Sunday, May 8, 2.30am AEST, King Power Stadium, watch on Fox Sports
Leicester City: Champions
Leicester City: 22-11-3
Last five match results
Leicester City: DWDWW
Leicester City: $2.05 with Sportsbet.com.au
Draw: $3.40 with Sportsbet.com.au
Everton: $3.60 with Sportsbet.com.au
GUESS who’s back?
A two game ban for losing his marbles at the referee in his side’s 2-2 draw with West Ham a couple of weeks ago has made the job of Leicester City’s one time EPL Golden Boot favourite Jamie Vardy a lot tougher.
Sitting on 22 goals for the season, Vardy missed City’s title winning game against Manchester United and has just two games left to chase down Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, on 23 goals and the clubhouse leader, Tottenham star Harry Kane, who has 25 for the year.
It’s a tough ask and our mates at online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au are giving him almost no hope at the $15 quote. Kane is the $1.17 favourite, ahead of Aguero at $4.33.
That could all change if Vardy, the newly crowned Football Writers’ Player of the Year, has a belter in his return against Everton.
The 29 year old is the first Leicester player to ever win the prestigious award, which has been running since 1948, after claiming 36 per cent of the vote and is the first Englishman to claim it since Scott Parker in 2011. A deserved reward for his efforts in propelling a side to the title, that was rated a $5000-$1 chance of winning it at the start of the season.
He didn’t score in his side’s 3-2 win against the Toffees last time out, so you can expect him to come out breathing fire.
He is the $5 favourite with sportsbet.com.au to make a triumphant return to the Foxes line up and help kick off their title celebrations by scoring the first goal when Everton visit King Power Stadium in the early hours of Sunday morning.
He is not without his challengers though.
Team mate Riyad Marrez – who many think had more of a hand in the Foxes’ stunning season – is rated a $6.50 chance to score first and for good reason.
He sits fifth on the league table with 17 goals to go along with 11 assists, making him the most damaging player in the Premier League.
There is a guy in this game who could well and truly dictate terms up front and it is the Toffees’ superstar Romelu Lukaku, the $6 second favourite for first goal.
The Belgian is brute force mixed with sublime skill and he has 18 goals on the season, one better than Mahrez and just four behind Vardy in fourth place.
All this amounts to plenty of firepower from both sides and we’re expecting some fireworks from a pair of talented teams who know how to put the ball in the back of the net.
If you’re a fan of finding a sneaky outsider in your first goal scorer tips, you could do worse than towering Foxes defender Robert Huth.
The man who has looks that could turn you to stone is well adept at set pieces and has a bullet like header that, when on song, gives keepers absolutely no chance. Worth a tiny drink at the $26 quote.
By his own lofty standards, injury and poor form have reigned on the parade of star Everton wing back Leighton Baines. And that has translated to his first goal scorer odds. Baines used to bob up regularly in this market, but is rated a gaudy $21 chance to be the first player to fire in.
Considering he scored in his side’s 2-1 win over Bournemouth a couple of days ago.
While he has not been anywhere near as damaging as previous seasons, Baines simply knows how to finish and, if he gets the opportunity, expect the ball to go rocketing into the back of the net.
First goal scorer market
J Vardy ($5)
R Lukaku ($6)
R Mahrez ($6.50)
A Kone ($8)
Leonardo Ulloa ($6.50)
Oumar Niasse ($8)
S Okazaki ($8)
R Barkley ($10)
No Goalscorer ($11)
Demarai Gray ($12)
Kieran Dowell ($12)
A King ($12)
K Mirallas ($12)
G Deulofeu ($12)
N Dyer ($15)
J Schlupp ($15)
T Cleverley ($15)
M Albrighton ($17)
S Pienaar ($17)
L Osman ($19)
N Kante ($21)
G Inler ($21)
L Baines ($21)
D Amartey ($23)
M Pennington ($26)
C Fuchs ($26)
D Gibson ($26)
B Chilwell ($26)
R Huth ($26)
Odds provided by sportsbet.com.au
Match result: Leicester City to win ($2.05 with Sportsbet.com.au)
Correct match score: Leicester City to win 2-1 ($8 with Sportsbet.com.au)
Total match goals: over 2.5 match goals ($1.64 with Sportsbet.com.au)
The Foxes faltered in a 1-1 draw at United on the weekend, but were still crowned champions after Tottenham dropped points against Chelsea this week. There should be nothing standing in the way of a triumphant return home in front of an adoring crowd at King Power Stadium. The Toffees are no slouches and should put up a fight after a solid win over Bournemouth, but this juggernaut deserves a home win and should be able to get the job done, especially with the return of Vardy. Both sides possess superb strikforces and between them they should be able to easily eclipse the 2.5 goal line for the match.
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