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Leicester v Chelsea: Can reigning champs surprise the league leaders?

| 14.01.2017

Before Merseyside take on Manchester on Sunday, Leicester versus Chelsea on Saturday evening could prove to be a barnstorming affair.

The reigning Premier League champions long gave up hopes of retaining their title, but as Manchester City found out last month, the Foxes can still do the business.

At 5/1, many will find Leicester simply too big a price to ignore, while Chelsea are 8/13 favourites.

And those prices are remarkably similar to the pre-match odds when the Foxes hosted Man City.

The Blues won 3-0 in the reverse fixture in October, with 7/4 available on the league leaders winning on the -1 handicap here.

But Antonio Conte’s men come into this game off the back of a 2-0 loss at Tottenham, and that offers plenty of hope to Claudio Ranieri’s side.

The ease at which Dele Alli floated into the box to net past Thibaut Courtois is something Ranieri will hope Jamie Vardy can replicate.

Further concern for Conte comes in the form of Marcos Alonso, who has been playing through the pain barrier this season.

However, the Spaniard’s leg injury has worsened, to the extent that Nathan Ake has been recalled from his loan at Bournemouth.

So with Chelsea facing defensive concerns, backing both teams to score looks assured at 4/5.

And with each of their two meetings this season seeing at least three goals scored, punters should be expecting a return on over 2.5 goals at 5/6.

But while Leicester will be looking to give Chelsea’s defence some grief, the Foxes must also focus on their own back-line.

Diego Costa has been in sensational form this season, and the Spaniard is 3/1 favourite to break the deadlock, as he did at Stamford Bridge.

Pedro, Eden Hazard and Michy Batshuayi are each 9/2 to net first, but Vardy looks very tempting at 15/2.

The England international played a blinder with a hat-trick against Man City, and bagged the first goal in this fixture last season.

Tottenham really put a stopper in Chelsea’s title charge last time out, and if Ranieri’s men can come out quickly – as they did against the Citizenz – the Blues could unravel.

Leicester may be missing three key men this weekend – including Riyad Mahrez – to the Africa Cup of Nations, but that should only encourage the Premier League’s greatest underdogs to cause a surprise once again.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing



Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.