We have another truncated weekend of action in the Premier League due to the winter break, and it gets underway on Friday night when two sides chasing European football next season go to battle when Wolverhampton Wanderers host Leicester City.
These two teams have offered plenty in what has been a positive campaign for both thus far and their styles should combine nicely to make for another exciting night of football at Molineux to get the weekend underway.
It has been another positive campaign for the Wolverhampton Wanderers thus far, with them competing well in both the Premier League and the Europa League, but their recent form has just become a cause for concern. They have only won one of their last six matches, which has seen them drift towards mid-table in the top flight, and they will be looking for a good final third of the season to maximise their league position at the end of it.
The bare numbers don’t sound good in recent times for Wolves, but we shouldn’t forget that two of those matches were against Liverpool and another was away to Manchester United, which still isn’t a walk in the park despite their demise. It might be fair to say that their winter break came at a good time though. Wolves have played a lot of matches this season, so two weeks without one gave them a chance to rest up ahead of a big end to the campaign.
Third placed Leicester have gone a little off the boil in recent times as well with just one win in their last four league games heading into their winter break. They went into that with a couple of key injuries so the time off will have undoubtedly come at a good time for them as they go in search of a strong end to the season which would secure Champions League football next season once again, as well as potentially silverware in the form of the FA Cup.
Leicester are very much a possession based side and they are going to be allowed plenty of the ball here, so they will feel comfortable with that in mind. They are the fourth best side away from home in the division which is very much another positive the Foxes have going into this game and if they can settle early they will really fancy their chances. A win here will move them back into second spot in the table which is extra incentive for them.
Wolves attacker Adama Traore dislocated his shoulder in the last match with Manchester United but the time off has allowed him to recover enough to be able to feature in this game. Ruben Vinagre however is out.
On loan Wolves man Ryan Bennett is ineligible against his parent club while Brendan Rodgers has hinted that the match will come too soon for Wilfried Ndidi, who had a knee operation in the break. Wes Morgan and Matty James are available though.
Although both teams will be able to play to the style they like, I fancy a tight match here and one where the two sides could cancel each other out. Both teams are strong defensively with both sides inside the top six in terms of goals conceded and there are doubts over Jamie Vardy and his fitness while Wolves can often flatter to deceive when it comes to converting chances so this one might be lower scoring than expected.
The two sides drew 0-0 at the King Power Stadium earlier in the campaign and while I wouldn’t expect a repeat of that, I think we could be asking a little too much to get over 2.5 goals in a game where both teams will be eager not to lose. Conditions might be a little tricky too which might not help with the attacking play of both sides so although I expect Leicester to dominate the ball and Wolves to counter I’m not sure that will equate to three or more goals.
WON – Back Under 2.5 goals for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with BetVictor