Kick-off: Saturday, 12:45
Referee: Mike Dean
TV: Sky Sports 1
If Leicester City were forced to select a host for the first match of their Premier League title defence, they’d probably have picked Hull City.
The Tigers are in disarray ahead of the new campaign, with their Allam family owners refusing to invest in the squad as they attempt to sell the club.
Having so far failed to strengthen the first-team (the departure of Mohamed Diame actually means they’ll start the season in worse shape than they ended the last) and without a permanent manager, Hull are widely tipped for relegation, which is available to back at 65/100.
Those backing them to stay afloat will point to the fate of their next opponents, who began 2015/16 as the bookies’ fancy for the drop before going on to win the title, but the reality is the Foxes were far better prepared to maintain top-flight status than their rivals from east Yorkshire.
Despite the off-field chaos Hull are attempting to combat, the champions are, amazingly, available to back at 21/20 for victory at the time of writing.
Those who have faith in the underdogs will get paid out at 13/5 if they put their money where their mouth is and are vindicated, while it’s 9/4 about the first Premier League fixture of 2016/17 ending honours even.
Leicester’s chances are further enhanced by their clean bill of health ahead of their trip to the KCOM stadium, whereas Hull’s misery is compounded by the guaranteed absence of defenders Michael Dawson, Moses Odubajo and Alex Bruce, as well as first-choice goalkeeper Allan McGregor. Centre-back Harry Maguire is doubtful too.
These omissions are sure to harm Hull’s hopes of stopping Leicester scoring, which just about blows their chances of avoiding defeat here.
They haven’t so much as scored inside normal time across their last four meetings with the Foxes, yet earned a share of the spoils in three of these fixtures.
Claudio Ranieri’s men relied on their rearguard on the road en route to winning the title last term, scoring no more than once in eight of their final ten away games of 15/16.
Their first competitive match of this term, the Community Shield, was held outside of the King Power Stadium too and, once again, they were only able to register once, going down 2-1 to Manchester United.
Goals, it suggests, won’t be in abundance, but against a drastically depleted Hull, they’ll only need one to get the job done.
Recommended bet: Leicester win & under 2.5 goals @ 14/5