After a 3-0 start, Swansea City has plummeted back to Earth and what the Swans need now is a home win against EPL newcomers Leicester City on Saturday. Will there be goals and is the Under the bet here?
Swansea City vs. Leicester City, Saturday, (NBC Sports Live Extra (US), Sky Sports 1/HD (UK) 17:30 CEST/12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT)
Liberty Stadium in Swansea, Wales is the site of this somewhat lackluster match between 8th-place Swansea City (3-2-3, 11 GF-10 GA, 11 points) and 14th-place Leicester City (2-3-3, 11 GF-13 GA, 9 points). Soccer odds have host Swansea City aa modest -105 favorites over visiting Leicester City (+285; Draw +250, bet365) with the Total Goals predictably set at 2½ (Under Even, Over -115, BetVictor), so, the numbers are right where one would expect them to be for this English Premier League Week 9 fixture in Wales.
Looking at a couple of prop bets for your soccer picks on this match, the Both Teams To Score (Yes -117, No -111, Ladbroke’s) prop is intriguing, but a case can be made for both teams scoring or not scoring here. The Total Goals Exact prop is a seldom used sports betting vehicle, but the 0-2 range (-125, SportingBet) seems like an ideal fit for this type of game. And To Win To Nil props are also an interesting look for the right game and this qualifies as that, although a Leicester City To Win To Nil +600 (BetVictor) wager seems like it would be much harder to win than a Swansea City To Win To Nil +260 one.
In the end, this game may be more entertaining on the betting front than it actually will be on the pitch as much of the luster of a potential decent Swansea City (Odds To Stay Up -3300, Bet365) season has all been washed away and a game like this against freshly promoted Leicester City (Odds To Stay Up -600) just becomes a meeting between two teams ultimately looking to avoid potential relegation.
The Foxes and manager Nigel Pearson are probably enjoying their 14th-place spot on the EPL table for now but it probably won’t be long until Leicester City (1-0-3 Away) begins worrying about staying up with the Big Boys, especially if it can’t find a way to score on the Road—the Foxes have just 1 Away goal so far (Leonardo Ulloa’s in Leicester’s lone road victory, a 1-0 win at Stoke City)—and earn some valuable points along the way. And a win here at Swansea would do wonders for this team’s collective psyche but forward Ulloa (5 goals) is the only player on the club with more than one goal and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel (27 saves, 13 goals conceded) can only do so much. On the bright side, the Foxes earlier 5-3 win over Manchester United at King Power Stadium was a big psychological boost, but since then, the Foxes have managed only 2 goals—both against lowly Burnley in a Draw—and Leicester has been blanked by both Crystal Palace (2-0) and Newcastle United (1-0), last Saturday. So, a goal may be hard to come by here for the Foxes and Blue Army in South Wales and quality shots on target from Leicester may be around 3—a good thing to work with when looking at the Total Goals and any related prop bets here.
The Swans and manager Garry Monk enjoyed a 3-0-0 start to the English Premier League season and everything was looking wonderful—and now Swansea City has gone 2-3 over its last 5 matches and earned just 2 points as reality has crept into their little dream of having a nice season. GK Lukasz Fabianski has been solid in goal for the Swans but like many others in the EPL, the Polish keeper could use just a little help on the offensive end. Striker Wilfried Bony, Gylfi Sigurðsson, Wayne Routledge, Nathan Dyer, Ki Sung-yueng and other players give Swansea a decent nucleus with which to work, and Jonjo Shelvey will be back for this game back after serving a one-game suspension for an accumulation of 5 Yellow Cards, but this team needs to average more than the 1.37 gpg it has to date to have any chance to evolve into the team it would like to be, and maybe thought it was around six weeks ago.
Best Betting Approaches
These two teams don’t have a deep series history like some clubs in English soccer, but when they have played, the Home team has prevailed. Swansea City is 2-0-0 against Leicester City in Swansea, winning 2-0 and 1-0, while the Foxes are 2-0-0 at Home against the Swans (6 GF-4 GA). Both matches in Wales went Under 2½ while both meetings in England went Over 2½, but these four games are a very small sample size and only so much can be read into these results... although a 2-0 or 1-0 Swansea win at Liberty Stadium seems exactly what lies in store.
Anticipating that kind of low-scoring range and a game with few goals, a conservative approach to betting this game is to play the aforementioned Total Goals Exact 0-2 prop (-125, SportingBet). Leicester City hasn’t scored since playing Burnley and the Swans have scored just 11 goals in 8 games and GKs Fabianski and Schmeichel will likely see few shots and both are good enough that this could very well end 0-0. With host Swansea City winless in its last 5, it seems safer to modestly bet this game through this specific prop where a final score totaling 0, 1 or 2 goals priced at -125 would result in a win at the betting window and return a fair enough yield. The host Swans (-105, bet365) should find a way a way to win here, but it’s just too hard to recommend a team that should win at home against a perceived lesser team when that team is having trouble winning (0-2-3 L5), even against some less-than-impressive Premier League competition (Stoke City, Newcastle United, Sunderland).
Prediction: Swansea City 1 Leicester City 0
Free Soccer Pick: Total Goals Exact 0-2 -125 (SportingBet)