Crystal Palace 16th (3-3-10) vs Leicester City 9th (6-4-6)
Live on Saturday, 10 AM ET from Selhurst Park on NBC Sports Gold
Should the bottom three’s form continue, a win for Leicester City would see them secure survival for another season with 25 points. While that notion is pure folly, getting back to winning ways would do a lot of good for both sides. Each currently sits in one of four mini-tables plaguing the Premier League. Leicester in the race for sixth, while Palace is in the hunt to beat the drop. Let’s see who wants it more come Saturday!
The Eagles have one win in five and have allowed three goals in their past two matches. If there’s any positive to take from that, it’s that they’ve scored three goals. The real negative is that against Brighton, they had the man advantage for 62 minutes and only scored thanks to a late penalty. Leicester are now two games without a red, so it’s fortunate that they’re up against a side who play worse 11v10 than 11v11!
Wilfried Zaha has tormented Leicester in the past, but I think a certain pacey RB named Ricardo has a good chance to silence him for 90 minutes. I’m assuming he plays on the left wing and not up front in a two with Andros Townsend of course, but Namplays Mendy and Wilfred Ndidi are quick enough to counter his influence. He’s Palace’s main point of attack, but only has three goals and one assist so far this season. While that is more down to the Eagles lack of additional attacking options, but they will know that shutting down Zaha could go a long way to securing all three points.
Leicester played solid football for about twenty minutes but it disappeared into the ether after Tottenham figured out they could just play the long ball over the top to Heung-min Son and capitalize on the space left by our attacking fullbacks. The Foxes eventually fell 2-0 and it was an disappointing loss to Spurs and a chance missed to go seventh. It was very evident that Leicester were missing the likes of Harry Maguire and Jamie Vardy.
It will be a welcome return for Vardy who fully practiced this week, and while his form has been great at times, he’s still miles ahead of Kelechi Iheanacho at the moment. Leicester have not been very effective with Kelechi up top, but when he’s played on the left wing, he’s looked pretty good.
The result of this match really depends on which Leicester shows up. If Leicester can’t hold their defensive shape and awareness, Palace could route us 3-0 and never look back. While I don’t think that will happen, Leicester will still make it tighter than it needs to be and get the away win 2-1.