Welcome to week four of the English Premier League campaign, and as we prepare for the final games of August, the top division of English football is already beginning to take shape. The likes of Arsenal, Manchester City, Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur are all vying for position at the head of the list, but the Gunners are the only side with a 100% record. At the other end of the table, we find Manchester United and West Ham United without a point against their name.
There are some fascinating matches to look forward to this weekend. Still, in this preview, we focus on the play at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea host Leicester City in what’s expected to be a thrilling contest played on the edge. Armchair fans hope this one lives up to the pre-match hype and delivers plenty of goals and even more talking points. Neither the Blues nor Foxes have started the season well, meaning there’s pressure to finish August on a high.
These sides met twice in the Premier League last season, with Chelsea remaining unbeaten in both games, winning 3-0 at the King Power Stadium in November before being held to a 1-1 draw back in May. The bridge is never an easy place to visit, and it’s likely the visitors would see another share of the spoils as a good return, but the locals know they must get a win on the board and breathe life into their EPL challenge.
Singing the blues
Chelsea’s loyal support spent the summer making grand plans for their club to conquer England and Europe. The blues expected to challenge for the Premier League title following a few seasons of watching Man City and Liverpool dominate proceedings. The London club did with the Champions League recently when beating Tottenham in the final but weren’t able to successfully defend the trophy last term. Will we see improvements in the coming months? To stand any chance of enjoying success this season, the locals must improve.
They have an even split from their opening three games, taking one win, one draw and a defeat. The four points gained from the nine available to them leave Chelsea down in 12th position, sharing form with Crystal Palace, Brentford and Nottingham Forest. Chelsea is expected to finish much higher up the table than the three teams mentioned, but fans want to see them hit their stride early and put together a strong run of form.
They were last seen in action losing away to Leeds United at Elland Road last Sunday, which caught many English football fans by surprise. Unbeaten in their opening two matches, Chelsea travelled to Yorkshire expected to add another three points and keep pace with the early leaders. Still, the blues were blown away by an ambitious opponent that refused to lose in front of their fans.
Foxes winless in three
It’s always difficult to judge how a Leicester City team will perform in a season as the club blows hot and cold. They win when the odds are stacked against them and often lose or drop points when expected to secure victory. They are unreliable when making predictions in the Premier League, and that lack of consistency could cost them in this coming campaign. The pressure is already on the visitors to start winning.
Leicester started the week down in the relegation zone, where they sit in 18th position with only Man Utd and West Ham beneath them. It’s unlikely any of those three will be in the danger zone come the end of the season and but Leicester knows they must embark on a strong run of form if they are to release some of the tension hanging over the club. Winning in London is never easy, but if Leicester can take the points, it would boost morale while taking the legs away from their opponents, who will begin to panic.
Last weekend, Leicester suffered their second loss of the season when going down against Southampton at the King Power Stadium. The Foxes and Saints are usually two well-matched teams, and that proved to be the case again, but Southampton left with the spoils following a 2-1 score. Che Adams hit a double to win the day, but the Scotland striker’s goals came after Brendan Rodgers’ side had taken the lead shortly after the start of the second half. To drop points from a winning position at home is criminal, but losing the match is a bitter pill for supporters to swallow.
Chelsea v Leicester prediction
Chelsea is the pre-match favourite with many pundits to win this match, and if they do live up to expectations, it will help get some of the support back onside following a slow start to the season. Fail to take three points, though, and the Chelsea fans will begin to voice their displeasure, sitting only a few points better off than a Man Utd side that has been put through the wringer by the British sporting press already.
Leicester may arrive in London thinking they have nothing to lose as they are expected to be beaten. This could be a free hit for the away team, which will play into their hands. A game without pressure will allow Leicester to play with complete freedom, and they aren’t known as the Foxes for nothing. This team is sly, hard-working and more than capable of taking all three points from this fixture as they aim to get their season firing.
Premier League odds
If you are a registered member at 22bet, you can place a bet on the outcome of this match through the website or mobile site and the odds offered are competitive. Chelsea can be backed at 1.344 to claim the victory, while those backing Leicester City for an upset can get their cash on the 8.5. Fancy a draw? It wouldn’t be the biggest shock of the season at 5.2. Take your pick now.
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