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Chelsea vs Leicester City Match Preview

Chelsea vs Leicester City Match Preview

Chelsea vs Leicester City Match Preview

Stamford Bridge/October 15, 2016

The boys in blue are back this Saturday, as they get set to take on defending Premier League Champions Leicester City at the Bridge. It is set to be one of the most intriguing match-ups this weekend, as it features the champions of the past two seasons, as well as N’Golo Kante’s first game against his former team. Here’s everything you need to know to get you set up for the first game following the international break.

Team breakdowns

Chelsea: Possibly the biggest piece of news leading up to this match is the return of captain John Terry. All reports have said that he has fully recovered from ligament damage suffered in the 2-2 draw at Swansea earlier in the year. It was initially supposed to sideline him for 10 days, unfortunately for Conte that timeline has dragged on to a full month, with his absence resulting in a clear lack of leadership and organization on the back line. The tandem of Gary Cahill and David Luiz are simply not up to par to most Premier League competition, that never being more apparent than in the embarrassment at Arsenal that will not be talked about any further. In addition, Conte is expected to continue with the 3-5-2 formation that resulted in only the second clean sheet of the week against, with the only change being Terry coming in at the expense of Cahill. There may also be a potential change at midfield with either Oscar or Fabregas coming in for Matic, although based on past history that seems to be a decision completely based on the whim of the gaffer.

*UPDATE: At the time of finishing up this article, I have received news that Willian’s mother has lost her battle with Cancer. I would like to take this moment to offer my deepest condolences to Willian and his family, and I can say that she is in my thoughts and prayers. His playing status for the match is now uncertain, but at times like these football can take a back seat.

Leicester City: It seems the entire season so far for the Foxes has been a reality check. Last year’s champions currently sit at a disappointing 12th spot in the Premier League standings. They’ve lost games to both Manchester United and Liverpool this season, each by identical 4-1 scores, suggesting that they can no longer be considered among England’s elite. Two of their stars from last year, Mahrez and Vardy, have significantly underperformed this season. Danny Drinkwater has also not been up to form, something that may be directly attributed to losing his midfield partner, Kante, over the summer. If Leicester desire to get back on track against Chelsea, they may have to rely heavily on Islam Slimani, who has scored 3 goals in 6 games so far in a Leicester jersey. A player with the finishing ability and speed of Slimani will certainly give a leaky Chelsea back line fits.

In terms of injuries, Danny Drinkwater is dealing with a groin injury and Shinji Okazaki picked up an ankle injury over the international break. Both have not been completely ruled out, and Ranieri will likely wait until the last possible moment to make a decision

By: Navaneeth Ravichandran

Twitter: @navrav28

 

About the author

Navaneeth is currently a university student at UBC in Vancouver, Canada. He enjoys many sports other than football, especially a passion for ice hockey, as almost every Canadian does. An avid sleeper, Navaneeth only wakes up before 9am for national emergencies and Chelsea football games.

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