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Chelsea’s defeat to Arsenal on Wednesday has left the door slightly ajar in the top-four race and with Leicester also dropping points recently against Southampton and Newcastle, neither are quite over the line yet.
The Foxes did however win away at Old Trafford last time out though, albeit against a weakened line-up, which will hand them some confidence ahead of this clash.
This is Leicester’s first FA Cup final since 1969, but Chelsea are regulars at the showpiece event and have actually reached three of the past four finals.
They were denied by Arsenal on two occasions, while beating Man Utd in the other, but despite only winning one of these, they’ve still lifted this trophy five times since 2006/07.
-1 Handicap Draw
FA Cup finals are rarely settled by big margins and only two of the past 16 have seen one team or the other triumph by more than a single goal.
Both of those were mismatches as Arsenal won 4-0 against Aston Villa in 2015 and Man City walked all over Watford 6-0 in 2019.
Although these games are typically tight, only two of the last 13 have ended in a stalemate over 90 minutes, with nine of these seeing a team win by a single goal (five ending 1-0, four ending 2-1).
We’d also expect this to be a close affair. Both sides had tight semi-finals, as Leicester beat Southampton 1-0 and Chelsea triumphed by the same scoreline over Man City.
Moreover, while they’re yet to face each other since Thomas Tuchel took the Chelsea job, five of six head to heads since 2018/19 have seen fewer than three goals.
Under 2.5 Goals
With Tuchel at the helm for Chelsea, we’d only expect that trend to continue. A massive 22 of 26 games under the German coach have now seen under 2.5 goals land, including eight of the past nine.
That’s been especially true when taking on the top sides, as in encounters with Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd, Tottenham and West Ham domestically, as well as Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Porto in Europe, 12 of 13 matches saw under 2.5 goals. Moreover, eight of these featured just one strike or less, while they registered nine clean sheets as there’s a clear game plan.
Chelsea continue without Mateo Kovacic and have a slight doubt over Christian Pulisic, though they’ve beaten Man City twice in the former’s absence and the latter may well have been replaced by Timo Werner here in any case.
Leicester are without James Justin, Harvey Barnes, Cengiz Under and Wes Morgan, while Brendan Rodgers will be desperate to have Jonny Evans back.
Barnes had been one of Leicester’s best players before suffering injury this term, but the potential loss of Evans would be devastating and only further encourages us to swing behind Chelsea.