After the international break Premier League returns with this cracker at Stamford Bridge getting things back underway.
Chelsea v Leicester City
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick Off: 12:30
Referee: Andre Marriner
Chelsea has rubbished rumours about the future of manager Antonio Conte that started to surface towards the end of the week.
Midfielder Willian has been given compassionate leave, so misses out but captain John Terry could be recalled after overcoming an ankle injury.
Claudio Raneri is back at the Bridge but the Italian manager could be without Danny Drinkwater after the midfielder missed England’s internationals with a groin injury.
Last season’s Premier League champions Leicester City haven’t had the greatest start to their title defence.
The Foxes have picked up just eight points so far and all of those points have been collected on home turf at the King Power Stadium having lost all three away games so far.
However their away schedule has been tough. Facing a promoted side on the opening day is never easy and then trips to Anfield and Old Trafford saw them turned over by a 4-1 scoreline on both occasions.
Chelsea’s season hasn’t really got going either. The honeymoon period for Antonio Conte was over following their home defeat by Liverpool and then a week later things didn’t get any better losing 3-0 to London rivals Arsenal.
Before the international break we saw Chelsea go to Hull and put in a decent performance and collect all three points in a 2-0 win and in honesty they had chances to have scored more.
With players having travelled far and wide over the last week I always see the games after the international break as ones that start slowly and they seem to lack an early tempo or fluidity that league games have.
Looking at the previous four league meetings, then Both Teams to Score has landed in 75% of those matches (3 out of 4). It’s already priced up likes it a good thing in this match at 10/13 with 188Bet.
BTTS has been a winning bet in 57% of games involving these sides so far this season with it happening in four of seven matches. When you look into that all three of Leicester’s away matches it has been a winner and three of four Chelsea home matches (75%).
It’s fair to say that the first halves when these sides meet are generally tight. There have only been two goals scored before half-time compared to nine in the second half. Over 1.5 Second Half Goals would look to be a different way in but it is already 9/10 with Stan James.
But following that in would be this bet – Half-Time Result: Draw. Both meetings at Stamford Bridge have been goalless at the interval with two goals scored in the second half. This is where I’ll raise the point again about the lack of intensity of an international break, so for me this looks like a good angle in.
The corners market could be a way in for this one too. Their four previous meetings average out at 11.25 corners per game. However the two meetings here have seen 13 and 15 corners respectively.
This season, Chelsea matches average just over 10 compared to Leicester’s 9.4 per game. I wouldn’t be rushing to back the bookies bar set at 11.5.
Once again when you look at the Blues home games they’ve had 22 corners in three games at the Bridge, which average to 7.3. The bookies have set the bar for Chelsea at 6.5, so Over 6.5 Chelsea Corners at 3/4 with William Hill isn’t the worst bet.
Cards markets wouldn’t exactly appeal. The four meetings have seen just four cards: 1; 1; 2 & 0 – all of them have gone to Foxes players.
Andre Marriner is the man with the whistle and it’s his first game involving Leicester this season however he has had a run-in with Chelsea after overseeing the controversial 2-2 draw away to Swansea.
The Birmingham official showed seven yellows in that game – four of them to Chelsea players. Generally this season he has a low make-up showing 19 yellows and a red in his 5 Premier League matches and that works out at 3.8 yellows per game.
Diego Costa is the obvious player to look at in the goalscoring markets given his six goals so far. He netted the opener in Spain’s 2-0 win against Albania on Sunday, meaning he now has two in three for club & country.
Cesc Fàbregas hasn’t been given too much game time under Conte but he scored the two decisive goals in the earlier League Cup meeting this season and it was the Spaniard who gave Chelsea the lead in this game last season from the penalty spot.
The 29 year old has played in five matches against Leicester and has been on the winning side in three, drawn in one and lost once. In those five appearances against the Foxes he’s been involved in six goals – scoring three and assisting three. He’s 39/10 to score anytime.
I think this will be a tight game that opens up in the second half and feel that it’ll be a narrow home win. With that thought Leicester +1 Asian Handicap at 9/10 wouldn’t be the worst bet neither would be Chelsea to Win by a Goal at 11/4 with Sky Bet.
Half-Time Result: Draw (6/4 – Stan James – 0.5pt)