Not many will give Leicester City much chance this weekend as the newly promoted Foxes travel to Premier League giants Chelsea in a 15:00 kick-off at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.
Nigel Pearson’s men got off to a fine start on the opening day, drawing 2-2 against a well equipped Everton side at the King Power Stadium. Despite romping to Championship glory with ease last season, City still remain one of the favourites to go down this year at the expense of an elite level Barclays Premier League which can often be ruthless to the newcomers.
Pearson and his side got off to a nightmare start against Roberto Martinez’s Toffees on Saturday when Aiden McGeady struck an unstoppable shot into the top corner of Kasper Schmeichel’s goal. But, it was record signing (£8M from Brighton in July) Leonardo Ulloa who pulled it back to 1-1 minutes after. Everton regained the lead after some good work down the left flank, culminating in a Steven Naismith goal. However, Chris Wood was on hand late on to secure an opening day point for Pearson’s troops, sending the King Power faithful into raptures.
So do they stand any chance against a formidable Chelsea outfit? You can ‘never say never’, but it must be said, their chances are fairly slim. Pearson will know he faces a difficult task against Jose Mourinho’s men, but this is what it’s all about, these big days at clubs like Chelsea, the stuff of dreams for some of these Leicester players who’ve gone through utter heartbreak on the way to England’s top division in years gone by and they’ll be confident they can get something from this game, especially after a positive result last weekend.
The west Londoners opened up their 2014/15 league campaign in emphatic fashion, overcoming another promoted side Burnley, at Turf Moor on Monday night, eventually despatching of Sean Dyche’s outfit 3-1. Chelsea are favourites with the bookies to seal the title this term after a less than impressive season last year, subsequently ending trophyless. But the Blues will be out with a vengeance on Saturday in their first home league game of the season and Jose Mourinho will look to make Stamford Bridge a fortress again like he did so well during his first tenure at the club, starting on Saturday.
Leicester will look to start solidly, keeping it tight for as long as they can, but with the attacking players at their disposal such as David Nugent and Anthony Knockaert, don’t be surprised to see them conjuring up a few opportunities themselves. They’ll have done their homework on the likes of Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas who are key to Chelsea going forward. Unfortunately, it remains to be seen whether they are strong enough at the back to hold their own against the league’s best teams, and Pearson will hope inspirational figures Wes Morgan and Andy King can shore things up in their own half, giving the attackers some incentive to go forward and probe problems for the opponent rearguard. After all, Leicester have no reason to be afraid of the big boys, they’ve nothing to lose and have earned their top flight place on merit, not luck.
A tight first half, but Chelsea’s star-studded squad to breach a stubborn Leicester City defence in the second half. 2-0
Do you think that Chelsea will always have too much for newly promoted Leicester, or can the underdogs spring a huge surprise and perhaps snatch a draw at Stamford Bridge? Let us know in the comments or on twitter @TBRFootball .