes enjoyed 72% of the ball in Bermondsey but racked up only 0.90 Expected Goals (xG) and just a solitary Big Chance.

Now Marasca has called for calm from his squad, suggesting they "will go crazy" if they obsess over the Championship table. He said, "Now it's a matter of not giving too much importance to it. If you watch the table yesterday, you watch tonight, and you watch again in two days, you get crazy. You know you have to think game by game and win games."

Veteran forward in fine form

Plymouth have picked up four points from two games following Ian Foster's dismissal, albeit against a pair of sides battling for survival. Argyle are looking to arrest an alarming recent Home Park (W0-D1-L5), in which the Pilgrims' only goal was Tuesday night's own goal against QPR, and their home record against the top-10 is middling at best since promotion.

Plymouth have posted W1-D2-L5 when welcoming the Championship elite, which includes four straight losses against the top-five teams in the division. Expected Points (xP) models make the Pilgrims the third-worst hosts, giving up the highest Expected Goals (xG) figure in front of their own supporters, perhaps explaining their lofty 6.005/1 price this weekend.

Leicester have W3-D1-L5 since Valentine's Day to see their rock-solid promotion assault begin to falter. The Foxes have W1-D1-L3 during their five away days during that same streak, though City are still ranked second on xP over the last eight games, as well as boasting a formidable W19-D1-L2 return when taking on bottom-half dwellers.

With that in-mind, I'm happy to leave the major markets alone and instead head to the Anytime Goalscorer market where Leicester skipper Jamie Vardy can be backed at 6/52.20 to strike. The 36-year-old has notched 14 times in the second-tier this term with eight of those goals arriving since the start of February in just 531 minutes of action (66 minutes per-goal).

Back Jamie Vardy to score anytime @ 6/52.20

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