Big Match Breakdown: Leicester City v Chelsea
Team news, stats and tips for FA Cup tie
Leicester City host Chelsea this afternoon in the FA Cup’s last remaining quarter-final tie.
Both clubs have enjoyed relatively easy routes through to the sixth round. The hosts have seen off Fleetwood Town, Peterborough United and Sheffield United. Chelsea, on the other hand, came through a replay against Norwich City before powering past Hull City and Newcastle United.
The two clubs also tasted success in the Premier League last week; although it’s the Foxes who are in better form overall.
The Coral News Team have analysed all of the crucial factors in another Big Match Breakdown…
While recent form may not be in Chelsea’s favour, their head-to-head record against Leicester is. The Blues are unbeaten in six against the Foxes, winning four of their last five.
They’ve lost just once against the Midlands outfit since 2001 and are unbeaten in seven FA Cup ties against Claude Puel’s men.
Earlier in the season, the West Londoners prevailed 2-1 at the King Power Stadium. Alvaro Morata and N’Golo Kante did the damage either side of half-time. Jamie Vardy’s 62nd-minute penalty wasn’t enough to rescue the game for the hosts. The sides also played out a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge in January.
Leicester have been in Marbella this week and should be refreshed for their first FA Cup quarter-final since 2002. The Foxes will likely stick with the same side that comfortably beat West Bromwich Albion last week.
That should mean starts for Riyad Mahrez, Shinji Okazaki and Demarai Gray in advanced midfield roles. Christian Fuchs could swap in for Ben Chilwell at full-back in Puel’s only likely change.
Blues boss Antonio Conte has decisions to make ahead of this tie. Willy Cabellero could replace Thibaut Courtois in goal, while Alvaro Morata, Pedro, Gary Cahill, Danny Drinkwater and Davide Zappacosta are all pushing for starts. The latter trio could all get the nod from the off.
Chelsea struggled to cope with Leicester’s pace when the two sides met in West London two months ago. So containment of Mahrez, Vardy and Gray, in particular, will be key for the visitors. The trio are especially dangerous on the break if they choose to soak up the Blues’ pressure.
The Foxes have a robust defence with Wes Morgan and Harry Maguire forming a solid a partnership in recent months. So Conte’s men won’t get a lot of joy by attempting to knock it long and play off Giroud. Like the hosts, they may try and play on the break and exploit the lack of pace in Leicester’s defence. Distribution will be key if the West Londoners are to get the best out of Eden Hazard, Willian or Pedro.
With that in mind, we should be in for an end-to-end contest at the King Power.
Games between these two clubs tend to produce goals. The last 10 head-to-heads at the King Power have all seen at least three goals or more scored. It’s 20/23 for there to be Over 2.5 Goals this afternoon. Alternatively, you can back Both Teams to Score at 7/10.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing