Premier League Odds, Pick, Prediction: Back Leicester City, Chelsea to Score in EPL Clash (Nov. 20)
Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Thomas Tuchel and Mason Mount.
- Chelsea journeys to King Power Stadium to face Leicester City in Saturday's Premier League clash.
- Defensive have hounded both sides ahead of this affair, which could mean an open game.
- Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the matchup below and explains why he's expecting the offenses to shine.
Leicester City vs. Chelsea Odds
|Leicester City Odds||+390|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-105 / -110)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 7:30 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||NBCSN | fuboTV|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
As the Premier League returns from its November international break, Chelsea maintains a three-point lead atop the table. The Blues have enjoyed a good recent stretch of form as the schedule has lightened up, winning four and drawing one of their last five league matches since losing to Manchester City in late September.
The easy run of fixtures is over now, though, as Chelsea visits middling Leicester City on Saturday at the King Power Stadium. The Foxes have been average across the board in the Premier League this year but have the talent to threaten the Blues.
Chelsea has Juventus in the Champions League and Manchester United on the schedule after this match, with a trip to Watford followed by an away matchup with West Ham. The Blues’ title credentials will be tested.
Leicester’s attack has come alive after a brutal start to the 2021-22 campaign, but the Foxes still have holes defensively and lost to Arsenal and tied Leeds United in the two matches heading into the break. Although the Foxes have been pretty average overall, regression is coming for Chelsea, which is more vulnerable defensively than it was last season.
Leicester City Needs Defensive Stability
The Foxes have largely been a disappointment in this season with average underlying metrics across the board, especially in defense. Early in the season, it was the Leicester attack that failed to consistently generate enough shots or high-quality chances. In the first five games of the year, the Foxes created 4.0 total expected goals (xG), or 0.8 per 90.
The attack has gradually ticked up in the recent games though, creating 1.7 against Brighton, 2.6 xG vs. Burnley, 1.7 against Crystal Palace and 3.1 against Manchester United. The Foxes have managed at least 1.00 expected goal in each of their last 10 matches in all competitions.
The issues come at the back. Leicester is 17th in shots allowed per 90 in the English top flight, 12th in non-penalty xG allowed and 14th in box entries allowed and crosses into the box allowed. The only non-troubling defensive metric is that they concede few high-quality chances, but I’m doubting that will continue given the Foxes’ other mediocre defensive numbers.
Midfielder Youri Tielemans is questionable to play in this match after he picked up an injury prior to the international break, but the improvement in the Leicester attack has come from increased minutes for both Patson Daka and Kelechi Iheanacho.
If the Foxes are chasing a goal late, they have options off the bench to find goals and the Blues have been poor at defending leads this season.
Chelsea’s Defense Due For Regression
Despite leading the Premier League table, Chelsea’s xG difference per 90 minutes is actually marginally worse than it was last season, when the Blues finished in fourth place. That’s happened for a combination of reasons.
First, the Blues are very good but also hugely overperforming their defensive metrics. Chelsea has allowed 11.5 xGA this season, third fewest in the PL. Only Crystal Palace and Manchester City have conceded fewer, but the Blues have only conceded four goals from those shots.
Part of the reason for the overperformance is goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who has saved about 2.9 goals worth of shots over expected this season, the best in the league. This tends to be noisy in the short term, even if Mendy is regarded as one of the better goalkeepers in the world.
The second reason is luck. Opponents have turned 11.5 xG against Chelsea into just 6.9 post-shot xG. Chelsea’s defense has had a lot of luck with opponents not putting good scoring chances on goal, and that is very likely to regress back to the mean.
Another reason for the Blues xG overperformance is early leads. They have a +0.88 xGD per 90 minutes in tied games this season, but have a +1.76 goal difference per 90 in tied game states.
Chelsea’s defense hasn’t really been tested in recent weeks against lower-tier opponents in the Premier League, but Leicester can absolutely cause issues, especially on the counterattack. Given the defensive regression coming for Chelsea defensively, Leicester should be able to produce enough chances to get at least one goal in this match.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The days of Chelsea’s historically good defense from last spring are over. The Blues are still a good defensive team and one of the best in Europe, but they’re no longer impenetrable and Leicester has a lot of good attacking pieces and depth on the bench.
Chelsea is favored to take all three points here, but they’ve conceded 1.68 xGA per 90 minutes when leading this season. Leicester will be able to get back into this if it concedes early, and Chelsea’s attack is still humming along, even without Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner. (Lukaku is out for this match, while Werner returned to training this week.)
My projection for both teams to score is -148 in this match, and I show a good amount of value at the current -118 number. The Blues defense has regression coming, and Leicester at home is more than good enough to threaten them and score a goal here.
I’d play both teams to score yes at -135 or better.
Pick: Both Teams to Score — Yes (-135 or better)