Premier League Preview and Prediction: Leicester City vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League – Leicester City FC vs. Chelsea

Venue: King Power Stadium – Saturday, January 14 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Leicester 9/2 – Draw 29/10 – Chelsea 8/13

Match Preview

Leicester welcome Chelsea to the King Power Stadium on Saturday evening in a game, a tie between two teams with reversed roles compared to last season.

This time last year Chelsea were loitering in mid-table, while Leicester were well underway to completing the seemingly impossible. The foxes are struggling to recapture their from from 2015/16 and are currently just six points above the relegation zone.

Claudio Ranieri will be hoping his side can pick up a positive result against his former employers, who have already been tipped to be crowned Premier League champions only halfway through the season.

Leicester’s last Premier League fixture ended 0-0 away at Boro, they look to have turned over a new leaf, having also progressed in the FA Cup with an impressive win away at Everton.

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Antonio Conte’s side bounced back well after their 13 game-winning streak was brought to an abrupt halt at the hands of Spurs in their last Premier League outing.

Chelsea responded well, having also progressed in the cup and now their attentions turn to reminding the chasing pack just how clinical they have been this season.

The Blues are only five points clear at the top and with some very tough fixtures coming up, there is much work to be done.

The Chelsea fans will be hoping their star players will be feeling fresh following a rest in their cup tie. They looked off the pace in their last fixture and an impressive display here will continue to strike fear into their competitors.

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Team News

Leicester City’s forward options are limited ahead of this tie. Islam Slimani and Riyad Mahrez are both at the African Cup of Nations, while there are doubts around the fitness of Jamie Vardy and Leonardo Ulloa. Daniel Amartey is also at AFCON, while Andy King could miss out through fitness.

Chelsea will be without captain John Terry following his dismissal in their FA Cup win last weekend, his appeal was unsuccessful and the ban was upheld. However, the former England captain would have most certainly returned to the bench had he been available for selection. Marcos Alonso is Chelsea’s only injury concern, he is a doubt.

Key Points

Leicester’s last five: L/D/L/W/D

Chelsea’s last five: W/W/W/W/L

Key Stat: Domination – Chelsea are unbeaten against Leicester in 11 of their last 12 meetings in all competitions.

Key Player: N’Golo Kante – This is a huge game for arguably the most important Premier League midfielder. It marks his return to the King Power since winning the league with Leicester last season. He will need to remain focused regardless of whatever reception he receives.

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Score Prediction

Leicester City 1-2 Chelsea – Leicester City to fall short here. They are missing a number of key players and face a Chelsea side who have been in scintillating form. Chelsea have conceded five goals in their last three games, their defence had only been breached twice in nine games previous to that run, so Leicester will feel they have a chance of finding the back of the net here.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Leicester City

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

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Saturday, October 15 – 12:30 BST (07:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Chelsea 4/7 – Draw 16/5 – Leicester 9/2

Match Preview

Chelsea welcome champions Leicester to Stamford Bridge on Saturday in the opening game of the Premier League fixtures this weekend.

The Blues are clearly still in a rebuilding phase after last season. They have looked inconsistent and vulnerable in a number of games already.

Antonio Conte’s side won 2-0 away at Hull in their last Premier League outing, three points they desperately needed, having lost their previous two games.

Chelsea are already a way off the pace in the title race. They’re sitting 7th, five points off the top and three outside of the top four.

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Leicester City are also in a run of unfavourable form. They have won just two of their seven games this season and are just four points above the relegation zone.

The Foxes have struggled against the so-called ‘big sides’ this season and have failed to pick up points in games they seemed to breeze through in their title-winning campaign.

Claudio Ranieri’s side come into this one having drawn 0-0 against Southampton. Although Leicester are performing well in the Champions League, they are struggling to relay that form domestically.

Leicester have to see this as a tie they can pick up a positive result in. Chelsea conceded twice in their last league game at Stamford Bridge and have looked shaky defensively.

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Team News

Chelsea are expected to be handed a defensive boost with the return of their captain John Terry. Kurt Zouma and John Obi Mikel are both expected to be out, while Victor Moses is a doubt. Willian is unavailable for selection due the passing of his mother this week.

Leicester City’s squad is in good shape for this tie. They are only expecting to be without Matthew James, so Claudio Ranieri has the luxury of a strong bench regardless of what starting XI he selects.

Key Points

Chelsea’s last five: W/D/L/L/W

Leicester’s last five: W/L/W/L/D

Key Stat: These two sides have been inconsistent in their last five games, picking up the same amount of points (7).

Key Player: Diego Costa – The Premier League’s leading goal scorer this season has been in fine form. Costa has netted six times

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Score Prediction

Chelsea 1-1 Leicester – Chelsea to come unstuck at home once again. They are looking far better than last season but defensive problems are there for all to see. Leicester need to begin picking up points to avoid being drawn into a rut of form. This would be a good result for Ranieri’s side, who posses the ability to damage Chelsea on the counter attack.

2014/15 Premier League Season Review: Leicester City

Premier League Final Position: 14th

Review

Leicester City produced arguably the greatest escape in Premier League history this season as they avoided relegation despite being seven points behind 17th placed Sunderland after 29 games, having also recorded just four wins at the time. The astonishing run of seven wins from their last nine games (D1, L1) will live long in the memory of Leicester fans and football fans alike as an emotional rollercoaster of a journey eventually concluded with them winning in fine style on the last day of the season to see them finish six points clear of the drop.

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Podcast Review

Best Moment

The 3-2 win away at West Brom. The Foxes came into that after recording their first win in nine games at home to West Ham a week earlier and knew that they had to back it up with a positive result at The Hawthorns if they were to stand a chance of survival. Trailing 2-1 with ten minutes to go, it looked as though their season was all but over. But then a Robert Huth goal to draw it level, followed by an injury time winner from Jamie Vardy sent the away end into raptures. That was the moment that Leicester started to truly believe survival was a genuine possibility.

Worst Moment

Nigel Pearson holding Crystal Palace’s James McArthur by the throat during the 1-0 defeat at home to the Eagles. McArthur tangled in a challenge with Marc Albrighton on the touchline before accidentally falling onto Pearson and knocking the Leicester manager over. Pearson then proceeded to grab McArthur by the throat in a bizarre incident which led to speculation over his job and caused the club to be subjected to unnecessary negative media attention at a time when they needed it least.

Player of the Year

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Leonardo Ulloa – There were question marks over whether or not Ulloa could cut it in the Premier League after his move from Championship side Brighton in the summer, but he certainly delivered the goods with 11 goals and three assists from his 37 appearances.

Biggest Win

Leicester City 5-1 Queens Park Rangers (May 24, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

Chelsea 2-0 Leicester City (Aug 23, 2014)

Crystal Palace 2-0 Leicester City (Sep 27, 2014)

Swansea City 2-0 Leicester City (Oct 25, 2014)

Southampton 2-0 Leicester City (Nov 8, 2014)

Leicester City 1-3 Liverpool (Dec 2, 2014)

West Ham United 2-0 Leicester City (Dec 20, 2014)

Manchester United 3-1 Leicester City (Jan 31, 2015)

Manchester City 2-0 Leicester City (Mar 4, 2015)

Leicester City 1-3 Chelsea (29 Apr, 2015)

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What to improve for the 2015/16 season…

While Leicester’s survival will be rightly heralded as a huge success, relegation was a major concern throughout the course of the whole season and that was obviously down to lack of successful results. Pearson made it cleat that he believed they were putting in the performances but not getting the results and bemoaned the luck of his side. But you have to make your own luck in football and four wins from the first 29 games cannot be blamed entirely on luck. The Foxes cannot afford to do the same next time around as relying on an incredible end-of-season run to retain Premier League status is a dangerous game to play and it’s unlikely they’d be able to pull it off again.