Sunderland gained 3 vital points when beating Everton 2-0 at Goodison Park last weekend and this victory has given Sunderland an excellent chance of avoiding relegation. Dick Advocaat’s side now sit in 16th place on 36 points which is 2 points ahead of 18th place Hull. After today Sunderland finish the season at Arsenal on Wednesday and at Champions Chelsea next Sunday, so they will certainly be targeting this game. Sunderland’s recent home record reads an average looking W4, D4, L7.
When playing the bottom half sides at home Sunderland’s record reads an average looking W3, D2, L5 and Sunderland can be backed at around 2.80.
This is the first time the 2 sides have met at Sunderland in the Premier League in the last 5 years.
The draw can be backed at around 3.30 and this should be given some serious consideration.
Leicester are coming into this game on the back of some good form. Nigel Pearson’s side won 2-0 at home to Southampton last weekend and Leicester have now won 6 of their last 7 League games. This recent run of good form has left the Foxes in 15th place on 37 points which is 1 place and 1 point above today’s opponents. After today Leicester face QPR at home in their final game of the season and 3 points will see Leicester safe. Leicester’s recent away record reads W3, D2, L10
When facing teams of Sunderland’s grade Leicester’s away record reads a reasonable looking W3, D1, L4 and Leicester can be backed at around 2.80.
As far as goals are concerned then we have some mixed stats. When looking at both sides last 10 respective home and away games to similar opposition 9 games have seen 3 or more goals, 4 have seen 2 goals and 5 games have seen 1 or less goal scored. My ratings suggest value in over 2/2.5 goals and this can be backed at around 1.86.
This is a vital match and when looking at the goal line although my ratings suggest value in Over 2/2.5 goals, 9 of Sunderlands last 14 home games have seen 2 or less goals as have 4 of Leicester’s last 5 visiting teams placed in the bottom 6.
There is also the possibility this game could be played at a pedestrian pace in the final stages depending on how 18th placed Hull are faring at Spurs. However, with Sunderland facing Arsenal & Chelsea next their need is certainly the greater. In the above case the draw has to be given serious consideration.
For my trade I am going to keep the draw on my side and go with Leicester who have come into form at just the right time having won their last 2 away matches. Also there are real question marks surrounding Sunderland’s home form where they have suffered recent heavy defeats to both Crystal Palace & Aston Villa. They have also lost to Hull & QPR. Leicester have performed creditably away from home in the second half of this season and they look a reasonable option off scratch on the handicap.