Historic game with recent history!
Chelsea welcome one of this season’s newcomers to the Premier League but a historic club in Leeds United on Saturday night. Leeds United won the Championship last season and sit 12th in the league having won 4 drawn 2 and lost 4 this season. One word to describe Leeds United this season would be entertaining, the Marcelo Bielsa coached side similar to Norwich have stuck to their attacking guns although unlike Norwich they have been more adept at it. Bielsa’s philosophy has been known to all and many managers have stated Bielsa as their mentor and inspiration. This isn’t the first time that Lampard will face Bielsa in recent years as they had two games in the Championship and Lampard also beat Leeds in the playoff semi finals with Derby.
Chelsea go into this game having rested several players and won during the week at Sevilla thanks to an Olivier Giroud masterclass. Lampard was asked what he thought about Bielsa and Lampard was very appreciative of Bielsa’s quality and the way Leeds play. Lampard and Bielsa had a heated situation 2 seasons ago when Leeds spied on Derby’s practice sessions and the whole situation was known as spygate. Lampard says that its water under bridge now and that his only focus is to play the game and get the points. Play styles wise it’s not hard to see how the two teams will setup. Leeds are known for their high line, high press and possession based football while Chelsea have also formed a similar play style this season.
Chelsea Team Preview
Having made 9 changes during the week Lampard has a fully fit and rested squad ahead of this game. Mendy will continue in goal with James, Chilwell, Zouma, and Silva making up the defence. Kante should return as the CDM with Mount in one of the attacking 8 roles. Kovacic has been playing well but with Havertz back the German should start alongside Mount. Pulisic is back fit but I doubt he starts with Werner probably getting the nod at left wing for now. Ziyech will be back at right wing and Giroud should start ahead of Tammy after his performance during the week. The Frenchman has been professional and he put in a performance worthy of a start. The crosses from Reece James and Chilwell would have a better target if Giroud started. The bench has enough quality as well if some injection of talent is needed during the game.
Leeds Team Preview
Leeds setup with two banks of 4 which alters between a 4-4-1-1 and a 4-2-3-1 at times. There are plenty of dangermen in the team starting with Meslier who was stunning against Everton in goal last weekend. Dallas and Ayling are adept full backs who attack with proficiency as well as defending. Kalvin Phillips in midfield seems to be the connector between the front and back and it will be crucial for Chelsea to keep him quiet. Klich is more of a demolition man in that midfield but he can chip in with the attack as well. Alioski is good winger while left footed Rafinha has added another a different threat from Leeds. Harrison has been a threat playing behind Bamford while Bamford the ex Chelsea striker has been fairly good this season too many Leeds fans surprise. The striker gets into good positions but his finishing seems to let him down. Poveda, Costa, and Rodrigo all add a threat going forward whether they start or on the bench. Bielsa has a solid team and it won’t be a cake walk.
Starting XI Prediction
The highlight at the beginning of the game will be that 2000 Chelsea fans will be in attendance at Stamford Bridge after what has been 9 months of fan less football. Chelsea will want to entertain the ones they play for and it should be an exciting game. COME ON CHELSEA!!!