Monday, December 11, 2017

Prediction: Derby County vs Leicester City

Verdict: Derby to qualify

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: bet365

Championship high-flyers Derby County will attempt to pile more misery on the reigning Premier League champions Leicester City when the two sides square off in the FA Cup fourth round clash. The Foxes though will have a lot to prove after back to back 3-0 defeats to Chelsea and Southampton.

Derby County

Derby County are an established Championship side that tend to finish every season in or around the play-off positions, and while they did gain promotion to the Premier League back in 2007, but they were utterly disappointing in the top flight, finishing the campaign with just one triumph and getting relegated as early as March. The Rams have since been fighting to return to the elite division, suffering few more promotion play-off defeats, and they currently sit two points behind top 6 positions. Steve McClaren’s side had a great start to the new FA Cup campaign, defeating Premier League high-flyers West Bromwich on the road, with Darren Bent and Tom Ince helping overturn a one-goal deficit after Matty Phillips had opened the scoring. Derby County have since lost to Leeds United and defeating Reading at their iPro Stadium, and they appear to be heading into the Leicester City clash high on spirits. This is mostly due to their stunning home record that saw the Rams win seven of last nine home games (D2), keeping incredible eight clean sheets in the process.

Team News

Former Leicester City striker David Nugent is battling a knee injury, but Ikechi Anya, Nick Blackman and Cyrus Christie have all resumed training and could offer Steve McClaren a much needed boost.

Leicester City

These past few years have been a real rollercoaster ride for Leicester City, who have gone from fighting to their lives to lifting the Premiership trophy and back in a short period of time. Midway through the league campaign, the Foxes sit five points clear of the bottom three and the alarm bells should be ringing at the King Power Stadium even though they could still avoid the difficult relegation tussle. Leicester City have been struggling form form throughout the season and it certainly didn’t help that the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Islam Slimani and Daniel Amartey have been away on international duty over the past few weeks. The Algerian duo is set to rejoin the squad after Les Fennecs crashed out of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, but they are unlikely to face Derby County, as the Premier League clash against relegation rivals Burnley obviously has the priority. The Foxes are going through a very rough patch at the moment, having suffered 3-0 losses to Chelsea and Saints, and there are no doubts that the players will be out of confidence heading into the game at iPro Stadium that has become a genuine fortress of late.

Team News

Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani are unlikely to be risked, especially since the latter is fighting a groin injury he picked up in Gabon.

Manager Claudio Ranieri is widely expected to field a weakened side against Derby County, meaning Ahmed Musa, Ben Chilwell and Andy King should start.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Leicester City won eight of last nine matches vs Derby County (L1)
  • The Rams won seven of last nine home games (D2)
  • Derby County kept 8 clean sheet in last 9 matches at iPro Stadium
  • Leicester suffered back to back 3-0 defeats
  • Derby beat West Brom away in the third round

Conclusion

Derby County have been absolutely amazing at home over the last few months and there are no doubts the iPro Stadium will be rocking for the visit of Leicester. The Foxes, on the other hand, are going through a very rough patch and with a number of star players missing, we don’t see how they are going to pip Rams to a place in the nest stage.

Verdict: Derby to qualify

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: bet365

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