Leicester City FC will be aiming to claim their first-ever FA Cup title when they take on long-time rivals Chelsea FC as lengthy underdogs in this year’s final matchup on Saturday, May 15 at Wembley Stadium. The Foxes are enjoying their best season across all competitions since their epic march to the Premier League title back in 2016 and now enjoy the opportunity to avenge their loss to Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-finals last season.
Chelsea has emerged as heavy favourites as they prepare to make their fourth FA Cup final appearance in five years. The Blues have fallen to defeat in two of their three recent appearances, but have been a dominant force this season when playing away from the comfortable confines of Stamford Bridge.
CanadianBettingSites has you covered with all the odds, trends, and best bets as the oldest national soccer competition on the planet wraps up its 2021 campaign.
Foxes Surprise Contenders
Leicester City has emerged as one of the big surprises of the English football season in 2021. In addition to positioning themselves for a run at a second-place finish on the Premier League table, and a return to the UEFA Champions League competition for the first time in five years, the Foxes have also dominated during their run to the FA Cup final. Leicester has outgunned opponents by a wide 12-2 margin while going a racking up a perfect 5-0-0 win-draw-loss record in tournament play, capped by last month’s 1-0 victory over Southampton.
Leicester City will face Chelsea in the FA Cup final!
The Foxes (+100 Money Line) beat Southampton 1-0 thanks to this goal from Iheanacho.
— NBC Sports EDGE Betting (@NBCSportsBet) April 18, 2021
With so much on the line with just four matches remaining in this season’s Premier League schedule, it will be a challenge for the Foxes to keep the focus on their best opportunity to raise the FA Cup since their last trip to the final back in 1969. Leicester currently enjoys a four-match unbeaten streak, which started with the semi-final victory over Southampton and has maintained their stingy ways over that stretch, allowing just two total goals.
Injuries a Concern for Leicester
Injuries remain a concern for the Foxes as they begin their stretch run. The status of defender Jonny Evans remains uncertain as he continues to nurse an ankle injury that has plagued him in recent weeks. However, Evans showed little sign of the injury while potting the match-tying goal in the club’s recent draw with Southampton.
Been told by various sources James Maddison does need operation on his hip but is holding off on the decision to go ahead with it. Keep a eye on this.. Risky.. #LCFC
— indykaila News (@indykaila) February 26, 2021
The form of James Maddison also remains in doubt following his disappointing performance against Southampton. The Leicester midfielder looked to have recovered from hip surgery last summer while racking up a combined 11 goals and assists over 12 match appearances before being sidelined once again in mid-February. Maddison has failed to score in five appearances across all competitions since his return, and it would be a blow to the club if the 24-year-old Englishman was not available for such hugely important matches down the stretch.
Chelsea on Epic Run Since New Year’s Day
While the Foxes try to stay healthy and enjoy a rare opportunity to raise the trophy, Chelsea aims to maintain a hot streak of their own. The Blues have closed the gap on Leicester in the race for third place on the Premier Table to just two points during their current 3-1-0 run in league play. The club’s current surge extends a dominant run since New Year’s Day, during which they have racked up an impressive 18-6-4 record in all competitions. A Stingy defence has been key to Chelsea’s recent success.
Chelsea in the Premier League under Tuchel:
Goals conceded – 8 (1st)
Clean sheets – 11 (1st)
Shots on target faced – 35 (1st)
Chances created – 188 (1st)
Shots on target – 88 (1st)
One of the best teams in Europe. pic.twitter.com/PHrdRF9Kqr
— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) May 1, 2021
The club has kept clean sheets in four of their past five outings, and on 19 occasions overall since the start of 2021. That trend towards shutdown defence extends to the Blues’ play in the FA Cup action, with the club allowing just one total goal in their five tournament wins, capped by their 1-0 blacking on Manchester City in last month’s semi-final action.
Low Scoring Likely in FA Cup Final
With both these clubs effectively shutting down opponents, there is a strong likelihood that next week’s FA Cup final matchup will be a low-scoring affair. Considering that five of the previous six meetings between these two clubs have featured fewer than three total goals, expect that trend to continue when they hit the pitch at Wembley. That adds lustre to the odds of the total finishing UNDER 2.5 (1.80), with a $20 bet at Bodog paying out $36.00.
Chelsea, Foxes Well Matched
A look at recent head-to-head matchups between these two clubs offers no such clarity. Leicester marched to a decisive 2-0 win when they hosted Chelsea in league playback in mid-January, but neither team has dominated the other in recent seasons. Each club has claimed just a single victory over their past five meetings, with three clashes ending draw during that stretch. And home cooking has provided little benefit, with each of these clubs tallying just one win in their past four head-to-head matchups on home turf.
LEICESTER CITY 2-0 CHELSEA | MADDISON PUTS LAMPARD ON THE BRINK! | MATCH REACTION
— Garage Football (@garage_football) January 19, 2021
Complicating matters further, and a potential source of distraction is the scheduled league matchup between these clubs at Stamford Bridge just four days after the FA Cup final. While the Foxes have managed to maintain a steady pace across all competitions despite enduring a hectic schedule that has also featured a run to the Round of 32 in the UEFA Europa League.
Can Experience Give Blues the Edge?
Chelsea appears to have found their defensive groove and enjoy significantly more recent experience in championship contests. But few observers should be surprised if it takes more than 90 minutes for this year’s FA Cup champion to be crowned. As a result, the best value to be found for Canadian sports bettors wagering on the result of this match can be found in a wager on a Draw, with a $20 bet at 888 Sport paying out $69.00.