Chelsea faces Leicester in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon. The Blues came off a shock 3-0 loss at Leeds and have had very mixed recent results at home. Leicester look to be a club in flux and were beaten by Southampton at home in their last match. Chelsea have only beaten the Foxes once on the last five occasions they’ve hosted them in the league.
The Blues have had a pretty disappointing start to the season. They snapped a four-match losing run at Goodison Park to beat Everton on an opening day. A 2-2 home draw against Tottenham followed as the team performed really well but conceded in the 96th minute. Chelsea’s third saw a deserved 3-0 defeat at Leeds, who outfought Thomas Tuchel’s side throughout.
It wasn’t an impressive finish to last season either. They went four unbeaten in the final four fixtures (two wins, two draws) but lost three of the six matches before that. At home, they’ve had some dire results. Going back to November, it is just five wins in 15 at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea Team News
Thomas Tuchel is without N’Golo Kante in midfield due to injury and Kalidou Koulibaly is suspended in defence. The coach may have to rejig the backline with Marc Cucurella on the left of the back three and Ben Chilwell as a left wingback.
Mateo Kovacic is back from injury but this match may come too soon for him to start. Ruben Loftus-Cheek could partner Jorginho in midfield. Armando Broja is a doubt in attack with a knock which reduces the coach’s options.
Only a win will do for Chelsea in this match. A draw would be a very poor result. With the lack of in-form attackers, don’t expect many goals in this game from Tuchel’s side.
The coach could move to a back four to get an extra attacker into his XI. However, his team selection is more likely to have an eye on stopping Leicester – with Reece James at right centre back against Jamie Vardy.
The Foxes had a very tough 2021-22 season but actually finished off the campaign in good form. Their final four league fixtures saw three wins and a 1-1 draw away at Chelsea. The fixture list was kind though as they beat Norwich 3-0 at home, Watford 5-1 away, and Southampton 4-1 at the King Power Stadium on the final day.
This season has begun badly with just one point from three fixtures. They led 2-0 after an hour on an opening day at home to Brentford but could only draw 2-2 by full time. A 4-2 loss at Arsenal followed were they were totally outclassed. Their last match saw a 2-1 home defeat to a Southampton team with just one win in their previous 14. Once again, they led 1-0 but conceded two goals in the final 22 minutes.
Leicester Team News
Brendan Rodgers is without Wesley Fofana as the French centre back tries to engineer a move to Chelsea. His absence for the last match saw a tactical shuffle from a 3-5-1-1 shape to a 4-3-3. This was partly due to the return to fitness of Ashley Barnes as a left winger.
Ryan Bertrand and Ricardo Pereira are out injured at fullback and there is a doubt over James Maddison after a knock in training this week. Youri Tielemans was benched for the last match amid talk of a transfer before the window shuts – he may not start this one either.
A draw from this game would be seen as a pretty good result considering the side’s struggles this season. Leicester could try to attack in a 4-3-3 or bring in an extra defender, such as Caglar Soyuncu and match up to Chelsea’s shape.
Whatever the lineup, an approach using the pace of Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes on the counter attack looks certain.
Chelsea have won just 5 of their last 15 home PL matches
Chelsea have kept just 1 clean sheet in their last 7 home PL matches
Chelsea have won just once in 5 home PL matches vs Leicester (D3, L1)
Leicester are winless in 3 matches this season (L2, D1)
Leicester have won just 2 of their last 15 away matches (PL)
Leicester have conceded in 26 of their last 27 away PL matches
Leicester have scored in 7 successive away PL matches
This looks set to be a tight match. Both sides are below their best right now. I am backing both teams to score in this fixture whilst Chelsea should have just enough to scrape three points.
Best Bet: Both teams to score at 1.76
Alternative Bet: Chelsea win by a goal at 3.60
Multiple Leg: Chelsea/Draw double chance + over 2.5 goals at 2.55