JACK Wright's (@JackWright_BSB) Bet of the Day continues on Saturday as we return home.
Chelsea vs Leicester | Saturday 15th May 2021, 17:15
It’s FA Cup final day in England – and I have a stand out Bet of the Day for it!
Thomas Tuchel has the opportunity to put his first piece of silverware in the Stamford Bridge trophy cabinet after less than 30 games in the job – he will have another opportunity after guiding the Blues to the UCL final against Manchester City at the end of the month – but first he will be concentrating on winning the 140th renewal of the oldest national football cup competition.
I was extremely surprised to see Chelsea open up around even money and I am even more surprised that the price has only marginally contracted so enables me to put this forward as my selection today still at a very attractive price.
This is game number 27 in charge for the German Head Coach winning 17 of the previous 26 losing and just three – the freak hammering at home to West Brom after being reduced to 10 men when 1-0 up with an hour to play, the last-minute defeat to Porto when already qualified in the UCL and this week's smash and grab raid against Arsenal where they dominated possession (68%), shots (19-5) and even gift wrapped the Gunners goal with that blind back pass.
The transformation of the Chelsea defence under Tuchel is incredible – with just 12 goals conceded – five of which coming in that defeat to West Brom – considering in that run of games they have played some of the best sides in Europe – Manchester City, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid all twice, plus Liverpool, Manchester United and Spurs.
Across those nine big fixtures this new Chelsea – or dare I say it a 2021 version of that elite side Jose Mourinho put together in his first spell at Stamford Bridge – have won seven, drawn two and lost none – scoring 11 goals in the process whilst conceding….just once.
This Chelsea look perfectly suited to the big occasion, taking on the big teams and the biggest managerial names – cool, calm, collected and efficient – with their only criticism arguably being that they are spurning too many good chances.
Can Leicester cause an upset? Well yes, they can, after all they are also having a fantastic season albeit seemingly dragging themselves over the finishing line rather than cruising – for them talisman Jamie Vardy needs to rediscover the golden touch which has been with him for pretty much the duration of his time with the club.
It is just one goal in 16 for the 34-year-old now, something of a worry as he looks certain to hand over the top scoring mantle to his strike partner Kelechi Iheanacho who has struck ten times in the last ten games, Vardy’s work rate can never be questioned of course and he at least does have four assists to his name from his last eight appearances.
Injuries have also played a part too with Harvey Barnes’ continued absence proving to be a big miss, James Maddison too has been nursed through recent games, though we should see him start at Wembley – and also Jonny Evans – who will be a last-minute decision – but certainly leaves a big void in defence where his assured, consistent displays are sorely missed.
The Northern Ireland international has missed four of the last 13 games and in that period the Foxes have only kept two clean sheets – neither of which being in games where he featured – it’s now no shut out in the last four and if Chelsea extend that run and get their noses in front, they will be very tough to peg back – I just don’t see Leicester in their current form having enough about them to trouble this mightily impressive Chelsea outfit.
For me a low scoring win to nil is on the cards however I will be playing the safer option, keeping it simple and backing a Chelsea win at, in my opinion, generous odds against.
Chelsea vs Leicester – Chelsea to win (39/40 SBK)