Premier League: Only one run-in certainty for Leicester

Leicester to finish bottom may be the most appealing Premier League bet available between now and May…

This isn’t so much a tipping article as a public service announcement: Premier League bottom club Leicester are still available to back at 2.546/4 to finish the season in that position.

The Foxes have been glued to 20th place ever since being defeated by QPR at the end of November and are now three points adrift of the Hoops and at least six shy of everybody else.

Rather than bridging the gap, they have been falling further away, taking two points from the last available 24 and winning just twice in 24 matches since the bright start in which they beat Man United and held Arsenal to spark false hope of a successful campaign.

While their loyalty to Nigel Pearson, the manager who got them promoted from League One and the Championship, is both commendable and quite possibly the right course of action, it can easily be interpreted as a sign that they have accepted their fate.

If Leicester legend Gary Lineker is to be believed, they came very close to putting the entertainingly irritable tactician out of his misery in early February.

The fact that they haven’t revisited that call since hints that they consider themselves to be beyond saving. Three of the four sides directly overhead have changed coaches, with Burnley the exception due to averaging over a point a game since matchday 11 and Sean Dyche’s universal popularity.

There are a few factors in Leicester’s favour, like playing six of their final nine fixtures at the King Power Stadium and facing the three teams directly above them. However, they didn’t win the previous collision with any of those, drawing at home to Sunderland and Burnley and losing at QPR.

They also committed the ultimate error of failing to triumph or even score in the encounter that Pearson had unwisely afforded must-win billing to against his former employers Hull in their latest outing as hosts.

Burnley and QPR’s point averages in the so-called six-pointers against fellow 17th-or-lower strugglers – 1.00 and 2.40 respectively – are far fiercer than the Foxes’ 0.67, indicating that the gap at the bottom is more likely to widen than thin following those clashes.

It is also helpful to recognise that not every seemingly doomed club has a late rally. QPR solidified last place in 2012/13 by collecting two points from their closing nine games, much as Wolves hit the bottom on week 29 in 2011/12 then scrounged only three points from their remaining nine matches.

Recommended Bet: Back Leicester to finish bottom at 2.546/4