Crystal Palace vs Leicester – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 1st April 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Leicester’s visit to Selhurst Park. Both sides are winless in 6 – can one of them earn a crucial win here? Read on with our Crystal Palace vs Leicester prediction.
Crystal Palace vs Leicester Match Preview
Palace come into this game against Leicester following the international break for Euro 2024 qualifying. Much has changed as Patrick Vieira’s managerial role has come and gone and veteran former coach Roy Hodgson has now replaced him. At 75, Hodgson had vowed he had retired when he left Watford last season. However, the coaching bug has not abandoned him even in his advanced years. Palace hope he can oversee a new manager bounce which will be enough to propel them to safety.
Indeed, the South London club have not won a game since Boxing Day, and they sit at rock bottom of the form table across the last ten games. They have lost their previous four matches, including three consecutive 1-0 defeats (to Aston Villa, Man City and Brighton) and a 4-1 hammering by Arsenal in their last game. Palace sit in twelfth place with 27 points, just three above the drop zone. They’ve won just four of 14 at home this season. Crucially, their momentum could see them go the wrong way if Hodgson can’t turn their fortunes around.
Leicester are another club that are struggling and, in truth, have struggled all season. A significant problem for Leicester has been that they have sometimes been the better team in matches but have problems converting their chances and are porous defensively at the other end. They have scored the most goals in the bottom half (38), but there have been individual games where they rack up the finishes, so they need more consistency. They haven’t won in five and had lost four in a row before a commendable 1-1 draw away at the impressive Brentford.
Leicester are peculiar in that they have won more points away than at home this season (13 versus 12, only Southampton are in the same boat), so they will be okay with playing away from their own supporters. They will feel confident they can beat Palace at Selhurst Park, especially as they are undefeated against their hosts in the last seven encounters (all competitions). However, they have only won one of the previous six away league games. They are also only one point above the relegation zone. They have been dragged into a fight for survival that few predicted, and the pressure is on coach Brendan Rodgers.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Guaita, Johnstone, Andersen, McArthur, Hughes
Will Not Play: Ferguson, Richards
Might Not Play: Evans, Kristiansen, Souttar, Praet
Will Not Play: Bertrand, Justin, Vestergaard, Tielemans
Crystal Palace vs Leicester Lineups (Predicted)
Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Guaita; Mitchell, Guehi, Andersen, Ward; Lokonga, Doucoure, Schlupp; Zaha, Edouard, Olise
Leicester (4-2-3-1 / 4-3-3): Ward; Castagne, Faes, Souttar, Pereira; Dewsbury-Hall, Ndidi; Barnes, Maddison, Tete; Daka
Crystal Palace vs Leicester Analysis
Palace May Try To Take The Game To Leicester Despite Being A Counter-Attack Side
Palace might be caught in two minds here. They are predominantly a counter-attacking team whose style is to sit deep, defend, and look to hit teams on the break with the pace of Zaha, Eze and Olise. However, with the return of Hodgson, Palace might feel more obligation to try to be positive and attack for their supporters in his first game back. This is a double-edged sword, as they will likely find more joy in playing their natural defensive game. Therefore, while we expect they will have less possession and concede territory, we wonder if it will be to quite the same extent as under usual circumstances.
Palace will likely try to press Leicester in midfield areas as Hodgson will be eager to highlight that he is up for the fight to keep them in the division. This relegation six-pointer could have a massive bearing on who goes down, so Hodgson cannot afford to be too passive. The midfielders must press and try to win the ball to release Zaha, Olise and Eze, who can dribble and use trickery and pace to find their way into the box.
If the creative players get chances to shoot or cross, they must try to find a way to either score themselves or link up with and serve Edouard, Mateta or Ayew. Palace find it hard to keep clean sheets (only six), so they will probably have to score at least twice to win the match. They must try to be as defensively resolute as possible and not allow Leicester to open the scoring, as it doesn’t suit Palace to chase a game.
Despite The Above, Leicester Will Likely Control The Match
While Palace might have more ball possession than usual, we still expect this statistic to favour Leicester. The Foxes have had 50 per cent compared to Palace’s 44 per cent on average this season (and it could have been higher for Leicester), so they will likely pass the ball around and try to work their way through Palace. Leicester know that a win here could prove priceless. While Rodgers might fear leaving his team exposed at the back, they are a positive and progressive team. They will likely start the match by trying to win it to alleviate the criticism.
The above situation is where midfield is vital. Having established that Leicester will have more ball, it will be up to Ndidi to screen the defence and Dewsbury-Hall and Maddison to perform the playmaking duties in central areas and between the lines. The former is a good midfielder and talented passer and good at making driving runs forward. Maddison is Leicester’s key player and appears to be fit again after a torrid time with injury. His ability when receiving it on the half-turn and his propensity for incisive dribbling and passing will be crucial, as will his set pieces.
On the subject of set plays, Leicester are vulnerable on defensive ones, so this may be an area Palace can target as they have plenty of tall, physical players.
As well as Dewsbury-Hall’s and Maddison’s creative abilities, the full-backs will likely bomb forward when they can, especially Castagne. Barnes will look to link up with him down the left-hand side, and Barnes’s ability to dribble and drive at full-backs should also be on display, so Ward must be wary. Tete is a similar threat on the other side, and these creative and instinctive Leicester players are the key to taking all three points.
This game is challenging to call. While Brighton vs Brentford is a game kicking off simultaneously and between two sides that are surprise packages of the season positively, this match is between two teams who are struggling and, in truth, have been for months. Leicester’s injuries have certainly not helped them. However, the fact remains that they have made many crucial mistakes which have led to goals conceded, which is why they find themselves in their precarious position. Palace have been unlucky at points, but they have not won a match since the final day of last year, which is simply unacceptable.
Hence, this will likely be a cagey affair between two sides struggling for confidence. Either team could secure a narrow win, and truthfully much depends on who shows up on the day or if either gets a bit of luck in front of goal or from a mistake or set piece. Leicester will control the ball, but they always look vulnerable and at risk of being countered, especially without Tielemans’s more calming distribution in midfield. We envisage a low-scoring game. The reverse fixture at the King Power ended 0-0, and we see the spoils being shared again and neither team being satisfied.
Crystal Palace 1-1 Leicester
Crystal Palace vs Leicester Betting Tip – Draw Odds:
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