Sevilla v Leicester City: Foxes seeking Champions League boost

Claudio Ranieri, Leicester City FC manager

It’s been an incredible and unhappy change around in fortunes for a Leicester City side who lifted the Premier league trophy for the first time just nine months ago. Claudio Ranieri’s men are now caught up in a relegation dogfight but before they can return to Premiership action, the Foxes must travel to Spain for the first leg of their Champions League tie against Sevilla.

Recent results mean that the hosts are red hot favourites to win the first game on Wednesday night but Leicester’s form in this competition has been in stark contrast to that shown domestically and some punters will be looking for some value in this match.

Match Odds

Sevilla lead the pre-match market by some distance and are quoted at a best of 4/11 with Paddy Power and Coral. A draw is on offer at 4/1 with Betway and BetBright while a win for Leicester City comes in at a top price of 9/1 with Bet365.

Remember, those are the prices for the first leg only so is there any chance of the away side upsetting those odds?

If you’re looking at domestic form alone then you really have to side with the Spaniards who are third in La Liga, just two points behind the leaders Real Madrid. It’s impressive that Jorge Sampaoli’s men are challenging for the title at this late stage of the campaign and, coming into Wednesday’s tie, Sevilla have won four of their last six league matches.

Contrast that run with that of Leicester’s who are one place outside of the Premier League relegation zone and have lost five straight games ahead of Wednesday night’s first leg. They may have been impressive in the Champions League Group Stages but at this point, Rainieri’s focus is on avoiding the drop and you really can’t see past Sevilla here.

Individual Goal Scorers

Take a small profit from a Sevilla win if you like but for better value, take a look at the side markets, starting with first goal scorer. In this market, Sevilla players dominate with Luciano Vietto listed as favourite with most bookies and at best odds of 7/2 with Paddy Power. Elsewhere, strike partner Wissam Ben Yedder can also be found at the same top price of 7/2 with Paddy Power and Betway.

These two are logical options to find the net first: Ben Yedder is a new signing for 2016 and has a great record of 15 goals in 25 matches across all competitions while Vietto is on loan from Atletico Madrid and has netted 10 goals in 23 games.

They are a new strike pairing and a potent one but of the two, Ben Yedder is the more prolific and our tip to open the scoring on Wednesday.

There are no fewer than 10 Sevilla names before we even see a mention for Leicester City. Islam Slimani is the first name in this respect at odds of 12/1 with Paddy Power to open the scoring and you can find that same figure of 12/1 with Paddy Power for Jamie Vardy.

Elsewhere, it’s been a really disappointing campaign for RiyadMahrez after the highs of last season but the set piece specialist is an option in the anytime goals market at best odds of 6/1 with BetFred for a goal in 90 minutes.

Other side bets

Sevilla are averaging exactly two goals a game in La Liga this season which isn’t a huge ratio when compared to Real and Barca and they have conceded 28 in 23 at the back – comfortably more than any other side in the top four.

For that reason, and with Leicester arriving as a team intent on enjoying the occasion, I’m expecting a very open game so Both Teams to Score is worth adding to your bet slip at best of 23/20 with William Hill.

Some punters will point to Leicester’s record in the group phase and feel they offer value at 9/1 or, as a new customer to 888Sport, you can get an even higher figure. Form, however, suggests otherwise and with Sevilla at short odds to win, the best value is in the side markets for Wednesday night’s first leg.

Best Bets:

  • Wissam Ben Yedder to score the first goal at 7/2 with Paddy Power
  • Riyad Mahrez to score anytime at 6/1 with BetFred
  • Both Teams to Score at 23/20 with William Hill
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