Leicester City v Sheffield United: Foxes home issues point to outside bet on Blades
Following the news Chris Wilder is set to leave Sheffield United, Alan Dudman assesses their chances for this Sunday's trip to the King Power, and is taking a swing on the outsiders...
Foxes in third but haven't been convincing
The Foxes are one point behind Manchester United in third (at the time of writing) but there's a feeling of frustration for Leicester fans certainly, that it's been an inconsistent campaign. That speaks volumes for how the Premier League has shaped behind runaway leaders Manchester City.
Saturday's 1-2 victory at overrated Brighton ended a three-match unbeaten run for Brendan Rodgers' side, and a narrow one at that with Daniel Amartey's late goal. A game incidentally that City completely dominated possession.
Back at home, the stats are hardly impressive; with 19 points taken from a possible 53.
Rodgers has been hamstrung (literally) by injuries this term and once again James Maddison (hip) is likely to miss out, although Jonny Evans, Dennis Praet and Ayoze Perez are back in the frame.
Blades to carry on without Wilder
Manchester United goalkeeper and former Blades stopper Dean Henderson summed up the feeling of many with a heartfelt tweet to Chris Wilder, who appears to have been sacked from his role as manager after five years at the club.
Thirteen points from safety with 10 games remaining looks grim, but being realistic, what an earth is expected of the club who punched well above its weight last term? The typical second season syndrome has struck, but what Wilder achieved was nothing short of miraculous.
They've lost 11 of their 13 away games so there's little hope for Sunday, although defender Phil Jagielka is available again after suspension. John Egan, Chris Basham, Jack Robinson, Jack O'Connell and Sander Berge all remain on the sidelines.
Leicester's inconsistencies, especially at home probably don't deserve a price of 1.55, but of course opponents are factored in, and Sheffield United can barely buy a win away on their travels and are chalked up accordingly at 7.4.
I previewed the West Ham game against then-manager Chris Wilder last month, and actually put up the Blades Draw No Bet and they were shorter at 5.4 in the match odds on that occasion. I was clinging to the fact they gained a result and victory at Old Trafford - and that remains their only success on the road.
The Opta Stats are hardly encouraging on that front either as they are winless from their last seven against Leicester and are the division's lowest scorers with just 16 - which is why the Under 2.5 Goals is the shorter of the two at 1.85. That looks a reasonable bet, as the hosts only recorded an xG of just 0.53 in their recent 1-3 home loss to Arsenal.
There could be an In-Play angle to utilise here; and we can back Sheffield United Double Chance at around 4.50 with the hope laying back your stake. Conversely, the Foxes have scored a league-high 16 goals inside the final 15 minutes.
Vardy out of sorts and could be worth laying
Citing Sheffield United's poor goals return and the poor xG of the Foxes against Arsenal (and missing players through injury), I am going to try something a little different and take on Jamie Vardy in the To Score market.
I think we have enough running for us here for a cheap-ish lay, as the striker has scored only once in his last 14 games in all competitions. And if the visitors can stifle his runs behind the backline, we can lay him at around 2.0.
Alternatively, if you think he'll find his shooting boots, the Sportsbook have kindly boosted Vardy To Score 2 Or More at a huge 5/1.
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