FA CUP FINAL PREVIEW: CHELSEA VS LEICESTER CITY, RODGERS AND TUCHEL TO BATTLE IT OUT AT WEMBLEY
As the battle for the top four in the Premier League continues, both Chelsea and Leicester will keep their Champions League ambitions aside to battle it out in Saturday afternoon’s FA Cup Final. With the return of a small number of supporters the Cup final showpiece, both teams will want to deliver a spectacle and get their hands on a trophy.
Chelsea’s midweek loss to Arsenal was nothing but a blip. It takes nothing away from the fact that Chelsea has been excellent since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel. The Blues have pushed their way into top-four contention and are also through to the final of the Champions League.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 12, 2021
Leicester’s win against Manchester United has all but secure their qualification for Europe next season and can firmly set their eyes on winning their first FA Cup final having previously lost all four previous final they have reached.
The Blues suffered an injury in the game against Manchester City as Andreas Christensen came off the pitch in the closing minutes of the first half. His injury could be a serious worry for Tomas Tuchel ahead of the Final. Timo Werner and Ngolo Kante will look to return to the starting lineup as Tuchel rested them in the loss to Arsenal.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 8, 2021
Chelsea Probable Lineup: Mendy; Azplicueta, Silva, Rudiger; James, Kante, Jorginho, Mount Chilwell; Werner, Pulisic
Leicester City will be hoping for the return of Jonny Evans for Saturdays, final. The centre-back is out with a heel injury that caused him to pull out of last weeks 4-2 loss to Newcastle. The defender missed out on the game against Manchester United and was merely a spectator in the stands. Maddison will be expected to return to starting lineup
— Leicester City (@LCFC) May 11, 2021
Leicester City Probable Lineup: Schmeichel; Castagne, Fofana, Soyuncu, Thomas, Albrighton, Ndidi, Tielemans, Maddison; Vardy, Iheanacho
The return of Kante for the Final will certainly be a major boost for Thomas Tuchel’s outfit. The midfielder was man of the match in both legs of the semifinal against Real Madrid. Kante is a tireless midfielder, and Chelsea will need the Frenchman at his A-game one more time if they are to win the ball out of possession and hurt Leicester in the final third.
N’Golo Kanté’s game by numbers vs. Man City:
83% pass accuracy
11/12 final third passes
8 ball recoveries
Ending the season in fine form. 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/pYvJ0z8qC2
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) May 8, 2021
Kante’s high interception rate and ability to dominate and win back the ball will be essential to keep Saturday’s final at high octane flow, as Chelsea will look to hold the ball for large parts of the game.
Big game specialist will Jamie Vardy will look to head the line as Leicester will look to win their first FA Cup. The Englishman has a superb record against the big six and will look to build on the confidence of being the talisman despite poor recent form.
SCOUT: Since GW27, Jamie Vardy (5) is the only Leicester player to register more assists than Marc Albrighton
— Fantasy Premier League (@OfficialFPL) May 12, 2021
As Chelsea will look to dominate possession, Leicester will look to hurt the Blues on the counter-attack. The pace of Vardy will be essential to run the channels and generate attack higher up the pitch. A clinical finisher and the ability to find the goal Vardy will look to pounce on the few opportunities that Leicester will have during the game.
Chelsea have conceded just one goal in five games of the FA Cup and will hope to go one better. Brendan Rodgers’s stellar season could seal the perfect end with a win on Saturday. The Blues should have enough quality to edge it and so FootTheBall predicts Chelsea 2-1 Leicester