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Leicester vs. Blackburn Rovers: Preview, Prediction & Betting Tips

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            Leicester vs. Blackburn Rovers: Preview, Prediction & Betting Tips

            This Saturday, the EFL Championship presents an intriguing match-up as league leaders Leicester City host Blackburn Rovers. While the dynamics of the game may seem straightforward given Leicester's dominant season and Blackburn's struggles, the nuances of this fixture encapsulate the unpredictable nature of football.

            Date: 04/05/2024

            Kick-off time: 12:30

            Location: King Power Stadium

            Leicester City, relegated from the Premier League last season, embarked on this Championship campaign with a singular focus: promotion. Under the stewardship of Enzo Maresca, they have not only achieved this goal but have done so in a fashion that speaks volumes about their intent to not just participate in the Premier League next season, but to compete. With an impressive tally of 94 points from 44 games, Leicester's journey has been marked by a series of stellar performances that saw them break away from the pack early in the season.

            Despite experiencing a dip in form in recent months, the Foxes managed to stabilise their performances at the crucial end of the season, ensuring their top spot and, subsequently, their return to the top flight. This stability in crucial moments underscores Maresca’s capability to galvanise his team when it counts, showcasing his tactical acumen and leadership.

            While they have practically secured the league title–they need a win against Preston North End on Monday night to secure it, and even without that Ipswich would need six points from their final two games with Leicester taking less than two points from theirs–the final games for Leicester might seem inconsequential in terms of standings. However, they are anything but that. These matches serve as a prelude to next season's challenges in the Premier League, particularly with the looming shadow of a points deduction due to breaches of financial regulations. This predicament makes it imperative for Leicester to reassess and strategise comprehensively during the off-season.

            Conversely, Blackburn Rovers' season has been fraught with challenges. Positioned 19th with just 50 points from 45 games, the team have endured a campaign filled with more lows than highs. After a promising start, their form deteriorated significantly, leaving them battling relegation fears in the final stages of the season.

            The equation for Blackburn to avoid relegation, while complicated, is still the most likely scenario. Their fate is ultimately in their hands, but should Rovers lose this game it also depends on the outcomes of matches involving Sheffield Wednesday, Birmingham City, and Plymouth Argyle. Essentially, one point or more from this game keeps Blackburn in the Championship, but a defeat combined with wins for Birmingham (at home to Norwich City) and Plymouth (at home to Hull City) in addition to Sheffield Wednesday taking a point or more at Sunderland would see Blackburn relegated.

            Despite the team's overall poor performance, Blackburn boast the Championship’s top goalscorer in Sammie Szmodics. His prowess in front of goal has been a silver lining in an otherwise cloudy season for the Rovers. Szmodics' ability to find the back of the net consistently has been crucial, and he stands poised to claim the Championship Golden Boot, barring an extraordinary turn of events.

            When Leicester and Blackburn met earlier in the season, the former ran out convincing 4-1 winners, a result that might have foreshadowed the trajectories of their respective seasons. For Leicester, this upcoming match is perhaps a moment to rotate the squad, giving game time to players who might have seen less action but could be pivotal next season. It is also a chance to begin the transition from Championship rigour to Premier League readiness, focusing on tactical flexibility and depth enhancement.

            For Blackburn, managed by John Eustace, this game is about redemption and perhaps laying down a marker for the next season. It’s about proving to their supporters that the fight remains within the team and that they can rise to challenges, irrespective of the bleak statistics that have accompanied their season thus far. For Leicester City, it's a chance to cap off a successful campaign with finesse.

            Leicester To Win

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            Leicester To Win @ 8/13
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            Leicester To Score In Both Halves

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            Leicester To Score In Both Halves @ 6/5
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            Leicester To Lead At Half-Time

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            Leicester To Lead At Half-Time @ 11/10
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            Team News

            Leicester Team News:

            Leicester are in great shape fitness-wise as they come into this game with no new injury concerns.

            The likes of Conor Coady and Kasey McAteer could be handed a start here, as Enzo Maresca considers giving starts to a couple of more fringe contributors.

            Blackburn Team News:

            Scott Wharton is set to be out for a number of months with a serious knee injury while Arnór Sigurdsson, Harry Leonard and John Fleck all remain on the sidelines for the visitors.

            John Eustace will likely stick with the same team that started the game against Coventry City at the weekend.

            Form Guide

            Leicester's form is solid as they enter this game having won three and lost two of their last five games. Leicester's most recent game was a comprehensive 5-0 hammering of Southampton, with a hat-trick from Abdul Fatawu alongside goals from Jamie Vardy and Wilfried Ndidi all but securing promotion back to the Premier League.

            This result followed a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion, which came after successive 1-0 defeats at Plymouth Argyle and Millwall, results that were preceded by a 2-1 win over Birmingham City. The likes of Ndidi, Vardy, Stephy Mavididi and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall all registered on the scoresheet in that period.

            On home soil Leicester have been very good, winning all of their last four games at the King Power Stadium.

            Blackburn's form is much more worrying than that of their opponents as Rovers come into this game with just one win from their last five games. Their most recent game was a 0-0 draw at home to Coventry City where Rovers did just about everything other than put the ball in the back of the net in a game they dominated.

            Prior to that, Blackburn fell to a disappointing 1-3 loss to Sheffield Wednesday, a result that came after one of the most shocking wins of the entire Championship season where Sammie Szmodics handed Rovers a 1-0 win at Elland Road against Leeds United. That game followed a 5-0 hammering away at Bristol City and a 0-0 draw against Southampton.

            Blackburn have been better away from home than they have on home soil of late as they come into this game having won two, drawn one and lost two of their last five games on the road.

            Footy Accumulators Prediction

            In recent months, Blackburn have strangely fared much better against the league's better sides, while being fairly awful against sides in and around them. Expect Rovers to put up a hell of a fight here given what's at stake for them, but ultimately Leicester's vastly superior quality will likely decide the game. Leicester 2-1 Blackburn.

            Don’t forget to check out the rest of our previews, tips and offers for this weekend’s action. Footy Accumulators is the #1 football betting site for the latest on betting in the UK - download the Betting Hub app for more!

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