Opposing views: Leicester City vs Chelsea fan preview
Arguably the the two teams making the biggest headlines in this season’s Premier League come head to head over the weekend. Leicester City will host Chelsea, with the champions still languishing inexplicably in the lower echelons of the division. Their loss at home to Bournemouth will have only made the taste in fan’s mouths even more sour, but a comfortable progression from their Champions League group will result in increased confidence. Leicester City on the other hand have been nothing short of phenomenal, with Vardy and Marhez in particular grabbing the headlines. The former non-league forward’s goal-scoring run came to a halt last weekend, but will he guide The Foxes to victory yet again on Monday night? Here are the thoughts of two of our followers.
The hosts: Leicester City – Harvey Lewis
I’m Harvey Lewis, a man supporting his hometown, seeing them do almost too well in what has become an easier Premier League!
Sitting at the top of the tree is all well and good, yet unlike United, the football is top notch as well. Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez are a match made in heaven and their form and goals has seen the Foxes suprise even the most faithful of fans.
Manager approval rating: 10/10
It’s hard to dislike the Italian that many thought would be sacked come Christmas. Life after Pearson looked tough but the English lunatic has been long forgotten since our Pizzaman came in. Ranieri has transformed the clubs confidence with it now running through the veins of everyone associated. The Tinkerman’s lack of tinkering has made for a smooth, fluent season.
Predicted starting line-up:
I can’t see any changes ahead of the Chelsea game. Perhaps Drinkwater may be expected to sit in a bit more until the fluidity of the game is established, then we will strike with the lethal duo of Mahrez and Vardy coming to the fore once again.
Player to watch: N’Golo Kante
Finally gaining credit for his all action style, Kante is a class-act in the middle of the park doing all the runiing and dirty work allowing Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy to flourish
Most feared opposition player: Willian
Normally would go for Hazard but the form the Brazilian winger has shown this season has made many fear him. His expertise from a set piece make him a constant threat.
Score prediction: 2-1
As we’ve been surprising many this year, I can see the foxes conceding early and hitting back with a late comeback. With Vardy not scoring last week, he’ll be hungry for a goal. Chelsea will have the media hoping they stutter again, and I think they will.
The visitors: Chelsea – Sean Crossey
I’m Sean; a recent English graduate and firm supporter of Chelsea.
The less said the better really. After optimism had built following wins against Maccabi Haifa and Norwich as well as a hard fought draw away at Spurs, we were sent crashing right back to Earth after losing at home to Bournemouth. Not the defence of the title we Chelsea fans envisaged and even top four looks a long shot.
Current manager approval rating – 7/10
Obviously after winning the title Jose looked like he could do no wrong, but he has to take a share of the blame given how woeful Chelsea have performed this season. I still firmly believe he’s the right man to turn things around, but whether he’s given the opportunity is another matter.
Predicted starting line-up
Jose is unflinching in his use of 4-2-3-1 and will surely continue with it. Courtois will likely continue in goal with Ivanovic keeping his place at right back. Terry is back in training and was able to play in mid-week, but Jose will probably go with Cahill and Zouma to deal with Leicester’s pacey attack, Azpilicueta should also return after being replaced by Baba Rahman last week.
In midfield Matic will again be partnered by the struggling Fabregas while Hazard, Oscar and Willian will be in behind Costa. If Chelsea want to nullify the treat of Leicester (never thought I would be saying that) Ramires could make his return from injury, but it is more likely that the energetic Brazilian will be an option from the bench.
Player to watch: Willian
While last year Hazard, Costa and Fabregas drove the team forward, this year that job seems to rest solely on Willian, a man who has surely signed some Faustian deal that drains his teammates talent while inflating his own. Also any free-kicks close to goal are almost penalties given his set piece ability this season.
Most feared opposition player: Riyad Mahrez
Jamie Vardy might be the name of everyone’s lips for Leicester, but Mahrez can’t be overlooked. Mahrez runs the game for Leicester and with 10 goals and 6 assists, and up against a struggling Chelsea defence he is as likely to score a goal as he is to create one.
I have to admit I’m nervous about this one. There will almost certainly be goals and both teams are at complete opposite ends of the confidence spectrum, but I’ll go with 3-2 for Chelsea. Just another 14 points then to catch up to them!
You can follow Sean on Twitter here: @SeanCrossey
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Alex Hannam