Leicester v Crystal Palace: The importance of the first goal

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One of the main talking points of Leicester’s charge towards the Premier League title last season was their resilience in securing points from losing positions.

Claudio Ranieri’s Foxes picked up 14 points from games that they were at some point losing – only West Ham (18) and Tottenham (19) gained more from such situations.

Leicester were particularly impressive when it came to avoiding defeat in encounters when they conceded the first goal. They fell 1-0 down in 10 of their 38 Premier League fixtures and were beaten only once, winning two of the other nine and drawing seven.

One of the reasons why Leicester are already 11 points off the pace through eight games of this season’s title race has been their inability to repeat such levels of resilience .

The Foxes have conceded the opener in half of their eight top-flight matches this term and taken a grand total of zero points from these fixtures.

This is in stark contrast to the two matches in which they have broken the deadlock, with Leicester taking the maximum six points from these games.

There are five Premier League clubs this term to have won 100% of the fixtures in which they have bagged the first goal and another of this quintet are Leicester’s next opponents Crystal Palace.

Based on the records of the two clubs when striking first, the opening goal could be considered more important than normal for this showdown at the King Power Stadium.

With Palace one of only two Premier League teams still without a clean sheet and Scott Dann seemingly unfit to start, the likelihood of a goalless draw is diminished.

As Leicester are still unbeaten at home, they look the more likely to nab the opener. However, rather than taking the 8/11 that Leicester score first, the 21/20 that they collect the three points is the better bet based on their record of winning when taking a 1-0 advantage.

Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.