Chelsea vs Leicester Predictions and Preview for October 15, 2016 – Stamford Bridge
Antonio Conte must be a relieved man not having any fixture for a full fortnight. With just one player, Gary Cahill, away on national duty for England’s WC 2018 qualifying outings this week, most of his men will get the desired rest and opportunity to regroup as a team ahead of Saturday’s clash against the reigning champions. Particularly will be the repair job to be done at the back line with the likes of Ivanovic, David Luiz, Azpilicueta and Matic coming a cropper against stronger opposition like Arsenal and Liverpool.
The return of injured players like Kurt Zouma and the seasoned John Terry could come as a relief to the Blues’ defensive woes. Conte’s experimentation with a three-man defense with a 3-4-3 formation seemed to have worked well in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Hull last week. More comforting was the fact that they emerged with a clean sheet. Conceding a goal at least once had become a habit with the Blues.
Come Saturday, Conte will be expected to maintain the same formation that brought him success against Hull. But how it will work against a Leicester that is more inclined to attack than teams like Hull remains to be seen.
For Claudio Ranieri, performing away from King Power stadium will be a major issue. City have yet to win a Premier League game away from home. Their midfield has been down in the dumps with Drinkwater & Co a shadow of their 2015-16 best.
With Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy not very effective upfront, a lot will be expected from new youthful acquisitions in the form of Islam Slimani (2 goals from his 3 outings so far), the £16million grab of CSKA Moscow’s top striker, Ahmed Musa and Demarai Gray, the 20-year star winger of the U21 England team. This could inject a dash of speed and youthfulness to an attack that has suffered from a tired and inconsistent Jamie Vardy and even hope to make the best of a shaky Chelsea defense on counters.
Leicester had found success with their opponents last season, having drawn 1-1 at Stamford Bridge and won 2-1 at home, but then, that was a dream season for the team. Things are so much different this time and going into Saturday October 15th’s clash, bookmakers have lost no sweat in wagering on a Chelsea win.
Chelsea will hope to earn three points from this clash and move at least a place up from the 7th spot they currently are on the EPL table. All the four wins the Blues have earned so far have been against teams from the bottom half of the table. Leicester City being on the 12th spot could be their next victim.