LEICESTER entertain Aston Villa Road on Monday night. Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) delivers his betting analysis.
Leicester v Aston Villa | Monday 9th March 2020, 20:00 | Sky Sports
Aston Villa gave it a good go late on in the League Cup final against Man City, but it ultimately ended in heartbreak after Claudio Bravo turned Bjorn Engels’ header onto the post to deny extra-time.
Dean Smith must refocus his players on avoiding the drop. And they must start by ending a three-game losing run at Midlands rivals Leicester.
The Foxes themselves are out of form having lost 1-0 at Norwich last weekend. It’s two league defeats on the bounce and no win in four in the Premier League.
But the FA Cup did offer some welcome solace in midweek, as they sneaked past Birmingham to earn a tie against Chelsea in the quarter-finals.
Shooting to win
Leicester being winless in four and Villa having only picked up eight points on the road makes the outright markets difficult to judge with any confidence, especially with the hosts being as short as they are.
Then again, Villa have failed to keep a clean sheet in 14 away games, plus their defensive record is abysmal. 42 goals conceded – the joint-worst – while they allow the most shots per game.
Dean Smith’s side concedes on average 18.2 shots per game, which makes Leicester players worth a look in the shots markets, especially with the Foxes having recorded 390 shots – 13.9 per game.
This will be their fourth meeting this season and it’s one of each result. Brendan Rodgers’ men won the league game 4-1 at Villa Park, but the League Cup saw a 3-2 aggregate defeat in the semi-final.
Given those shooting stats, I did look towards the team shots market. Leicester took 16, 15 and 16 in those three meetings, but Sky’s Leicester 21+ shots (5/6) looks too short considering it’s very rare they hit that number. Betfair’s market of Leicester 16 or more shots (8/11) looks more likely, but it’s still a tad skinny.
Last week I went for Tielemans 2+ shots outside the box, it was disappointing not to see him start. Yet the Belgian still attempted one in his 17-minute cameo. This does look a game in which he could prosper.
It was 11/10 for that trip to Norwich, but it’s priced more accordingly in this one – 3/5 with Coral.
Targett the tackles
A few players like to feature rank highly in the Premier League table for tackles won. It’s lead by Ricardo Pereira (117) with Wilfred Ndidi third (87).
Frederic Guilbert could have a lot of defending to do if Villa set-up similarly to the League Cup final at Wembley. As long as they don’t get caught out by Leicester’s switch of play, they should be able to get a foothold in this game.
But with how Leicester often create overloads out wide with their overlapping full-backs, then there is some scope in looking at Villa players to complete tackles.
Guilbert is the obvious one. The Belgian has completed at least three tackles in 10 of his 20 starts, so 3+ (8/11 Coral) and 4+ (17/10 Coral) look a bit tight, although he did complete four in the League Cup final.
There does look a shade of value with two of his team-mates. Matt Targett is one of them. The left-back is unlikely to get too much protection from Anwar El Ghazi if he starts, so could be left exposed.
In 78 minutes of the reverse fixture, he made two tackles – that’s 3/5 with Coral, but in five away games from the start of December, he’s recorded at least three.
Against Chelsea and Southampton, he made three, then four at Watford and Brighton, while making five at Old Trafford against Man Utd. So the 17/10 on 3+ looks a shade too big.
In central areas, Douglas Luiz does commit plenty of fouls, so is always a candidate for a card, but there could be something in the EVS for 2+ tackles (Coral). Sky’s market is 8/11 for 3+ for the Brazilian, so quite a difference.
He’s started 16 games and has made 2+ tackles in nine of them, including the reverse. Sky’s bar of 3 looks rather high considering he’s only done that on four occasions all campaign.
The betting angles
Given Villa’s defence struggles, there has to be an angle to utilise. It could come by backing Çaglar Söyüncü to have a shot on target.
The strapping centre half has had a shot in two of Leicester’s last three. Against Norwich, his effort sliced harmlessly away from goal, but he forced Rui Patrício into a save in the goalless draw at Molineux.
When the sides last met, he had two shots with one on target. He’s a threat from set-pieces and they’re causing Villa all sorts of problems. They’ve conceded more goals from them than any other club (18) with nine of those coming from corners.
We know the quality of delivery Leicester possess, so target Jonny Evans and Söyüncü. There is a range of options and the latter is 5/6 (Sky Bet) for a shot and 3/1 (Sky Bet) for a shot on target. He’s even 16/1 to score a header with William Hill.
Michael Oliver is in charge and even though he showed eight yellows when these sides met at Villa Park, I’m still not sold on the cards markets.
Given Leicester have received 0 or 1 card in 12 of their 14 home league games this season, then Villa most booking points at 4/5 (Sky Bet) looks a bet that should be fancied.
Leicester v Aston Villa – Matt Targett 3+ Tackles (17/10 Coral)
Leicester v Aston Villa – Çaglar Söyüncü 1+ shot on target (7/2 Betfair)