WOLVES host Leicester on Friday evening in the Premier League. Jack Lambden (@_JackL_) analyses the encounter.
Wolves v Leicester | Friday 14th February 2020, 20:00 | Sky Sports
The Premier League returns from its mini winter break with an intriguing Friday night contest at Molineux between two of the Premier League’s most progressive clubs in recent seasons.
Both these sides have had decent seasons in relation to their respective ambitions but have at times looked jaded so the rest will have been welcomed by both managers. It should have allowed time for key players in both camps to recover from knocks incurred over the busy festive and new year period so the likes of Wilfred Ndidi and Adama Traore will be touch-and-go to make the cut for this one.
Assuming Traore is fit, it will be a busy evening for Leicester’s full-backs. Although the Spaniard has primarily played on the right wing to devastating effect, in more recent matches he’s started the game wide-left so we could be in line for a titanic contest between Traore – the unstoppable force – and Ricardo Pereira – the immovable object.
Considering how often opposition full-backs have had to be physical to even attempt to stop the winger, the tackles markets have to be looked into. At the time of writing, Ben Chillwell is Evens with Coral for 2+ tackles and that’s great value in my view.
The England left-back hasn’t won the ball in the challenge as much as his Portuguese counterpart on the opposite flank but he’s successfully made two or more tackles in his last four matches so I’m willing to take that price on. Just adding Pereira to make 4+ tackles to this with the same bookie in a BuildYourBet double gives odds of 9/4 which also looks appealing.
Wolves have certainly enjoyed playing under the lights at home this campaign, playing 12 evening kick-offs and recording some memorable results along the way including a 3-2 comeback win over current champions Manchester City. In those 12 games, the Old Gold have registered W7-D2-L2 which is an impressive record and shows that this talented squad of players are spurred on for the big occasion, something that Leicester have struggled with recently.
With both sides containing plenty of players who like to get stuck in and a certain Mr Mike Dean holding the whistle, cards shouldn’t be ruled out. They may not flow for either of these sides in comparison to their Premier League rivals but the 21/10 price on each team Over 1.5 Cards with Bet365 is too hard to ignore when Dean has the potential to be the star of the show.
Possession will likely change hands often here so both sides will look to hit the wide areas early and counter at every opportunity so a tactical foul or two could be in order to prevent a dangerous breakaway, something Dean clamped down in his last game in charge between Spurs and Manchester City.
On the outrights, it’s hard to call which way this one will go. Despite their positive positions in the Premier League table, Wolves and Leicester now have just three wins in their last 15 matches between them in all league and cup competitions which perhaps highlights that tiredness and a lack of cutting edge has creeped in during the past few months.
Two of the last three head-to-heads between Wolves and the Foxes have finished 0-0 but these matches were played either side of a 4-3 thriller in this fixture last season making the goal lines are hard to judge so I will stick with my prop selections instead.