This evening’s televised Championship fixture comes from King Power Stadium, where Leicester City will see the visit of local rivals Birmingham City as an absolute must-win match if they are to make the play-offs this season.
Nigel Pearson’s men looked like the side to beat earlier in the season as they went on a stretch of seven games unbeaten (which included five straight victories), but unfortunately for the Foxes their promotion push has faltered at the crucial stage.
Leicester have recorded only one victory in their last 12 league fixtures and are without a win at home since February 26th.
They are now in serious danger of missing out on the play-offs when at one stage automatic promotion looked to be their destination and they will know that Birmingham must be defeated this evening.
Bwin has the home side priced as 67/100 favourites to earn all three points as they take on a slightly rejuvenated Blues side.
One of the pre-season favourites to make a solid push for promotion to the Premier League, Birmingham have failed to live up to the hype amid the ongoing financial problems which have been dogging the club.
Boss Lee Clark has somewhat struggled in his first season at the helm at St Andrews, but in recent weeks his charges have finally started to show what they are capable of.
A 4-0 win away to promotion-chasing Crystal Palace was undoubtedly their performance of the season and left Blues fans with the slim hope that a late play-off push would be possible.
However, those dreams were soon quashed as Birmingham were defeated 3-2 at home by Wolves.
One step forward, two steps back has pretty much been the story of their season and now with very little to play for, you have to feel that Leicester will put them to the sword in a match they have to win.
Pearson himself will be aware that another slip up could not only cost Leicester a play-off spot, but also be enough for the board to end his tenure at the King Power Stadium.
Bwin customers who fancy Birmingham to possibly put the final nail in the coffin for Pearson can back an away success at odds of 4/1.
Last weekend’s Championship fixtures saw both of these sides involved in 1-1 draws and the stalemate on Friday evening is available at odds of 5/2, with another 1-1 draw – which, coincidentally, was the final score when the two sides met at St Andrews earlier in the campaign – priced at 23/4.
But with so much at stake, I am tipping Leicester at 67/100 to overturn a miserable run of form and finally secure the three points that have provied so elusive of late.