Aston Villa vs. Leicester City Odds, Prediction, Preview: Back Structured Side in Premier League Clash
Visionhaus/Getty Images. Pictured: Aston Villa standout Danny Ings, left, and his teammates celebrate a goal.
Aston Villa vs. Leicester Odds
|Aston Villa Odds||+145|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-115 / -110)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 11:30 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||NBCSN | fuboTV|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
After two wins and a valiant effort against the league champions, Aston Villa returns home to take on Leicester in an important mid-table battle.
The Foxes have had a disappointing first half of the year, and they’ve won just won of their last five. The lack of ability to string together successful results has left Leicester City eight points back of fourth after a campaign in which it narrowly missed out on the position.
Here is what to look out for when the Foxes travel to Villa Park.
Aston Villa Showing its Consistency
After Steven Gerrard took over as manager at Villa, it became clear that the hire would be able to invigorate a group of players that looked lost in the games leading up to his arrival.
Though Villa hasn’t had groundbreaking performances, it has found an incredibly solid defensive structure that provided a backbone for the team. In the past three games, Villa has conceded just three goals, and it has also conceded only 2.56 xGA, showing the lack of chances that the Lions have conceded.
Offensively, Villa has scored five in the last three while amassing 2.29 xG. The Lions have finished their chances well and capitalized on opportunities in an efficient manner, something that will prove to be crucial to stay in the middle of the table.
The loss of Leon Bailey to a muscle injury is unfortunate for Gerrard, but the way that Villa is playing, the emphasis is on defense anyway, so you can count on another sturdy performance.
Leicester City Struggling to Find Dual-Competition Results
Though it may seem like the Foxes haven’t been able to put anything together this year, they’ve been solid in the Europa League, with a key final round of group stage matches ahead.
Leicester has won two, drawn two and lost one and sits just atop its group, but a bout with Napoli awaits on Thursday. The Italian side sits a point off of the Foxes while Spartak Moscow is level on points but behind on tiebreakers. Those results haven’t been able to translate to the Premier League, however, where Leicester has amassed five points in its past five games.
The biggest problem has been its defense, which hasn’t conceded less than one xG in a Premier League game since September. In fact, Leicester is conceding the third-most xGA in the league (1.71).
Another concern comes from the fact that Brendan Rodgers has to consider how he wants to treat his lineup prior to a massive matchup with Napoli. Does he go all-out in both games and risk a poor second performance, or go with a conservative lineup in hopes of excelling in a critical final round match?
Betting Analysis & Pick
For me, there’s really no choice here but to back Villa when it has been playing efficient and tough football. This isn’t the same side that was taking the pitch before Gerrard arrived, and it’s one that has the capability of exploiting Leicester’s weak back line and remaining stable against an effective attack.
Leicester will also have the thought of Napoli on Thursday in the back of its mind. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see a flat performance from the Foxes who know advancing in the Europa League would pay major financial dividends.
Look for Gerrard’s squad to keep the progress moving and show the difference between an inspired and well-structured team against one that is loose and in a slump mentally.
Pick: Aston Villa — Draw No Bet (-140)