Preview and prediction
Chelsea’s goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was trending for the wrong reasons in the last match week. The usually reliable goalkeeper dawdled and let Aaronson steal the ball off him to open the scoring in what ended as a 3-0 rout in favour of Leeds.
It’s a new watch week and Chelsea have to move on and do so quickly. This is the sentiment Italian midfielder Jorginho has echoed to his teammates as they prepare to take on Leicester City this match week.
The Blues come up against a Leicester side who feel their season hasn’t quite taken off. Leicester have done little to no business in the form of incoming transfers. They have made the least number of signings this season and have been dogged by rumours of potential exits of key players. Wesley Fofana looks likely to be wearing Chelsea’s Blue this season, while Youri Tielemans could still leave for Arsenal.
Chelsea and Leicester are in unusual league positions three games in. Chelsea are in 12th position after three games and have posted a win, a draw and a loss. Leicester on the other hand, are yet to win a match and sit in 19th place with only one point to their name.
Head to Head
Chelsea have historically done well against Leicester. The Foxes have won only once in their previous five encounters against the Blues and have only six wins in thirty-two meetings between the sides.
The task for Leicester is difficult; they hope to get a win at Stamford Bridge, a ground they have only two Premier League wins at.
Chelsea have not had a pleasant start to the season. Kicking things off with a 1-nil win against Everton, they followed that result with a 2-2 draw against Tottenham they felt they should have won and perhaps were still hung up on that result when they visited Elland Road to play Leeds. Losing 3-nil to Leeds has left them in the bottom half of the League table and would be hoping to turn things around against a Leicester side that have struggled to hold on to leads.
Brendan Rodgers is likely telling his team their current form is not a reflection of their quality. They would need to believe that and approach this game with memory loss of how they have played leading up to this clash.
Most worrisome is their inability to protect the lead when they go ahead, in two of their three Premier League matches this season they have given up the lead with the last one leading to a 1-2 loss against Southampton. However, they can look to build on their midweek Carabao Cup penalty win against Stockport.
Chelsea have a gaping hole in defence left by Koulibaly’s absence. Serving the first of a two-match suspension following a red card against Leeds, Chelsea would have to do without a crucial piece of their backline. It is unlikely Wesley Fofana would switch sides quickly enough to feature against Leicester.
Another significant absentee for Chelsea is Thomas Tuchel who serves a touchline ban. The Manager would have to make tweaks to his backline with Trevor Chalobah likely to fill in for Koulibaly
Mateo Kovacic could return in midfield, although N’Golo Kante is quite ready to face his former club yet.
Potential Chelsea starting XI: Mendy; Cucurella, Silva, Azpilicueta; James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Gallagher, Mount, Sterling; Havertz (4-3-3)
As if Brendan Rodgers did not already have enough worries, James Maddison picked up a knock midweek which could rule him out of the trip to London. This alongside the Wesley Fofana saga means the Leicester coach has a selection headache on his hands.
Also, full-back Ryan Bertrand remains out with a knee injury.
According to Rodgers, Maddison would be assessed before the game and could be available for selection.
In positive news for the Foxes, Harvey Barnes played 90 minutes against Stockport and should be in contention to start against Chelsea
Potential Leicester City starting XI:
Ward; Castagne, Amartey, Evans, Justin; Ndidi, Dewsbury-Hall; Perez, Tielemans, Barnes; Vardy
Leicester City would be missing a key part of their attack if James Maddison is unavailable to feature against Chelsea on Saturday. His link-up play with Jamie Vardy and precision in set-piece situations would be needed if the Foxes hope to win at a ground they have often struggled at.
Brendan Rodgers is likely to set up his team to counter Chelsea and might be better served to insert either Kelechi Iheanacho or Patson Daka into the starting XI if Maddison cannot play.
Iheanacho or Daka’s pace could be essential if they do not want to spend most of the 90 minutes trying to win the ball back from Chelsea.
Chelsea have had many player exits causing Tuchel to play some players out of position. This might explain the inconsistent start they have to the season. Tuchel still also is without a recognised striker but has gotten good value from Sterling in the forward position. While the former City man is yet to score in Chelsea Blue, he has been sharp and the match against Leicester is a great opportunity for him to break his duck this season.
Leicester have only kept one clean sheet in their last 27 away Premier League matches
Chelsea have drawn three of their last four home matches at Stamford Bridge. In the last fifteen Premier League home matches, Chelsea have recorded eight draws.
Leicester have won only one of their last ten matches at Stamford Bridge, losing five of them.
Chelsea should look to bounce back from their loss against Leeds, Leicester at the moment have too many off-field distractions and without Maddison might not have enough firepower to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, a ground they have often struggled at.
Expect a keenly contested match with a narrow margin of victory for Chelsea.
Chelsea to win has been oddsbosted to 1.46.
Over 2.5 goals score @ 1.63