PREMIER LEAGUE PREVIEW: Leicester City VS Chelsea, A Potential Banana Skin For Title Favourites
With the international break firmly in the background, focus against shifts back to domestic leagues. In the Premier League, an intense matchday of action starts on Saturday, Nov 20, as league leaders Chelsea travel to the King Power Stadium to face a stumbling Leicester City.
Both teams come into the game on the back of dropping points. Chelsea played out a surprising draw at home against Burnley, as they failed to take their chances, with the game finishing 1-1. Meanwhile, Leicester continued their stop-start campaign after drawing against Leeds away from home.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) November 16, 2021
Draw against Leeds meant regular European contenders, Leicester, sit in the bottom half of the table, at lowly 12th, while Chelsea saw their lead at the summit cut to just 3 points, with Manchester City hot on their tails.
It promises to be an exciting encounter between two teams who like to play “the right way”. Particular focus would be on the managers on the sidelines, with both Rodgers and Tuchel recognized as two of the finest coaches in the league.
Leicester City might have to cope up with the absence of their midfield talisman, Youri Tielemans, as the Belgian has been struggling with a calf problem coming into this game. As long as every other player on international duty comes back fit, Tielemans should be the only new absentee, as the likes of Wesley Fofana and James Justin are still recovering from long-term injuries. In Tielemans’ absence, Daniel Amartey might get a chance to stamp his credentials in the middle of the park, having mostly played as a makeshift CB or FB in his Leicester career so far.
Leicester's Youri Tielemans has been ruled out of action for 2-3 weeks with a calf/ankle injury, it has been announced
Tielemans has withdrawn from the Belgium squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Estonia and Wales, and will undergo further treatment with Leicester #LCFC
— Rob Tanner (@RobTannerLCFC) November 8, 2021
Leicester City United Predicted Lineup: Schmeichel; Castagne, Evans, Soyuncu; Pereira, Ndidi, Soumare, Amartey; Barnes; Maddison, Vardy
For Chelsea, the international break couldn’t have come at a better time. The two-week hiatus has been a boon for the Blues, with their attacking cavalry expected to be back fit and firing. Although Romelu Lukaku remains unfit for this one, there’s some respite for Chelsea as Mason Mount might be fit enough to play a part. Mount is coming off of a dental surgery which could lead him to start the game from the bench, with Havertz keeping his place from their last game.
The Blues could be looking at the absence of Thiago Silva, though, as the Brazilian international might not be deemed fit enough to start after his around the globe exertions with his national team. Trevoh Chalobah has been a revelation so far this season and could slot in for Silva in Tuchel’s preferred back-three formation.
Chelsea Predicted Lineup: Mendy; Christensen, Rudiger, Chalobah; James, Chilwell, Kante, Jorginho; Pulisic; Hudson-Odoi, Havertz
Leicester City would as always be relying on their “Giant-Killing” striker in Jamie Vardy. The late bloomer has been famous for scoring against the traditional top-6 sides, with 35% of his PL goals coming against the giants of the league. With Leicester City happy to sit back and play forward on the counter, Vardy nous and pace, still at his age, is an invaluable asset. The back three of Chelsea could be in for a torrid time if they can’t keep their eyes on the wily veteran. Now armed with reinforcements in the form of a breakout season by Harvey Barnes, and a resurgent Maddison, Vardy will have no shortage of players seeking him out.
Only four players have scored 150 goals for Leicester City:
◎ Arthur Chandler (273)
◎ Arthur Rowley (267)
◎ Ernie Hine (156)
◉ Jamie Vardy (150)
Welcome to the club. 🦊 pic.twitter.com/NcqblGIwtp
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 19, 2021
For Chelsea, it would be hard to look past their academy’s gem, but not one people generally think about. Callum Hudson-Odoi, after a less than ideal start under the then-new manager Thomas Tuchel, has started this season with new vigour and purpose. Although his appearances and minutes have still been fairly limited due to the sheer number of options Tuchel has, Hudson-Odoi has done more than enough to warrant more playing time. The tricky attacker has been influential whenever Tuchel has trusted him. He leads the team in chances created, even in limited minutes. With his head coach’s trust being solidified in him, he looks capable of taking that final leap to superstardom.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) November 16, 2021
Chelsea look the far stronger side on paper, and with Tuchel finally having an almost full assortment of attackers to choose from, it would be hard to look past the league leaders for this one. Leicester will feel Tielemans’ absence, and even though the Foxes are unbeaten against Chelsea in the last three meetings, this could be the end of that run, putting more misery on Leicester’s already underwhelming season. FootTheBall predicts Leicester City 0-2 Chelsea.