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If there’s one thing you’d really want to avoid in the Premier League, it’s additional scheduling headaches.
Professional or not, the manic nature of this campaign is taking its toll on players. So naturally, Leicester are faced with the classic Thursday/Monday turnaround for their fixtures. After successfully navigating the feeble challenge put up by West Brom – who were 3-0 down at half-time and certainly not enthused by the Allardyce effect – they now turn their attentions to Crystal Palace.
Monday 20:00 – Leicester v Crystal Palace
Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Premier League
And realistically, the side you want to be facing at this time of year are the no-hopers or the squads who have absolutely nothing left to play for.
Billed as the former but once again evolving into the latter, Roy Hodgson has once again proven he can still do a job even if he doesn’t fall into the Pulis stereotype. With safety guaranteed and the promise of finishing any higher than bottom half little more than a pipe dream, you’re probably about to see a very lax version of Palace.
Very rarely has a Premier League club been capable of just turning it on and off again in such quick succession, but it works for them. I just suspect that’ll play into Leicester’s hands – and potentially yours with this nifty Bet Builder.
They’re probably not chuffed with the scheduling, but they would not have asked for a better situation than being able to put a game to bed on Thursday night and not having to find top gear at any stage. Given that level of comfort, a home game against Palace the following Monday really should be like playing the second half against the Baggies.
Not only are the Foxes overcoming their slight slump from the start of the month, but they’re now operating with James Maddison back and when he’s in the side, they generally find more ways to be expansive and piling on more goalscoring opportunities. Hence the confidence in them running out comfortable winners, again.
Much like West Brom, this game gets put to bed early so they can rest players before making the trip to Southampton. While their run-in is kind, it does require some man management and the earlier these points can gotten, the better it is for the endurance test.
I honestly don’t know if Palace will want to score? They generally do their work off the ball and hand possession to the opposition, from which they turnover higher up the pitch and attack at pace. Leicester don’t take those risks on the ball, so they’re effectively fool-proof in that regard – especially as neither full-back will overcommit when they’re ahead.
If you could sign one of either Iheanacho or Gabriel Jesus, who would you pick? His eternal promise that was never realised at City now appears to be showing and Leicester might not have a direct Vardy replacement in terms of his skillset, but you could easily see the Nigerian hitting 15-20 every year when he hits form. And he’s certainly in form.
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