Football Tips: The 4 best bets for Chelsea v Leicester in FA Cup final

Our footie tipster Andrew Beasley has four bets for you to check out.

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* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

It’s FA Cup final time! Get the TV on at 9am and watch the build-up, featuring the Chelsea players in a go-karting tournament and the Leicester squad playing darts with Jocky Wilson!

Who am I kidding? The Famous Old Trophy™ doesn’t even get a day to itself any more, with the match sandwiched between Southampton vs. Fulham and Brighton hosting West Ham.

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But while it might not dominate proceedings in the way it once did, the 2021 FA Cup Final throws up an intriguing match-up in which the competition’s ultimate bridesmaid aims to elbow her way to the front of the church for the first time.

Leicester hold the record for the most finals without winning one, and their total of four is at least double what any other non-winner has accumulated. And they’re up against one of the serial FA Cup lifters of modern times. Chelsea have triumphed in this competition seven times in the Premier League era, second only to Arsenal in that period.

Thomas Tuchel Chelsea Atletico Madrid February 23, 2021

The best bet: Chelsea To Lift the Cup

The European Super League would have you believe this is a David vs. Goliath clash, yet the Foxes come into the match ahead of the Blues in the league table. And their form this season gives them reason to carry genuine hopes of causing an upset.

In a mini-league containing Leicester and the established big six clubs, Brendan Rodgers’ boys are third, seven points ahead of Chelsea and with a massive lead over them of 12 in the goals scored column. They have the best record against the big boys of any other the Premier League’s Other 14 teams this term, so it’s fitting that it is they who have been pushed forward to take on the giant.

And while the Blues have unquestionably improved since Thomas Tuchel took charge, they have lost to dreadful teams like West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal on his watch. Their stumbles have been at Stamford Bridge though. Chelsea’s last away defeat came at the King Power in the final league match of the Frank Lampard era, and in eight Premier League games on the road since the manager’s office changed hands, the Blues have conceded just four goals.

This is unlikely to be a thrill a minute cup final, but Chelsea should be able to grind their way to their ninth FA Cup win.

The short-price bet: Under 2.5 Goals

Chelsea have kept the joint-most clean sheets in the Premier League this season, having shut out their opponents on 18 occasions.

There have only been three instances of a top-flight team keeping more in the previous five full seasons, and since Tuchel came in they have at least three more opposition blanks than every other club in the division. After the comedy defensive stylings of Lampard, the Blues are a serious unit at the back these days.

And while Leicester recently conceded four goals to Newcastle – Steve Bruce’s Newcastle, for pity’s sake – they have still had 11 clean sheets, the joint-sixth most in the top flight.

A bet on at least one team failing to score would make sense, but the Foxes have netted in 30 Premier League matches in 2020/21, which puts them second only to Manchester City. I can’t rule out both teams scoring, but under 2.5 goals looks a pretty safe bet.

The unusual bet: Over 10.5 Corners

Cup finals tend to have lots of corners, as they are often close matches in which one side is desperately trying to get back into the game before the final whistle blows.

If we ignore the 2019 final in which Watford barely got a kick then the last four FA Cup finals have all been settled by a single goal. They have also seen an average of 14 corners, and never fewer than 10.

Chelsea and Leicester are both in the Premier League’s top six teams for corners taken this season and are also among the leading five for having their shots blocked too. There may be a correlation at play here, folks.

Paddy’s odds imply he thinks there will be 10 corners, and while it’s possible to construct a case there will be several more than that, sticking to over 10.5 seems sensible.

Kasper Schmeichel LeicesterCity Zorya Luhansk October 22, 2020

The long shot: Antonio Rudiger to Score Anytime

It’s always hard to know who a manager will select when they have a well-stocked squad and very few injuries to contend with. It seems likely that Toni Rudiger will be one of Chelsea’s backline here though, as he was given the night off for the debacle with Arsenal on Wednesday evening.

Nobody would describe him as a regular goal scorer, but one of the four teams he has netted two goals against in his career is Leicester. They both came in a 2-2 draw at the King Power last season, with one from a Mason Mount corner and the other via a Mount free-kick.

The Foxes have conceded the joint-sixth most set-piece goals in the Premier League in 2020/21 and Lampard’s top lad Mount is third in the player standings for dead-ball assists.

A tight game can always be settled by a set play, and so it’s not unreasonable to think the German to score the winning goal might be Rudiger. Sorry, Timo.

FA Cup final betting tips summary:

Best bet: Chelsea To Lift the Cup
The short-price bet: Under 2.5 Goals
The unusual bet: Over 10.5 Corners
The longshot: Antonio Rudiger to Score Anytime

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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