Crystal Palace vs Leicester predictions: Foxes set for more away-day frustration
- Roy Hodgson returns to lead a Crystal Palace side on a 12-match winless run
- Leicester only a point above drop zone after winning just two of last 12 league games
- Recommended bet: Draw
The sacking of Patrick Vieira at Crystal Palace seemed harsh given the Eagles’ tough run of recent fixtures and replacement Roy Hodgson returns to find that eight of Palace’s remaining 10 games will come against teams placed 13th or lower.
Indeed, their current 12-match winless run took in seven meetings with the big six and four games against highflying Newcastle, Brighton and Brentford.
Their weakest opponent in that run was 11th-placed Aston Villa.
Life should get easier now, starting with the visit of a Leicester side who go into the weekend hovering just a point and a place above the relegation places after taking just eight points from 12 games since returning from the World Cup break.
Another defeat for the Foxes would likely see them slip into the bottom three and they will be wary of a Palace side potentially benefiting from a new-manager bounce.
Hodgson takes charge of a squad returning to full fitness, with goalkeepers Vicente Guaita and Sam Johnstone back from injury, centre-back Joachim Andersen expected back from a calf problem and James McArthur returning from illness.
However, injury-plagued defensive pair Chris Richards and Nathan Ferguson are again set to miss out this weekend.
Brendan Rodgers has a number of absentees, with full-back James Justin and midfielder Youri Tielemans injured, Jannik Vestergaard no longer part of the manager’s plans and Ryan Bertrand short of match fitness.
However, Wout Faes returns from suspension and while fellow centre-backs Jonny Evans and Harry Souttar are slight injury doubts, both could be available this weekend.
Full-back Victor Kristiansen and midfielder Dennis Praet also face late fitness tests.
While Leicester go into this match having taken just one point from a possible 15 , Rodgers will feel his team deserved more from those games given they outperformed each of Brentford, Chelsea and Southampton by at least 0.5 expected goals in their last three.
Palace do not have quite such a hard-luck story to tell but have had far tougher fixtures than most teams in the bottom half and have lost only five of 14 home games this term, winning each of just four against visitors from the bottom half.
Crystal Palace have kept just three clean sheets in 14 home games this season while Leicester have kept just three clean sheets in 14 away games, with only two other Premier League teams conceding more goals on their travels.
Leicester have generally been playing far better than their results suggest of late and will feel their luck must turn at some point.
In a 1-0 defeat at Southampton, Kelechi Iheanacho missed three excellent chances and Harry Souttar hit the bar.
They also restricted Arsenal to relatively few chances in a 1-0 defeat and gave at least as good as they got against Chelsea despite losing 3-1.
But they visit a Palace side who are also not as bad as a run of 12 consecutive winless matches would suggest and who will expect some sort of bounce following the return of Hodgson to the helm.
Given the poor defensive record of both Palace and Leicester, adding both teams to score looks a sensible approach to Bet Builders.
However, a bet on the stalemate looks attractive given neither team is as bad as results suggest but neither has done enough to demand support.
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