The half way point!
This might be gameweek 18 but Chelsea play their 19th game of the Premier League season against Leicester on Tuesday night as we look to continue pushing ourselves into contention again. Leicester sit 3rd in the table 2 points from the top and they have added incentive to win as well because 3 points can take them to the top. Leicester are on a great run of form as well having won 3 of their last 5 and are unbeaten in their last 6. It’s a mini run of positive form which has seen them push themselves back into the running. Leicester started the season well but fell away once they touched the top but in recent weeks they have returned to form which shows how unpredictable this season is. Rodgers has done extremely well for Leicester again this season and to keep them in and around the top is an achievement for him.
Chelsea go into this game having beat Fulham by a goal in what was a hard fought win. We sit 7th in the table and 3 points would possibly only take us to 6th in the table but it’s all about getting the win’s at the moment. It’s not about where we are in the table because moving up is default if we continue to pick up results. Our big issue this season has been our inability to beat the top teams and Leicester are just that. We did well against Leicester last season and we always manage to turn up agains them and hopefully we can do the same in this game as well. Lampard gambled with his lineup against Fulham but 3 points later we have now managed to rest several usual starters for this game and that is a good throw of the dice from Lampard. Lampard remains under pressure but that is part and parcel of the job and while a draw against Leicester would not be the end of the world a win would just mean so much more for the fans and the club as a whole. Chelsea need a big boost and beating Leicester would be just that.
Chelsea Team Preview
Chelsea will be without Kante for this game as he has a slight hamstring issue. Christensen is back in contention. Mendy should start in goal with Reece James, Silva, Zouma, and Chilwell making up the back four. Azpilicueta and Rudiger should drop out with Zouma rested and Reece James the better player to tackle Barnes. The CDM position is a head scratcher and we will have to wait and see whether Gilmour starts or it’s Kova or Jorginho. I would personally start Gilmour and hopefully he has learned from last season and is more physical in that midfield. Havertz and Mount should start as the attacking 8’s for this game while Hudson-Odoi, Abraham, and Ziyech should start up front. Werner should continue to make appearances from the bench just to edge him back into the lineup as he looks to score again while Pulisic needs to be rotated with Hudson-Odoi playing well. Ziyech is crucial in this game and a good pass from him can help us win the game. Abraham has also impressed in recent games and deserves a start. Leicester’s midfield is a strength and that’s the only area where I think Lampard could field Jorginho or Kova in place of one of the players selected to manage the physicality. Regardless it’s a good lineup and their is plenty on the bench to take the game to Leicester and win it.
Leicester Team Preview
For Leicester the key is that Pereira is available but I doubt he starts with Justin and Castagne playing well recently. Leicester have a settled team at the moment that is playing well and I don’t think Rodgers will disturb it too much. Castagne, Fofana, Evans, and Justin have made a good defensive back line while Ndidi, and Tielemans have added steel to the midfield. Perez could start ahead of Albrighton while Barnes and Maddison should continue behind Vardy. Players like Soyoncu are back and could start while players like Under, and Iheanacho can add threat as well. Leicester are a settled team and it will be hard to break them down.
Starting XI Prediction
Leicester are the in form team and will be favourites in this game. Chelsea need to continue getting those points back and 3 points in this game would be massive for the whole team including Lampard. It’s not going to be easy but we have played Leicester countless times before when we have been struggling and we manage to turn up. A draw would not be the end of the world BUT a win would mean so much more. It’s time to turn up and get that win again, COME ON CHELSEA!!!