Saturday, 12:30pm, BT Sport 1
It’s Saturday morning, the first day of February and now that dry January is finally over, so we can all remember what it’s like to feel like a bag of spuds after a heavy night before. Well, we have nothing to worry about on the football front at least, with an absolute scorcher to kickstart our weekend.
Leicester host Chelsea in the early morning game and it really is a game full of surprises. Back in August you would have been hard-pressed to think of Leicester City as top four mainstays and Chelsea becoming the neutrals favourites for their free-flowing attacking style.
They really have been a joy to watch this season and the stats speak for themselves. 75% of Chelsea’s Away matches have seen three or more goals scored. They have averaged 2.08 goals scored playing away from the Bridge and have seen BTTS land a staggering 75% to be on a par with the aforementioned goals. Lamp’s Lads really know how to throw a party!
Speaking of Partie, where has the Vardy party gone recently?
The striker has gone six games in all comps without a goal and missed a crucial penalty away to Burnley two weeks ago. The whole Leicester side has been below par in recent games too, bar a demolishing of West Ham. They did play well against Villa in both legs but to be not good enough against one of the basement boys over two legs really does feel like a kick in the John Stones if you’re a follower of the Foxes.
A win here would really do the world of good to reinvigorate a team who still can win a Cup and clinch a top-four spot.
So, is it a case of form being temporary and class permanent? Leicester have been defeated just twice at home this season, they rank the third-best team in terms of offence, points gained at home and goals conceded. Brendan Rodgers really has strutted his stuff this season and the job he’s done is truly remarkable.
Meanwhile. Newcastle United have picked up more away points this season than Chelsea. That shows this Chelsea side is still very youthful and their ability to get the job done away from home is not quite at the level required yet. To have only one clean sheet away from home at this stage really demonstrates that this team can be got at, and a fired-up fox pack will have more than enough to do that.
Tammy Abraham is a major doubt and when he’s not selected Chelsea lose a staggering 31% share of their goal output. It’s hard to see who can really step up at this point in time if the Foxes are up for a hunt.
They will find goals a-plenty amid this Chelsea backline. Leicester have only lost one game in the league against Chelsea in the last five with there being three draws and one Leicester win.
The previous form would point to a tight match with Over 2.5 goals clicking just once in those five meetings but I’m happy to take these two sides on this seasons merits and go for the over.
*All odds correct at time of publication