Premier League Odds, Picks | Crystal Palace vs Leicester City Preview

Premier League Odds, Picks | Crystal Palace vs Leicester City Preview article feature image

Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images. Pictured: Leicester City standout Jamie Vardy.

Crystal Palace vs Leicester City Odds

Saturday, Apr. 1
10 a.m. ET

Crystal Palace Odds


Leicester City Odds

Over/Under2.5 (+115 / -145)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)(-120 / -105)
Odds via DraftKings. Get the latest soccer odds here.

Crystal Palace and Leicester City will do battle in a crucial match in the relegation fight at Selhurst Park.

Patrick Vieira has been sacked and Crystal Palace called on their old friend in 75-year old Roy Hodgson, who managed the Eagles before Vieira from 2017 to 2021.

His job is simple: keep Crystal Palace in the Premier League. He failed to do so with Watford last season, so we'll see if he can keep his old club afloat for another season. This match will be a big part of the answer to that question.

Crystal Palace Back With a Familiar Face

Roy Hodgson is back managing Crystal Palace once again. He will provide Crystal Palace with a lot more defensive structure than they’ve had. Patrick Vieira wanted to be a 4-3-3 pressing team, but it just never ended up working and Crystal Palace were solid defensively against lower half of the table sides, but when they played the big boys they really struggled.

Against non-big six sides plus Newcastle, Crystal Palace are allowing 1.83 xG per 90 minutes, but against every other team in the Premier League they’re only allowing 1.08 xG per match.

With Hodgson, it’s back to a 4-4-2, which is the easiest formation for players to understand their assignments. They can clog up the middle of the pitch and play much more direct than they did under Vieira. All of that is wonderful given the opponent they’re facing. Leicester are very good at controlling possession against teams of their level or lower. They want to play against teams that will play out of the back so they can press high and try to force high turnovers and catch teams out of position. Hodgson is going to have his team set up very direct and playing a lot of long balls

Even under Vieira, Crystal Palace were providing little to no resistance. They were second to last in opponent build up completion percentage allowed, 16th in PPDA and 17th in progressive passes + dribbles allowed. So, that's only going to get worse under Hodgson. When he was the manager for Crystal Palace from 2017 to 2021, his teams averaged 1.35 xG allowed per 90 minutes, which is right around the Premier League average.

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Leicester City Trying to Outpace Attacking Metrics

Leicester drew Brentford before the international break in a fairly even match, but overall for the season the Foxes have had major problems in the final third. Leicester are good at getting the ball into attacking space, but once it’s there they don’t have a clinical finisher and they aren’t able to generate good quality chances.

They are eighth in in the Premier League final third entries, but Leicester are 17th in final third to box entry conversion rate. That is why you see Leicester leading the Premier League with 11 goals from outside the box. Leicester are also 16th in the Premier League in xG per set piece, which means they won't be able to take advantage of one of Crystal Palace's biggest weaknesses defensively. 

Leicester have also been without Youri Tielemens for some time now, which is a massive loss for their ability to progress the ball up the pitch. The Foxes are actually a very good possession and build up team, ranking in the top half of the Premier League in both categories. Tielemens leads the Foxes in progressive passes per 90 minutes, passes into the final third per 90 minutes and passes into the penalty area per 90 minutes.

So, now that they have to try and breakdown a passive 4-4-2 low block rather than the 4-3-3 they would have seen under Vieira, it's hard to see Leicester generating enough high quality chances in this match to produce chances.

Crystal Palace vs Leicester City Pick

The last time these two teams met it was a sleepy 0-0 draw, and only 1.4 total xG were created between the two sides. However, there were a total of 22 shots, though none of them had an xG rating over 0.20 and 16 of the 22 shots were from outside the box.

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With Roy Hodgson now in charge, Crystal Palace will move back into a more compact, passive defense that is going to lead to all lower scoring affairs for the rest of the season.

I have both teams to socre – no projected at -121, so I like the value on the current line of -105.

Pick: Both Teams to Score – No (-105) 

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