Crystal Palace V Leicester City: Sunday 9 AM ET on NBCSN
March 19, 2016 was the last time Leicester won a match at the home of Crystal Palace, and it was Riyad Mahrez with the winning goal. It ended 1-0 and sent the Foxes 8 points clear over Tottenham, who finished 1st and 3rd in the league respectively. What a difference three years makes as both sides now sit surprisingly in the top 6 with each hoping to extend their stay.
The Eagles needed a little help from VAR over the weekend to scrape by with a 2-2 draw against Arsenal, I for one won’t be angering the VAR Gods as I know we’ve escaped some blushes as well. Perhaps it really comes down to the fact that no matter who is starting in the back four for Arsenal, they’re going to give up two goal leads regardless! Palace have scored two goals in three of their last four matches, winning two of them and drawing one in the process. Home form has been a bit of a mixed bag for the Eagles, but they’ve only lost the one match against Manchester City 2-0.
Wilfried Zaha has scored more of his top flight goals, 4, against Leicester than any other team he’s faced. He’s also won the same amount of penalties, 16, as Jamie Vardy has since 2014! I know Ayoze Pérez is coming off a hat trick performance, but we may need the defensive skills of Marc Albrighton in this match. Although that is kind of ironic given our last penalty was conceded by Goatbrighton.
How do you follow up an amazing 9-0 win in the League? By going out and breaking down one of the stoutest defenses in the league! They are the fifth best defense but somehow have a GD of -2. Their lack of goal scoring is something we should be cautious of as we all remember that 5-0 drubbing which certainly surprised me on the day.
I believe there are two keys to winning this match, an early goal and a clean sheet. You’re probably thinking “Yeah, duh!” to that sentence, but Palace like to sit back and absorb pressure. If we break them down early, we can force them into chasing and launch sweet counter attacks down the left to Harvey Barnes, or center through Jamie Vardy. There isn’t a great deal of pace between Gary Cahill and James Tomkins, so they will be stuck with having to leave at least one of their full backs at home to deal with the pace.
This is a Leicester’s biggest test at this point in the season. It’s place where we’ve struggled to get points in the past, in a town where we’ve only won 1 of our past 14 league games. I like Leicester to break their duck in London and win 2-0.