NEWLY-PROMOTED West Brom welcome Leicester to The Hawthorns on Super Sunday. Jack Wright (@JackWright_BSB ) is on-hand to preview the match-up .
West Brom vs Leicester | Sunday 13th September 2020, 14:00 | Sky Sports
The English Premier League is back and the first Super Sunday match-up of the season pits two teams together that ended last season on the crest of a slump as newly-promoted West Brom host Midlands rivals Leicester.
The Baggies limped over the promotion line last season – more by luck than judgment in the end – only sealing the deal on the last day of the season with their home draw with QPR proving to be enough due to Brentford’s home loss to Barnsley.
Meanwhile, the Foxes looked nailed on for a top-four finish and Champions League qualification but instead will have to keep Thursday nights free for a tilt at the Europa League after losing three of their final four Premier League fixtures.
Both sides have key players who they will be relying on to perform if they are to achieve their respective targets this campaign.
Slavan Bilic pulled off something of a coup with the loan signing of Matheus Pereira from Sporting Lisbon, as the Brazilian sprinkled his star dust on a side otherwise built on disciplined organisiation, scoring eight league goals himself and assisting 16 others – the reported £8m fee it took to make the move permanent could prove to be incredible value for a player who was one of my favourite Championship players to watch last season.
With a distinctly average looking front line the Hawthorns faithful will be relying heavily on the 24-year-old to be at his inspirational best if survival is to be achieved.
Pereira to make an instant impression
Pereira loves a strike at goal and will be all over any free-kicks within in sight of Kasper Schmeichel’s goal, his post lockdown shots output read – 5, 4, 3, 4, 5, 4, 5, 4, 5 and I think we will see more of the same from him this term.
Even-money is available for 3+ shots which, as you can see, is a line he crossed in every one of those games following the restart of action.
However with 4+ shots in eight of those nine fixtures I like the look of the 11/4 Paddy Power are offering and being able to take 5+ at 13/2 from the same firms is too good to overlook for a player I believe will want to make an instant impression in the top-flight.
Vardy fit and ready to fire
From a player at one end of his Premier League career we switch to one at the other, in the shape of last season’s Golden Boot winner, Jamie Vardy.
The King Power talisman ended last campaign without a goal in his last three outings but plundered four in the prior three – the mini-drought wasn’t for a want of trying however, with three strikes at goal against both Uniteds (Manchester and Sheffield) and six in the away defeat at Spurs.
Vardy, in fact, crossed the 3+ line in all of those last six games of the season – 6, 3, 5, 3, 6, 3 – and is 11/10 with Sky Bet to do so again in this opener.
Leicester’s number nine was also in good form against the newly promoted sides in the elongated 2019/20 season scoring five times in five games (missing the away defeat to Norwich) from 16 shots.
Four of Vardy’s Golden Boot winning 23 league goals, came from the spot, successfully converting against Aston Villa, Watford, Brighton and Southampton with his miss at Burnley ruining the 100% record.
Anthony Taylor is the man with the whistle for this contest and of all the regular EPL referees only the infamous Mike Dean (0.41) had a higher penalty per-game average than the Manchester official’s 0.38.
Leicester received the fourth-highest amount of spot-kicks in the league last year, and as already noted, Vardy took five of their seven.
For a player I wanted to side with scoring, the eve- money available didn’t really get me too excited – so with the information outlined above, I went through the BetVictor’s Bet Builder to create the odds for Vardy to score a penalty – the 11/2 on offer meant that will be my final selection for this game.
West Brom v Leicester – Matheus Pereira 4+ shots (11/4 Betfair)
West Brom v Leicester – Matheus Pereira 5+ shots (13/2 Betfair)
West Brom v Leicester – Jamie Vardy 3+ shots (11/10 SkyBet)
West Brom v Leicester – Jamie Vardy to score a penalty (11/2 BetVictor)