CHELSEA v Leicester: Preview

Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Saturday, 23 August
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT

Monday night saw a really impressive start to the season from Chelsea, with the sort of football mere words don’t really do justice. The fact that Arsenal’s response to Fabregas’ performance was to get bent out of shape, sums up the bargain we’ve bagged with his signing though. In fact, his addition to the squad along with a much more clinical frontman in Costa, probably kept us buzzing all week.
Same again today would do nicely.
Today’s opponents didn’t do too badly last weekend either, opening their account on return to the Premier League by coming from behind twice to get a 2-2 draw against Everton. We’ll need Courtois and co to be a bit more alert than they were for Burnley’s opener!

Ahead of Chelsea’s first home game of the campaign, Jose Mourinho says “Leicester are champions and they come with this winning mentality from the previous season, and they come with high expectations and motivations to play in the Premier League. They know that every point is important in this league, especially for the teams that fight to keep in the division.They had a difficult start, playing Everton is not easy, and they managed to come from behind to equalise and deliver a good game to Everton. Now they come to us and I don’t think it will be different. They are coming to try to get points.”
Leicester boss Nigel Pearson meanwhile, says “I’m looking forward to taking Leicester City to Chelsea in the league rather than the cup. The most important thing is I want to see how our players cope with a big fixture. It’s important for us to play the game and not the occasion. Chelsea at Stamford Bridge speaks for itself. Their record there is very good but we have to think of this as something of a bonus.Not many people give us much hope but we have a strong resolve. If we can be an awkward customer I’ll be happy. But we have some good footballers. We maybe need a bit of time for our players to dictate the tempo a bit better. There are a lot of counter-attacking sides in the Premier League. I don’t want us to just soak pressure. We need to give each other enough options to maximise our offensive players. We have some threats. It’s important for people to enjoy the experience but we will only do that by performing as well as we can. I don’t see my job to be fundamentally different. I’m very pleased to be the manager of a side that has achieved promotion with style.”

For Chelsea, Mourinho has no new injury concerns ahead of the visit of Leicester
Left-back Filipe Luis awaits his debut and Didier Drogba will no doubt get some time on the pitch now he’s really back home.
For Leicester, Matthew Upson (foot), Danny Drinkwater (hamstring) and Matty James (shin) are out although Pearson hopes Jamie Vardy (thigh) and Marc Albrighton (groin) could be fit.

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Costa; Schurrle, Oscar, Hazard; Matic, Fabregas; Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta; Courtois
LEICESTER (Possible line-up): Ulloa, Nugent; Mahrez, Hammond, King, Knockaert; De Laet, Moore, Morgan, Konchesky; Schmdeichel.


Most recent Premier League meeting was 23 August 2003 (Chelsea won 2-1) Leicester have only 4 from 45 visits to Stamford Bridge in the league.
Chelsea have won the last six meetings, scoring 20 goals.
Most recent win v Leicester was 5-2 in an FA Cup quarter-final at home (March 2012)
Chelsea have not lost one of their first two league fixtures of the season since 2006.

Leicester had the best away record in the Championship last season
Leicester’s last Premier League away win was in March 2004 (Birmingham)

I definitely didn’t predict the performance from Chelsea against Burnley on Monday so maybe I should be saying we’re in for a tough time from the Premier League’s other new boys and see if it works again?


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