CHELSEA v Leicester: Preview

Date: Saturday 13th January 2018

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Kick-off: 15:00 GMT

 

 

 

Today’s game sees us take on Leicester City at Stamford Bridge and I don’t know about anyone else but I feel about as enthusiastic as our players have looked in their last few games.

Whilst the team of strangers Conte fielded together against Norwich shot him in the foot, our first XI didn’t look that much better against Arsenal Wednesday night in the league cup, so this clearly isn’t about what Conte does or doesn’t do. Like every manager before him, he’s got the press recycling their customary Chelsea stories, a club in no great hurry to support him either publicly or in the market, and a fan base stamping their feet like toddlers offered a sprint round the pound shop instead a daytrip to Toys R Us.

Leicester meanwhile, come into this one a lot livelier after their rest and with Jamie Vardy back from injury.  We can only hope Puel sends Vardy and Mahrez out complete with ball and chain as a precautionary measure in the window.

 

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into today’s game, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says “I’m happy. I’m enjoying my period here. It was not simple for me. It was my first experience in another country. For sure I am enjoying the experience, staying in England, living this atmosphere and working with my players. I have another year of contract and in this case the club has to decide to send me away. We have started big work here together with the players and the club, and for sure when you start work, you need time to improve your work and to create a solid basis. Tomorrow we have to face the worst team for us in this moment. Leicester are a really good team. They are in really good form. It will very, very difficult for us to win the game. We must pay great attention.”

Leicester City manager Claude Puel meanwhile, says “We know Chelsea are the champions. We can cause them problems. We have great players also and quality in the squad and a great attitude all the time in training sessions on the pitch. I think in our games against the great teams, we have always had good situations and good possibilities – like against Manchester United and Tottenham. The ambition is not just for us to score but to continue to play after scoring and to always keep good ambition in our play.”

 

SQUAD NEWS

For Chelsea, new signing Ross Barkley isn’t ready for today’s game but Antonio Conte has no fresh injury concerns.

For Leicester, Robert Huth (ankle), Wes Morgan and Danny Simpson (both hamstring) remain out, but Christian Fuchs (illness), Vicente Iborra (hamstring) and Jamie Vardy (groin) all return.

 

TEAMS

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois; Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta; Moses, Kante, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Alonso; Hazard, Morata

LEICESTER (Possible line-up): Schmeichel; Amartey, Dragovic, Maguire, Fuchs; Albrighton, Ndidi, Iborra, Gray; Mahrez; Vardy

 

LAST SEASON

Chelsea 3-0 Leicester (15 October 2016)

 

CURRENT FORM

CHELSEA: WWDWWD

LEICESTER: WLDLLW

 

OTHER STUFF

~ Leicester have lost 12 of the last 14 meetings in all competitions

~ Chelsea have only lost once in 26 league games against Leicester at Stamford Bridge since 1965. ~ ~ The Blues have won seven successive home games in the league, keeping five clean sheets during that run.

~ Chelsea are unbeaten in six league matches home and away, earning 14 points out of a possible 18.

~ Leicester are without  win in their last 12 Premier League away games against the current top six sides, losing each of the last five.

~ Leicester earned their first league win in five games at the expense of Huddersfield on New Year’s Day.

~ Leicester could win their opening two top-flight matches of a calendar year for the first time since 1984.

~ Leicester have lost successive away games in the division, having been unbeaten in the previous seven.

 

PREDICTION

BBC Sport: Chelsea 2-0 Leicester

Sky Sports: Chelsea 2-0 Leicester

SportsMole: Chelsea 2-1 Leicester

 

 

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