Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
Although few would have predicted Leicester finishing above Chelsea in this season’s Premier League, the Foxes will have an eleven-point lead over the fourth-placed Blues by early afternoon if they can pick up the win here. Brendan Rodgers, who cut his coaching teeth at Stamford Bridge, will feel his side needs the win after a run of indifferent form that has seen them fall from second to third in the league, and a surprise League Cup exit at Aston Villa in midweek.
Still, if it’s indifferent form you’re looking for, Frank Lampard’s side can provide – they’ve dropped points in their last two league games, losing at Newcastle and throwing away a winning position against a 10-man Arsenal side. In fact, their current tenure of fourth position is mystifying given that the last time they won two league games on the bounce was as long ago as the first weeks of November. A fragile defence will be hard-pushed to keep Leicester’s kinetic attackers at bay.
Leicester City vs Chelsea Prediction: Leicester City 2-1 Chelsea
Honestly, with the home side as inconsistent as they have been this past month, and the hair-on-fire disorganisation with which Chelsea play, this is a game that could just as easily end up 4-3 or 7-5. Or 0-0, now we’ve tempted fate. The vital question for Chelsea may be who starts up front – both Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud are doubts here, and the latter may in fact not be in the squad depending on what happens on transfer deadline day. Leicester’s Jamie Vardy, meanwhile has had an injury-disrupted and unproductive winter, and will want to put a stop to that here.
Our recommended tip: James Maddison AGS
What Vardy has experienced across the month of July, Maddison lived through in a single night this past Tuesday. Enough chances to win the game by himself came and went for the midfielder against Villa, and were either narrowly missed or saved by an inspired Orjan Nyland. However, the England hopeful will not hide in this pivotal league game and, with his overall finishing allied to his threat from set pieces, he’s a good shout at 10/3 with William Hill to get among the goals against a chaotic Chelsea.
The encounter between these sides in August could have been settled by half time, as Chelsea pinned their ears back and went for the throat immediately. They could have already been two up before Mason Mount gave the Blues a seventh-minute lead. But, as Stamford Bridge sat back and waited for the floodgates to open, the malaise that has plagued them all season struck Lampard’s men as they failed to control the game, and a second-half equaliser from Wilfried Ndidi was the least Leicester deserved from a game that they could, in all truth, have gone on to win.
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Players to watch: Ricardo Pereira & Fikayo Tomori
If Harry Maguire was worth £80million, then one wonders what kind of price it would take to prise Pereira from the right-back berth at the King Power. If the classy Portuguese international isn’t the best right-back in England right now, then it’s a close-run thing with Trent Alexander-Arnold. Blessed with pace, vision and quality, Pereira is as accomplished in defence as he is in attack, and he’ll give Chelsea plenty of headaches here.
Tomori’s claim to a place in the Chelsea side is getting harder to ignore – he gave a standout performance at centre-back in their FA Cup match last weekend as the Blues sneaked past Hull. Having made his England debut already this season, the Calgary-born stopper is targeting a place in the Euro 2020 squad. Shackling Jamie Vardy for 90 minutes would be a very positive step towards that goal, although it’s easier said than done.