Rugby fanatic - but so much more
Rugby fanatic - but so much more
The battle for European places could take an important step towards being decided with this Premier League tussle between Leicester City and Sheffield United on Thursday. The Foxes welcome the Blades to the King Power Stadium on the back of a shock defeat, while the South Yorkshire side have been in excellent form in their last two games. While the Champions League looks like being slightly beyond the Blades, Leicester need three points to cling onto their current top four position. Read on to see where the best betting value can be found in what should be an exciting game!
Leicester have not been in great form since football resumed in June. The lockdown break does not appear to have done City any favours,and Brendan Rodgers must be wondering what has gone wrong, especially after their 4-1 defeat at lowly Bournemouth at the weekend. Since football resumed, the Foxes have won just once in seven games in all competitions, and have been knocked out of the FA Cup. Now in fourth place in the table with 59 points, they are locked in a battle for the top four with Manchester United and Chelsea, and points are at a premium.
Chris Wilder’s Blades head into this game on the back of two very important results. United’s challenge for Europe looked to have fizzled out after lockdown ended and football resumed, but wins over Wolverhampton Wanderers and Chelsea in their last two games have recharged their push for at least a Europa League place. In their last four games, the Blades have won three and drawn one. Significantly, in their last two matches, United have scored four goals and conceded none. They are now in seventh place with 54 points, one point behind Wolves and four behind Manchester United.
Recent meetings between these two teams have very much gone the way of Leicester. United have not beaten Leicester since 2008, when they won 3-0 in a Championship game at Bramall Lane. The teams have met eight times in all competitions since then, and there have been three draws with City winning five times. One of those draws was in the Football League Trophy in 2016, and Leicester won it on penalties, so United really do not have a great record at all against the East Midlands outfit over the last 12 years or so. Prior to this season, the side’s most recent clash was in the FA Cup in February 2018, when they met at the King Power Stadium in the competition’s fifth round. City won that game 1-0, with Jamie Vardy scoring the game’s only goal.
These sides have met just once in the Premier League, with the vast majority of their previous meetings over the last two decades having been outside of the top flight of English football. That solitary Premier League meeting came earlier this season, when the Foxes came out on top of a clash at Bramall Lane. City won 2-1 that day, with goals from Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes. Scotland striker Oli McBurnie scored for the Blades, with his 68th minute strike cancelling out Vardy’s first half opener. The game stayed level for just two minutes, though, with Barnes hitting what turned out to be the winner in the 70th minute. Vardy is 5/4 to score at any time on Thursday at Betway, with the same bookie pricing Barnes at 100/30 to be an anytime goalscorer. McBurnie’s odds are 3/1 to score at any time.
United have taken some notable scalps in their last four games, beating Tottenham Hotspur, Wolves and Chelsea. They beat Chelsea 3-0 at the weekend, with the goals coming from David McGoldrick with two and McBurnie. Although United have scored 38 Premier League goals this season they have conceded just 33, so the Blades have at last found some goal scoring form to match their strong defence.
Our prediction for this game is that the Blades will win 1-0 and take an important step in their journey towards European football. Whether they can make it into Europe remains to be seen, but Wilder’s men have still been one of the season’s surprise packages whatever transpires in the rest of the campaign. Leicester have been in poor form since football resumed, and we suspect that their season has now run out of momentum. Our recommended tip comes from Betway, who are offering odds of 5/1 on United to win and both teams not to score.