THE Premier League continues on Saturday evening as Leicester welcome Man Utd to the King Power. Ben Levene (@BenLevene96) shares his best bets.
Leicester v Man Utd| Saturday 23rd December 2017, 19:45 | Sky Sports
Claude Puel’s Leicester City side suffered a 3-0 defeat at home to Crystal Palace last weekend, ending a run of four-consecutive wins. The Foxes lost on penalties to Man City in the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup during the week, and will be looking to bounce back on Saturday night.
United now sit 11-points behind City and come into this having been subject to a League Cup upset at Ashton Gate on Wednesday.
Cautious approach likely
If we look at Leicester’s results against the top six, they’ve lost by just the single goal against Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, and lost by two goals to Man City. They also beat Spurs 2-1 last month. Although the former three results were under Craig Shakespeare, the premise that Leicester are dangerous on the counter still holds.
United on the other hand, tend to be quite conservative and structured in their style, especially on the road. They don’t overcommit and so Mourinho will pay respect to the obvious threat posed by Jamie Vardy’s pace.
United’s last two victories have been by the single goal. Four of their last six wins have been by just the one goal, with the two anomalies coming against Watford and Arsenal who set out to attack.
Narrow victory the value
The Foxes can make life tough for Mourinho’s men but that’s reflected in the shade off odds-on price about United. Given Leicester will likely aim to frustrate, Man Utd to win by exactly one goal at 11/4 with Sky Bet looks the value play.
Once we factor in the congested fixture schedule, and the fact Leicester went to extra-time in the week while the likes of Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku featured on Wednesday for United, we have good reason to get behind this.
United may get dirty
A similar value play can be found in the card markets. Since Claude Puel took charge, Leicester have received nine cards in 10 matches, and four of those came when two-nil down to Palace last Saturday. That was also the only time they’ve received more than the single card in a match under his tenure.
On the other hand, United have won the card count in each of their last three matches and have picked up at least a card in all of their last six away Premier League games. Mourinho’s side average 11.7 fouls per Premier League match compared to Leicester’s 9.
Riyad Mahrez, Demarai Gray and Jamie Vardy are all direct, so I think Utd from scratch in the Asian Cards market can be chanced at 19/20. We see our stake void if the card count ends level.