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Prediction: Leicester vs Chelsea

Verdict: Chelsea to qualify

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: bet365

Buoyed by back to back 3-0 wins over Club Brugge and Burnley, Leicester City will be looking to pile more misery on stuttering Chelsea when the two sides square off in the League Cup round three. The Blues, on the other hand, will be out to make amends following the 2-1 home loss to title rivals Liverpool.

Leicester

It was never going to be easy for Leicester City to continue the rich vein of form after puling off a remarkable coup to lift the Premier League trophy, and the team indeed experienced some problems in the opening exchanges. However, it is slowly becoming evident that manager Claudio Ranieri and his associates did an excellent job in the summer transfer window, making sure to add several quality players to their ranks, but without disrupting the harmony that was a key reason behind the unlikely league triumph last season. New players obviously needed some time to adapt to the new surroundings, which was not an easy task during the busy schedule, but some of them have already proved they will be great additions to the squad. Deadline day signing Islam Slimani has fitted remarkably well, establishing a great understanding with strike partner Jamie Vardy, while also combining well with international teammate Riyad Mahrez. The trio had key roles to play in successive comfortable wins over Club Brugge and Chelsea, but Claudio Ranieri could now use the opportunity to rest several starters ahead of the important Premier League clash with Manchester United.

Team News

The likes of Andy King, Ahmed Musa, Shinji Okazaki, Demarai Gray and Luis Hernandez will all be hoping to feature against Chelsea.

Apart from long-term casualty Matty James, Claudio Ranieri will have fully fit squad to select from, and he is expected to ring some changes to the starting line-up.

Chelsea

Unlike their next opponents, Chelsea enjoyed a bright start under new manager Antonio Conte, winning first four fixtures of the season, but the Blues have since suffered a dip in form. The Stamford Bridge outfit first narrowly escaped defeat at Swansea City before they were beaten by title rivals Liverpool, and you can only imagine how very passionate Antonio Conte feels after said setbacks. The Blues now face a very difficult fixture list that will see them face almost all top sides in the next month and a half, and with a trip to the Emirates schedule for next weekend, the Italian manager will want his side to record a morale-boosting win at King Power Stadium. That will be no easy task considering Leicester City have gone a whole year without losing a Premier League fixture on home soil, but the visitors will be hoping the Foxes do not take the League Cup as seriously. Given the fact that Chelsea could really use a win over top opposition at the moment, Conte will probably resist temptation to make too many changes to the side, but we will definitely see two or three new players in the starting line-up.

Team News

Summer recruit Marcos Alonso is expected to start on the left flank, with Cesar Azpilicueta likely to move to the opposite side and Branislav Ivanovic taking Gart Cahill’s position in the heart of defence.

Asmir Begovic and Cesc Fabregas should start as well, but John Terry, Kurt Zouma and Marco van Ginkel remain in the treatment room.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Both teams scored in 7 of last 9 meetings between Leicester and Chelsea
  • Chelsea won three of last four games at King Power (L1)
  • Diego Costa scored five goals in as many league outings this term
  • Islam Slimani scored a brace on his Premier League debut
  • Leicester City recorded two successive 3-0 wins

Conclusion

Leicester City are clearly in better form than the opposition and they can be trusted to score in their fifth successive match, but the question is how focused the Foxes will be on the League Cup given their Premier League and Champions League commitments. With no European distractions, the Blues will want to do well in domestic competitions and we feel they will eventually make it to the next stage.

Verdict: Chelsea to qualify

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: bet365

Mon 19 Sep, 2016
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