Leicester 20/211.96 v Aston Villa 16/54.2; The Draw 3.9
Sunday 18 October, 19:15
Live on Sky Sports Box Office
Leicester vulnerability will be tested by Villa
After a flying start to the season, Leicester’s last match before the international break ended in a surprising disappointment.
Three straight wins in the Premier League, which included a memorable 5-2 win away at Manchester City, were followed by a shock 3-0 home defeat by West Ham. It was a timely reminder that though Leicester are very dangerous going forward, they have looked vulnerable defensively this season, even in victories over Burnley and Manchester City.
That hardly makes Leicester unique in a Premier League seemingly bereft of a team that can regularly keep clean sheets. Yet it does make them beatable and Aston Villa are likely to test their defensive capabilities once more.
This looks especially true considering that their first choice central defensive partnership of Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu are both doubts after picking up injuries on international duty. Leicester will definitely be without the defenders Filip Benkovic and Ricardo Pereira, along with defensive midfielder Wilfred Ndidi. Daniel Amartey, James Maddison and Demarai Gray also face fitness tests.
Villa well rested after Liverpool destruction
It was rather unfortunate for Aston Villa that they weren’t able to immediately build upon the momentum of their stunning 7-2 demolition of Liverpool, with the international break having put domestic football on hold.
Fortunately for Dean Smith, relatively few of his young and emerging Villa side have been away on international duty and they should therefore be fresh. That’s even true for Villa’s star player Jack Grealish, who though called up for England’s three games, spent most of the time watching from the bench.
Grealish was the architect of the victory over Liverpool and also impressed when selected for England against Wales. He was then left out of England’s two competitive fixtures. Gareth Southgate’s reservations over the player could be to Villa’s gain, as the midfielder fights for a place in England’s European Championship squad.
Smith has few injury problems to worry about. Kortney Hause is likely to be unavailable and will join long-term casualties Tom Heaton, Bjorn Engels and Wesley on the sidelines.
Value with Villa
Leicester are the 20/211.96 favourites, with the draw at 3.9 and Aston Villa out at 16/54.2.
That seems a very short price for the hosts, when you consider their defensive selection problems and Villa’s fine form. The visitors have started the season with three straight wins and they are available at big enough odds that you can back them cautiously.
Aston Villa are 11/53.2 in the Draw No Bet market. Alternatively you can back Villa to simply avoid defeat in the Double Chance market at 1/12.02.
Expect goals and lots of them
Goals seem inevitable in this match and there are a number of different options to choose from.
Over 1.5 goals for Aston Villa can be backed at 13/82.62. Leicester’s last three Premier League opponents have all scored at least two goals.
Over 3.5 total goals is a slightly bigger price of 7/42.7. That’s landed in two of Leicester’s last four Premier League matches, with the other two both seeing three goals. At the very least this looks like a bet from which there will be trading opportunities.