Chelsea v Leicester City
Saturday, 15:00

Winter wonderland for buoyant Blues

It would be a push to describe Chelsea as a one-man team, but there's little doubt that their fortunes remain closely intertwined with the form of Eden Hazard. A couple of weeks ago, the Blues' momentum appeared to be petering out: the Belgian had stopped scoring, and points had been dropped against Everton, Spurs and Wolves. Now, with Hazard having netted the winner against Brighton and repeated the trick in the League Cup against Bournemouth, things are suddenly looking rosier again.
That feeling is only strengthened by a glance at the festive fixtures. Leicester, Watford, Crystal Palace and Southampton all look beatable, and with their top-four rivals preparing for some tough games, it wouldn't be any great surprise to see Chelsea tighten their grip on a top-four place. With no major personnel issues to work around, it could be a very happy Christmas indeed for Maurizio Sarri.

Leicester need an improvement

With relegation unlikely and Europe almost certainly out of reach, you might have expected Leicester to throw everything at Tuesday's League Cup quarter-final against Manchester City. But no: the likes of James Maddison, Ricardo Pereira, Kasper Schmeichel and Jamie Vardy were all left out of the starting XI. And while there's no great shame in losing on penalties to such a great team, it still felt like half an opportunity squandered.
It's back to the Premier League now, and Claude Puel will be well aware that an improvement will be needed if he is to banish the constant, low-level speculation about his job security. The Foxes have managed just two wins in 10 league games, with recent away results especially frustrating: they probably would have been expecting to claim more than two points from trips to Brighton, Fulham and Crystal Palace.

Chelsea strong favourites

The omens are not particularly good for Leicester here. Chelsea have lost only once in their last 12 league meetings with the Foxes (W9 D2), and have been in solid form at Stamford Bridge, where they're unbeaten in 12 Premier League games.
In fact, it's also five consecutive home clean sheets (all competitions) for Sarri's side, and while they have been businesslike rather than spectacular in recent wins, Hazard's return to goalscoring form should inspire them here. Little wonder they're as short as 1.35 to take maximum points.

Fireworks not on the cards

Leicester's games haven't tended to be goal fests in recent weeks: their last ten matches (all competitions) have gone under the 2.5-goal line. With Vardy struggling for form and fitness, their attack lacks a focal point, and it would be no great shock if Chelsea recorded another shutout here.
Chelsea win to nil is therefore an option at 11/10 on the Sportsbook, but we prefer to back the Blues and under 3.5 goals. Chelsea haven't scored three in a Premier League game since early November, but this gives us some wiggle room if they - or indeed Leicester - find an extra cutting edge.
This selection is Evens on the Sportsbook, but you can get a slightly better price of 2.12 by backing the 1-0, 2-0, 2-1 and 3-0 wins on the Correct Score market on the Exchange.

Garden of Eden

Hazard has been directly involved in 17 goals in the Premier League this season (eight goals, nine assists), more than any other player. Using the Same Game Multi tool on the Sportsbook, you can back him to net the opener in a Chelsea win at odds of [4.83].
RECOMMENDED BETS
Dutch back 1-0, 2-0, 2-1 and 3-0 Chelsea wins at 2.12

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