Chelsea vs Leicester City: Possible lineups, Tactics, Key Stats, Betting Tips and Prediction

The last time Leicester came into town, they had already created history. Fresh from their coronation as Premier League champions, thanks in part to Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham, Claudio Ranieri’s men had nothing to lose that day

Things are different now, though. As champions who are expected to put up a fight for the title, Leicester are doing anything but. Sitting in 12th, with just 2 wins under their belt, the Foxes have disappointed everyone with their start to the season. Both Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, superstars from last season, seem to have hit a trough. They have shown flashes of their form from last season, but nothing to write home about. Although it would be unfair to write them off this early, the signs aren’t good at all.

Things are different now at Stamford Bridge too. A new manager, a new philosophy, but (mostly) the same team. An Italian taskmaster who is struggling to find consistency in results and imprinting his ideology on this team, Antonio Conte has had an indifferent start to the season. Losses in big games against Arsenal and Liverpool seem to have thrown a spanner in the works, only eased by a 2-0 win against Hull City before the international break.

Team news and tactics


The Blues will be without the services of Kurt Zouma and Marco van Ginkel due to injury. Willian will also miss out following the unfortunate death of his mother this past week. The major boost in terms of personnel is the return from injury of talismanic skipper John Terry.

John Terry's recovery from injury will be good news for Chelsea (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
John Terry’s recovery from injury will be good news for Chelsea (Photo courtesy Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

That Chelsea have to rely on a 35-year-old to shore up their defence sums up the problems at Stamford Bridge. Conte tried a 3-4-3 against Hull and it worked for him – maybe not in terms of solidity but at least in keeping a clean sheet. The same can be expected this time around too, with the return of Terry further boosting their chances.

In Willian’s absence, Victor Moses should take his place on the right wing with Eden Hazard on the left. In form for his club and country, Diego Costa will lead the line in attack for the Blues. In terms of personnel, not much has changed for Chelsea over the past few seasons, but changing the formation hasn’t been attempted by many managers.

Although in terms of midfield and attack, in a 3-4-3 the formation remains the same, it is only the full backs who will be expected to play further up the pitch, which they have been doing in the past anyway. But now, they have the insurance of three defenders covering for them, instead of two.

Probable lineup (3-4-3): Courtois (GK); Terry, Cahill, Luiz; Alonso, Matic, Kante, Azpilicueta; Hazard, Costa, Moses


Leicester City

The Foxes have received the timely boost of return from injury of Shinji Okazaki. However, new signing Nampalys Mendy still remains sidelined. With an upcoming trip to Copenhagen in the Champions League, Ranieri has hinted that the squad would be rotated to keep everyone fresh.

As expected, they will line up in a 4-4-2 formation, with the two Daniels – Drinkwater and Amartey – expected to sit in front of the 4-man defence. Much like last season, the Foxes will mainly rely on the pace of their attack and their ability to convert a defensive situation into an attacking one.

The problem this season, however, has been the distinct lack of edge in attack and a gaping hole in their defence. Yet to secure a point away from home this season, City are anything but replicating their form from the previous campaign. It almost seems that they hit their peak when they won the Premier League, and now seem to be going downhill. However, in Claudio Ranieri, they have an experienced manager who would have told them exactly that.

They need to shake off their hangover from last season and earnestly begin their title defence. With a shaky Chelsea defence – both in terms of skill and confidence – the Foxes have the chance to do exactly that come Saturday.

Probable lineup (4-4-2): Schmeichel (GK); Fuchs, Huth, Morgan, Simpson; Albrighton, Drinkwater, Amartey, Mahrez; Vardy, Slimani


Players to watch out for

N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)

 N'Golo Kante will have all eyes on him against his former team (Photo courtesy Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
N’Golo Kante will have all eyes on him against his former team (Photo courtesy Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Much like his new team, Kante has suffered from an indifferent season and will be looking to put one over his former side. The mild-mannered Frenchman was the mainstay of the title winning Leicester side and could be expected to be given a tough time by the travelling fans.

Islam Slimani (Leicester City)

Islam Slimani will be crucial to Leicester's chances (Photo courtesy Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Islam Slimani will be crucial to Leicester’s chances (Photo courtesy Michael Regan/Getty Images)

The Algerian international, signed in the summer for a club record sum, has had a good start to life at the King Power stadium. However, with the price tag comes the expectation to deliver in every game, and especially against big teams. The same would be expected of Slimani this time around too, having already scored 2 in his 3 appearances in the Premier League.

Key Stats

  • Chelsea are undefeated against Leicester in the last 10 games in all competitions
  • Leicester have conceded at least 2 goals in their last 3 away matches
  • Leicester have lost their last 3 away matches this season

Betting tips

A huge fixture for both the sides. Two highly-rated Italian managers with reputation to go along with it, pit their wits against each other with both of them needing a win.

Chelsea will be without some of their key men including Willian, who has stayed in Brazil following the demise of his mother.

Leicester almost needed the international break after they somehow managed a 0-0 draw against Southampton. The Foxes are likely to make the most of their opportunity, with Chelsea likely to be unsettled following rumours of Conte facing the sack.

Favourable Bets:

1. Team Corners Leicester Over 4.5 @ 1.83
2. Over 2.5 Match Goals @1.67
3. Leicester +1 Asian Handicap @ 1.925

Underdog Bets:
1. Leicester win @ 6.00
2. Correct Result : Chelsea 1 – 2 Leicester @ 19.00
3. Special : Goalscorer Match Bet : Jamie Vardy favoured against Diego Costa @ 5.00
4. Both Teams to Score – YES & Result – Leicester @ 9.50


Chelsea 1-1 Leicester

Chelsea will concede, but will they score more than the opposition? (Photo courtesy Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Chelsea will concede, but will they score more than the opposition? (Photo courtesy Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Although Chelsea would have gained confidence from their 2-0 win against Hull, their defence looks shaky as ever. Leicester should be able to salvage a point from this game.

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