After another break for World Cup Qualifiers, the English Premier League is back and back with a bang! Familiar faces at the top of the league in Chelsea, Manchester City, and Liverpool are joined by the surprising West Ham United, who find themselves in the thick of the league battle after 11 weeks of play. League leaders Chelsea kick off this week’s action as they travel north to take on Jamie Vardy and his Leicester City. Also, on tap is a classic big club rivalry between Liverpool and Arsenal. After an upset loss to West Ham, Liverpool welcome the resurgent Gunners to Anfield, who are unbeaten in 9 and can join the top four party with a triumph at fortress Anfield. Check all the EPL odds for this week’s action at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Leicester City vs. Chelsea Predictions & Picks
- Leicester City (+380)
- Under 2.5 (-116)
- Anytime goalscorer Jamie Vardy (+195)
League leaders and European champions Chelsea (-135) have been in fine form most of the season, and despite a disappointing draw in Week 11 to Burnley, The Blues have only lost one game all season. Finding themselves on the summit of the EPL, Chelsea will be keen to distance themselves from the pack in the top four, where only four points separate first from fourth. Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel called Week 11’s draw with Burney “a fantastic performance.” After dominating possession 70-30 and outshooting Burnley 25-5, perhaps the 1-1 draw was an unfortunate outcome for his men. However, even Tuchel would agree that a win should be expected when the league leaders face a side with only one win all season. It is doubtful that Tuchel will be as diplomatic this week if Chelsea fails to win this weekend.
Chelsea put their number one spot on the line this week at King Power Stadium, where they face an improving Leicester City (+380), who has only one loss in their past six games and have scored 12 times during that run. Adding to Chelsea’s concerns for this match is that they haven’t won at King Power in over four years. The Fox’s supporters are still reveling after eliminating Chelsea from the FA Cup here last season and taking the league fixture 2-0.
Despite the “fantastic” performance last week, Chelsea will need to be more clinical in front of goal. The fact that only one goal came from 25 shots against Burnley should be cause for concern. Not to mention that while Leicester boast the league’s second-best scorer in Jamie Vardy, Chelsea doesn’t have one in the top ten, and their leading talisman, Reece James is a defender!
The blueprint for success, provided last week by Burnley, is clear; pack the defensive box with shirts, and Chelsea will struggle to find the goal. There is little doubt that City boss Brendan Rodgers has watched the tapes and will employ very similar tactics. Having the world-class scoring ability of Jamie Vardy back and healthy could be the difference in this one. After playing through a knock two weeks ago and missing out on England duty, Vardy should be at full flight against the Londoners, particularly if Chelsea puts up another performance like their “fantastic” draw against relegation bound Burnley.
Take the hometown dogs for a juicy (+380). For coffee and cake afterward, take the under 2.5 in light of Chelsea’s misfiring offense. ‘Then look for the ever-reliable Jamie Vardy to find the back of the net in what could be this week’s big upset.