Man City face Foxes, Saints wrestle West Ham in Saturday TV scuffles
Holly Thackeray | January 4, 2016
Manchester City v Leicester City
- Premier League
- Saturday, February 6th
- Kick-off: 12:45 GMT
- Etihad Stadium, Manchester
- Live on BT Sport 1
City chasing fantastic Foxes lead
Manchester City are odds-on 4/7 shouts with Coral to sink Leicester City on home soil, in a match few pundits would have tipped to tilt the title chase back before this season of surprises started.
Yet, the Citizens have an excellent chance to not only haul back the flying Foxes from first spot in the Premier League and cut their three point lead, but to also potentially overtake and leave themselves in pole position.
Formidable in Mancunia, Man City beat the Midlands men both home and away last term, but this campaign they are a completely different beast.
Make no mistake, this is a big game for both teams, with odds of 3/1 for a draw, as Claudio Ranieri’s rearguard already shut out City in the reverse before Christmas. Although, another stalemate at 12/1 seems unlikely given the high stakes and potent strike forces on either side.
This duel may be too early to be a decider, but Leicester will be under no illusions how costly it would be to let their lead slip with another rival in Arsenal up next.
A tale of two strikers
Much of the Foxes focus will of course be on Jamie Vardy, but this battle pits the wits of two tremendously in-form forwards against each other, with Sergio Aguero also in an awesome purple patch.
Leicester are a nifty 19/4 to topple their Mancunian hosts, especially after Vardy’s brace, including a vicious volley and contender for goal of the season, saw off Liverpool.
Gaffer Ranieri spoke his striker’s incredible efforts on Merseyside, stating: “It was an unbelievable pass from [Riyad] Mahrez and unbelievable what Vardy did.
“He looked at the keeper out of the goal and hit it. It was unbelievable, amazing, fantastic.”
If Anfield holds no fear for ferocious Vardy, then nor should the Etihad and the sharpshooter is superb value at 7/1 to open scoring, or tasty at 2/1 in the anytime market. While, wily wingman Mahrez was chief mischief maker against the Reds and is 10/3 to grab a goal anytime, with frontman Shinji Okazaki also that same enticing price.
“We are in good condition and under no pressure,” Ranieri said when asked about Leicester’s title chances, but the Foxes will certainly feel the strain versus City.
Aguero possesses the spark to change the game for Manuel Pellegrini’s men, and has hit six in his past four fixtures. It was the Argentine who bagged to make sure City squeezed three points from Sunderland in a scrappy clash, and he is an excellent 11/4 to have the final say again.
While, schemer David Silva scored against this very opposition last season, so is worth backing at 2/1 to notch anytime alongside starlet Kelechi Iheanacho, who is 5/4 to do the same.
Southampton v West Ham United
- Premier League
- Saturday, February 6th
- Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
- St Mary’s, Southampton
- Live on Sky Sports 1
Hammers to chisel away at Saints defence
Saints have slowly been getting back on track following the festive break, but are still rather short as odds-on 4/6 favourites against a wily West Ham.
A win at wobbly Manchester United and a draw versus Arsenal aside, Ronald Koeman’s men have been a shadow of their former selves this season, so are much more tempting at 13/5 to split the south coast spoils.
Yet, the Irons continue to thrill under Slaven Bilic’s tutelage and are a worthy 9/2 for a win on the road. Having battered Aston Villa into submission last time out, despite on the face of it only firing in twice, they are 19/5 to score two or more again and subject Southampton to a bombardment.
Many Irons in the fire
West Ham do have the distraction of a Tuesday FA Cup replay against Liverpool but, with Enner Valencia (13/2 to open scoring), Dimitri Payet (11/4 anytime) and co firing on all cylinders plus Emmanuel Emenike (2/1) awaiting his bow, they still seem the best bet.
Though, Saints do boast some serious firepower of their own in attacking artist Dusan Tadic and winter window by Charlie Austin (10/3 for the last strike).
Coral’s top tip: Vardy is a great shout at 2/1 to score anytime.