Leicester City bring the curtain down on their Premier League title defence by welcoming AFC Bournemouth to the King Power Stadium. It’s been an eventful season for the Foxes, who have struggled domestically but narrowly missed out on a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Interim manager Craig Shakespeare, who replaced the sacked Claudio Ranieri back in February, will hope for a victory to persuade the club’s owners to offer him the job on a permanent basis. However, Leicester face an in-form Bournemouth side who are two places and one point better off, and who could finish as high as eighth with a win of their own. There has been no second-season syndrome for the Cherries, whose boss Eddie Howe has worked wonders once again on the south coast to establish the club in the top-flight.
The Foxes will be smarting from their 6-1 hammering by Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday night, which made it back-to-back defeats. Although the campaign may be finishing with a whimper, the impressive run of results upon the appointment of Shakespeare achieved the club’s primary aim of staving off relegation.
Bournemouth were also facing the very real threat of dropping into the Championship a few months ago, but have hauled themselves up the table with only two reversals in their past 11 outings – and those were at the hands of Chelsea and Spurs. Currently 10th, the Cherries will seal an impressive top-half finish by avoiding defeat.
A defensive crisis has engulfed Leicester, with skipper Wes Morgan (hamstring) and Robert Huth (foot) both unlikely to feature after missing the fixture against Spurs. Andy King is also doubtful with a hamstring strain, while Danny Drinkwater and Nampalys Mendy have already been ruled out.
Bournemouth have problems of their own, particularly in central midfield. Jack Wilshere fractured his leg five weeks ago and Harry Arter is a serious doubt, while Lewis Cook has traveled to South Korea with England Under-20s. Andrew Surman could make a surprise return having been sidelined since early April with a knee injury. Striker Benik Afobe is also in contention for a recall.
Leicester City AFC Bournemouth
Match Prediction: Leicester City 2-2 AFC Bournemouth
Goals are likely to be on offer between two teams who have defensive frailties but boast attacking firepower. Jamie Vardy and Joshua King have been in scintillating form for their respective teams and will fancy adding to their tallies to sign off on a high. Leicester have yet to beat Bournemouth in the Premier League, with two draws between the clubs last season and a 1-0 victory for the Cherries in the reverse fixture back in December. A score draw this time around looks a good bet.