Chelsea vs Leicester City Predictions

Chelsea vs Leicester City predictions for this FA Cup tie. Chelsea and Championship leaders Leicester City compete in Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final at Stamford Bridge, with a Wembley semi-final spot as the prize. Read on for all our free predictions and betting tips.


FA Cup | Quarter-Finals March 17, 2024 at 12.45pm UK at Stamford Bridge

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Chelsea vs Leicester City Predictions

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Clash of Ambitions: Blues Eyeing Wembley, Foxes Defying Odds

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Key Stats

– Chelsea have triumphed in their last five FA Cup quarter-final matches, showcasing a pedigree in late-stage competitions.

– Leicester City has embarked on a 13-game scoring run on the road, underlining their threat in enemy territory.

– Chelsea and Leicester have faced each other five times since the Foxes’ 2020-21 FA Cup victory, with the Blues winning four, hinting at a psychological edge.

In the grand tapestry of English football, few stages shine as brightly as the FA Cup quarter-finals, where dreams of glory at Wembley are either woven closer to reality or unravelled amidst the roar of the crowd. This Sunday, Stamford Bridge sets the scene for such a pivotal clash as Chelsea, under the stewardship of Mauricio Pochettino, lock horns with Championship leaders Leicester City. Both teams bring to the fore contrasting narratives but share an unwavering determination to etch their name deeper into the annals of this historic competition.


Team Analysis and Expected Lineups

Chelsea’s journey to the quarter-finals, highlighted by a nerve-wracking victory over Leeds United, underscores a team that, while inconsistent in league play, finds a different gear in knockout football. Pochettino, still in pursuit of his maiden trophy on English soil, fields a side blending experienced heads with youthful vigour, evident in their expected lineup of Sanchez; Gusto, Disasi, Chalobah, Cucurella; Caicedo, Gallagher; Mudryk, Palmer, Sterling; Jackson. This selection promises a blend of solidity and flair, with Gallagher’s knack for late heroics and Palmer’s midfield orchestration pivotal against a sturdy Leicester defence.

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Conversely, Leicester’s path, marked by a slender victory over Bournemouth, illustrates a team that, despite recent league wobbles, can muster the resolve needed in tight encounters. Maresca’s expected lineup of Hermansen; Choudhury, Faes, Vestergaard, Justin; Dewsbury-Hall, Ndidi, Winks; Fatawu, Vardy, Mavididi, suggests a strategy leaning on defensive robustness paired with the threat of Vardy’s seasoned prowess upfront. The Foxes’ formation hints at a counter-attacking approach, aiming to exploit spaces left by a Chelsea side prone to defensive lapses.

Gameplay Strategy and Key Duels

The game’s tactical battleground will likely centre around midfield supremacy, where Gallagher’s energy for Chelsea meets the composed presence of Dewsbury-Hall for Leicester. The Blues’ tendency to dominate possession and craft openings through intricate play will test Leicester’s discipline and counter-attacking readiness. Key duels, such as Cucurella’s battle with Fatawu on the flank, could significantly influence the game’s tempo and narrative, offering Chelsea avenues to breach Leicester’s backline or the Foxes opportunities to spring surprises on the break.

Team Strengths, Weaknesses, and Managerial Insight

Chelsea’s strategy under Pochettino has oscillated between brilliance and brittleness. Their attacking potency is undeniable, with an average of 1.7 goals per game in the Premier League, yet a defensive vulnerability has seen them concede just as freely. Pochettino’s reliance on attacking football, while admirable, has often left Chelsea exposed at the back, a facet Leicester’s quick forwards could exploit.

Leicester, under Maresca, present a stark contrast. Their Championship campaign’s success is built on a foundation of solid defence and efficient attacking, boasting the best average rating in their league. However, their recent form suggests a susceptibility to pressure, a vulnerability Chelsea’s high-pressing game could exacerbate. Maresca’s lack of a tactical Plan B has been criticised, and against a side of Chelsea’s calibre, such rigidity could prove costly.


Predictions and Rationale

Best Bet: Chelsea to Win and Both Teams to Score

Embarking on this fixture, Chelsea’s adeptness in front of goal, particularly when gracing the turf at Stamford Bridge, positions them as the likely victors. This assertion draws upon their proven track record of breaching opposition defences with a blend of pace, precision, and ingenuity. The creative fulcrum of Chelsea’s midfield, complemented by their dynamic forward line, stands poised to dismantle the visiting defence.

However, Leicester City, not to be underestimated, carry a potent threat on their travels, demonstrating a consistent ability to find the back of the net regardless of venue or opposition. This knack for scoring, coupled with Chelsea’s somewhat porous defence, lays a solid foundation for expecting goals at both ends. The prediction is underpinned by Chelsea’s attacking flair and propensity for home dominance, counterbalanced by the defensive frailties that often see them conceding.

Correct Score Prediction: Chelsea 3-1 Leicester City

This forecast anticipates a match characterised by Chelsea’s offensive might overshadowing Leicester’s resilience. Chelsea’s inclination towards attacking football, spearheaded by individuals capable of moments of brilliance, is expected to translate into a trio of goals. Leicester, while facing challenges against top-flight opposition, possess the quality and tactical nous to exploit Chelsea’s defensive vulnerabilities on at least one occasion.

This correct score prediction is anchored in an analysis of both teams’ recent performances and intrinsic qualities, suggesting a game where Chelsea’s firepower ultimately prevails over Leicester’s commendable but surmountable resistance.

Goalscorer Prediction: Cole Palmer to Score

Cole Palmer, emerging as a pivotal figure in Chelsea’s midfield, is tipped to etch his name on the scoresheet. His season, marked by decisive contributions and an impressive goal tally, highlights his ability to break from midfield into scoring positions with timing and precision.


Palmer’s knack for being in the right place at the right time, coupled with his technical proficiency, positions him as a prime candidate to capitalise on Leicester’s defensive moments of lapse. This prediction not only recognises Palmer’s current form and confidence but also acknowledges the strategic patterns of play that Chelsea employs to bring midfielders into goal-scoring scenarios.

Team to Score First: Chelsea

Anticipating the pattern of play, Chelsea’s approach to home fixtures hints at a rapid onset, where their initial bursts of intensity and tactical assertiveness often yield early rewards. This predilection for striking early is buttressed by a strategy that involves pressing high and exploiting spaces with quick, incisive movements.

Leicester’s tendency towards a more measured start, especially in away games, may leave them vulnerable to Chelsea’s initial onslaught. This prediction leverages Chelsea’s historical precedent for setting the tempo and dictating play from the outset, suggesting their likelihood of breaking the deadlock before Leicester finds their footing.

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Steve Harrington
Steve Harrington is a sportswriter whose heart beats for football. With a passion that began in the grassroots, he's witnessed the magic of the game from local pitches to grand stadiums. Over the past 7 years, Steve has lent his expertise to several online publications, chronicling the ever-evolving world of football. Beyond his professional pursuits, he holds a special affection for Burnley Football Club, cherishing every triumph and tribulation. Steve believes in the power of storytelling and its ability to bring the beautiful game closer to its ardent fans.