English Premier League champion Leicester is in disarray and its season is likely to go from bad to worse when it visits Sevilla for its UEFA Champions League match on Wednesday.
Claudio Ranieri would be out of a job if he did not have the kudos of leading Leicester to English Premier League title glory last term because the Foxes have not scored a goal in the top flight this year and they sit just one point above the relegation zone ahead of their home date with Liverpool in the next round of their domestic championship. Leicester capitalised on being drawn alongside Club Brugge, Kobenhavn and Porto in a weak UEFA Champions League group but now the fun begins and this season’s Foxes are out of their depth.
Last weekend, Leicester exited the English FA Cup by losing 0-1 at English League One team Millwall. Ranieri, perhaps stupidly, chose not to field Leicester’s strongest possible side and one can only imagine what losing at Millwall has done to the confidence of the Foxes playing squad. Remember, Millwall played one man short from the 52nd minute after Lions star Jake Cooper received his second yellow card.
Leicester is 0-3-10 in its 13 English Premier League away games, keeping just one clean sheet and that was against the division’s lowest scorer, Middlesbrough. It has been on its travels that Leicester has really missed the departed N’Golo Kante because, when the Foxes took out the English Premier League title, it was him who did most of the donkey work, particularly on the road. Leicester has played six of the English Premier League’s top 11 teams away from home and the Foxes have lost four of those matches by three goals. You can probably guess where one is heading for a midweek bet.
Paddy Power is offering odds of +120 about Sevilla covering a one-goal handicap in its UEFA Champions League home game versus Leicester. Sevilla is very strong in front of its own fans – for example, the White and Reds are 9-1-1 in their 11 Spanish Primera Division home matches – but Jorge Sampaoli’s side has not blown away many visitors so one is not going overboard and backing it to win by a landslide. Offers of odds against about Sevilla beating Leicester by two or more goals is hard to ignore in the circumstances, though.
Both teams to score is the obvious way to approach Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League game between Manchester City and Monaco, with Bet365 and Betfair quoting odds of -133 about neither side keeping a priceless clean sheet.
In their respective domestic league tournaments, Manchester City has played 25 matches, 16 of which have not featured a clean sheet, while 15 of Monaco’s 26 games have rewarded punters who backed both teams to score. Attacking rather than defending is the forte of both Manchester City and Monaco, especially when the Citizens are at home and the Red and Whites are on their travels. Away goals are worth their weight in gold in UEFA Champions League ties so one cannot see Monaco sitting back and trying to limit the damage that Manchester City can inflict. Monaco’s best chance of making the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals is to score at least one goal at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.
Finally, there is a case for backing under two and a half goals in Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League match between regular combatants Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid, an option that is available at odds of -156 with Marathonbet.
Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid met in UEFA Champions League knockout stage two years ago when both games resulted in 1-0 home wins. Atletico is well equipped to deal with Leverkusen tactically and vice versa, which is why one is willing to overlook some statistics – particularly the defensive data of the German Bundesliga side – to make this selection.
Sevilla -1 to beat Leicester
Wednesday 22nd February, 19:45 GMT
Manchester City v Monaco – Both teams to score
Tuesday 21st February, 19:45 GMT
Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid – Under 2.5 goals
Tuesday 21st February, 19:45 GMT