It may not have the intensity of Nottingham Forest’s games against Derby County, but try telling fans of either Leicester City or the Reds that this game isn’t the biggest of the weekend in the Championship.
The two east Midlands rivals have waged war over 111 years, with the series currently standing 39-37 in the Foxes’ favour, and with both currently vying for play-off spots, this year’s match-up takes on extra incentive and that’s reflected in the odds.
Former leaders Leicester are favourites at 4/5 in bwin’s 3Way football betting market, while 11th-placed Forest are 333/100 for the upset and the draw is at 12/5.
In the Foxes’ recent slide, which has seen them win just one of their last five games, a key issue has been conceding first. Nigel Pearson’s team have shipped the opening goal ten times this campaign and with Forest proving one of the division’s quicker starters, it’s worth backing the visitors to break the deadlock at 33/20.
Dexter Blackstock is just three goals away from 100 career strikes and will be keen to notch that first goal at 15/2, as will Forest legend Andy Reid, who last scored in this fixture in 2003 and is 4/1 to strike at any time.
However, Leicester have also proved resilient after the interval this term, turning two-thirds of their half-time deficits into wins.
New customers using the free £20 bet they receive when registering with bwin would claim an impressive £520 if the Foxes claim three points from a losing position at the half-time whistle at odds of 25/1.
But with Leicester’s loss of form and the added motivation of this being a derby game, I’d also consider Forest holding on for at least a point, making lead-draw a good play at 7/2.
Of course, there’s always the possibility of one side imploding under the pressure of the derby and a repeat of last season’s 4-0 FA Cup win by Leicester is available at 28/1, while those looking for a more likely longer-odds punt could do worse than banking on Foxes top scorer David Nugent to strike first in a 2-1 home win at 25/1.