- Bournemouth’s battle to avoid relegation and Leicester’s quest for a Champions League place resumes on Sunday
- The Cherries begin the day in 17th and the Foxes in fourth
- We’ll preview the game, look at the odds and offer a pick
With just four rounds of games left in the English Premier League, the battle for the Champions League places and to avoid relegation are entering their respective endgames. Sunday afternoon’s game at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, (July 12, kickoff 2pm ET) involves teams fighting at both ends of the table.
We’ll preview the game, look at their form, and see if we can find some value for the bettors.
Bournemouth vs Leicester EPL Odds
|Bournemouth||+½, +1 (-109)||+370||Ov 2½ (-111)|
|Leicester||-½, -1 (-111)||-133||Un 2½ (-109)|
Odds taken June 19
Champions League Place In Doubt
Leicester appeared nailed on for a Champions League place prior to lockdown and looked certain to join Liverpool and Manchester City in next season’s competition, with Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham fighting it out for the fourth spot. But the Foxes have struggled since the restart, with just one win in their five games, and have come under huge pressure from United.
The Red Devils have taken 13 points from a possible 15 since Project Restart began, and this has put the Foxes’ place under threat, with their lead over United in the table now down to just a single point. Dropped points at Bournemouth may well see United leapfrog them in the table, so it’s a battle that looks likely to go the final weekend.
"We're trying to get points, we're trying to stay in the Premier League.
— AFC Bournemouth (@afcbournemouth) July 10, 2020
Cherries on the Brink
Bournemouth’s struggle at the other end of the table has been ongoing for most of the season, and prior to lockdown they had dropped down into the bottom three. Since the restart, they have not won a game – losing four and drawing one – and have lost seven of their last nine.
The Cherries look like a team in freefall but will draw some confidence from Thursday’s game with Tottenham, picking up a point which could easily have been all three. A late goal from Callum Wilson was ruled out by VAR after brushing the hand of Josh King, otherwise it would have been Bournemouth’s first win since February.
For Sunday’s game, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe will be without Charlie Daniels, Simon Francis and Philip Billing, while defender Adam Smith, who was stretchered off in the Tottenham game after a nasty head injury, is considered doubtful. Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has fewer injury concerns ahead of the game but will be without Ricardo Pereira and Daniel Amartey.
Bournemouth vs Leicester Head-to-Head Stats
|34 / 7||Game played / Wins||34 / 17|
|3-1 v Brighton (h)||Biggest win in 2019/20||9-0 v Southampton (a)|
|0-4 v West Ham (a)||Heaviest defeat in 2019/20||0-4 v Liverpool (h)|
Vardy in Quest For Golden Boot
Last time out, Leicester came back from a goal down at the Emirates to earn a vital point against Arsenal, so both teams come into this off the back of draws and with some momentum.
In the reverse fixture, back in August, Leicester won 3-1 with goals from Jamie Vardy (2) and Youri Tielemans, with Callum Wilson replying for the Cherries. It’s Vardy who remains the biggest threat to Bournemouth especially after looking back to his best against Arsenal. As well as leading the Foxes’ quest for the Champions League, he’s also leading the race for the Premier League’s Golden Boot on 22 goals, two ahead of Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) July 10, 2020
In terms of head-to-heads, while Leicester has won the last two meetings between these two, their nine Premier League games have been split evenly with two wins each and five draws, but the key here is the fact that after a few seasons of both teams being solid, top-half Premier League teams, the Cherries are now staring down the barrel.
A Draw Incoming at the Vitality?
Bournemouth, a club that’s been expensively funded by its owners, is fighting for its top-flight existence for the first time since their promotion in 2015. They’ve been hit hard by the post-lockdown scenario of empty stadiums. A noisy, vibrant Vitality Stadium would make this a very tricky 90+ minutes for Leicester, but is less of a threat to them in an empty stadium.
And it’s on that basis I find it difficult to make a case for a Bournemouth win, despite their improved performance against Tottenham. But Leicester needs the three points to maintain their Champions League challenge, so will offer the Cherries more opportunities than they had against Spurs, and I can see them scoring. That’s why, for me, the value here is definitely with the draw.
Pick: Draw (+250)
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