Chelsea vs Leicester City
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Referee: Graham Scott
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea host Leicester City at home on Sunday in a fixture that has all the makings of a mouthwatering encounter.
Chelsea are coming off the back of a 4-0 thumping at the hands of Manchester United while Leicester were involved in a goalless draw with Wolves. Chelsea faced Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup final midweek, an entertaining match which had to be decided on penalties after a 2-2 scoreline. Although Liverpool won on penalties, The Blues looked like the better team throughout and created some great chances.
The Super Cup final saw Chelsea use a 4-3-3 formation as opposed to the 4-2-3-1 that was deployed at Old Trafford. Kante, Kovacic and Jorginho played in the midfield 3 behind Giroud, Pedro and new signing Pulisic. The Blues seemed more fluid while attacking, creating chances through Jorginho with Pedro and Pulisic making clever runs in behind the centre backs. They looked more solid in the defensive phase as well due to Ngolo Kante’s usual brilliance and more compact setup at the back.
Leicester would be a bit unhappy with the 0-0 draw against Wolves last weekend as they controlled the tempo and created creating multiple chances. Brendan Rodgers will be hoping that his side are more clinical in the attacking third and are able to take the game from the get-go and put a young and vulnerable Chelsea side on the back-foot.
Both the teams will be looking to get a win given the start of the season, which sets up for a mouthwatering attacking match up. Leicester have recently lost their main centre back Harry Maguire to Manchester United whereas Chelsea lost the mercurial Eden Hazard and have yet to settle under Frank Lampard especially in the defensive context. With both managers known to play an attacking and entertaining brand of football, the match should be far from dull and we can expect a few goals to be scored at Stamford Bridge.
This match will be very important for Frank Lampard to see if his team can carry on the fluid and exciting form that saw his team take the game to Liverpool on Wednesday night. Rodgers will be looking to take advantage of an unsettled Chelsea side and cause an upset away from home. It will be interesting to see if Pulisic gets his first start for the blues and what formation Lampard goes with.
Antonio Rudiger and Willian both travelled to Istanbul with the squad but did not feature – evidence that Lampard is looking to slowly integrate them back into the side. Christensen suffered a slight knock on Wednesday so if unfit Rudiger or Tomori might be called upon.
Other than that and long term injuries to Loftus Cheek, Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi there are no fresh injury concerns or suspensions for the home side.
Nampalys Mendy is the only big injury concern for the away side and he is not expected to start for them at Stamford Bridge.
With no fresh suspension or injury concerns, it looks likely that Rodgers will not be tweaking his side too much from the last game.
Predicted Starting XIs
Chelsea (4-3-3): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Christensen, Emerson; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Pedro, Giroud, Pulisic
Leicester City (4-1-4-1): Schmeichel; Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell; Ndidi; Perez, Tielemans, Choudhury, Maddison; Vardy
Score Prediction Chelsea 2-1 Leicester City
Despite a heavy defeat in their first game, Chelsea seem to be attacking quite well and will be looking to bounce back against the Foxes. Leicester, and especially Jamie Vardy, can be very dangerous on the counter and I expect them to nick a goal but an energetic Chelsea side should just do enough to see out Brendan Rodger’s men.