EPL betting: Last season’s title fairytale a distant memory for Leicester City

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Updated: December 10, 2016

EPL featured betting preview: Leicester City (3-4-7, 28 pts) v Manchester City (9-3-2, 30 pts), King Power Stadium, Leicester, England; Sunday, December 10, 4.30am – latest EPL standings here

 

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The fairytale of Leicester City’s Premier League title triumph in 2015-16 is in danger of turning into a relegation nightmare with the Foxes just two points above the drop zone with the hectic Christmas-New Year period looming. Claudio Ranieri’s side are a shadow of the team that lost just three times in the League last season. Leicester’s away form has been desperate and they’ve failed to win any of their past five games in the league. Their return of 13 points is the second-worst record after 14 games of any defending champion in top-flight history, after Ipswich in 1962-63 (12 points). The one bright spot has been their form in the Champions League.

They cruised into the knockout stages, topping their group. Ranieri (pictured below) rotated virtually his entire line-up midweek and they paid the price after being thrashed 5-0 in Porto. But he will be more concerned with the way his side have lost in recent weeks to West Brom, Watford and Sunderland in domestic competition. Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel is back in training after a hand injury and may feature today. Nampalys Mendy only returned from injury in midweek and will not start, while Danny Drinkwater is still banned. Leicester took four points off Manchester City last season, winning 3-1 away and drawing 0-0 at home.

 

But the Foxes have never won at home to City in the Premier League (D2, L3), with their last home victory in any competition coming in February 1988 in the old Division Two. Pep Guardiola must lift his players for this challenge after their title hopes suffered a major setback in last weekend’s home defeat to Chelsea. City appeared to be in control, leading 1-0, but paid the price for missed chances as their suspect defence conceded three times. The late red cards for Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho only added to their woes with the pair suspended for much of the festive period.

The result leaves the fourth-placed Sky Blues trailing leaders Chelsea by four points. Most of their problems have been caused by poor defending – they’ve kept just one clean sheet in their past 16 games in all competitions. Nicolas Otamendi is also suspended, Raheem Sterling is fit after missing two games with a knee injury while Fabian Delph has overcome a groin problem. Manchester City have won six of their seven away games in the Premier League this season, the best record in the division but they have only won four of their past 14 matches in all competitions (D6, L4). City have kept a clean sheet in just two of those games.

 

 

Confirmed betting (card finalised)

Leicester City v Manchester City WIN (two units @ $1.72)
Arsenal -1/hcp v Stoke City (two units @ $1.70)
Swansea City v Sunderland DRAW (one unit @ $3.40)

 

Today’s other games

Watford v Everton
Burnley v Bournemouth
Hull City v Crystal Palace

 

Results update: 1-0-2, -0.6 units; overall record: 14-2-18, +1.08 units

Chelsea WIN v Tottenham Hotspur (three units @ $1.80) WIN (2-1)
Leicester City v Middlesbrough -2.5/total (two units @ $1.70) LOSE (2-2)
Hull City v West Bromwich Albion WIN (one unit @ $2.70) LOSE (1-1)

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT); prices with thanks to Bet365 (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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