Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Prediction: Leicester City vs Leeds United

Verdict: Leicester/Leicester

Best Odds: 6/5

Bookmaker: bet365

Premier League strugglers Leicester City take on Championship high-flyers Leeds United in the Last 16 stage of the English Football League Cup. Considering that both sides go into the game on the back of morale-boosting wins, we expect to see an entertaining affair at King Power Stadium.

Leicester City

Leicester City have been on a major downtrend since lifting the Premier League title some 17 months ago, sacking both Claudio Ranieri and Craig Shakespeare in the process. The latter was sacked after a poor run of results at the start of the new campaign that saw the Foxes slip into the danger zone. While the club chiefs have yet to appoint a new permanent manager, interim boss Michael Appleton did well to help whoever gets chosen as he masterminded a 2-1 away triumph over Leicester City, which saw the club climb to 14th in the overall standings. Before they take on fellow strugglers Everton at the weekend, the Foxes will negotiate a League Cup clash against Leeds United, and chances are they will take the game seriously. It has to be noted that Leicester City defeated Liverpool in the previous stage, and another League Cup triumph would certainly improve the atmosphere ahead of the visit of Everton. There were plenty of positives in the 2-1 victory over Swansea City as Shinji Okazaki, Riyad Mahrez and Vicente Iborra all impressed, and the hosts will be looking to take the new-found confidence into the Leeds United match.

Team News

The likes of Ben Hamer, Kelechi Iheanacho, Islam Slimani and Demarai Gray are all expected to start if Michael Appleton decides to ring changes to his side.

Leeds United

We can safely say that Leeds United are enjoying one of the most successful seasons ever since they were relegated from the Premier League back in 2004. For the first time in quite a while, the Whites are seen as one of the main candidates for promotion, although the recent three-match losing run definitely served as a major blow. However, it would appear as though Leeds United are now back on track, having impressed to record a 3-0 away win over Bristol City. The Whites now occupy one of four play-off positions, sitting four points behind second-placed Cardiff City, but while the Championship campaign remains the priority, the club also want to do well in the League Cup. Following comfortable wins over Port Vale and Newport County, Leeds United produced a major coup by defeating Burnley on the road in a tremendous match that saw four goals scored in the final 15 minutes and was eventually decided after a penalty shoot-out. The Whites face another tough task as they face revived Leicester City away, especially with manager Thomas Chirstiansen set to field an under-strength side.

Team News

Judging from the team that faced Burnley in the previous round, the boss is set to field most star players at King Power stadium, but talented youngster Ronaldo Vieira is unlikely to be risked as he battles a knee problem.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Leeds did not lose on last four visits to King Power (W1 D3)
  • Each of their last four meetings produced under 2.5 goals
  • Leeds expected to play with second-string side
  • Leicester unbeaten in last three Premier League matches
  • The Whites just ended a three-match losing run

Conclusion

Leicester City are eager to remain on the right track after ending a barren run of results and even if interim boss Appleton decides to rest some star players, the hosts will field a very strong team. Leeds, on the other hand, are fully focused on their promotion challenge and their back-ups are unlikely to cause the Foxes too many problems.

Verdict: Leicester/Leicester

Best Odds: 6/5

Bookmaker: bet365

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