Sunday Premier League Odds, Picks and Predictions: Leicester City vs. Manchester City (Sept. 27)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin de Bruyne
- Leicester City put together one of the best seasons in the Premier League last season, and it'll receive a test against Manchester City on Sunday.
- Man City still maintains its position as one of the top teams in England's top flight.
- Michael Leboff breaks down the battle between the Foxes and Cityzens with updated odds below.
Premier League: Leicester vs. Man City Odds
|Leicester City Odds||+850 [BET NOW]|
|Man City Odds||-335 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+475 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||3.5 (+108/-134) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Sunday, 11:30 a.m. ET|
|How to Watch||NBCSN|
Leicester City was one of the best teams in the Premier League in 2019-20. The Foxes finished fifth, had the fourth-best goal differential and the sixth-best expected goal differential in the top flight. If it wasn’t for a sluggish run of form during Project Restart, the Foxes would be in the Champions League.
That post-hiatus collapse, in addition to the departure of Ben Chilwell, caused some skeptics to speak out against Leicester City’s prospects for 2020-21, especially considering some of the transfer business the teams around the Foxes completed.
So far Leicester has proved its skeptics wrong, but a trip to the Etihad to take on Manchester City awaits.
It was a tale of two seasons for the Foxes in 2019-20. Leicester was in third place with 16 wins, five draws and a +30 goal differential in its first 29 games. The Foxes were running hot compared to their expected goals, but their +10 xG differential before the pandemic was still good enough for sixth in the league.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
The points stopped coming after the pause, however, and the Foxes crashed out of the top four. Leicester only took nine of a possible 27 points after the break. The Foxes’ underlying metrics suggested they deserved 13.5 points in the nine-game stretch after the break, but that was still off the pace they were operating at before the world stopped.
Thus far, Leicester has been able to put its collapse behind them. The Foxes got off and running with a deserved 3-0 win over West Brom and then followed that up with a 4-2 victory against Burnley that definitely flattered the Foxes.
It’s really hard to figure this team out, but there’s not much to overthink on Sunday.
There’s not much that needs to be said about Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s side was the pre-season favorite to win the 2020-21 title, and according to expected points, should have run away with the league last season.
Manchester City set the pace in goals scored, goal differential, expected goals for and expected goal differential throughout the season but somehow finished 17 points off Liverpool’s pace. If you’re into xG and advanced stats, you’d argue that City and Liverpool should have switched spots in the final table.
That isn’t how it works, though, and City was done in by defensive mistakes and a couple of ugly losses landed it on the second stump at season’s end.
City got its season off to a great start, beating a dangerous Wolverhampton side, 3-1, on Monday Night Football. The xG models had it 2.08 to 0.72 in favor of the Cityzens, so it was a strong result against a team that could fight for a top-four spot this season.
Guardiola is dealing with a long injury list that includes Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero, Ilkay Gundogan and Aymeric Laporte, but the starting XI still figures to include the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez, so I think City will be just fine.
Manchester City vs. Leicester Betting Pick
Everything about this game points to goals. Both teams have plenty of talent going forward, they can both score in bunches and no Premier League season has seen this amount of scoring through the first three weeks.
I don’t think it’s a bad idea to back the Over 3.5 at plus-money, but my favorite bet on the board is playing City to cover the 1.5-goal spread.
The high total tells you that this game should feature quite a bit of scoring and that style of game should help City towards a blowout, especially with defensive-midfielder Wilfred Ndidi out for Leicester.
The Foxes posted strong defensive numbers in 2019-20, but Ndidi’s absence should make things a little bit easier on City, which is -375 to go over 1.5 goals at DraftKings.
A City win seems in the cards on Sunday, and with the way this game is setting up, I would be comfortable laying -130 on the Cityzens to win by more than one score.
The Bet: Manchester City -1.5 (-124); Over 3.5 Goals (+102)