Leicester vs Bournemouth – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 8th April 2023
King Power Stadium
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we examine Bournemouth’s visit to Leicester. With no other sides in the bottom 7 facing each other, this is a big opportunity for both teams. Read on with our Leicester vs Bournemouth prediction.
Leicester vs Bournemouth Match Preview
Leicester host Bournemouth in a relegation six-pointer with just five points separating the East Midlands side in 19th and 12th place Crystal Palace. Leicester have been in truly abysmal form since their purple patch in late January and early February which saw them score 10 goals in three matches and defeat Aston Villa 4-2 and Spurs 4-1. Those results serve as a distant reminder of the capabilities of this Leicester team, yet also illustrate just how far they have slumped in recent months.
Leicester fared better last time out against an in-form Aston Villa side and were level at 1-1 with 20 minutes to go before Kieran Dewsbury-Hall’s dismissal for a second bookable offence. Though they ultimately lost the match 2-1 which intensifies their relegation crisis, their performance was more positive – especially when compared with their dire showing away to a struggling Crystal Palace side last weekend. A win here is vital for the hosts, as all victories are in a relegation battle, but with Leicester’s following fixture away to Man City on the 15th of April they must grab this opportunity with both hands.
Bournemouth played well against high-flying Brighton in the first half of their encounter at the Vitality Stadium and could be considered unfortunate to be behind at the break. Equally unfortunately, as often happens with relegation-threatened sides, the team that came out to play the second half was unrecognisable from their first-half display, and despite Brighton only grabbing the second decisive goal in the 91st minute, the result was never seriously in doubt.
Despite this latest setback, the omens are generally good for the Cherries. Over the past 15 Premier League matches, O’Neil’s men find themselves in 15th place, above West Ham, Everton, Leicester, Southampton and Crystal Palace. Their poor away form needs to be addressed, but this is hardly unique for a team in their precarious situation. As it stands though, with the notable exception of the Arsenal game who gave Bournemouth far too much room to operate in, Bournemouth have really struggled to create anything of note – their only other away goal in their last 8 away games in all competitions was their only shot on target away at Wolves.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Bertrand, Evans, Tielemans
Will Not Play: Dewsbury-Hall, Justin, Vestergaard
Might Not Play: Senesi
Will Not Play: Fredericks, Stanislas
Leicester vs Bournemouth Lineups (Predicted)
Leicester (4-3-3 / 4-2-3-1): Ward; Kristiansen, Faes, Souttar, Castagne; Mendy, Ndidi; Barnes, Maddison, Tete; Vardy
Bournemouth (4-4-1-1): Neto; Kelly, Senesi, Stephens, Smith; Lerma, Rothwell, Ouattara, Christie; Billing; Solanke
Leicester vs Bournemouth Analysis
Leicester’s Tactical Changes
What we saw last time out was a reversion from Brendan Rodgers’ tactics to a more direct brand of attacking football that was less concerned with retaining possession. This would explain why an Aston Villa side who are in great form at the moment but tend to have less of the ball than their opponents finished the match with 64% possession compared to Leicester’s 36%. Don’t be fooled though – this statistic can often be misleading and Leicester showed plenty of attacking intent before Dewsbury-Hall’s second yellow took the game away from them.
If this match had taken place before the dismissal of Brendan Rodgers, we’d be talking about Bournemouth soaking up pressure while looking to expose Leicester’s poor defending in transition which has cost them dearly this season. Leicester would have been more reliant upon the creative talents of James Maddison and Youri Tielemans, who is probably still not ready to return, to break down the Bournemouth rearguard.
However, with this tactical shift under caretaker bosses Mike Stowell and Adam Sadler, the emphasis will be upon getting the ball more directly into their front four to run directly at their backline and create chances from the resultant chaos. This would explain Jamie Vardy’s restoration to the starting lineup and how we saw them approach the game against Aston Villa.
Bournemouth Need to be More Positive
Bournemouth have proven in recent months that they can carry a consistent goal threat against most Premier League sides – at home. This hasn’t translated to their away form at all in the same period, except for a smash-and-grab win at Wolves in which they rode their luck at times. Just one goal scored in their last eight Premier League matches, which was their only shot on target away in that victory over Wolves, tells you all you need to know.
Sometimes, results don’t reflect the pattern of play in matches, but in the case of Bournemouth’s away matches they clearly do and the sample size is too large to ignore. This is a Leicester City side who are in the midst of an abject run of form and have consistently shown that they buckle under pressure. Bournemouth have been positive at home for a while now – even during their last match against Brighton which they lost 2-0, they were every bit Brighton’s equals in the first half at least. At home, their shape looks good and they’ve been linking the play well – they’re not just a counter-attacking side. Now they have to do it away from home.
Normally, we’d merely take a look at the form table and suggest that Leicester would be highly unlikely to win any football match right now. However, we saw enough from them against Aston Villa to suggest that they’re capable of getting a priceless home victory here against a Bournemouth side that has shown very little away from home this season.
We put so much stock in the Villa match, although it ultimately ended in defeat because Villa carry a bigger goal threat than Bournemouth away from home with 7 in their last 4 away matches and 3 wins from 4. Bournemouth aren’t in anywhere near that kind of form away from the Vitality Stadium, and so although this may come as a surprise to many, we’re backing Leicester for a morale-boosting win.
Leicester 2-0 Bournemouth
Leicester vs Bournemouth Betting Tip – Leicester Odds:
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