Our European football scribe takes a look at Wednesday night's Champions League tie between FC Copenhagen and Leicester.
Leicester City’s fairytale run in the Champions League could take on stratospheric proportions as they travel for their club’s first ever trip to Denmark. A victory in Denmark, provided that Porto don’t win their game, will see them progress as group winners. In fact, they would secure progression with a draw should Porto lose. Leicester’s European adventure has counterbalanced a rather wretched start to their title defense. FC Copenhagen are nobody’s fools, however. The Danish side are unbeaten in the Danish Super-League and haven’t conceded a goal in four consecutive Champions League home matches: albeit including qualifiers. They have a youthful side whose movement will make this far from a formality for the Foxes.
FC Copehagen v Leicester City | Wednesday 2 November | Parken Stadium | 21:55
To Win (90 Mins)
FC Copenhagen 2/10 | Draw 43/20 | Leicester 23/10
The Danish champions were actually on a 23-game unbeaten streak when they lost to Leicester in the reverse fixture. They have actually only lost once in their last 27 encounters, a fact that Ranieri will no doubt be impressing upon his players in their team talks leading up to this encounter. The Danish side don’t boast the greatest record against English sides. They have only won once in nine encounters against English opposition, losing five of those matches.
Federico Santander is the current betting favorite in the anytime scoring market at 31/20. He is a prolific marksman and will prove crucial if Copenhagen stand any chance of progression. Similarly, Andreas Cornelius and Andrija Pavlovic provide incision going forward. The thing that impresses me about this side is their fluidity and fearless approach. The squad that I predict Copenhagen will field has an average age of just a shade over 25 and they will be looking to target the comparatively prehistoric combination of Huth and Morgan.
Leicester showed some character against Spurs at the weekend and will no doubt be relishing this opportunity to solidify their place in Europe’s elite competition. They may have to be without Slimani as the striker recovers from injury, but Musa has started to blossom in recent weeks and will form a formidable duo with Vardy. On the subject of Vardy, the English striker must be starting to feel the pressure a wee bit. His goal scoring touch had completely eluded him. It goes to show just how valuable his strikes were for the Foxes en route to that title last year.
Drinkwater and King have proved solid enough in the heart of midfield and they will need to be alert against a Copenhagen with more dynamism than one would initially think. Players such as Santander and Cornellus will stretch their midfield.
Leicester seem to have sorted out some of their issues emanating from dead ball situations. They will look to play principally on the counterattack, so expect a fairly cagey affair from the outset.
Verdict: Total Goals Under 2.5 at 6/10
Leicester will look to be solid and organized, not risking too much unnecessarily. Copenhagen will want the three points, but a point may just be enough for them against the side looking likely to be the eventual group winners. Secondly, perhaps also going for the outright draw may be an option. I can see this ending 0-0 or perhaps 1-1.
Written by Damian Kayat for @Hollywoodbets