When looking at this fixture ahead of the start of the season, it would have been reasonable to think that this clash would see 1st play 14th, but few would have got the positions the right way round, with Leicester fancied in many quarters to go down after getting rid of Nigel Pearson and bringing in Ranieri.
Leicester were bottom of the table after 30 games last season but since then their record is W16-D6-L2, with those defeats at home to Chelsea last season and Arsenal this term. They’ve now won five of their last six games and, after struggling to keep a clean sheet earlier in the campaign, they’ve managed three wins to nil in this run.
They scored in seven of their eight home games against top-eight finishers last season and their home record this term against the current top-six reads W1-D2-L1 with the win coming over Palace, draws against Spurs and United, and that defeat against Arsenal.
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Chelsea were probably as impressive as they have been all season in beating Porto in midweek to secure top spot in their Champions League group, but in the league they’re look anything but champions. They’ve lost four of their last six, with their only win in that time coming at home to Norwich, and they’ve only scored three goals in these matches including just one in their last four. Their only away win was a 3-2 triumph over West Brom in their third game of the season and they’ve conceded at least twice in five of their seven road games, though they did keep a clean sheet against in-form Spurs in their last trip away from Stamford Bridge. Mourinho remains a master against the top teams, with a W11-D7-L2 against top-six finishers in the past two seasons, with a W3-D5-L2 record on the road against these teams and eight of these 10 matches seeing fewer than three goals.
Whether Leicester will finish in the top-six remains to be seen as they have a tough run of fixtures coming up and though Chelsea were impressive against Porto they look a little short at 2.38 when travelling to the league leaders. Instead, the draw looks the standout play in the match outcome market, but the best bet in this one looks to be in the goals markets. Chelsea have conceded just one goal in their last five in all competitions and have been boosted by the return of Courtois in goal. The Foxes played a more cautious game than usual in their most recent home game, against Man Utd, and they may set up similarly here.
Mourinho may well adopt similar cautious tactics to those employed by Van Gaal in that game and as a result we expect this to be a tight affair, with the 1-1 correct score worth a punt – the score when Leicester played both Spurs and United at home.
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