NORWICH entertain Leicester at Carrow Road on Friday night. Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) delivers his betting analysis.
Norwich v Leicester | Friday 28th February 2020, 20:00 | Sky Sports
Leicester can further enhance their claims for Champions League football next season with a win at Carrow Road in front of the Sky cameras.
The Foxes have faltered in recent weeks and would have hoped to be at Wembley for the League Cup final on Sunday, but that’s not how their semi-final against Aston Villa panned out.
Norwich however, look destined for a speedy return to the second-tier. It’s just one league win since the start of December and they’ve failed to score in each of their last three.
In their 3-0 defeat at Wolves, Daniel Farke bemoaned a lack of aggression from his players. Despite hitting four shots on-target, they only created an Expected Goals (xG( output of 0.37. Once again proving their lack of quality in the final third.
No cheers for Canaries
The reliance on Teemu Pukki is stark. The Finnish international has 11 goals to his name and that’s 45% of all goals they’ve scored. He’s got two in their last five, but they’ve both been from the penalty spot.
Norwich haven’t scored a goal from open play since the fourth minute of their game against Palace on New Year’s Day. That’s a major concern and the quality of their chances created only ranks them 17th in Expected Goals (at 28.094xG).
The Canaries rank 12th for shots and 14th for shots on target, while having the worst conversion rate in the Premier League at 7.7%. In contrast, Leicester’s is 14.6% and is only bettered by runaway leaders Liverpool.
We all know the excellent job Brendan Rodgers has done at Leicester. The Foxes are third in the league, boast the third-best attacking record (54 goals scored) and third-best defensive record (27 goals conceded).
They’ll look to bounce back from last Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat against Man City and it’s likely that they’ll revert to a back four for this one.
There’s a lot to like about the way Rodgers sets his side up. One thing that they could profit from here is by pressing high and turning the ball over before Norwich cross the halfway line. Baring that in mind, we could see James Maddison and Jamie Vardy getting stuck in.
We’ve seen the Canaries living dangerously this season with some risky passing and if they make those sort of mistakes against Leicester, they’ll be punished.
Not only that but the overlapping full-backs, Ben Chilwell and Ricardo Pereira, means they can overload in certain areas, and that’s another way they could expose this Norwich defence, which has the second-worst record.
The betting angles
I found this a tricky one to weigh up given Norwich’s struggles throughout, while Leicester have faltered in recent weeks.
Take the teams names out of it when looking at the outright market. You’d usually expect the side sitting in third-place to be shorter than 3/4 to defeat the bottom side. That’s the price the Foxes are and that does appeal.
To boost the price, add in over 1 goal in the match to take the odds to 21/20 with both Bet365 and Coral. All seven of Leicester’s away wins have seen at least two goals scored, while Norwich have conceded at least two goals in nine home games. It could be made for Jamie Vardy to start firing once more.
I was struggling to pick much else out given most of the player props being priced up accordingly. There is one thing that did take the eye and might be worth taking a punt on.
That’s Youri Tielemans shots from outside the box. The Belgian has taken eight shots in his last four games, an average of two per game. Just three of those have tested the opposition keeper, but all eight have been from 18-yards or more.
In the reverse fixture that finished 1-1, the midfielder has two attempts on goal – both outside the box and one forcing Tim Krul into a save.
When you look at the full season, the 22-year-old has recorded 44 shots with 32 from distance. That’s around 73% of his shots coming from outside the box.
With Leicester likely to create overloads out wide that could see a few pullbacks to late-arriving midfielders, so that could see Tielemans and Maddison being teed up
It’s 11/10 for 2+ shots outside the box and given it’s success-rate in recent games then expect Leicester to turn the screw for pressure and see Tielemans having a pop at goal.