Premier League

Chelsea vs Leicester City: Match Preview – 22nd December

Chelsea take on Leicester, looking to build on back to back wins against Manchester City and Brighton in the Premier League.

This is the last game for both sides before Christmas day so both sides will be looking for a positive result, to send their fans happy going into Christmas day next Tuesday.

The Blues will be looking for all 3 points at Stamford Bridge to further cement their position in the top 4.

The West Londoners take on Claude Puel’s foxes who have lost back to back Premier League games in their last 2 matches.

Last week’s 1-0 loss away from home against Crystal Palace has increased the pressure on Claude Puel.

Both teams were in Carabao Cup quarter-final action midweek, with the Blues labouring to a 1-0 win at home to Bournemouth, sending them through to the semi-finals where they will play Tottenham Hotspur.

However, the Foxes lost on penalties to Manchester City so Puel will be looking for a positive response from his team on Saturday.

Recent form for both teams in the Premier League

Chelsea- L/W/L/W/W

Leicester- D/W/D/L/L

Is this game televised in the UK?

No, as it is a 3pm kick off on a Saturday.

Team News

Chelsea

Alvaro Morata remains a doubt for Chelsea with a knee injury, while Victor Moses is ruled out.

Andreas Christensen is unlikely to feature at all after his minor hamstring injury that he sustained midweek against Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup.

Leicester

As for Leicester, Daniel Amartey is out, although Ben Chilwell could return.

Predicted Line-ups

Chelsea’s predicted 11- Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian, Giroud, Hazard

Leicester’s predicted 11-  Schmeichel; Pereira, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs; Mendy, Ndidi; Gray, Maddison, Ghezzal, Vardy

 

Manager Comments

Chelsea Manager: Maurizio Sarri (Quotes credit- Official Chelsea FC Twitter page)

Maurizio Sarri agrees the Premier League will miss Jose Mourinho. He adds that he likes him very much as a coach and man and he hopes to see him on the bench somewhere soon, maybe in England, but not at Chelsea, he laughs.

Sarri says we started in the last two Premier League matches with Hazard as a central striker and he is seeing if it works as a solution. He has explained this to Giroud. Sarri adds that as a solution it seems to be one that works.

Sarri adds that he has not decided on his striker selection for tomorrow yet. He reports that Morata has just returned to training.

Sarri says he has never seen Chelsea as a contender for this season’s title as at the moment there are two teams a step ahead.

Sarri also remained Coy when asked about Chelsea’s links to Higuain.

 

Leicester Manager: Claude Puel (Quotes credit- Official Leicester FC Twitter page)

CP on the game vs. Man City: “I am happy about our game. We played against a strong team, one of the best in Europe. They have an average of three goals a game and we managed our game to get a draw. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage our penalties well.”

CP on N’Golo Kanté: “It will be a pleasure to see him again. He came to our hotel before Crystal Palace to see his former teammates.”

CP on the Chelsea game at the weekend; “It will be a good challenge. We need to give our best to get a result. We need to have a collective response. If we have the same mentality as against Man City, we can hopefully get a result.”

Head-to-Head record

Chelsea has met Leicester 112 times in all competitions over the years, with the West-Londoners having a significantly better head-to-head record against the foxes. The Blues have beaten the foxes 56 times in all competitions, including Chelsea’s 1-2 victory at Leicester in the FA Cup.

There have been 31 draws between these two teams in all competitions, including the last meeting between these two teams in the League, which finished in a 0-0 stalemate at Stamford Bridge in January.

Leicester have only beaten the Blues on 25 occasions in all competitions over the years, including their famous 2-1 win against Chelsea at the King Power Stadium during their title-winning season. The foxes also got Jose Mourinho Sacked on that occasion!

Betting Odds/ My Prediction

Bet 365 have made Chelsea clear favourites for this game, with a Chelsea win being priced at 1/3. A draw between these sides is being priced at 9/2. And a surprise Leicester win at Stamford Bridge is being priced at 10/1.

My Prediction for this game is a comfortable and convincing 2-0 Chelsea win, with Hazard and Kanté scoring both goals for the Blues.

 

By Danyal Khan

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