Derby v Leicester Betting Tips: Championship side can ride The FA Cup wave
Football writer Thomas Giles previews the upcoming FA Cup Fourth Round tie and East Midlands derby between Derby County and Leicester City.
Friday night’s warm-up for the rest of the FA Cup ties this weekend is a potentially feisty East Midlands derby between Championship side Derby County and Premier League champions Leicester City.
Derby have had a rather inconsistent run in the last few weeks with just two wins in their last five matches after they picked up eight victories in their last nine games. However, they are still hot on the tails of Sheffield Wednesday who’re in 6th place so a play-off push could easily happen in this second half of the season. They reached the fourth round of the FA Cup in impressive fashion as they knocked out Premier League opposition in the form of West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns.
As mentioned on previous write-ups concerning Derby, goals are a rarity for the Rams at both ends of the pitch. They are excellent at the back and their record of just 21 goals conceded in 27 Championship matches is the joint-second best in the league. Unfortunately though, despite having a plethora of attacking talent and flair going forward, they don’t find the back of the net often enough and their ‘Goals For’ column reads a poor 27 – equal to bottom of the table Rotherham United.
Despite the fact they lost their record of eight consecutive clean sheets at Pride Park in their 3-2 victory over Reading at the weekend, Steve McLaren’s side still have an impeccable record at home and have not lost since his return to the club.
It is fair to say that, after their title win last season, Leicester City have been under-performing and currently sit 15th in league,just five points above the drop-zone. It had seemed that they were back on the right track after a three-match unbeaten run in all competitions but any hopes of a revival were short-lived as they have now lost back-to-back matches.
The catalyst of the Foxes’ title win last season was their defensive solidity but it seems that this is a thing of the past with Leicester conceding 37 goals in just 22 league matches whilst they have only kept nine clean sheets in 30 competitive games this season. Additionally, the senior attacking players in the squad, rewarded with new contracts in the summer, are no longer pulling their weight as demonstrated by the fact they have found the back of the net just 24 times in the Premier League and have failed to register in either of their last two matches.
Claudio Ranieri’s side have been dreadful on the road and are second bottom of the ‘Away Form’ table having failed to win away from the King Power Stadium, yielding just three points from a possible 33 all season. However, they did win away from home in their last FA Cup match against Everton which set up Friday’s tie with Derby County.
There has been speculation that Ranieri may rotate his side for this cup match as he looks to ensure Premier League survival. However, I doubt he will do so as picking a weakened team in such an important match (in terms of local pride) will not go down well with Foxes fans.
Having said that, even if Leicester pick a full strength team, I am not sure they will get past Derby on Friday. The Rams have an excellent record at home as opposed to Leicester’s terrible form on the road, whilst they have already beaten Premier League opposition in the FA Cup this season. Quite frankly, despite hailing from the division below, Derby look the solid option here and are fancied to get the job done at 17/10.
Click here to read Friday’s La Liga tip.
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