Premier League champions Leicester host champions elect, Chelsea, at the King Power in today’s late kick-off, and BT Sport pundit Robbie Savage thinks that the visitors will just have the edge over Claudio Ranieri’s men.
Blues boss Antonio Conte will be without star striker Diego Costa after reports emerged that the Spain international hadn’t trained for three days after a fallout with a member of the coaching staff, as well as a dispute over a £30m-a-year contract offer from China.
Whilst losing their top scorer to such circumstances is a big blow for the west London side, the Foxes are also without a full strength side thanks to the Africa Cup of Nations, which Savage thinks could be the difference this afternoon.
Speaking to Shoot! before the news of Costa’s bust up, the former Leicester midfielder said:
“I just make Chelsea slight favourites, I think Leicester – with the Africa Cup of Nations – have lost two players who would have started the game in Ryiad Mahrez and Islam Slimani.
“I think we saw against Spurs that, with the Dele Alli goals, there was a bit of vulnerability there [from Chelsea] with balls into the box, so I think with Mahrez in the side and Slimani starting they could have caused some problems.
“Leicester can’t field their strongest side, which is why I just make Chelsea favourites.”
Having tipped the blues to take all three points in the midlands this evening, Savage also reaffirmed his belief that Conte’s side will take the title:
“I’ve said previously, give Chelsea the title now, that was a bit tongue in cheek,
“They’ve got Costa who works so hard and scores goals, they’ve got Pedro and Hazard and add to that the cover available for the defence in Kante and Matic is brilliant.
“Also, one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League and a manager who is passionate,
“I still make them favourites.”
Watch Leicester City v Chelsea live on BT Sport 1 on Saturday 14th January from 5pm. Visit btsport.com for more info.