Sports Betting Weekly

Leicester City v Newcastle United

When: Saturday, 02 May 2015 @ 18:45 (FINISHED)
Where: The King Power Stadium
Newcastle United risk being dragged into a relegation battle as they face a Leicester City side buoyed by their recent escape from the bottom three following a superb sequence of four straight wins, which has given them a real chance of Premier League survival.

The Foxes had looked dead and buried – with many expecting the Championship winners to go down at the first attempt – but vital home wins against West Ham United and Swansea City combined with excellent away victories against two teams around them in West Bromwich Albion and Burnley has put them just four points behind the stuttering Magpies in 14th place.

Manager Nigel Pearson deserves a lot of credit for his team’s revival, as while the job is far from complete and there is still every chance Leicester could go down – City are still just a point above the drop zone – he has given the club a fighting chance despite being on the brink of the sack recently.

In fact, Pearson was technically sacked earlier this year – however this didn’t last long as the chairman’s son pleaded with his father to reinstate the former Hull manager, which duly happened. While that scene caused major embarrassment for Leicester, the club have recovered significantly.

The word ‘embarrassment’ could certainly be levelled at their opponents on Saturday, as Newcastle – both on and off the field – have become something of a laughing stock of late, losing their last seven games on the bounce while chairman Mike Ashley also managed to get away with hiding the full figures from the club’s annual financial report.

It seems a case of “be careful what you wish for” for the Toon, as after fiercely campaigning against Alan Pardew before he left to join Crystal Palace, the club now look in genuine danger of going down and – ironically – the points that their former manager secured could be the only thing that keeps them up. To make matters worse, Pardew’s Palace are seven points ahead of Newcastle, having been 10 points behind them when the Englishman took over at Selhurst Park earlier this year.

Since Carver has taken the reins on a temporary basis, Newcastle have collected just nine points from a possible 45, and if the season lasted an extra three or four games, then it would be more than likely that the Toon would end up relegated. Indeed, this is still a genuine possibility, with all the teams below Newcastle – perhaps with the sole exception of north-east neighbours Sunderland – appearing to show fight and determination to get out of the rut that they’ve found themselves in.

Given the recent form of both sides, it is perhaps unsurprising that the Foxes – with home advantage to boot – are favourites to win this tie, with odds of 19/20 available for a Leicester win, Newcastle’s chances of victory listed at 10/3 and a draw on hand at 13/5.

Perhaps surprisingly, the handicap market is something that can be considered for this match between two relegation candidates – and Leicester to win from a one-goal deficit can be had at 13/5, while the Foxes at minus two is available at 7/1.

A rare shining light for Newcastle this season has been attacker Ayoze Perez, whose form has courted the attention of the bigger sides in the league, and the Spaniard is 8/1 to open the scoring or 29/10 to score at any point. As far as goals go for Leicester, £8 million summer signing Leonardo Ulloa has double figures for the season, including eight in the Premier League. The Argentine is 17/10 to grab the first goal of the game or 5/1 to get on the scoresheet at any point.