The east Midlands must be one of the most miserable places to be a football fan at the moment.
A season that promised so much for Leicester City and Nottingham Forest, under the stewardship of their high-profile ex-England managers, could scarcely have gone more wrong.
Both Sven-Goran Eriksson and Steve McClaren have (deservedly) left their posts after incredibly disappointing starts, yet in both cases the fortunes for each club can hardly be said to have improved.
Nigel Pearson returned to Leicester from Hull City in November after doing such a good job at the KC Stadium between 2008 and 2010 – yet after an initial upturn results have dipped sharply.
Similarly, Steve Cotterill took over from McClaren with Forest in the relegation zone and that is exactly where they remain after Saturday’s emphatic 3-0 defeat at home to Southampton.
Both teams have only one win in the last six – nowhere near good enough for clubs who have made no secret of their Premier League ambitions.
And with the two sides so desperately out of form, the odds for this FA Cup third-round replay – the 101st meeting between the old foes – make interesting reading.
With a raft of changes to be made on both sides, something I find always disrupts the fluidity of a team, I would advise a play on the 39/20 that the King Power is witness to a maximum of one goal inside the 90 minutes as the bet of the night.
Hosts Leicester are priced up with bwin as the 39/50 favourites, with the draw at 12/5 and Forest quoted at 15/4 shots.
For a team who have won just two of their last ten games Leicester can’t be backed at that price, but that 15/4 wouldn’t tempt a man out of an electric chair – Forest have lost seven of their last ten games, winning just once.
The 0-0 draw at the City Ground that means they must go at it again is the best indicator of what may happen.
By process of elimination, the draw at 12/5 is the most appealing of the 3Way odds on offer, but the best way to go could well be to look at a lack of goals at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday night.
The odds compilers are giving nothing away by quoting under 2.5 goals at 13/20, but they are on to the trend that has followed these clubs.
Seven out of Leicester’s last ten games have featured fewer than three goals, with the statistic exactly the same for Forest. The teams also share the same season-long percentage for games producing under 2.5 goals – 54%.
That figure increases to 57% for Leicester when looking at just their home games and 58% for Forest when looking at their away fixtures, making you realise why unders is priced up at such short odds.
But a more profitable way to look at this match could be to back under 1.5 goals at 37/20, especially with Forest in such dismal goalscoring form.
The Tricky Trees have been incapable of hitting the net, scoring just three goals in their last ten games – all of which came in the same match against Ipswich. Yes, that means they have drawn a blank in nine of their last ten games, a horrendous run that explains their position in the bottom three of the Championship.
What makes the under 1.5 goals bet so appealing is that Forest’s opposition haven’t been scoring many either. Six of those ten games have produced a goal or less, a scenario which has been true in 12 of Forest’s 26 league games, six of which coming away from the City Ground.
Leicester haven’t fared a great deal better lately in the goalscoring stakes: only twice in the last ten games have the Foxes scored more than once.
With a raft of changes to be made on both sides, something I find always disrupts the fluidity of a team, I would advise a play on the 37/20 that the King Power is witness to a maximum of one goal inside the 90 minutes as the bet of the night.
New customers can register here to claim a free £25 bet or click here to see all our FA Cup odds.
Follow us on Twitter @bwinbetting