Chelsea return to league action on Saturday, with the previous two Premier League champions clashing at the Bridge. The visitors come in to this one in much better shape than they were in last term, as the Foxes are now on the verge of the European spots. They come into this clash aiming to apply some pressure on to seventh placed Burnley, with the Foxes likely desperate for European football after their brilliant stint in last season’s Champions League. Can they pick up a result at Stamford Bridge to go towards their push for a place in the Europa League?
The Blues are also focusing on European football, as they look to book back to back seasons in the Champions League. They’ve slipped 16 points behind runaway leaders Man City, but the champions will be pleased about their five point lead over fifth placed Tottenham, with a real battle forming for the top four places. Liverpool – who are directly behind the Blues – have taken a blow in that battle after selling Philippe Coutinho to Chelsea’s upcoming Champions League opponents Barcelona. That, along with Liverpool’s meeting with City this weekend, gives the Blues a chance to really establish themselves in the top four.
Team News: Old Foxes Likely to Face Puel’s Men
Since Leicester’s title success, Chelsea have dipped into the market to pick up two of their championship winning midfielders. N’Golo Kante formed a brilliant partnership with Danny Drinkwater at the King Power, we expect that to be turned on the Foxes in this clash, with both likely to start. We see Conte going with a 3-5-2 set up here. Despite that, we see this game coming a little early for Ross Barkley. David Luiz may have returned last weekend, but we don’t expect him to feature in this one, after a pretty poor display when he came back in against second tier opposition.
Leicester will have to find a way to counter the midfield which helped them to the title, but they now at least have Drinkwater’s replacement available. The Foxes made the smart signing of Sporting Lisbon midfielder Adrien Silva, but given the late and very far from smart confirmation of the deal, he couldn’t be registered until January. The visitors make this trip without a pair of full-backs, with Ben Chilwell and Danny Simpson both out. The visitors are likely to start with a 4-4-1-1 set-up, with Silva likely to be the second defensive midfielder alongside Vincente Iborra.
Leicester come into this game with a similar result to Chelsea last weekend – a disappointing 0-0 at lower league opposition. They drew at Fleetwood – Jamie Vardy’s former side. They now face a replay against the League One outfit in mid-January, with the Blues going up against Norwich. That result was a blow to the Foxes, who will be targeting a cup run. They will want to push for silverware, while boss Claude Puel took Southampton to Wembley in the EFL Cup last term.
In the league, the Foxes ended a four game winless run by beating Huddersfield 3-0 on New Year’s Day, which has pushed them up the table. They’re continuing to look for a top seven finish, which could bring European football. However, their back to back league defeats on the road haven’t helped that push, and neither has their poor record against the league’s top six sides.
Chelsea v Leicester Head to Head
While the Blues picked up a single point against Leicester in the Foxes’ title winning season, they have a great record against them of late. Back to back wins in the Blues’ latest title success were accompanied by a 4-2 win after extra time in the EFL Cup last term. The 2-1 victory at the King Power this season continued that run, and we expect another impressive result from the home side this weekend.
- Leicester 1-2 Chelsea, Sep 2017
- Leicester 0-3 Chelsea, Jan 2017
- Chelsea 3-0 Leicester, Oct 2016
- Leicester 2-4 Chelsea, Sep 2016
- Chelsea 1-1 Leicester, May 2016
- Both Teams to Score – Evens with Betfair
- Over 2.5 Chelsea Goals – 11/10 with Betfred
Chelsea come into this clash as heavy favourites for the points, priced at 1/4 with BetVictor to win on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Foxes are 11/1 with Coral to take a shock victory, with the draw out at 9/2 with Ladbrokes. You have to think those prices are deserved, given how the visitors have managed to win just three away games all season so far. They’re unlikely to add to that when they head to the champions, given how poor they’ve been when they’ve met the league’s big six clubs so far this season.
Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal have all claimed victories over Leicester at home this term. The Pensioners should add to that run, thanks to some decent form at Stamford Bridge of late. They’ve won 73% of their games here this season, including all of their last seven in the Premier League. That should make this another win for Antonio Conte and his men, with Leicester losing their last two on the road to Watford and Liverpool. This could be another defeat, but that doesn’t mean the high-scoring visitors are about to easily roll over in this trip.
While Leicester haven’t got the greatest away record this season, they have seen both teams score in 82% of their away trips to date. That run has seen them average 1.64 goals per game in their away trips, and we’re backing them to add to that with a strike at the Bridge. On top of that, we’re also backing a few goals for the champions. The Foxes have struggled at the back on their travels, while the hosts are coming off the back of a 5-0 win over Stoke. As a result, we’re going for over 2.5 goals for the hosts at 11/10 with Betfred.