Can Jamie Vardy drag Leicester out of their slump against Aston Villa?
Odds, preview and betting tips for this evening’s Premier League clash
Rewind a few months and Leicester City were on cloud nine, dreaming of talisman Jamie Vardy firing them to the top four – and maybe even another unthinkable Premier League title.
But a combination of a near-unstoppable Liverpool and a miserable run of form has left Brendan Rodgers’ side desperately peering over their shoulder as they cling on to their Champions League hopes.
Vardy still leads the way as the league’s joint-top scorer but he’s without a goal since December and fitness issues have stalled his start to 2020.
Luckily for Leicester, and Vardy, they have the ideal opportunity to resurrect they season as they come up against an Aston Villa side in freefall following three consecutive defeats.
Leicester City v Aston Villa Match Odds
Despite a run of four games without a win, Leicester are the clear favourites at 1/2, while a draw is priced at 18/5.
But Villa will be confident of an upset after dumping Leicester out of the Carabao Cup last month and an away win is going at 11/2.
Vardy missed Leicester’s defeat at Norwich last time out and he’ll likely only be fit for the bench this evening, but our traders still have him priced as the game’s most likely anytime scorer at 7/10, or 5/2 to notch first.
The 33-year-old bagged twice in Leicester’s 4-1 win at Villa Park in December and he’s 16/5 to score two or more tonight.
Jack Grealish has been a revelation for Villa this season, scoring seven times in the league, and he’s 3/1 to get on the scoresheet tonight.
Cup exit to Villa. Draws with Chelsea and Wolves. Defeats to Manchester City and Norwich.
It’s been an uncharacteristically ugly few weeks for Leicester and while they’re still sitting pretty in third, their safety net is on the verge of ripping. Chelsea trail them by just two points while Manchester United’s recent resurgence has them five points behind.
A win would offer some much-needed breathing space but they’ll have to do it without England international Ben Chilwell, who misses out with a hamstring issue.
Fingers and toes will be crossed throughout the city as Leicester sweat on the fitness of Vardy but should he start on the bench, Rodgers has an able deputy in Kelechi Iheanacho, who’s scored in all three of his outings against Villa this season.
For Dean Smith, a win would go a long way to settling the nerves of the Villa faithful.
The Midlands side are languishing in 19th place, two points from safety and with a tough run of fixtures on the horizon.
Home meetings with Chelsea, Wolves and Manchester United intertwined with trips to Newcastle and Liverpool await in their next five fixtures, which will play a starring role in deciding their fate.
They’ll have to tackle Leicester without John McGinn once again but Smith has confirmed the Scot is nearing a return and could be back to face Chelsea on Saturday.
Wesley remains a long-term absentee but Mbwana Samatta’s Carabao Cup final goal will breed confidence and he’ll fancy his chances against a Leicester defence with just one Premier League clean sheet since New Year’s Day.
View the latest Leicester City v Aston Villa odds.
All odds and markets are correct as of date of publication.