An Important Three Points Up for Grabs at the Stadium of Light
Last updated: December 1, 2016 by Leon Marshal
|Venue:||Stadium of Light|
|Last season:||Sunderland 0 – 2 Leicester|
|Competition:||The Premier League|
It would not be unfair to say, that despite Leicester’s status as the current Premier League champions, this fixture appears somewhat of a relegation battle. While Claudio Ranieri tinkers to find the form that won Leicester the league last season, Sunderland’s season seems to have finally gotten started, after back to back wins, followed by a spirited performance against Liverpool. Despite being rooted to the bottom of the table, Sunderland may feel they have a great chance to take all three points from this fixture.
After a dreadful run which saw just two draws earned in his first ten matches as manager, David Moyes finally got his first win as Sunderland boss against Bournemouth, before tasting success again the following week against Hull. Despite losing to Liverpool the week after, Sunderland put in a gritty display, that saw them hold out until the last twenty minutes. Calling it a slow start would be a huge understatement, but the season has now started for the Black Cats, who know that despite the fairly early stage in the season, each game is vital. Sensing weakness in a struggling Leicester, Sunderland will be up for this one. Moyes is likely to keep the same lineup, but may change the formation slightly, after understandibly setting up very defensively against Liverpool last week.
The Foxes have lost just once in the last nine games against Sunderland, but confidence at the King Power is currently low. Leicester’s away form has been particularly poor this season, with just a draw so far, and a match against a rejuvinated Sunderland will prove difficult. Ranieri may look to justify his tinkerman nickname in the coming weeks. The stars of last season – Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez – have not been firing recently, and Ranieri may look to the alternate options he has up front, in the form of Okazaki, Slimani and Musa. The North East is never an easy place to travel to and the Leicester players will have to rediscover last season’s grit and determination if they want to take points back to Leicestershire.
Paddy McNair is likely to miss out once again through a knee injury, with his likely return date currently unknown.
Lee Cattermole, Jack Rodwell and Fabio Borini are all still sidelined, while Jan Kirchoff has recovered but will likely miss out due to lack of match fitness.
Kasper Schmeichel is nearing recovery from a hand injury, but is not expected to start in this match up, so Ron-Robert Zieler should continue in his place.
Danny Drinkwater is suspended while Jamie Vardy’s extensive run without a goal could see him lose his place to Musa, Slimani or Ozaki soon.
|Sunderland (4-2-3-1):||Pickford, Jones, Koné, O’Shea, van Aanholt, Denayer, Ndong, Pienaar, Watmore, Defoe, Anichebe|
|Subs:||Mannone, Larsson, Khazri, Manquillo, Love, Januzaj, Gooch|
|Injured:||McNair, Rodwell, Cattermole, Borini|
|Leicester (4-4-2):||Zieler, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez, Amartey, King, Albrighton, Okazaki, Vardy|
|Subs:||Hernández, Musa, James, Hamer, Schlupp, Slimani, Gray|
So far this season
|Sunderland this season||Leicester this season|
|1 (1)||(at home) Wins (away)||3 (0)|
|3-0 vs. Hull||Biggest win||3-0 vs. Burnley|
|1 (1)||(at home) Draws (away)||3 (1)|
|1-4 vs. Arsenal||Biggest Defeat||1-4 vs. Liverpool||Jermain Defoe (7)||Top scorer||Islam Slimani (4)|
|Duncan Watmore (2)||Assist Leader||Jamie Vardy (2)|
|Y28, R3||Discipline||Y22, R0|
|5||Failures to score||3|
|7||Both Teams to Score Games||9|
|7||Over 2.5 Games||10|
|6||Under 2.5 Games||3|
- Sunderland’s mini revival was brought to an abrupt halt last week against Liverpool, though the team put in a strong performance. Moyes will be looking for this to continue, in a game he will see as winnable.
- Leicester are now 6 games without a clean sheet after being so resolute at the back last season. This a good chance to pick up a clean sheet, though Sunderland have only failed to score at home once so far this season.
- Jermaine Defoe already has 7 goals to his name and has been accompanied on the scoresheet in recent weeks by Anichebe. Sunderland’s strikeforce is more potent now and will expect success against a struggling Leicester defence.
- Leicester haven’t won a game away from home all season. They have managed a goal in all but one away game however, a trend which looks likely to continue here.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|10/04/2016||Premier League||Sunderland 0 – 2 Leicester||Vardy 66′|
|08/08/2015||Premier League||Leicester 4 – 2 Sunderland||Vardy 11′|
|16/05/2015||Premier League||Sunderland 0 – 0 Leicester||—|
|22/11/2014||Premier League||Leicester 0 – 0 Sunderland||—|
|01/01/2007||League Championship||Leicester 0 -2 Sunderland||Hysen 79′|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
Sunderland have had a minor resurgence of late and they will be pushing for victory here. While Leicester are the better side, their away for this season is dreadful; just 1 point away from home all season. The champions don’t seem to have it in them to earn a victory away from home then, while Sunderland may lack the quality to overcome the Foxes. We predict a hard earned draw for Leicester here. The stats show that it’s also likely that both teams will score. At Ladbrokes you can get the draw at 23/10, both teams to score at 4/6, or go for the big win with both teams to score and the draw at 16/5.