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!

MANAGER’S VIEWS
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.”

SQUAD NEWS
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.

TEAMS
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.

LAST SEASON
N/A

OTHER STUFF
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)

PREDICTION
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?

Why Chelsea Have it Right Now


So, United kicked off the 2014/15 campaign with their first home defeat of the season out of the way. Not the end of the world really although probably not what they’d have expected given they hadn’t lost on the opening day at Old Trafford since 1972 and Swansea had never won there in the Premier League before Saturday either. Still, if it’s to be another season of records, best to start early. Read more »

Burnley 1-3 CHELSEA: Fifty Shades of Fabregas


After what was quite an uninspiring opening weekend to the new season, football arrived last night – in style.
If we’d been expecting an improvement following the changes in personnel over the summer, we weren’t left wanting either. Costa opened his account for us, Courtois pulled off a ridiculously good save but it was Cesc Fabregas who really impressed. Read more »

Burnley v CHELSEA: Preview


Venue: Turf Moor
Date: Monday, 18 August
Kick-off: 20:00 GMT

At long last our first game of the season is here and it’s an away fixture against Burnley to kick off our 2014/15 campaign. An easy one considering the Betfair betting odds for the game, you might think? Well there’s no such thing as an easy game when it’s the first one of the season, even more so against the new arrivals who’ll undoubtedly want to make their mark on the Premier League given the opportunity.

Read more »

The 2014/15 Season: Jose Knows


Our Premier League campaign might not kick-off until Monday but in yesterday’s press conference, Jose Mourinho sounded more than ready for the new season. Our first XI might be a different matter, with the Chelsea boss confirming “Probably the first two or three matches will be more about the team that is ready than what I have in my mind as a first-team choice,” but that doesn’t seem to be bothering him unnecessarily. Read more »

Will ‘The More Carefully Selected One’ Match Mourinho?


Remember this time last year when United were making lame comparisons between their Chosen One and The Special One? Of course, that initial and as it turned out, naive crowing only added to the hilarity as the season progressed – although theirs didn’t really, did it?
Whilst Jose Mourinho walked us through the season, always with a focus on building for the future, for David Moyes, a future with Manchester United was harder to see with every passing game. So while Mourinho was able to finish the season having achieved his overall objective of a Champions League spot and some progression made in the development of his little horse into the thoroughbred he wants, the Chosen One had been withdrawn from the race (apparently lame) long before the finish line. Some might suggest SAF would have done better recommending the Rock of Gibraltar in the first place.
Read more »

Pre-season 2014/15: Tears, Tantrums & Testosterone


From the stagnation that is closed season, pre-season proper is a time for speculation, excitation and potentially even ejaculation, or at least pre-season on Twitter is. With testosterone levels increasing on an almost tweet by tweet basis, shoulders are squared, chests puffed out and keyboards undoubtedly hammered as one-upmanship starts in earnest.

Read more »

Lampard v Chelsea: does he sky it or score?


Widespread pictures of Frank Lampard in a Manchester City shirt made my heart ache a little yesterday. In fact more than that, I actually winced at the sight. Why? He left Chelsea this summer after 13 years of service, so it’s entirely up to him where he plays out the remainder of his career. Realistically though, whilst it was inevitable he’d leave I don’t think any of us expected to see him end up at another Premier League club – or at least not one that would be in a title race anyway. Read more »

Costa Making Friends Of Former Enemies


Surprising how quickly you can warm to a player isn’t it?
When JT and Costa squared up to each other in the Champions League, I could have kicked his arse myself (Costa’s not JT’s obviously). Fast forward a few months and it’s all hand holding and back slapping for the new team mates. What a difference a few goals and several well chosen words make.
If there’d been any lingering doubt, Diego Costa had already shown us pre-season he’ll score goals at Chelsea but ahead of his home debut against Real Sociedad last night, our new striker made his intentions clear, saying “Now I can say I’m really sorry for the part I played in the game we won at Stamford Bridge. I remember the atmosphere and the passion of the supporters. They stayed right until the end, getting behind their team, even though it was unlikely they could win after we scored two quick goals. I liked that.
I hope my actions on the pitch and my feet will do the talking and then people can decide if I’m a good player or not, if I’m improving or not. All I can say is I love playing hard and fairly. Joining was an easy decision for me. We have some of the best players in the world, the best manager in the world and it’s a club with great history. Read more »

Suarez: The Ugly Side of the Beautiful Game

It’s 2014 and football has finally lost it’s way.

Ok, not necessarily the game itself because we’ve seen some lovely stuff during the 2014 World Cup, but everything else that surrounds it. From the supporters, managers and players, through to the pundits, journalists and governing bodies, the plot has become well and truly lost. Or at least that seems to be the only explanation I can come up with to account for the whole Luis Suarez debacle.

Read more »