Chelsea vs Leicester City: Match preview and predicted line-ups
After it took extra-time to separate the two sides in the EFL Cup with Chelsea proving victorious at the King Power Stadium, but last season was the first time since 1982/1983 that the Foxes avoided defeat to the Blues for a whole season, as they secured a draw on the final day of last season at Stamford Bridge to crown their title winning campaign. Now, both sides are struggling to live up to expectations in the Premier League and will be desperate to turn things around if either side is to mount a serious challenge for European football next season, starting with this clash on Saturday lunchtime.
Chelsea returned to form with victory over Hull City in Antonio Conte’s new set-up, having previously been stuck in a rut which saw one of their worst runs of form and Antonio Conte’s worst run as a manager in a number of years. That run has put doubts over the Blues form, who have still only won once of their last four Premier League matches.
Claudio Ranieri’s team’s mixed form of late has been representative of their inconsistent title defence. A dull 0-0 against Southampton last time out brought the Foxes back down to earth after defeating Porto in the Champions League. Now sitting in 12th place only months after winning the league, Ranieri’s side have struggled in their challenges so far this season being thrashed by Manchester United and Chelsea and scraping a 0-0 draw against Arsenal.
Chelsea predicted starting XI Leicester City predicted starting XI
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Antonio Conte is expected to stick with his preferred system which he implemented for the first time up against Hull City last weekend. John Terry could come back into the side to give more experience in defence whilst Victor Moses is likely to be the man to miss out as a result.
There will most likely be very few changes for Claudio Ranieri, who is expected to field his strongest eleven in an unchanged line-up from the draw against Southampton before the international break.
Injuries and Suspensions
Chelsea are expected to have captain John Terry back available in a major boost for their defence as he has overcome an ankle injury. Victor Moses will miss out after missing international duty, with a ban possible if it can be proven that he was fully fit. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is also expected to be unavailable through injury and Kurt Zouma is still about a fortnight away from a return from his long term knee injury.
Shinji Okazaki, who scored twice in the fixture between the two sides in the EFL Cup, is expected to be forced out of the tie with an ankle injury but may come into contention if training goes well this week. Nampalys Mendy is also a doubt, whilst Matty James and young Ben Chilwell will have to watch on from the stands as they continue their recoveries.
Given their clash in the EFL Cup earlier on this campaign, it seems that it’ll be a tight clash between the two sides. Chelsea looked much improved against Hull and if they can replicate such a performance with Antonio Conte’s new system then they should have enough quality to secure a narrow Chelsea win.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Alex Hannam.
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