Nigel Pearson
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Leicester can close on Championship crown by beating QPR

| 18.04.2014

No Championship club has drawn a blank less often than Leicester City. Nigel Pearson’s promoted Foxes have failed to score just three times in the league all season and have suffered just two home defeats. Coral thus make them odds-on 10/11 favourites to win their first outing this Easter against QPR.

Those records of top scorers in the division and most points picked up on their own patch contrast sharply with the away form – two victories in eight – of Harry Redknapp’s Hoops (14/5 for three points here). It’s 13/5 on a draw.

Going into the Easter weekend, QPR were the team that had netted the fewest goals on the road in the top half. The pre-season promotion favourites also accrued the joint-least away points total, with Ipswich, from the seven sides realistically in the hunt for a play-off place.

Each of the Hoops’ last four meetings with Leicester has resulted in a win to nil, two apiece for either team. QPR are 7/1 to be victorious without reply at the King Power Stadium, while their hosts are 12/5.

Foxes stopper Kasper Schmeichel has won on every previous encounter against the Hoops, keeping two clean sheets. Odds of 17/10 say the home team will shut out their opponents here. Schmeichel has 14 Championship clean sheets to his credit, but Hoops goalie Robert Green has three more, and is 4/1 to keep an 18th in the East Midlands.

Pearson’s side have not won since their promotion to the Premier League, after a decade out of it, was confirmed. Leicester have recorded a solitary victory from four attempts in April, and that is because their strikeforce looks to be running out of steam after a gruelling campaign.

Only one player on their books that can operate as a centre forward has scored this month. That was Gary Taylor-Fletcher, who has two in his last five outings against QPR, and is 7/4 to net anytime here.

Jamie Vardy, meanwhile, is back from a groin problem, but has just one in five appearances. He was on target in the reverse fixture, grabbing the only goal of the game, so back him to repeat that at 5/1 to score first.

David Nugent is on the biggest drought of all Foxes front men. It’s one in nine for their top-scorer, and he averages a goal every three games against the Hoops. If punters feel he is due to net again, then take even-money.

The evergreen Kevin Phillips cannot be counted out here. If involved, the 40-year-old has four in his last five outings when paired with this opposition, so a price of 11/2 on the impact sub scoring last looks tempting.

Redknapp’s men have a similar problem to Leicester in attack, apart from Bobby Zamora. The former England target man has struggled with various injuries this term, but has three in his last six appearances. Odds of 9/4 say he will score anytime, and it would be a career first for Zamora.

It would also be the case for Charlie Austin. Back the Hoops’ leading marksman to break his duck against the Foxes at 6/5. Punters may feel more assured looking to the supporting cast of the visitors in the anytime market, however.

Maverick midfield talent Ravel Morrison has six in his last nine appearances for QPR, so consider odds of 11/4 on him adding to that. Israel’s Yossi Benayoun is in even better form, with three in four. He is 11/2 to be on target anytime.



Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.