Match Preview – Brighton v Leicester City

leicesterhomepreview2018

Leicester City – the team
Before 2016, Leicester City FC were famous for their association with Gary Lineker and Walkers crisps and not much else. Then Claudio Ranieri rocked up at the King Power Stadium fresh from the humiliation of leading Greece to 1-0 defeat against the might of the Faroe Islands and promptly turned the Foxes into Premier League champions. It remains one of the most remarkable feats of management ever seen and gives hope to supporters of less fancied sides everywhere that maybe one day, their team could become champions of England. Needless to say, Leicester haven’t got anywhere near those dizzy heights since and both Ranieri and Craig Shakespeare have come and gone in the hot seat. It’s currently occupied by Claude Puel who could yet lead the Foxes to European football this season despite being deemed too boring by supporters of Southampton for their club. How’s that working out for you, Saints fans?

Leicester – the place
Leicester is one of the oldest cities in Britain with a history going back at least two millennia to a native Iron Age settlement. It has a long and proud history of important figures dying there, with Richard III being buried under a car park and Cardinal Thomas Woolsey falling ill and making a free transfer to the grave while in the city. At the opposite end of the life scale to dying, Lady Jane Grey who claimed to be Queen of England for nine days in July 1553 between the reigns of Edward VI and Mary I was born just outside Leicester. In more modern times, it is home to the National Space Centre and Nelson Mandela Park, named after the anti-apartheid protestor due to his love of Walkers crisps while incarcerated on Robben Island.

Leicester – the people
There are all manner of famous people that we could write about who have come from Leicester, but really none of them compares to Daniel Lambert. Lambert was the keeper of Leicester gaol, once fought a bear in the middle of the city and by 1805 weighed 50 stone, the heaviest ever person in recorded history up until that point. In 1806 he moved to London and charged people to witness his incredible size, earning so much money that he was able to return to Leicester an extremely wealthy man. When he died, he weighed an absolutely ridiculous 52 stone and it took 20 men almost half an hour to drag his coffin into a trench despite the fact it had been fitted with wheels. Lambert’s feats really are something to aspire to and in his honour, we’ll be having six steak and ale pies at half time and a KFC Bargain Bucket for one on the way home.

A good WeAreBrighton.com memory of Leicester at home
Our record at home to Leicester is remarkably good, even in those seasons when the Foxes have been flying at the top of whatever division we have met in. We defeated them 3-1 at home the year they won the Championship but the best result was undoubtedly in the 2008/09 season when they ended the campaign League One champions. Matty Fryatt had put Leicester 2-0 up at the break at Withdean before the Albion completed a remarkable comeback through two goals from Bradley Johnson and a Jack Hobbs own goal to secure a 3-2 win. It was the undoubted highlight of Micky Adams second spell in charge and at the time seemed like a corner-turning victory. Naturally, 10 days later we drew 3-3 at home to Hartlepool and then lost 3-1 at Carlisle United for normality to be restored.

A bad WeAreBrighton.com memory of Leicester at home
It was a must win game when struggling Leicester visited struggling Albion at the bottom of the Championship in February 2006. Not an ideal start to be 2-0 down inside of five minutes then and see Dean Hammond sent off late on in a 2-1 defeat which was another nail into Mark McGhee’s coffin.

Played for both
We’ve mentioned Micky Adams and Mark McGhee and they had spells in charge of both clubs with varying degrees of success. Peter Taylor also managed both sides and with so much overlapping of bosses, its little wonder that there are a fair few players to have played for us and the Foxes this century including the likes of Junior Lewis, Trevor Benjamin, Paul Brooker and most recently Leonardo Ulloa who is ineligible for this one against his parent club.

Dangermen
For all the plaudits thrown the way of Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy so far this season, they have looked susceptible against quick strikers who can get in around the back. With that in mind, Jamie Vardy could be in for a fruitful afternoon, especially given we haven’t kept a clean sheet in the league in 2018.

Betting
Ahead of their Easter weekend match, sportsbooks reviewed on Sports Betting Dime have Leicester and Brighton as nearly even opponents, listing Leicester at 43/25 (+172) and Brighton at 197/100 (+197). Leicester are slightly ahead in the Premier League table, and won their August meeting 2-0, but aren’t guaranteed a win here by any means. This is a home game for Brighton, where they’ve won three straight matches including a 2-1 win over Arsenal at the beginning of March, which is why sportsbooks are keeping the line pretty tight and only leaning slightly towards Leicester City.

Prediction
The Albion haven’t lost a home game to a side from outside the top five so far this season and if you discount the horror show up at Everton, we’ve been in good form of late. Leicester are a dangerous side however and we’d settle for a draw. There will be goals, so we’re plumping for either 1-1 or 2-2.

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