Enzo Maresca’s Championship-leading Foxes are at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. We look ahead to the FA Cup quarter-final clash with our Chelsea vs Leicester City prediction and preview.

Chelsea vs Leicester City Stats: The Quick Hits

  • Chelsea are backed by the Opta supercomputer to defeat Leicester City, winning 59.9% of pre-match simulations.
  • The Blues have reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup in five of the last seven campaigns.
  • Leicester have won just one of their last 13 away games at Stamford Bridge across all competitions (D4 L8).

Match Preview

Struggling in the Premier League and having already lost the EFL Cup final this season, Chelsea have a golden opportunity to reach the FA Cup semi-finals when they host Championship leaders Leicester City for an early Sunday kick-off at Stamford Bridge.

Mauricio Pochettino has largely failed to get a tune out of Todd Boehly’s chaotically assembled squad. Chelsea are 11th in the league table ahead of this weekend’s scaled-back Premier League schedule, despite spending heavily on the likes of Moisés Caicedo, Roméo Lavia, Christopher Nkunku and Cole Palmer for the 2023-24 campaign.

Manchester City academy product Palmer represents one of the few transfer success stories during Chelsea’s cash-splashing frenzy, and he played a crucial role in Monday’s 3-2 league win over Newcastle United with a goal and an assist. Nicolas Jackson and Mykhailo Mudryk were also on target at Stamford Bridge.

Concerns regarding their top-flight shortcomings were somewhat eased by reaching the EFL Cup final, though that ended in a last-gasp defeat as Virgil van Dijk scored a 118th-minute extra-time winner at Wembley for Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

England’s national home ground will play host to the FA Cup semi-finals once more, meaning Chelsea are just one win away from another Wembley date. They beat Preston North End, Aston Villa (in a replay) and – most recently – Championship contenders Leeds United to make the last eight of this competition.

Chelsea vs Leeds United stats FA Cup

That Leeds win was far from straightforward, though. Chelsea required a late winner from Conor Gallagher to triumph 3-2, with visiting striker Mateo Joseph’s unlikely brace seemingly catching the potentially-soon-to-be Premier League side by surprise.

Despite their issues, eight-time FA Cup winners Chelsea will back themselves to overcome Leicester, but Enzo Maresca – who used to work under Pep Guardiola – has his team on course for an instant return to the Premier League.

Leicester, who beat Chelsea in the 2021 final of this competition, sit top of the Championship ahead of the weekend’s action and look likely to bounce straight back up after a dismal collapse towards Premier League relegation last term.

Maresca’s men battled past fellow Championship sides Millwall and Birmingham City before a lovely Abdul Fatawu curler secured a 1-0 extra-time win at Bournemouth to reach this round.

Although Fatawu’s strike may have been one of the more memorable of this run, all seven of Leicester’s FA Cup goals this season have been scored by different players, with only six clubs having more scorers in the competition in 2023-24.

Leicester are likely to be missing the injured Dennis Praet and Ricardo Pereira, though Pochettino also has a handful of availability issues to consider. Former Foxes defender Ben Chilwell, Lesley Ugochukwu, Levi Colwill, Reece James, Nkunku, Lavia and Wesley Fofana all remain out injured, though Benoît Badiashile could be set to return.

Chelsea vs Leicester City Head-to-Head

Chelsea have progressed from seven of their eight FA Cup ties against Leicester, though the exception was a 1-0 defeat in the most recent meeting in the 2021 final when Youri Tielemans – now at Aston Villa – scored a stunning winner.

Leicester’s record outside of this competition against Chelsea is far from convincing as well, having won just one of their last 13 games at Stamford Bridge across all competitions (D4 L8), beating the Blues 1-0 in the Premier League in December 2018.

Raheem Sterling has scored four goals in his last two appearances against Leicester, too, including a brace at Stamford Bridge in August 2022 – his first goals for the Blues after his move from Man City.

With Kai Havertz now at Arsenal and Mateo Kovacic playing for Manchester City, Chilwell is the only remaining Chelsea scorer from the last meeting between these two teams, a 3-1 victory in March last year as Leicester headed towards Premier League relegation.

Recent Form

Chelsea have won their last five FA Cup quarter-final ties since losing to Everton in 2015-16, while the Blues have reached the semi-finals of the competition in five of the last seven campaigns.

In stark contrast, Leicester have lost five of their last six quarter-final ties in the FA Cup, though the exception was their most recent one in 2020-21 en route to lifting the trophy.

It will be a tough ask for Maresca’s visitors, given Chelsea have lost just one of their last 21 home games in the FA Cup (W18 D2), a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United in the fifth round in 2018-19.

Yet Leicester may fancy their chances of an upset after winning seven of their last eight away matches in this competition (L1), including each of the last four in a row. They last won five consecutive FA Cup away games way back between 1963 and 1965.

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Chelsea vs Leicester City Prediction

Chelsea vs Leicester City Prediction Opta Analyst

Owing to the difference in divisions and squads, the Opta supercomputer heavily backs a Chelsea win here, with the hosts triumphing inside 90 minutes in 59.9% of 10,000 pre-match simulations.

Leicester’s unlikely chances of winning in 90 minutes are rated at 19.1% by the same data-backed model, with the draw more likely, at 21%.

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