What was once a fairly easy top four finish, bringing UEFA Champions League football to the King Power, is now looking likely to be a race to the finish. Match time is 11 am EDT.
With the Emirates F.A. Cup coming smack dab in the middle of what is looking like one of the best Premier League top four (or five, if City is banned) races in recent memory, teams are having to prioritize.
Take the contest Saturday: Manchester United put out a weakened side in the first 60 minutes, then called on its A team to finally put away a full-strength Norwich City team in the 118th minute.
Sunday, both Chelsea and Leicester City have that dilemma. Leicester looked to be cruising towards another title challenge; after 16 match weeks, the Foxes had 38 points (12-2-2). Since then (15 matches), Leicester has picked up just 17 points (four wins, five draws, six losses). What was once a fairly easy top four finish, bringing UEFA Champions League football to the King Power, is now looking likely to be a race to the finish. Chelsea is just one point back, with Wolves (52 points from 32) and Manchester United (can be on 52 points with a win Tuesday over Brighton) possibly ready to pounce if the Foxes’ swoon continues.
So what does Brendan Rodgers do? Does he put out a strong side and try to move on to the semifinals, or does he put out a side filled with second stringers?
Without seeing the lineups out it, this could be a tough call. But I think Chelsea has the deeper squad, and could call on the better players from the squad.
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ENGLAND F.A. CUP QUARTERFINALS
Leicester City (+180) vs. Chelsea (+148), draw (+240), 11 am EDT (ESPN+)
Chelsea ML (+148)
Chelsea to advance (-134)
Over 2.5 goals (-110)