It’s astounding to think that since this time last year, when the final international break in the 2014/15 season ended, no teams other than Chelsea and Arsenal have won a Premier League match at the King Power Stadium.
Formidable form started 12 months ago first saved Leicester City from what seemed an inevitable Premier League relegation and its continuation into this campaign has steered them to the brink of a title win.
Their incredible run to the cusp of glory has captivated almost every football fan on these shores and beyond, but bookmakers, it appears, are immune to their charms.
Based on the odds attributed for this weekend’s fixture, the number crunchers responsible for defining pre-match probability still don’t rate the Foxes too highly.
The prospect of backing a table-topping team to win at home at odds against (yes, that was ODDS AGAINST) when playing a rival some 19 points their inferior is unheard of and it’s an opportunity the punters cannot pass up.
Win, Lose or Draw?
As stated, only two Premier League matches played at Leicester’s stronghold across the past 12 months have fallen in favour of the visitors, while only a further five have avoided defeat.
Elite outfits Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur make up 60% of this quintet, which is completed by Bournemouth and West Bromwich Albion.
The calibre of clubs to take so much as a point from the King Power underlines what a fortress it has become, with teams these days fortunate enough to even beat hosting goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
A double-strike salvo from the Baggies represents the only base camp concessions Leicester have made in 2016, with six clean sheets recorded from seven league outings.
Southampton used to know a similarly successful formula for shutting out the opposition, having done so in six fixtures on the spin between mid-January and mid-February, but the napkin it was written on slipped into the shredder after their win at Swansea. They’ve since leaked in five straight matches.
This untimely ditching of defensive inhibitions won’t bode well when they’re trying to break down the Leicester brick wall and, if that heap of stats wasn’t enough, there’s also the fact that the Foxes have lost just one of five meetings with their Saintly counterparts to consider.
Recommended bet: Leicester win to nil @ 23/10
Claudio Ranieri’s men are surfing a streak of 1-0 wins, having claimed the laurels by this margin in each of their last three and four of the previous five.
Since they beat Chelsea 2-1, five of their seven divisional dust ups in front of the faithful have fallen short of the 2.5-goal threshold, while five of the previous six Saints skirmishes on the road have followed suit.
Another unders instalment is a banker, with value in the 19/10 about this clash containing no more than one.
Recommended bet: Under 1.5 goals @ 19/10
Who’s going to score?
For those hoping for more goals than forecast above, each of the previous three collisions between this duo have seen a brace scored.
One of the players to strike twice was Riyad Mahrez, doing so in a 2-0 Foxes win in the final throes of the previous campaign. The Algerian playmaker has been Leicester’s match winner in two of the last three outings and we’re backing him to notch what could well be the only goal of this one.
Recommended bet: Mahrez to score first @ 11/2
If every other tip on this preview were to land, Leicester would win 1-0 with Mahrez proving their hero once more.
Backing each bet individually would reward handsomely, but none of the wagers would fatten the wallet quite like a seldom-seen scorecast.
Recommended bet: Leicester 1-0, Mahrez score first @ 22/1