Two sides with great aspirations of finishing in the top half of the English Premier League table this season, go head to head this Saturday when Claude Puel’s Leicester City host Eddie Howe’s AFC Bournemouth in the Game-week 28 of English Premier League 2017/18. Surprisingly, Leicester have never beaten Bournemouth in the Premier League.
Leicester City played a 1-1 draw against Stoke City, last Saturday, in their previous game in the league. Despite managing 19 shots in total compared to Stoke’s six and having 66.2% of the ball, the foxes had to rely on Jack Butland own goal 20 minutes from time to come out with a point from the game. This was their fourth consecutive league game without a win, having drawn two and lost two of their previous four league games.
Meanwhile, Bournemouth played a 2-2 draw at home, against Newcastle last weekend, in their previous league game. The cherries scored two goals in the last 10 minutes of the game to come from two goals down to level the play and secure a point.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) March 2, 2018
The point against the magpies meant Eddie Howe’s side now have managed eight points from the last five games in the Premier League, a 0-3 win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, the stand-out result in the run.
Claude Puel’s side are currently eighth in the Premier League table having managed 36 points from 27 matches played this season. The foxes have managed to win nine, draw nine and lose ten games in the league so far. They have scored 40 league goals this campaign, the most by any team apart from the ‘big six’ clubs in England.
Leicester have lost only one of their last eight Premier League home games, winning four and drawing three games.
Bournemouth are currently 11th in the league table with 32 points on board. They have won eight, drawn eight and lost 12 games in the league this season.
After an ordinary start to the season, Bournemouth have strung a series of positive results in the recent weeks. Surprisingly, they have lost just one of their last nine previous league games. The cherries have found the net in each of their last nine Premier League games (18 goals in total), which is their best scoring run in the division.
Eleven of Bournemouth’s last twelve Premier League goals have been scored in the second half of the games, with eight of these coming 70th minute or later. No Premier League side have gained more points from losing positions this season than Bournemouth (13, level with Everton).
Despite having used the fewest players this season (21), Bournemouth have the fourth highest number of different goalscorers this season (14), meaning a league-high 67% of players to play for them this season have found the net.
Referee Lee Probert will be officiating the fixture on Saturday, along with Assistant Referees Andy Garratt and Marc Perry. Bobby Madley will be the fourth official.
In the previous seven meetings between these two sides, Leicester have won two times whereas Bournemouth have won only once while the game has ended in a draw four times.
In the five previous meetings between these two sides in the Premier League, there have been four drawn games, and Bournemouth have won the other one match. The reverse clash, earlier this season, ended in a goalless draw.
Bournemouth have faced no other side more often without suffering a defeat in the Premier League than Leicester. while Leicester have only faced Bolton more often without a Premier League victory (six PL games without a win)
Players to Watch
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
Jamie Vardy has ended up on the losing side in six Premier League games in which he has scored this season; twice as many as any other player in the competition. Leicester have only scored two goals against the cherries in the Premier League. Jamie Vardy scored both of them.
Vardy is the top-scorer for Leicester in the league this season with 13 goals to his name.
Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City)
Leicester’s midfielder Wilfred Ndidi has made at least 22 more tackles than any other player in the Premier League this season. The Nigerian has also completed more passes in the competition this season than any other Leicester or Bournemouth player.
Jermaine Defoe (AFC Bournemouth)
Jermaine Defoe could make his first start since December in this game. The Englishman has scored four goals against Leicester in his last seven Premier League games against them.
Japanese International, Shinji Okazaki sustained a knee injury earlier this month. The 31-year-old Japanese is expected to return next week.
Defender Tyrone Mings has featured just twice in the league this season. He is carrying a back injury and is unlikely to feature again this season.
Leicester City vs Bournemouth Lineup (Predicted XI)
Leicester City Lineup (4-2-3-1)
Defense: Simpson (RB), Morgan (RCB), Maguire (LCB), Chilwell (LB)
Midfield: Ndidi (CDM), Iborra (CDM), Mahrez (RAM), Gray (CAM), Albrighton (LAM)
Bournemouth Lineup (4-4-1-1)
Defense: Francis (RB), Cook (RCB), Ake (LCB), Daniels (LB)
Midfield: Stanislas (RM), Cook (RCM), Gosling (LCM), Fraser (LM)
Leicester City vs Bournemouth Prediction
After a great start under new manager Claude Puel, Leicester have struggled to win games in the league in recent weeks. On the other hand, Bournemouth’s momentum from a series of positive results has been halted due to poor results in the last two games.
The five Premier League games between these sides have produced just five goals with neither teams scoring more than a goal in any game.
Our prediction for this game is a 1-1 draw.