Match Preview: Swindon Town

Good news everyone! Leicester City has been shortlisted for this year’s Best Matchday Programme Award. Congratulations are in order here, it seems as if almost every season City’s matchday literature is up for one award or another. When you go to away grounds you really do appreciate it.

Once you’ve had time to digest Nigel Pearson’s programme notes, it’ll be worth pointing out to those seated nearby that a win will see City all but guarantee at least a place in the play-offs come May. In only one of the last four seasons has 71 points not been good enough to seal a place in the top six.

Key Stats
Danny Wilson hasn’t really been able to stop the rot at Swindon. The Robins have won just two league games since November. That said, Swindon have yet to slip into the bottom four this season thanks to eight draws in 15 league matches.

Swindon seem more comfortable away from the County Ground at the moment. They’ve conceded fewer goals on the road than at home, a claim only six sides in League One can make. But this hides a far more telling statistic, the Robins have kept just two clean sheet this season.

By contrast Leicester have kept the most clean sheets in League One (13) and have conceded the fewest home goals in the division (9).

Swindon’s record is full of interesting and what might seem contradictory numbers. The club has yet to lose a league match this season in which they have scored the first goal. This statistic is made more remarkable by the fact that 40% of the goals Swindon have conceded this season have come in the last 20 minutes. In theory, the best Leicester can hope for should they fall behind is a draw. Swindon have chucked 14 points away from wining positions in the current campaign, it’s how they’ve managed seven of their ten league draws.

Like Leicester, Swindon are heavily reliant on a single striker for their goals. Simon Cox has bagged 18 so far this season in all competitions. Without Cox, Swindon would be 11 points worse off and four points adrift at the bottom. Matty Fryatt has won 15 points for Leicester this season.

Finally, a betting tip. Should you, like many others, expect City to get the first goal then take note of Leicester’s first goalscorers this season – there have only been four. Steve Howard, Matty Fryatt and Lloyd Dyer have each bagged the first goal on six occasions in 2008/09, Matt Oakley has four. If you place the right bets, you can easily cover your stake on all four.

On This Day
A Richard Stearman own goal on Valentines Day in 2006 meant Derby escaped from the Walkers Stadium with a 2-2 draw. Ian Hume had cancelled out Mounir El Hamdaoui’s (who?) opener before Alan Maybury put the Foxes in front. The result left City one point and one place higher in the table.

Selected Odds
Leicester – 2/5 (bet365)
Draw – 7/2 (bet365)
Swindon – 15/2 (BlueSq)

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