Leicester v West Brom: Back Pulis' men to spoil the Leicester party
After another two winners on Monday and Tuesday night, Luke Moore previews West Brom's visit to the champions...
"Leicester have struggled from set-pieces this season, and West Brom have scored 70% of their goals in this way. What's more, Ranieri's side haven't beaten Sunday's opponents at home since 1994."
Leicester v West Brom
Live on Sky Sports 1
It's been a fairly inconsistent start to the Premier League for the English champions as they look to balance their Champions League campaign with their new status as domestic kings. They look to have all the characteristics of a mid-table side this term, but just one defeat in their last four makes for slightly better reading.
N'Golo Kante has of course been impossible to replace, but there are signs that Claudio Ranieri is finding some new balance and rhythm to his team, and it may be that the hangover is starting to wear off. A visit of West Brom is a game they should win, and he knows that.
If Islam Slimani shakes off a groin complaint, the Foxes have a full strength squad to choose from.
The Baggies had been doing ok, but a few tricky fixtures following a couple of disappointing results sees them hovering just about the drop zone. Of course, in November that's nothing to worry about, but no wins in your last five isn't the sort of form to be in ahead of a visit to the champions.
One does wonder if Tony Pulis' men are in a bit of a false position after a difficult run though - after this game they face Burnley, Hull and Watford, and assuming they get the points they should from those, their league position should start to look a touch more healthy.
James McClean is suspended for this one, while Saido Berahino is struggling for match fitness but could feature at some stage.
I wonder if there is much juice in the [1.83] about a home win - Leicester are in improved form but West Brom can be stubborn and Pulis loves to spoil a party. Last season you'd have been all over a Foxes win in a heartbeat, even though Opta tell us Leicester's home record against the Baggies is poor (last six - D2 L4). I don't see this Foxes side as anywhere near as reliable as they were last season, though.
West Brom aren't a back at [5.4] despite the huge price - they've only won once away this season and that was on the first day against a poor Crystal Palace. In this writer's opinion, we have two options in this market:
1. A back-to-lay of the Draw at [3.6] - it will probably be cagey early on and that will give us a chance to trade.
2. A lay of the home side at [1.83] - Leicester have struggled from set-pieces this season, and West Brom have scored 70% of their goals in this way. What's more, Ranieri's side haven't beaten Sunday's opponents at home since 1994.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
I broadly agree with the market here - [1.76] about Unders is about right, and I don't really have any enthusiasm for backing Overs, even at [2.26]. Ranieri's men aren't scoring hatfuls of goals, and the Baggies love to try and keep it tight, especially away from home. It's very unlikely this is going to be a goalfest - I think it'll be decided by an odd-goal.
Lay Leicester at [1.83] (2pts)
Luke Moore 2016-17 P/L