Saturday, July 22, 2017

Prediction: Chelsea vs Leicester

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 3/5

Bookmaker: William Hill

Many believed that Leicester could secure the Premier League trophy against previous winners Chelsea, but not even the fact that the Foxes have already been crowned champions is likely to make the game at Stamford Bridge any less interesting seeing that both sides will be eager to prove their title credentials.

Chelsea

The fact that the Premier League holders couldn’t even mount a serious top 4 challenge speaks volumes about Chelsea’s performances this season, but there have been some positives as well. Interim manager Guus Hiddink has helped the team restore some of the lost confidence, ensuring that new boss Antonio Conte will have something to build on, while key players Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic managed to recover from the shocking start to the season and should now have a big role to play next term. Chances are that Antonio Conte will shake up the squad in the summer transfer window, but something tells us that the Blues will be serious title contenders next term. The absence of pressure also saw Guus Hiddink give youngsters Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Bertrand Traore, Matt Miazga and Kenedy much needed playing time, and we can safely say the Dutch manager has once again done everything he could to help Chelsea build a nice foundation for years to come. The Blues may have failed to win any of their last three games, but they performed pretty well in matches against Spurs, Sunderland and Liverpool, and they will want to end the season with a triumph over the new champions.

Team News

Captain John Terry serves the final game of his two-match suspension, while Diego Costa remains sidelined through a hamstring problem.

Branislav Ivanovic is also expected to miss out through a groin problem, whereas Loic Remy and Kurt Zouma are also sidelined.

Leicester

It was Chelsea that helped Leicester City celebrate the Premier League trophy with two games to go, but the Foxes have since extended their lead at the top to 10 points to prove everyone they fully deserve all the praise they have been getting. Their title party against Everton was one of the most impressive yet, with Andrea Bocelli serenading the fans prior to kick-off and Claudio Ranieri’s side producing another inspired performance despite the fact that they didn’t have much to play for. Having been so impressive throughout the league campaign, the Foxes will be eager to also produce a quality showing against last year’s champions Chelsea, so chances are the game at Stamford Bridge will not resemble a dead-rubber match. And with the likes of Vardy and Drinkwater looking to impress England boss Roy Hodgson before he names his Euro 2016 squad on Monday, we fully expect Leicester City to adopt a very serious approach. And having won three of last four away fixtures without conceding, the Foxes definitely have reason for optimism ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge.

Team News

Key midfielder Danny Drinkwater returns from a one-match ban, meaning that Andy King will return to the bench in spite of the excellent display against Everton.

Marcin Wasilewski will continue to deputise for the suspended Robert Huth, whereas Jeffrey Schlupp could be recalled to the side.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Chelsea are two goals short of 5,000 top flight goals
  • The Blues haven’t conceded in first 15 minutes of a match this term
  • Leicester recorded a 2-1 win in the reverse fixture
  • Said game ended the Foxes’ eight-match losing run vs Chelsea
  • Their last six meetings produced 27 goals in total

Conclusion

Both Chelsea and Leicester City will be looking to say goodbye to the season with an attractive attacking performance, and chances are we could see goals galore at Stamford Bridge. With their last six games having produced over 4 goals per game on average, we should be in for a real spectacle of football.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 3/5

Bookmaker: William Hill

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