Premier League Preview: Chelsea vs. Leicester City
The Blues are to host newly-promoted Leicester City tomorrow at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea will be looking to continue their good opening-day form, and Leicester will try to improve the performance which earned them a draw against Everton last weekend.
Both teams got off to a positive season start; Chelsea defeated Burnley 3-1, and Leicester twice came back from a goal down to secure a 2-2 draw against the Toffees.
Diego Costa, Andre Schurrle and Branislav Ivanovic scored the goals for Chelsea while Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas enjoyed wonderful performances. The Chelsea defenders did a splendid job at the back, albeit not being able to keep the clean sheet.
The Stamford Bridge faithful are eagerly awaiting debuts from Costa, Fabregas and Filipe Luis. Club legend Didier Drogba will also be completing his second coming. The Blues have no injury concerns going into this game, as Drogba has recovered from his preseason ankle injury; the striker made a cameo appearance against Burnley on Monday.
The Foxes showed great mettle and withstood the Everton pressure. They refused to remain beaten, scored two equalizers and were able to scrape a valuable point. Chris Wood and Leonardo Ulloa were the goalscorers, and the team will be looking to them for more of the same.
Newly-promoted teams are the most dangerous at this stage of the season. They are the hungriest of teams, and their lower league form sometimes carries on into the Premier League for a few weeks. Leicester will be hoping to capitalize and will try to hurt Chelsea with any given chance. The Foxes have a few injured players, but they do have adequate backup.
“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,” said Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho to the club website. “They know that every point is important in this league, especially for the teams that fight to keep in the division.”
-Leicester beat Chelsea both home and away during the 2000-01 Premier League season.
-Chelsea won four consecutive league games against Leicester before the Foxes were relegated in 2004.
-Chelsea have averaged three goals per game against the Foxes over their last six encounters.
Head-to-head league record: Chelsea wins 41, draws 26, Leicester wins 23
It will be a difficult game for both teams, and we can expect a vociferous home crowd. The current title favorites will be relying on Costa and the top-class midfield behind him to provide the goals. From this angle, only one conclusion seems likely. Mourinho will be satisfied with no less than three points.
My Possible Team Lineups
Chelsea (Predicted, 4-2-3-1): Courtois, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Filipe Luis, Fábregas, Matic, Schürrle, Oscar, Hazard, Diego Costa.
Leicester City (Predicted, 4-4-2): Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, Moore, Konchesky, Knockaert, Hammond, King, Mahrez, Nugent, Ulloa.
Out: James (calf/shin), Drinkwater (hamstring), Upson (foot).
May Play: Albrighton (groin), Vardy (hip).