Brighton V Leicester: Foxes value to get back on track

Brighton host Leicester on Saturday night and Steve Rawlings fancies the visitors to leave the Amex with all three points...

Are Bungling Brighton slipping into the mire?

Graham Potter's Brighton were ticking along nicely until a fortnight ago but all of a sudden, they've been sucked into the relegation discussion.

Over a two month stretch, the Seagulls lost just two of 12 in the Premier League, 1-0 at home to Arsenal and 1-0 away at Manchester City, but after impressive back-to-back 1-0 wins, at home to Spurs and away at Liverpool, they've now gone a month without winning and their xG exploits and performances in front of goal are something of a joke.

They drew 0-0 will Aston Villa at home in a game they completely dominated, producing far superior xG figures that read 2.33 - 0.14, before losing 2-1 at home to bitter rivals, Crystal Palace, when the xG for the match read 2.59 - 0.18 in favour of the hosts.

It was a game almost entirely dominated by the Seagulls, who enjoyed 75% of the possession, but only one of their 25 shots found the back of the net and Palace pounced late on to steal the points, despite venturing into the Palace box just twice! And it was a similar tale of woe last week at West Brom...

Having gone behind in the 11th minute, Brighton had a perfectly good goal unfairly chalked off before they managed to miss not one, but two penalty kicks, becoming the first side in Premier League history to miss two penalties by hitting the woodwork in a single game.

It was yet another game that they dominated but ultimately lost with the xG this time reading West Brom 1.13, Brighton 3.14. So wacky was the result that West Brom boss, Sam Allardyce, couldn't help but chuckle when interviewed after the game.

"I'm just laughing because of how bizarre the game was, what happened during this game. Lots of chances at both ends, we managed to get ours in and they managed not to score any of theirs."

It's been an incredible and quite amusing run (unless you're a Brighton fan) but it's no joke for Potter and he must be wondering what he needs do to change things. They've now failed to score more than once in each of their last nine in the Premier League and having been matched at a high of 36.0, they're slowly slipping down the table and they're now trading at a single-figure price to be relegated as the bottom three start to pick up points.

Injury-hit Leicester looking to bounce back

Like the hosts, Saturday's visitors have hit a bit of a bump in the road of late and since beating Aston Villa away two weeks ago, Leicester have lost twice at home - 2-0 to Slavia Prague in the Europa League and 3-1 to Arsenal in the Premier League - before they earned a hard-fought but deserved point at Burnley on Wednesday night, after an entertaining encounter finished 1-1.

Unlike Brighton, profligacy in front of goal hasn't been an issue for the Foxes but their injury list continues to grow at an alarming rate. Brilliant defender, James Justin, and influential midfielder, Harvey Barnes, are both long-term injuries and the experienced centre-half, Jonny Evans, together with the superb James Maddison, Ayoze Perez and Dennis Praet, are all highly likely to be declared unfit on Saturday. It's certainly not ideal but the Leicester boss, Brendan Rodgers, isn't using it as an excuse.

"Everyone's talking about the injury list but we have to deal with that, that's unfortunate for us, but what I have here is a brilliant group of players that's going to keep pushing, keep fighting and let's see where it takes us."

Prior to the back-to-back defeat to Prague and the Gunners, the Foxes had lost just one of their last 15 in all competitions so it's quite possible that they've merely experienced a bit of a blip and after their 1-1 stalemate with Burnley, their brilliant run away from home continues.

Their 5-2 win at the champions-elect, Manchester City, is the highlight of the season so far but there have been a string of solid results on the road and the only team to beat them in 14 Premier League away games is the current champions, Liverpool, way back in November.

With nine wins, three draws and just the one defeat, they have the exact same record away from home in the Premier League as the runaway leaders, Manchester City and the historic stats are in their favour on Saturday too...

Visitors value for yet another victory on the road

This is the eighth time these two have met in the Premier League and Leicester are yet to lose. They've won five of the previous seven encounters, including 3-0 at the King Power back in December, and the Foxes also knocked Brighton out of the F.A Cup in February, beating them 1-0, thanks to a 94th minute Kelechi Iheanacho goal.

A combination of Leicester's injuries and a belief that Brighton's luck must change, sees the home side trading as favourites in the outright market but they make no appeal whatsoever at around 2.7.

The Seagulls have lost their last two Premier League games, against a Crystal Palace side that didn't include their talisman, Wilfred Zaha, and against a West Brom team seemingly destined for the drop. They've won just one of their previous 13 Premier League home games and they're up against a Leicester team that's unbeaten in their last 12 away games in all competitions (W7 D5).

Looking at the side markets, a case can certainly be made for backing Under 2.5 in the Over/Under 2.5 market at around 1.8 given there have been less than three goals in five of Brighton's last six at home and in eight of their last nine home and away in the Premier League but I'm more than happy to chance the visitors at 3.0. All things considered, that looks a great price and one well worth taking.



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