One last push for Leicester at the end of emotional fortnight
It will have been a long two weeks for Leicester come Saturday, and I don't just mean the players, but everyone concerned with the club, including the fans. Emotions were understandably running high at Cardiff last weekend, but the team managed to channel that into positive energy as they won 1-0.
A long haul flight to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha's funeral followed and without trying to state the obvious, that isn't exactly the ideal preparation for a game.
Claude Puel's men are made of strong stuff though, as they proved at Cardiff. The manager alluded to it in his press conference too, when he said "It is not easy to prepare for this game. The emotion, no consistency in training sessions. But we will compensate with our spirit and attitude and the support from the fans, of course."
The Frenchman will have to do without two of his key players though, as Harry Maguire and James Maddison have been ruled out through injury. The former went off injured last week, and while the latter completed 82 minutes, his form has dipped in recent weeks following a strong start to life at the King Power.
Worrying times at Turf Moor
Burnley have the unenviable task of trying to beat a team who are clearly in distress. Cardiff couldn't raise themselves to do it last Saturday, and while the Clarets are a better side, they've only won three more points than them this season.
Sean Dyche must be secretly fuming that he didn't get more new faces through the door during the summer. He and his players performed heroics to qualify for Europe last season, but his squad is pretty much identical this year, and it's no surprise that they are struggling.
What is surprising though is the amount of goals that the defence is conceding. With 25 goals against in 11 outings, only Fulham have a worse defensive record, and it's concerning that over half of those goals were conceded during their three most recent matches.
As far as the team news goes, Dyche has confirmed that Jack Cork and Phil Bardsley are back in contention for the weekend, but James Tarkowski will need to be assessed by a specialist.
Leicester to dig deep for another victory
The Foxes are the firm favourites for this fixture as they trade at the 1.53 mark. That feels like a fair price to me, as not only will they be super motivated to get the win in their first match at the King Power since the helicopter crash, their opponents are also in miserable form.
Burnley have lost three on the bounce, to an aggregate score of 13-2. Admittedly they did face Man City and Chelsea during that period, but they were thoroughly outplayed at West Ham last week, and the 4-2 scoreline flattered them in the end as the Hammers should have scored more.
Away from Turf Moor it's four defeats in five, and that includes a 4-2 loss at Fulham - that victory is Fulham's only win of the season.
Leicester, meanwhile, have four points from a possible six of late and have a decent win percentage at the 45% mark. They also have a good recent home record against the Clarets, with Opta telling us that they are unbeaten in seven home league matches against Burnley (W4 D3) since losing 0-1 in November 2007 in the Championship.
However if you fancy the visitors to take something from this game, then the draw can be backed at 4.40 and the away win at 8.00. I can't say that either really appeal to me though.
Porous Burnley defence to be exposed again
I have to admit, I was expecting Over 2.5 Goals to be the warm favourite in this market, but it's actually a lot closer than that.
Over 2.5 is trading at around the 1.94 mark, while the Under is 2.04. I find that quite astounding, but also rather pleasing as it offers us an opportunity at picking up some value.
Firstly, Opta tells us that Leicester are the only side to have scored in all 11 of their Premier League games so far this season.
Their matches are averaging exactly three goals each time, with seven off their 11 seeing Overs backers collect.
Secondly, as already mentioned, Burnley have the second worst defensive record in the division, and they have conceded 13 times in their last four and a half hours of football.
Their games are averaging 3.36 goals per 90 minutes, and they too have had seven of their 11 end with the ball in the net on at least three occasions.
It's also worth noting that the hosts have kept just the one clean sheet in front of their own fans this term, and that came all the way back in August.
Same Game Multi
In my Fantasy Football GW12 preview, I picked out Jamie Vardy as one of my eight to like. He was unlucky not to score at Cardiff last week and he recorded some of his best stats of the season. He will be desperate to get a goal to honour his former chairman, and the stage should be set for him to do so.
A Leicester 2-1 win with Vardy scoring anytime is priced at [13.94] on the Sportsbook, and that feels like a decent bet to me.