West Bromwich Albion vs Leicester City
The Baggies are back in the big time and they have a humdinger of a clash to kick off their new season as they welcome neighbours Leicester City.
On Sunday, the Foxes will make a 50-mile trip westwards while fans throughout the Midlands will be tuning in for the big game in the region this weekend.
In normal times, the Hawthorns would be packed to the rafters for this game to welcome WBA back into the Premier League against one of their local rivals.
But instead, families and friends will be raising the roofs of their own houses as the Baggies attempt to spring an opening day surprise on the Foxes.
Bilic adds style to substance
The Baggies fully deserved their promotion from the Championship having set the pace alongside Leeds United for much of the season.
But boss Slaven Bilic knows he has a major job to keep them in the top-flight for more than a single season.
He has some seasoned Premier League campaigners in his ranks in the shape of Matty Phillips and skipper Jake Livermore, and his team will be ready for a scrap.
However, Bilic knows he needs a way of unlocking some of the best defences in the world and he has signed a jewel in midfield star Matheus Pereira from Sporting Lisbon.
The Brazilian star had an outstanding season on loan with the Baggies last season, scoring eight goals and making 16 assists.
The 24-year-old can play in the centre of the park or on the right wing and his combination of guile and pace means he could be a handful for opposing defenders.
And the signing of Grady Diangana from West Ham has also excited fans after he made an impression on loan last season. He was a West Ham academy player with a bright future and several Hammers’ players have voiced their disappointment that Diangana has been released to a rival.
Like Pereira, he is an attacking midfielder who loves to have the ball at his feet.
But West Brom will need to fight hard as well as play adventurously if they are to stay up this season.
Sorry to say for the Baggies, but here at SBOTOP we have them as favourites to take the drop at odds of 2.00, with Fulham at 2.10 and Aston Villa at 2.80 having escaped by the skin of their teeth last season.
With three tough opening fixtures against Leicester, Everton and Chelsea, Bilic will be hoping to avoid the early season blues.
Can Foxes find their Mojo again?
Defeat to Manchester United on the last day of the season left the Foxes without Champions League football and that will hurt the players and head coach Brendan Rodgers.
They held a 14-point lead over the Red Devils halfway through the season and spent over 90-per cent of the campaign in the top four.
Rodgers’ players will have to settle for Europa League football but can they combine the rigours of Thursday night games with a successful domestic season?
The Foxes have had a quiet transfer window so far, but for the loss of Ben Chilwell to Chelsea and the signing of Atalanta’s Timothy Catagne.
However, they have quality in spades and one man we expect to play a big part in the West Brom vs Leicester City highlights is 33-year-old striker Jamie Vardy, who alongside midfield star James Maddison, has committed his future to the club.
Vardy had another outstanding season in 2020, winning the Golden Boot with 23 goals and he’s signed a contract to stay at the King Power Stadium for another three years.
But former West Brom skipper Jonny Evans will miss the chance to face his old club as he is suspended for the opening three games, following his straight red card in the defeat to Manchester United
There have been some great tussles between these two teams over the years and the Foxes have a slight edge, winning nine to West Brom’s eight while there have been three draws.
The Baggies suffered a 4-1 hammering on home soil in the last meeting in 2018 as they slid into the Championship.
Vardy scored all four as the Foxes ran riot, and the defeat meant West Brom hadn’t won at home against Leicester since 2010.
|West Bromwich Albion vs Leicester City||First Half 1X2 Draw @ 2.01|
|September 13, 21:00 (GMT+8)|
The Foxes have plenty of quality and the latest West Brom vs Leicester City betting odds back an away win, but it will be tight.
The Baggies are at 3.55 to open their account with a victory while the Foxes are slightly odds on at 1.97 and the draw is available at 3.26.
Of course, West Brom have a difficult season ahead but the first game of the season gives them a chance to catch their opponents cold.
They will make it difficult for the Foxes, with the most likely score-line a 1-1 draw at odds of 5.95.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS
Stay updated with everything sports and betting.