James Cormack (@jamescormack_) previews Chelsea v Leicester City and provides us with his best bets for Sunday’s Premier League clash by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
- 2019 Profit & Loss: +4.77pts
Chelsea v Leicester City Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 18/08/19
- Time: 16:30
- Venue: Stamford Bridge
- Channel: Sky Sports
Chelsea will be looking to build on an impressive Super Cup performance as they take on a Leicester side that beat the Blues at Stamford Bridge last season.
That defeat to the Foxes in December 2018 is their only defeat in 22 games at the Bridge, a record that Frank Lampard will be looking to build on this season.
To bounce back from a 4-0 drubbing at Old Trafford and put in a performance like that in Istanbul on Wednesday was very impressive by Lampard’s side. Despite a penalty shootout defeat, it was a game that Chelsea dominated large parts of; with N’Golo Kante, Pedro and Christian Pulisic particularly impressing.
The American, Pulisic, could be Chelsea’s x-factor this season. After being displaced for teenage sensation Jadon Sancho at Borussia Dortmund, many questioned the hefty price tag that the Blues paid for his services. However, from what I’ve seen of him in a Chelsea shirt, I’ve been very impressed. In the Super Cup, he displayed his ability to get in behind the opposition’s backline, a trait that isn’t necessarily associated with a modern-day winger, and we also saw how he’s comfortable drifting inside and driving at the defence; demonstrated with the Giroud goal. He’s certainly a player to watch.
I’m hoping that the performance midweek is one that we’ll see often this season and as I said in my United v Chelsea preview, this Chelsea side under Lampard will certainly exceed expectations.
Leicester are one of the teams that will be hoping to breach the top six this year. Last season they were 14 points off 6th placed Manchester United, a gap that they’ll be hoping to close after bringing in Dennis Praet from Sampdoria and Youri Tielemens from Monaco. Their talent going forward can be rivalled with some of the league’s best and they have an elite ball-winner in Wilfred Ndidi, a player who is destined for a big move in the near future, but, questions will certainly be raised about whether they can fill the void left by £80m man Harry Maguire. It’ll be interesting to see how Caglar Soyuncu fares in a Leicester shirt. Brought in from Freiburg last summer, he looks like the man who will partner Jonny Evans at the King Power this season.
In their opening game against Wolves, they were rather fortunate to get away with a 0-0 draw. Wolves had a Leander Dendoncker strike correctly ruled out due to a Willy Boly handball in the build-up and Diogo Jota also spurned a glorious chance later on.
Despite losing Maguire, they’ve still got a fine defence. Ben Chilwell and Ricardo Pereira are in the top 5 in the league at their respective positions whilst Jonny Evans is an experienced Premier League centre-half. A lot will depend on the performance levels of the likes of Soyuncu to whether Leicester can improve on last season’s finish. But, under Brendan Rodgers, I expect them to do so.
Andreas Christensen is a doubt for this one after the Dane limped off in his side’s Super Cup defeat midweek. However, Antonio Rudiger and Willian have overcome injury problems of their own and are in contention for starts on Sunday.
Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek remain out.
Brendan Rodgers has, near enough, a full squad available with Filip Benkovic the only one sidelined with an ankle injury.
Deadline day signing, Dennis Praet, could make his debut after moving from Sampdoria.
Potential Chelsea Starting XI: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Tomori, Emerson, Kante, Kovacic, Pulisic, Mount, Willian, Giroud.
Potential Leicester Starting XI: Schmeichel, Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell, Ndidi, Perez, Tielemens, Praet, Maddison, Vardy.
Head To Head
- All-time: Chelsea-56, Draw-32, Leicester-26.
- Leicester have beaten Chelsea just once in the last 9 meetings between the two sides.
Key Stats & Facts
- Chelsea have won their opening home league match of the season in 14 of the past 16 seasons. Their only defeat during that period came against Burnley in 2017-18.
- Chelsea haven't begun a top-flight season with two straight defeats since 1973-74, when they finished 17th.
- They have only once previously failed to score in both of their opening two fixtures of a Premier League season. That was in 1995-96.
- Leicester scored 27 goals away from home in last season's Premier League, three more than they did at the King Power Stadium.
- Brendan Rodgers has never beaten Chelsea in the 12 games he has faced them as a manager (D6, L6).
- Chelsea 3/4
- Draw 3/1
- Leicester 74/17
Chelsea rarely lose at Stamford Bridge and I think they’ll win a tight one here. After seeing them at Old Trafford last weekend, some may fancy backing Leicester at just over 4/1, but, I was really impressed with Lampard’s side against Liverpool in the Super Cup and that performance has convinced me not to take on the Foxes at a rather tempting price.
Going with the theme of Chelsea winning a close one, I’m going to back Chelsea winning the game by a one-goal margin at 14/5. Under Rodgers, I expect Leicester to be very organised and a tough side to beat. In their seven defeats to the top six last season, four were by a single goal margin and I expect that theme to continue here.
The other bet I like the look of for this one is Christian Pulisic getting on the scoresheet at 5/2. The ex-Dortmund man, who is incredibly only 20-years-old, hasn’t been known for scoring loads, but, I think he’ll thrive at Chelsea due to his willingness to get in behind, something I’ve already mentioned. We saw the American have a goal ruled out in the Super Cup due to a marginal offside and the finish we saw there is one I think we could see often this season, if he can stay onside. With Giroud not being a willing runner, I think a lot of the emphasis could be down the flanks to the likes of Pedro, Willian and Pulisic. I expect all three to play major roles for Lampard this season.