Football – England – Championship
Thursday 31st January 2013 – Kickoff: 1945hrs
Second placed Leicester City will be looking to consolidate their current position whilst going for a fifth successive Championship win when they take on west midland strugglers Wolves at The Walkers Stadium in an unusual Thursday night fixture.
Leicester City have powered themselves into automatic promotion contention on the back of strong wins at Burnley 1-0, a 6-1 thrashing of hapless Huddersfield Town, 4-0 at Bristol City (where a few teams have come a cropper in the past) and a strong 1-0 home win over play-off contenders Middlesbrough.
The Foxes also earned a valuable point at Hull City in a 0-0 draw on Boxing Day as they have emerged as one of the favourites to join Championship leaders Cardiff City into the top flight. Leicester City have also been strong on home ground too this term with a record of 10-2-2 33/11 with the two defeats being inflicted by fifth placed Crystal Palace and leaders Cardiff City which is no disgrace by all means.
Leicester have kept six clean sheets and have scored 2 goals or more on nine separate occasions including a 6-0 win over Ipswich Town and the previously mentioned 6-1 win over Huddersfield Town, so they are no strangers to scoring goals on home turf.
Journeyman striker David Nugent (13 goals, 4 assists) is Leicester’s leading goalscorer and he has valuable support from Knockaert (6 goals, 4 assists), King and Vardy (both with 4 goals each) while Ben Marshall has chipped in with 6 assists so far. Don’t forget former Birmingham City striker Chris Wood (5 goals, 2 assists) as he continues his goalscoring wherever he lays his hat…
Visitors Wolves recently disposed of the services of former manager Stale Solbakken and promptly replaced him with an untried manager at this level, Dean Saunders. Saunders had been at League One outfit Doncaster Rovers following his move from BSP team Wrexham, but let’s be honest, a big club like Wolves needs experience at the helm. So, the jury is out once again in this part of the west midlands while Saunders looks to resurrect Wolves’ season but retention of their Championship season looks to be their best outcome in what has been a very disappointing campaign so far.
No wins in their last six with defeats against Peterborough United 0-3 at home, 0-2 at home to Ipswich Town, 1-3 at Crystal Palace and a 1-2 loss at home to Blackpool on Saturday understandably has the faithful now on red alert as they are now just five points ahead of Barnsley and they cannot afford too many more slip-ups.
Wolves’ away record stands at 5-1-8 16/19 and recent results suggest that they compete against the sides around them (4-1 win at Bristol City, 2-1 at Blackpool) and a 0-0 draw at Sheffield Wednesday, but a trip to high-flying Leicester City will certainly stretch them to their limits and this challenge may come too soon for Saunders to have any impact.
Leicester City know that promotion is in their hands now and they will be wanting to make sure of all three points against an uncertain Wolves outfit, so I’ll back The Foxes to not only win here but to win well by covering the -1 line in what could be a 2-0 home win for Leicester City.
Pick: Leicester City AH-1 @ 1.90 Ladbrokes looks terrific value