Saturday, September 22, 2018

Prediction: West Bromwich Albion vs Leicester City

Prediction: Riyad Mahrez anytime goalscorer

Odds: 10/3

Bookmaker: Bet365

Alan Pardew could face a fight for his job at the Hawthorns this weekend as his West Bromwich Albion face Midlands rivals Leicester City in the Premier League.

Claude Puel meanwhile be aiming to get his Foxes back on the right track against the strugglers after a few indifferent results in recent weeks.

West Bromwich Albion

It would be fair to say that the sacking of Tony Pulis and indeed appointment of Alan Pardew at the Hawthorns Stadium has not quite gone to plan. Since arriving in the West Midlands, the former Crystal Palace and Newcastle man has only managed to win one league game. As a matter of fact, the Baggies have only managed to take maximum points in five clashes during the current campaign – hence their position at the bottom of the Premier League table. They come into the clash with Leicester on the back of five consecutive defeats. They have not lost six league games on the bounce since 2003 and they were relegated during that season. West Brom also have the worst home record in the Premier League having taken an abysmal 13 points from 14 games at the Hawthorns.

With Pardew’s men languishing eight points clear of safety, they need goals to edge them to survival but that is exactly what their problem has been this season. The Baggies are the lowest scorers in the top four tiers of English football with only 22 strikes to their name. Their highest scorers, James Rodriguez and Salomon Rondon only have four league goals each to their name.

Team News

Despite the grey clouds over the Hawthorns, the Baggies could be boosted by the return of Gareth Barry. The midfielder could recover from a knock in time to play a part. However, the likes of Nacer Chadli, Daniel Sturridge and James Morrison all remain consigned to the injury table.

Leicester City

After winning five out of his first eight games as Leicester City boss, Claude Puel has seen his side hit a bit of a slump in recent months. The former Premier League champions have only won two out of their last 12 games in the league since. Disappointing 1-1 draws against the likes of Swansea City, Stoke City and AFC Bournemouth at the King Power Stadium have plagued the Foxes and they remain stuck in eighth in the table.

It is their defending that has let them down so far this season. The East-Midlanders have only kept seven clean sheets in 29 games in the Premier League, the lowest amount in the top half. Similarly, they also have the worst defence in the top half of the Premier League having let in 42 goals so far this season. Their away form will have to improve if they are to take anything away from the Hawthorns. The Foxes have only managed to earn one point out of the last 15 available, although those trips have taken them to places such as Anfield, Stamford Bridge, Goodison Park and the Etihad Stadium. Puel’s men however are prolific and have only failed to score in five league games this season.

Team News

Forward Shinji Okazaki could return to action at the Hawthorns having previously been suffering from a knee injury that has kept him out of the last three Premier League games. Daniel Amartey though has been ruled out after limping off in the 1-1 draw with Bournemouth last weekend.

Key Facts to Consider

  • West Bromwich Albion have the better record between the two teams (W51, D24, L37)
  • Leicester City have not lost at the Hawthorns since April 2010
  • There has been 20 goals scored in the last six games between the two
  • Riyad Mahrez has been involved in five goals in his last six games against West Brom (three goals, two assists)
  • The reverse game between the two earlier in the season ended 1-1, which was Craig Shakespeare’s last in charge of Leicester.

Conclusion

Both sides head into this match in below-par form so most will understandably not be expecting a thriller at the Hawthorns. However, Leicester are under no pressure to get a result, whilst the Baggies really do need to press to get a result. This could possibly leave spaces for the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy to exploit.

As a result, the Foxes should earn a relatively comfortable result in the West Midlands and will get their season back on track. Riyad Mahrez could also be an excellent bet to find the net.

Prediction: Riyad Mahrez anytime goalscorer

Odds: 10/3

Bookmaker: Bet365

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is currently a second-year football journalism student at the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately four years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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