Chelsea vs. Leicester City Odds & Picks: Bet Foxes to Keep It Close In Premier League Showdown (May 18)
Marc Atkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Christian Pulisic (center).
- Chelsea and Leicester City meet just three days after Leicester won in the FA Cup final.
- Both sides should be motivated with spots in next season's Champions League not yet secured.
- Matt Trebby breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.
Chelsea vs. Leicester City Odds
|Leicester City Odds||+390|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+115 / -143)|
|Day | Time||Tuesday | 3:15 p.m. ET|
|Odds updated Tuesday afternoon via DraftKings.|
Three days after Leicester City took down Chelsea to win the FA Cup, the two sides will meet again in London.
There’s still a lot on the line in this one, though. Leicester are third in the league and Chelsea fourth. The Foxes are three points ahead of fifth-place Liverpool and the Blues just one. Liverpool’s final two games of the season are against Burnley and Crystal Palace, which means they should be expected to win both.
Chelsea close the season at Aston Villa and Leicester at home against Tottenham, so neither of these teams have it as easy as the Reds. That makes this match even more important.
One team is guaranteed to drop points here, which would give Liverpool a massive boost. Let’s dig into where the betting value lies.
Blues Are Sputtering At the Wrong Time
Chelsea went from beating Real Madrid and Manchester City in consecutive games to losing to Arsenal at Stamford Bridge and falling in the cup final.
The most puzzling part of this is just how good the Blues were against Real Madrid in the second leg of the Champions League semifinal.
Chelsea dominated Los Blancos, winning the game 2-0 and the expected goals battle at 2.9-0.3.
You read that right — Chelsea created 2.9 xG worth of chances, and Real Madrid managed just 0.3. The 2-0 scoreline doesn’t do enough to emphasize just how good the Blues were and how much they could have won by with more clinical finishing.
The focus under Thomas Tuchel has been on defending, and Chelsea have done that brilliantly. He has turned around the club’s Premier League season and reached a pair of cup finals.
It just seems like there’s potential for more with all this dynamic attacking talent, that Chelsea could be the best in Europe. Instead, they’re hitting a big bump in the road at the absolute wrong time.
Is it a blip? The Blues’ defensive style makes it difficult for them to flip the switch and play from behind, clearly. I say that, and on May 8 they came from behind and beat City, although Pep Guardiola did not field his ideal starting XI.
Leicester Go for the Double Over Chelsea
Since the start of March, Leicester City have won eight of 13 games in all competitions. Their only defeats have come against City, West Ham and Newcastle.
About that Newcastle loss … It was a doozy. Newcastle got out to a 4-0 lead and won the xG battle, 2.6-2.3. Most of Leicester’s attacking output came after the result was in no doubt.
The Foxes bounced back by beating Manchester United, although the Red Devils were in the middle of a stretch that saw them play three games in five days. They then lifted the FA Cup for the first time in their history.
One reason that Frank Lampard was fired by Chelsea was a loss to Leicester back on Jan. 19. The Blues, obviously, are a much different team now. They no longer are trying to outplay teams. The focus is on defensive stability.
That might actually play into Leicester’s hands. The Foxes play the same 3-4-1-2 that Chelsea does, with one player (I would think it’ll be James Maddison for Leicester in this one) linking play between midfield and the attack.
The Foxes’ worst results of their season have actually come in Leicester. Defeats in 2021 against Leeds, Slavia Prague, Arsenal, City and Newcastle have all come at home. The only away defeat was to West Ham on April 11.
Leicester’s best attacker this season has been Kelechi Iheanacho. Jamie Vardy might score more goals, but Iheanacho is fantastic on the ball and complements the Englishman very well. The duo are buoyed by Maddison’s presence, and he has been on the bench for the Foxes’ last two games.
The biggest injury note for Leicester is that Johnny Evans left the cup final in the first half. He has been a rock this season in the Foxes’ back three, although it held up well without him on Saturday.
Betting Analysis & Pick
A couple things stand out about this line. Leicester were just +300 for the FA Cup final on Saturday, which speaks volumes to what oddsmakers think of home-field advantage for Chelsea, as well as the unlikeliness of the Blues losing back-to-back games to Leicester.
Chelsea have shown they’re capable of playing dynamic, dominant soccer. That was the case against Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League semifinal. The Blues simply have not shown that kind of form very often this season, though. Under Tuchel, the focus has been on defensive stability.
I rate Rodgers very highly as a manager, and what he’s done at Leicester over the past two seasons is incredible. His Foxes can hang with the big boys thanks to fantastic defensive stability, and Evans’ injury didn’t seem to hurt them much in the cup final.
I’m going to back Chelsea’s lack of attacking dynamism in the Premier League this season, despite their plethora of attacking talent. Getting Leicester +0.5 at a plus number is good enough for me. The result against Newcastle seems like a blip, and I think Maddison gets back in the starting XI for this one.
Back the Foxes for a result, which would put the Blues in dangerous territory of playing in the Europa League next season.
Pick: Leicester City +0.5 +117