Burnley are at full strength aside from Marney, who suffered a long term injury in their previous league outing. He’s well replaced though, likely by Defour, though Barton would be an equal alternative. Out wide Arfield and Gudmunsson return to add depth, with the former set to start. Sean Dyche isn’t likely to make big changes, meaning Vokes once again only makes the bench as Barnes is preferred. They’re in excellent form at home and will fully believe and maybe even expect to beat Leicester, who are yet to win on the road this season, which in itself brings a bit of pressure. They’ll not change from their style of working hard and grinding out results, which at home has served them well, rarely winning by more than one. A draw isn’t a disaster, but they have the belief to play to win. The approach isn’t going to change at any point in the game, but this does mean they struggle if falling behind. On the three occasions they’ve trailed at home this season, they’ve lost every time, while they’ve only dropped points once when leading. They’ll try and start well and get ahead so they can manage the game, dropping in and leaning on their defence before countering to ease pressure.
Leicester can welcome back Mahrez from international duty in a big positive, being close to full strength, but Slimani picked up an injury and is out, as are Ulloa and Amartey, the latter at the Africa Cup of Nations. A change back to 4-4-2 is expected with Albrighton and Mahrez out wide, but if they prefer a narrow diamond, Mendy, Drinkwater and Ndidi would all be retained in midfield. They’ve not won away from home all season, so a trip to home strong Burnley won’t fill them with confidence. They’d be content with a draw, even if they are in need of a win to really pull clear of the bottom three. Clean sheets are hard to come by, and though they do pose a threat going forward, it’ll be a big ask to turn around a deficit, so while level they’ll not be too open and risky. If they were to get ahead they’d become more defensively oriented, letting the game come to them and playing on the break. For their confidence the opening goal will be important, as chasing isn’t something they’ve done well this season, particularly away. A draw would be a decent result and one they believe in, but they will turn up looking to win the game and end their away run without a victory.
Verdict & Prediction
Burnley are turning Turf Moor into something of a fortress, winning their last six at home in all competitions and their last four in the league. This alone is keeping them from the relegation fight as they sit comfortably in mid-table, so confidence will be very high within the group. Welcoming a Leicester side who haven’t won on the road all season will certainly be an enticing prospect for Sean Dyche’s men, who will fully believe this is another chance to pick up a big three points. They’re in good spirits and won’t take their opponents lightly, knowing every point is precious. Though a draw wouldn’t be treated as a poor result by any means, the fans are starting to expect results in home league games, which in itself brings a bit more pressure. The squad will remain grounded and focused however, with their sole aim being to make it a fifth straight home league win.
Prediction : Burnley +0.00 Asian Handicap (same as Draw no bet, stake returned if draw)
Odds: 2.08 Pinnacle
Another betting preview for tonight —-> Middlesbrough v West Brom