While Leicester City have remained the bookmaker favourites, their poor recent form has given Brighton – who still have the dagger of potential relegation above their heads – reason to have faith that they can overcome the odds and begin climbing out of the bottom standings of the Premier League.
However, it’s hardly been smooth sailing for them either. They may have won three matches in the New Year compared to the Foxes’ one, but all of these came outside of the Premier League. Plus, they’ve hardly set the world on fire performance wise.
For Leicester, on the other hand, this match seems like a huge opportunity to gain some momentum in 2019 against a side that’s been weaker than many of their recent opponents.
Leicester City vs Brighton & Hove Albion Prediction: Leicester 1-0 Brighton
On paper, Brighton do seem like a good call here. Just take a look at Leicester’s results sheet and the sacking of manager Claude Puel. However, we think that people writing off Leicester are being a touch hasty. Their January fixtures were against some of the absolute best that English football has to offer, and their performances against Liverpool and United showed a lot of fire.
Meanwhile, Brighton just haven’t shown the improvements we’ve wanted to see from them this year, and we think Leicester will be motivated here to prove their potential. With that in mind, our predicted scoreline is 1-0 to the home team.
Our recommended tip: Leicester win to nil
While they may only be five points away from one another in the Premier League standings, the bookmakers give a clear advantage to the home side. Leicester City come into this contest with a 50% win probability to Brighton & Hove Albion’s 22% – with a draw actually being more likely at 28%. Therefore, a bet on the favourites to win is a safe one, with Ladbrokes giving Leicester low-risk match odds of 10/11. However, for a higher potential ROI, we recommend that you predict the Foxes will win to nil to get medium-risk 2/1 odds.
Quite often we come across teams who have some pretty extraordinary histories. And in the case of Leicester and Brighton, what is eye-catching here is just how evenly matched they are. Each side has the same amount of victories against the other, and their recent clashes show that neck-and-neck trend continuing.
Their last match in November of last year ended in a 1-1 draw, and the previous five contests saw each team score two wins and another stalemate. Overall, we would have to give Leicester the edge here for having the most recent victories, but the real story is how these two teams remained so close for so long.
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Players to watch: Jamie Vardy & Anthony Knockaert
Leicester City: Jamie Vardy
One of the controversies of recently expelled manager Claude Puel’s time at Leicester City was his very conservative use of star player Jamie Vardy. This was apparently to help prolong his career and while that is admirable, the fact is he looked utterly lost in his new position. With that in mind, it will be interesting to see how he fits into this match – not just for the impact it will have in this fixture, but for Vardy and Leicester moving forward.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Anthony Knockaert
This is a very tough one to call, simply because there’s so much doubt surrounding whether several players will be fit to play. Regardless, Anthony Knockaert – the key to Brighton’s attack in their successful FA Cup outing against Derby – is an excellent choice here. Away from the pressures of the Premier League, he has shone and we hope he can bring some of that sparkle back here, assuming he gets the chance.