Leicester v Chelsea: Expect parity as elite Premier League pair clash

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte won the Coppa Italia just once across his playing and coaching career
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte won the Coppa Italia just once across his playing and coaching career
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Michael Lintorn doesn't think a winner to the EFL Cup tie between Leicester and Chelsea will be found in normal time...

"Chelsea's previous three trips to top-tier teams in the EFL Cup ended in draws, 1-1 on each occasion to be specific."

Back the 1-1 draw @ 8.07/1

Leicester 3.711/4 v Chelsea 2.111/10; The Draw 3.8514/5
Tuesday, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports 1

Leicester

The Premier League title holders may be in the bottom half having collected less than half of the points available in their opening five games, but those seven points are actually equal to what they earned in the equivalent fixtures last term.

It suggests that, contrary to the general perception, they have started the season pretty well, especially when you factor in their joyous Champions League debut, winning 3-0 away to Club Brugge.

The Foxes are three men down in Kasper Schmeichel, Nampalys Mendy and Matty James, though the chances of squad rotation are high judging by the sides that Claudio Ranieri fielded in this competition last year.


Chelsea

Everything began almost too well for Chelsea under Antonio Conte, with each of their first four games in all competitions ending in victory and the fifth one at Swansea heading the same way with 58 minutes on the Liberty Stadium clock.

However, a 2-2 draw that day was followed by a 2-1 home reverse to Liverpool last Friday to suddenly drop the Blues five points behind pacesetting Manchester City and perhaps cause some fans hoping for a title challenge to ponder whether a top-four finish is a more reasonable target.

Conte has been consistent in his selection against Premier League foes thus far, picking nine players to start all five matches and two others in four. Whether he uses Friday's setback and the change of environment to hand the initiative to Marcos Alonso, Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and Michy Batshuayi remains to be seen. John Terry, Kurt Zouma and Marco van Ginkel won't participate.


Match Odds

Chelsea rarely suffer the misfortune of landing a cup draw this brutal, especially not in September, yet in a campaign when domestic knockouts carry more weight for them than usual because of their European absence, they have been asked to visit the Premier League champions in round three.

Their previous three trips to top-tier teams in the EFL Cup ended in draws, 1-1 on each occasion to be specific, with the west Londoners exiting in extra time in one of those ties - at Sunderland in 2013/14 - and on penalties in another - at Stoke in 2015/16.

Leicester's last two EFL Cup encounters also finished level on 90 minutes - 1-1 against West Ham and 0-0 against Hull - with them progressing in extra time in the former and being beaten on penalties in the latter. Another draw is a 3.8514/5 shot, with the 1-1 scoreline available to back at 8.07/1.


Both Teams to Score

1.75/7 on both teams to score seems like a shrewd investment given the bet paid out in five of their past six collisions, including each of the three in the last 18 months. It has been a winner in five of Chelsea's initial six outings under Conte too.

Seven of Leicester's eight EFL Cup contests in front of their fans this decade have been devoid of clean sheets, while their guests' latest six away assignments in the competition have done likewise.


Recommended Bets:
Back the draw @ 3.8514/5
Back the 1-1 draw @ 8.07/1
Back both teams to score @ 1.75/7


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