Sunday afternoon sees Crystal Palace clash against Leicester City at Selhurst Park in the Premier League. Both teams are struggling to find consistent form in the league. Can Crystal Palace hold off a struggling Leicester side?
Crystal Palace are a side that are improving slowly, at least that is the assessment that can made by analyzing their previous six fixtures in the Premier League, although their placement in the league table might suggest the contrary. The Eagles are currently placed fifteenth in the league, registering one win, three draws and two losses from their six matches so far. In their previous encounter in the Premier League against Brighton, Palace were leading the match through a goal from Wilfred Zaha early in the second half until a last-ditch equalizer from Neil Maupay in the 94th minute denied them the three points. Patrick Viera’s side would surely be disappointed by the fact that they were forced to split the points with their opponents. Both Eze and Ferguson will remain out of this fixture while Jeffrey Schlupp will be available after making his return in the game against Brighton. Odsonne Edouard, Wilfred Zaha and Connor Gallagher could play an important role in the game against the Foxes.
Wilfred Zaha was in sensational form in their previous game. He scored the goal that provided Palace with the lead. He had the highest xG in the match, 0.84. In addition, he took the highest number of shots and made the most dribbles.
Palace created their highest xT from inside the opposition box. Both Anderson and Mitchell created high xT from their passes.
Crystal Palace are currently placed at the bottom in terms of the shots metrics however they have shown some improvement in the previous game. With the current form of Wilfried Zaha the Eagles can change the numbers.
Leicester City are placed thirteenth in the Premier League table, with two wins, one draw and three loses. Their league form has been inconsistent and in addition, they were beaten in their Europa League encounter in Poland midweek. They were held on to a draw last time around in the Premier League by Burnley. Their last victory came in their clash against Norwich City. With pressure mounting slowly on Brendan Rodgers, his side will need to show up at Selhurst Park. Jonny Evans remains doubtful for the fixture against Palace while James Justin is still nursing a knee injury. Wesley Fofana similarly remains sidelined. The Foxes will surely be delighted by the return of Kelechi Iheanacho. Brendan Rodgers would be hoping for another dominant performance by his midfield powerhouse Wilfred Ndidi. The Nigerian was suspended for their midweek fixture against Legia Warsaw and therefore was rested.
In their previous game against Burnley, the Foxes dominated the xT timeline in both the halves and were the more threatening team of the two. Leicester had three different players with five shots each to their name. Tielemans, Vardy and Barnes all took five shots each. The xG timeline is similarly dominated by the Leicester in both halves.
Leicester had a high xG of 1.31 in the match, surpassing that of their opponents’, 0.57. They took a total of 20 shots in the match, although only three of them were on target. Wilfred Ndidi won the highest number of duels in the match.
The Foxes are placed right above the Eagles in terms of positional attacks. Both the team are equal in terms of stats comparison.
Crystal Palace (4-3-3) – Vincente Guaita; Joel Ward, Joachim Andersen, Marc Guehi, Tyrick Mitchell; James McArthur, Cheikhou Kouyate, Conor Gallagher; Andre Ayew, Odsonne Edouard, Wilfried Zaha.
Leicester City (4-2-3-1)- (Kasper Schmeichel; Timothy Castagne, Caglar Soyuncu, Jannik Vestergaard, Ryan Bertrand; Wilfred Ndidi, Youri Tielemans; Ayoze Perez, James Maddison, Ashley Barnes; Jamie Vardy.
Patrick Viera has provided the attacking freedom to his forward players in the final third. Both Wilfried Zaha and Odssane Edouard will relish playing a tired Leicester. Connor Gallagher will need to be in his finest form if the home side are to dominate the midfield battle. Leicester City need to prepare themselves in order to absorb the attacking threat of in-form Zaha. Iheanacho can provide the attacking threat that Leicester have been lacking in previous games. Overall, this is going to be a close encounter with Leicester coming out on top marginally.