The scary similarities between Leicester’s Champions League run and Chelsea’s success in 2012

Leicester enjoyed another historic night as they thrived as underdogs to beat Sevilla 2-0 on Tuesday night to seal their passage to a first-ever Champions League quarter-final, beating the Spanish side 3-2 on aggregate.

It was another special night under the King Power Stadium’s lights that supporters will never forget and means the Foxes have now won three consecutive games since Craig Shakespeare took charge of the team following Claudio Ranieri’s controversial sacking less than a month ago.

Despite being embroiled in a relegation dogfight for the past couple of months, Leicester now find themselves moving up the Premier League table and into the last-eight in Europe’s elite club competition.

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Their upturn in form and fortune is extraordinary but also seems eerily similar to what happened at Chelsea exactly five years ago, with the Blues going on to win their first ever Champions League title against Bayern in Munich against all odds.

When you compare their season with Chelsea’s 2011-12 campaign, you get the feeling we might be about to see Leicester do the same and write another chapter in the book of the biggest football shocks of all time…

Premier League

2011/12 Chelsea:

The Blues’ league form was far from good enough as they failed to challenge for the Premier League title, despite spending £60 million in the summer. They had finished second the season before but found themselves down in fifth when Roman Abramovich lost patience with Andre Villas-Boas, who was sacked in early March after 27 games. Assistant manager Roberto Di Matteo stepped up and took control until the end of the season, breathing some fresh life into the squad.

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2016/17 Leicester:

Leicester entered the season as reigning champions, and while few expected them to retain their crown this term, no one really expected to see them fighting for their Premier League status six months into the campaign. Just like Chelsea in 2011, the Foxes spent £60 million on summer signings but they haven’t taking the club to the levels expected. They dropped into the relegation zone on February 12 and Claudio Ranieri was eventually sacked 25 games into the season, with his assistant manager Craig Shakespeare taking control of the reigns. Shakespeare has won his first two league games since taking over and has moved them up three places in just two weeks.

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Champions League

2011/12 Chelsea:

Chelsea won their Group with relative ease, taking 11 points from their six games and winning all three of their home fixtures. Their biggest group stage win came over Belgian side Genk, who eventually finished bottom of the group. They drew Napoli in the Round of 16 and struggled to contain the Serie A side in the first leg away from home, losing 3-1 to leave their Champions League hopes hanging by a thread in what was AVB’s final European game in charge. Di Matteo was in charge for the second leg, in what was his third match in charge, as the Blues turned the tie on its head to win 4-1 at Stamford Bridge and advance 5-4 on aggregate. Chelsea drew Benfica in the last-eight and beat them 3-1 on aggregate before being matched up against Barcelona in the semi-finals, with very few people expecting them to get past the Spanish giants.

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But Chelsea were playing with the hunger and determination that had been missing for large parts of the season and ended up advancing 3-2 on aggregate. Fernando Torres’ stoppage time goal to secure their place in the final was his most iconic moment in a Chelsea shirt. The Blues’ chances were once again written off as they travelled to face Bayern Munich in their own home, the Allianz Arena for the final. But their character shone through as Didier Drogba’s 88th minute header forced the game into extra-time, before the Ivorian stepped up to score the winning penalty in the shootout to fire the Blues to a historic title.

2016/17 Leicester:

Leicester made the most of their first-ever Champions League campaign by winning their group with ease. The Foxes took 13 points from their six games, with their biggest victory also coming against a Belgian side in the form of Club Brugge, who finished bottom of the group. The Foxes drew Sevilla in the Round of 16 and failed to deal with their attacking threat in the first leg away from home, losing 2-1 on the night in what was Ranieri’s final game in charge. Shakespeare was in charge for the return leg, who just like Di Matteo was taking control of his third match as boss, with Leicester going on to win 2-0 and secure their passage into the quarter-finals.

The Foxes still have four games between them and the 2017 Champions League final in Cardiff but their campaign is scarily similar to Chelsea’s in 2011/12 and it would take a brave man to continue to write their chances off. Chelsea proved that defending deep and playing on the counter-attack can work against some of the world’s best teams and now Shakespeare will be looking to emulate Di Matteo’s success from five years ago with his rejuvenated group of Leicester players.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Leicester City vs West Brom

Competition: Premier League – Leicester City FC vs. West Bromwich Albion FC

Venue: King Power Stadium – Sunday, November 6 – 16:30 GMT (11:30 ET)

Match Odds: Leicester 3/4 – Draw 5/2 – West Brom 9/2

Match Preview

Leicester welcome West Brom to the King Power Stadium for the final Premier League game of the weekend on a busy Sunday afternoon of fixtures.

The Foxes will be on a high after a goalless draw away at FC Copenhagen in midweek saw them edge closer to securing a place in the last-16 knockout stages of the Champions League.

Claudio Ranieri’s side also picked up a valuable point in the league away at Tottenham last weekend, however, inconsistency has scuppered the defence of their title.

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The reigning champions are currently in mid-table but are still unbeaten at home (W3, D2), so they’ll be confident of a positive result, which would see them go three consecutive games without defeat for the first time this season.

West Brom can’t seem to buy a win at the moment, recording just one victory in their last nine league games (D4, L4), so they need results to improve to avoid being drawn into a relegation scrap.

Tony Pulis won’t be concerned just yet though, as he has the know-how and will point to the tough run of recent fixtures as a reason for why they’ve struggled for wins, having faced Tottenham, Liverpool and Man City in their last three.

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The Baggies don’t travel particularly well, with just two wins in their last 19 Premier League away games (D9, L8), so they will desperately want to change that record.

The previous meeting between these two sides was an entertaining 2-2 draw at Leicester back in March.

Team News

Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel is out after breaking his hand in midweek, so Robert Zieler will start in between the sticks. Islam Slimani should return following a muscle injury.

West Brom will be without standout man Nacer Chadli after he underwent knee surgery. James McClean will miss the game through suspension after picking up five yellow cards, while Saido Berahino (fitness) and Jonas Olsson (hamstring) are out. Claudio Yacob returns to the squad following suspension.

Key Points

Leicester’s last five: L/D/L/W/D

West Brom’s last five: D/D/D/L/L

Key Stat: Goals  There has been a combined total of 14 goals in the last three games involving these two sides.

Key Player: Ahmed Musa – The Nigerian has come to the fore recently, netting two goals in his last two games – he could be a great player for the Foxes both this season and in years to come.

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Score Prediction

Leicester City 2-1 West Brom – Leicester have been strong at home this season despite their inconsistency, while West Brom’s form has dipped. It should be a tightly contested affair, but the Foxes will fancy their chances of edging it.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester United vs Leicester

Competition: Premier League – Manchester United vs. Leicester City

Venue: Old Trafford – Saturday, September 24 – 12:30 BST (07:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Man Utd 4/6 – Draw 29/10 – Leicester 4/1

Match Preview

Manchester United welcome Leicester to Old Trafford is this weekend’s Premier League opener, with plenty at stake for two sides that need to climb the table.

We may only be six weeks into the new season but United are already under pressure after losing their last two league games on the bounce. While reigning champions Leicester need to pick up after a really inconsistent start.

Jose Mourinho watched his side lose three games on the spin before Wednesday’s EFL Cup win over Northampton. He needs to get more out of his expensive side and Saturday’s clash with Leicester offers a stiff test for the players.

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The home fans will be expecting a win here. But given their sluggish displays of late, that’s far from a formality. They are unbeaten in seven home league games against the Foxes and that record needs to continue past this weekend for Mourinho to alleviate some pressure.

Leicester travel to Old Trafford off the back of Tuesday night’s EFL Cup defeat to Chelsea in extra-time. Claudio Ranieri will hope fatigue doesn’t affect his side too much in what is a huge game for the champions.

With only two wins from their first five, Leicester need to pick up quickly if they are to challenge at the top end of the table for the second year running. They enter the weekend in the bottom half but a win here would be a huge boost.

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New striker Islam Slimani bagged a brace in last weekend’s 3-0 win over Burnley and his partnership with Jamie Vardy could cause the United defence a number of problems here.

Leicester are looking to win at Old Trafford for the first time since 1998 and given the home side’s recent struggles, that looks more than possible.

Team News

Manchester United have doubts hanging over Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan ahead of the game, with Bastian Schweinsteiger still well outside the first-team picture. Wayne Rooney is under pressure over recent performances but may still retain his place in midfield alongside Paul Pogba. Juan Mata will be hoping to force his way back into the starting lineup, given the fact United have won all three games in which he’s started this term.

Leicester’s only injury concern ahead of Saturday’s game is summer signing Nampalys Mendy, who remains sidelined through injury. But the bigger issue for Claudio Ranieri will be how he rotates his side after having to play 120 minutes against Chelsea on Tuesday. Shinji Okazaki scored a brace in that loss but Islam Slimani is expected to come back in to partner Jamie Vardy in attack.

Key Points

Man United’s last five: W/W/W/L/L

Leicester’s last five: L/D/W/L/W

Key Stat: Jose Mourinho has now beaten a Claudio Ranieri side in his last four attempts, losing two and drawing two of his last four clashes against the Italian.

Key Player: Zlatan Ibrahimovic – The big United striker has hit a bit of a dry spell over the past couple of weeks, failing to score in any of his last three games. A home tie against Leicester gives him a great chance to end that run and he will be expected to cause Wes Morgan and Robert Huth plenty of problems.

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Score Prediction

Manchester United 1-1 Leicester – This is set to be an intriguing battle between two sides that need to start winning games consistently. The pressure is certainly on United to deliver here but Leicester are a tough unit to break down and will be in good spirits after their 3-0 win over Burnley last time out. Goals are expected but ultimately, these look set to play out a draw at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Liverpool vs Leicester City

Competition: Premier League – Liverpool vs. Leicester City

Venue: Anfield – Saturday, September 10 – 17:30 BST (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Liverpool 8/13 – Draw 3/1 – Leicester 17/4

Match Preview

Liverpool welcome reigning Premier League champions Leicester City to Anfield on Saturday evening in a tie that has the makings of one not to miss. 

Jurgen Klopp will be expecting more from his side than they have already shown this season. They’re sitting 11th on four points.

Liverpool come into this one having picked up a point in their 1-1 draw with Spurs, a game they looked like they could have gone on to win, but a solid result nonetheless.

This will be test for Liverpool but they will fancy their chances, they are unbeaten in their last eight home games and have a strong record against Leicester at Anfield.

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Leicester have had a solid start to their title defence but unsurprisingly look a little off the pace compared to the big-spenders in the transfer window.

Claudio Ranieri’s side come into this one having picked up a convincing win over Swansea at home and will want to get on a run of form now.

Leicester’s response to losing their opener has been impressive and they have looked more like the side that won the league in their last two games.

This is going to be a tough season for Leicester but they know what they’re capable of and will not be fearing travelling to any side.

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Team News

Liverpool are expecting to be without Emre Can, Joe Gomez and Mamadou Sakho for this tie.

Leicester City have just two injury concerns ahead of this tie as Jeffrey Schlupp and Nampalys Mendy are both expected to remain out.

Key Points

Liverpool’s form: W/L/D

Leicester City’s form: L/D/W

Key Stat: Liverpool are unbeaten at home to Leicester in the last five meetings between the sides at Anfield. 

Key Player: Phillippe Coutinho – The Liverpool playmaker will be looking to unlock a solid Leicester defence. As we know, he likes a long-range effort so we can expect to see him take on any opportunity he feels is worth trying.

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Score Prediction

Liverpool 2-2 Leicester City – Neither side will make this easy for the other. Liverpool have been impressive at home but being under pressure suits Leicester and they will be looking forward to counter-attacking a defence who have looked vulnerable so far this season.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Hull City vs Leicester City

Competition: Premier League – Hull City AFC vs. Leicester City FC

Venue: KCOM Stadium – Saturday, August 13 – 12:30 BST (07:30 ET)

Match Odds: Hull 3/1 – Draw 12/5 – Leicester 19/20

Match Preview

Hull City welcome reigning champions Leicester City to KCOM Stadium on Saturday afternoon as the 2016/17 Premier League season flies into action after a break of almost three months.

It’s been a busy summer of international action and transfer dealings but all eyes will focus back onto what matters most on Saturday – the on-field action.

Hull are back in the top flight after bouncing straight back up from the Championship last term. However, they enter the opening game without a manager, any new signings and several injury worries.

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Caretaker manager Mike Phelan has a tough job on his hands to get anything from Saturday’s game but the Tigers’ fans will be buzzing at the prospect of seeing their side back in the bigtime, so a great atmosphere is expected.

Leicester begin their most unlikely title defence as heavy favourites on Saturday, with Claudio Ranieri’s men the first league champions to open the new season.

It’s been a mixed preseason for the Foxes, who enjoyed wins over minnows Oxford United and Nuneaton Town before heavy losses to PSG and Barcelona.

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They lost last weekend’s FA Community Shield 2-1 to Manchester United but will now be fully focused on proving to everyone that last season’s league success was no one-off.

This will be just the third time these sides have ever met in the Premier League. They faced off twice in the 2014/15 campaign, with Leicester winning 1-0 at Hull thanks to a Riyad Mahrez goal, before they then drew 0-0 at the King Power Stadium.

Claudio Ranieri will earn his 100th Premier League win as a manager if the Foxes can seal the victory on Saturday in a game they are expected to dominate.

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Team News

Hull City are facing a bit of a crisis before a ball has even been kicked. They are without a permanent manager and have a host of first-team stars sidelined through injury. Defenders Michael Dawson, Moses Odubajo and Alex Bruce are all ruled out, along with goalkeeper Alan McGregor. Harry Maguire is a doubt and looks set to miss this one, while Shaun Maloney has a higher chance of playing but may also fall short of a place in the starting lineup.

Leicester will begin life without N’Golo Kante here and it will be intriguing to see how much the Frenchman’s departure affects them on Saturday. Claudio Ranieri has no injury worries, however Robert Huth will miss the game through suspension, so new signing Luis Hernandez is expected to fill the void at the back alongside Wes Morgan. Ahmed Musa will be hoping to make his Premier League debut but faces a battle with Shinji Okazaki for a starting berth.

Key Points

Hull City’s last five: N/A

Leicester’s last five: N/A

Key Stat: This is the first time the Premier League Champions have ever kicked off the new season. The reigning victors have never lost on the opening weekend in 23 years (W19 D4).

Key Player: Jamie Vardy – The Foxes star striker took the league by storm last season and will be looking to hit the ground running this term as Leicester set out to show last year’s feats were no fluke. Vardy bagged a goal in the Community Shield last weekend and looks primed to hurt the Tigers’ defence on Saturday.

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Score Prediction

Hull 0-2 Leicester – The Foxes should prove to have more bite than the Tigers on Saturday, with a host of injuries doing Hull little in the way of help ahead of what was already a really tricky opener. Leicester proved tough to break down last term and will hope to start the new season with a clean sheet and a fairly comfortable away win to set the tone for their title-chasing rivals.

Community Shield Preview and Prediction: Leicester vs Manchester United

Competition: FA Community Shield – Leicester City vs. Manchester United

Stadium: Wembley Stadium – Sunday, August 7 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Leicester 18/5 – Draw 13/5 – Man Utd 5/6

Match Preview

Leicester City take on Manchester United at Wembley on Sunday afternoon in the 2016 Community Shield, with both sides looking to start the new campaign in the best way possible, with just a week to go until the new season kicks off.

The Foxes will be appearing in the traditional curtain-raising showpiece for the first time since 1971 after winning the Premier League in stunning style last term. They are coming up against FA Cup winners Manchester United, who have won a record 20 Community Shield titles.

Both sides have a point to prove on Sunday. Leicester are looking to continue their fairytale story by adding some more silverware ahead of their title-defending campaign, while new United boss Jose Mourinho will be desperate to start his tenure with victory at Wembley.

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The Foxes won their only previous Community Shield appearance against Liverpool, recording a 1-0 win at Filbert Street 45 years ago to the day. Claudio Ranieri will undoubtedly be relishing leading his heroes out at Wembley for this one.

Leicester’s preseason has been mixed, however. Back-to-back victories over English minnows Oxford United and Nuneaton were followed by a penalty shootout victory against Celtic and then losses to European giants PSG and Barcelona.

The defeats to PSG and Barca will be particularly worrying for Ranieri as his stingy defence shipped eight goals in those two outings. They will need to be better at the back against the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney on Sunday.

All eyes will be on the new United striker here. He brings an aura of quality with him and will look to inspire the Red Devils’ attack into life after a far from convincing preseason run themselves.

Wins over Wigan and Galatasaray have been coupled with a heavy defeat to Borussia Dortmund and a dull 0-0 draw in Wayne Rooney’s Testimonial on Wednesday night.

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Mourinho must ensure his side play with the quality expected of them here, with Sunday’s game a perfect chance for the club to show their intentions ahead of what should be a thrilling Premier League season.

This will be Leicester’s first trip to Wembley since winning the League Cup against Tranmere in 2000 so it’s sure to be another special day for their supporters.

For United, this will be their 30th Community Shield appearance. They have won the showpiece event in five of their last six appearances and are favourites to add another victory this weekend.

Team News

Leicester’s only worry ahead of this one is star striker Jamie Vardy, who will face a late fitness test before Sunday’s game. He played 45 minutes against FC Barcelona earlier in the week and should be ready to go in time for the new season. Ranieri needs to decide if it’s worth risking him here, though.

Manchester United are definitely without Timothy Fosu-Mensah, while Bastian Schweinsteiger looks unlikely to get anyway near the first-team as problems between him and Jose Mourinho continue to harm his chances. Chris Smalling could make his return from injury, though may not start the game. Mourinho’s biggest decision will be who he chooses to start in attack surrounding Ibrahimovic.

Key Points

Leicester City’s Preseason Form: W/W/D/L/L

Manchester United’s Preseason Form: W/L/W/D

Key Stat: Jose Mourinho has only won one of his previous four Community Shield matches. That victory came in his first attempt with Chelsea, who went onto win the league title that season. He will be hoping that a victory for United here can lead to the same fate.

Key Player: Zlatan Ibrahimovic – This will be the game that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will look to mark his introduction to English football in. He knows all eyes will be on him at Wembley and he will look to thrive under the pressure by helping United to victory.

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Score Prediction

Leicester 1-2 Man United – This should be an intriguing battle between two sides with a lot to prove in this season’s curtain-raiser. Leicester defied expectations for the entire season but will now need to try and handle the pressure of being Premier League champions. Just how much they rue the loss of N’Golo Kante remains to be seen, by Sunday’s game should give a good indication. For Mourinho and United, this is a huge clash. The Portuguese coach needs to hit the ground running with the first piece of available silverware and needs his side to put in an impressive showing here. United need this more and should just edge it.

How does Ranieri’s Leicester side compare with his final Chelsea team?

The final round of fixtures from the 2015/16 Premier League season are to be played on Sunday. Chelsea welcome newly crowned champions Leicester City to Stamford Bridge in what will be an emotional return for Claudio Ranieri. Lewis Addley explores how Ranieri’s final Chelsea side of 2003/04 compares to his current Leicester team… 

Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City proved to be the surprise package of the season and went on to become champions despite starting the campaign as 5000/1 outsiders. Leicester beat Chelsea earlier in the season and now visit the 2014/15 champions in what looks set to be an emotional day for Ranieri against his former club.

‘The Tinkerman’ departed Chelsea after the 2003/04 season, in which his team finished runners-up in the Premier League and were Champions League semifinalists.

So how do Ranieri’s Chelsea side from 12 years ago compare to his championship-winning Leicester team?

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Ranieri’s 2003/04 Chelsea runners-up compared to his 2015/16 Leicester champions

As we can see in the table above, there are some statistical similarities between the sides albeit one game in difference as we head into the final round of fixtures.

Ranieri’s Leicester have scored exactly the same amount of goals as his Chelsea side did but have conceded five more.

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He won one more as Chelsea manager in the 03/04 season, which he could equal on Sunday, but his Leicester team have converted four less losses into draws. As a result Leicester have picked up an extra point when compared to Chelsea’s tally of 79.

The league tables have some similarities but what about the squads?

It’s no secret that Chelsea have spent hundreds of millions in the Premier League era, a trend that all started back in 2003/04 when Roman Abramovich bought the club and at that time it was Ranieri’s duty or opportunity, whichever way you look at it, to invest money into the side.

So how much money did Ranieri spend at Chelsea in his final season compared to the summer transfer window ahead of the current Premier League campaign?

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Ranieri’s signings compared: Chelsea 03/04 – Leicester 15/16

As we can see the money spent at Chelsea exceeds the money spent at Leicester by a staggering £86,050,000 – arguably unsurprising given the purchasing power difference between the clubs.

Leicester City’s current squad value will have no doubt increased since the start of the season given their performance levels, so how much would a typical starting XI be valued at?

Leicester XI market value

Typical Leicester starting XI market value according to transfermarkt.co.uk

The complete value of this starting XI costs less than Ranieri’s top four most expensive Chelsea signings from the 03/04 season.

There are a few similarities between Ranieri’s teams as he regularly deployed his favoured 4-4-2 formation with both clubs.

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Typical Chelsea XI 2003/04 created using lineupbuilder.com

The importance of a consistent ‘keeper and backline supported by a holding midfielder is apparent from both of the two sides in question.

The one player who has drawn the most comparison by fans and pundits alike this season is N’Golo Kante, who’s playing style is highly similar to Claude Makelele, with both having an integral role to play in their respective sides. They allowed for their central midfield partner to be free to roam and influence the game, something both Frank Lampard and Danny Drinkwater evidently did well.

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Both Chelsea’s and Leicester’s backlines were rarely breached throughout their respective seasons, mainly down to solidarity and consistency. Both of Ranieri’s teams had two centre-backs with a presence in the air and on the ground, as well as pacy fullbacks who assisted their wingers.

Then we can look into the final third of the field, as skilful wingers had the ability to cut open opposition defences, while the strikers were renowned for confidence in their ability to finish.

Riyad Mahrez’s partnership with Jamie Vardy differs slightly from Ranieri’s Chelsea team, who did use the flanks but relied on goals from Lampard in the middle of the park.

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Ranieri’s Chelsea side were the nearly men. He failed to win a trophy with the club despite coming close on a few occasions, but fans will argue he played a huge role in setting them on the path to glory. In his first season as Leicester manager he has delivered the goods and will be looking forward to a welcomed return to ‘The Bridge’ this weekend.

How similar are Ranieri’s Chelsea side from 03/04 to this season’s champions? Has ‘The Tinkerman’ become a better manager since his first spell in England? 

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Leicester

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea FC vs. Leicester City FC

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Sunday, May 15 – 15:00 BST (10:00 ET) 

Match Odds: Chelsea 13/10 – Draw 13/5 – Leicester 19/10

Match Preview

Chelsea host Premier League champions Leicester on the final day of the 2015/16 Premier League season on Sunday afternoon, capping off what have been completely contrasting seasons for both sides.

Chelsea have had an incredibly disappointing campaign and will end the year by facing the side that have taken their Premier League crown, just 12 months after the Blues lifted a fourth BPL title.

Guus Hiddink will oversee his final game as interim manager before Antonio Conte joins the club this summer and he would love to cap off his second spell at the club with a victory in front of the home fans.

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The Blues put in a fine performance at Liverpool on Wednesday but had to settle for a 1-1 draw, stretching their winless run to three. They haven’t won at home since February and have now gone 11 league games without a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge.

Leicester arrive at Chelsea as Premier League champions – something that seemed impossible nine months ago – but they fully deserve their success after a stellar campaign.

Former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri has worked wonders with the Foxes and they are now unbeaten in eleven league outings.

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The club will now be looking to try and maintain their performance levels next season but ending this year with another victory will be the only thing the players will be focusing on ahead of Sunday.

The Foxes won the reverse fixture 2-1 in December in what turned out to be Jose Mourinho’s final game in charge of the Blues. That result ended an eight-game winning streak for Chelsea against Leicester in all competitions. Leicester haven’t won at Stamford Bridge since 2000.

Team News

Club captain John Terry is suspended for the final game of the season, though he has been offered a one-year contract extension so this might not be his final match as a Chelsea player. Kurt Zouma, Loic Remy and Diego Costa will all miss out injured, while Branislav Ivanovic is a doubt. Some Chelsea youngsters are likely to be given minutes in Guus Hiddink’s final game in charge.

Leicester will be without former Chelsea centre-back Robert Huth as he serves the final game of his three-match suspension, while Matthew James remains the only injury concern as he is lacking fitness. Danny Drinkwater will return from suspension here and may replace Andy King in midfield.

Key Points

Chelsea’s last five: L/W/D/L/D

Leicester’s last five: W/D/W/D/W

Key Stat: Claudio Ranieri will win his 100th Premier League game as a manager if he can beat his former club on Sunday (W99 D48 L36), becoming the 18th man to reach that milestone in the competition.

Key Player: Wes Morgan – The Leicester captain, like so many of his teammates, has had an incredible season. His defensive qualities have shone through time and again and the club captain will want to cap off a fine season with another victory here. If Morgan plays the full 90 minutes on Sunday, he will become just the third outfield player to play every minute of a title-winning campaign (Gary Pallister in 92/93 and John Terry in 14/15).

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Score Prediction

Chelsea 1-1 Leicester – This is set to be another special game for Leicester and Claudio Ranieri. The Foxes will be welcomed to Stamford Bridge by a standing ovation from Chelsea players and would love to beat the Blues away for the first time in 16 years. Leicester have only once won away on the final day of a Premier League season in seven attempts, and there is little to choose between the two here. Chelsea will be desperate to avoid defeat on the final day as they look to improve for next year. Score draw.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Leicester vs Everton

Competition: Premier League – Leicester City vs. Everton FC

Venue: King Power Stadium – Saturday, May 7 – 17:30 BST (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Leicester 17/20 – Draw 14/5 – Everton 14/5

Match Preview

New Premier League champions Leicester City face Everton in their final home game of the most remarkable season in their history on Saturday evening, with the trophy set to be lifted following the game.

Leicester’s rise to the top of English football has been a miracle and there are no superlatives left to describe their incredible feats this season.

Claudio Ranieri’s men have sealed the title with two games to spare but will still be looking to win their final home game of the campaign here. An incredible atmosphere is expected at the King Power Stadium on Saturday and the players will undoubtedly be on cloud nine, as they have been for much of the season.

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The Foxes have the best home record in the division and are currently unbeaten in 14 at the King Power. They come into this game unbeaten in ten and are unlikely to see that run end on what should be another magical day for the club.

By very stark contrast, Everton have had a season to forget. The Toffees come into the weekend in 11th and had no won in seven before last week’s 2-1 victory over Bournemouth.

Roberto Martinez is under immense pressure and even if his side win each of their last three games, he could be sacked come the end of the term.

Everton have been better on the road this year that at home but have not managed to beat any side in the top six home or away.

The reverse fixture saw Leicester win 3-2 back in December, as two Riyad Mahrez penalties helped the new champions on their way to victory. The Foxes have not beaten Everton at home since 1998 but are expected to seal all three points on Saturday.

Team News

Leicester will be without key midfielder Danny Drinkwater following his red card against Manchester United last weekend. Robert Huth will also miss the rest of the season after being handed a three-game suspension for an incident with Marouane Fellaini last week. Leonardo Ulloa is looking set to miss the game with a back injury, although the Foxes are boosted by the return of Jamie Vardy following a two-game ban.

Everton have one of the league’s longest injury lists at this late stage of the season with five players likely to miss this one. Gerard Deulofeu, Phil Jagielka and Tyias Browning are all out, while Gareth Barry and Seamus Coleman are doubts.

Key Points

Leicester’s last five: W/W/D/W/D

Everton’s last five: D/D/D/L/W

Key Stat: The last five Premier League meetings between these sides on Leicester’s soil have ended in draws.

Key Player: Wes Morgan – The Leicester captain will lift the Premier League trophy following Saturday’s game in what will be a memorable moment for all Foxes fans inside the stadium and beyond. He has enjoyed another fine season, playing every minute of every league game and managed to score his second of the season in last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Manchester United.

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Score Prediction

Leicester 2-1 Everton – Leicester have taken English football by storm this weekend and it would only be fitting if they were to win their final home game of the season before lifting the Premier League trophy. Everton should offer a stern test but the Foxes will likely be carried through by the magic of the day and three more points looks likely.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester United vs Leicester City

Competition: Premier League – Manchester United vs. Leicester City

Venue: Old Trafford – Sunday, May 1st – 14:05 GMT (09:05 ET)

Match Odds: Man United 1/1 – Draw 23/10 – Leicester 29/10

Match Preview

Manchester United welcome Leicester City to Old Trafford in what could be the day Claudio Ranieri’s side make history and win the Premier League.

United’s last Premier League game was their 2-0 win over Crystal Palace. There is still a chance for them to finish in the top four, they sit five points behind but they do have a game in hand. The Red Devils are reliant on other results going their way.

Louis Van Gaal’s side will be full of confidence having dramatically reached the FA Cup Final last weekend, giving them a great chance of silverware this season.

Manchester United have won their last six home matches against Leicester so the away side will have to break that trend if they are to be crowned champions this weekend.

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Leicester City extended their unbeaten run to seven games last weekend with their 4-0 demolition over Swansea.

Ranieri’s side are within touching distance of the Premier League title, but only all three points will secure the silverware this weekend.

Leicester have won six of their last seven league games and kept six clean sheets along the way. We can expect them to be as difficult as ever to break down here.

A win here would cap off what has been an amazing season for Leicester, they have been in good form away, winning three on the bounce.

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Team News

Manchester United could be without up to five through injury as Bastian Schweinsteiger, Adnan Januzaj, Luke Shaw and Will Keane are all ruled out, while Phil Jones is a doubt.

Leicester City are still expected to be without Matthew James through injury, while Jamie Vardy is serving the additional game of his suspension.

Key Points

Manchester United’s last five Premier League games: W/W/L/W/W

Leicester City’s last five Premier League games: W/W/W/D/W

Key Stat: Manchester United have won their last six home matches in the Premier League.

Key Player: Kasper Schmeichel – The Danish ‘keeper could follow in his fathers footsteps and win the Premier League title at Old Trafford. We can expect both ‘keepers to be busy but Schmeichel’s performances have been an integral part of Leicester’s chase for the title. He has kept seven clean sheets in his last ten league games.

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Score Prediction

Manchester United 0-0 Leicester City – The champagne will have to stay on ice for at least another week for Leicester City. This will be a very tight tie with neither side looking weak at the back. Manchester United will have to do something not many sides have successfully achieved over the course of the season and break Leicester down. With both goalkeepers in fantastic form they will be the stars of the show here.