Date: Saturday 27th August 2022
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 15:00 BST
I said before last weekend’s game, we needed to have got over our disappointment from the Sp*rs result and only held onto a bit of the anger to give us the edge against Leeds. As it turned out, they probably spent most of the game wondering where and how they were supposed to be playing and looked more like a Sunday League side than the side that had played Sp*rs off the pitch just a week before.
Their bewilderment was matched by plenty of us watching as the square pegs in round holes system made another appearance. It just defies all belief and logic to me that players who’ve turned in a 9/10 when you play to their strengths, end up played out of position the following week. Worse still, to come out and say we were the better side for however long, is just embarrassing after a result we brought on ourselves with poor selections, a Mendy howler and Koulibaly capping it off by forgetting you’re supposed to pull players down by the hair to avoid a booking. As for the nonsense about the travel arrangements for the coaching staff having some sort of impact, one can only assume they must have arrived by Delorean time machine from 1987/88, we looked that good.
Onto today though, and its Leicester City at Stamford Bridge and The Foxes will be minus Wesley Fofana it seems, whilst we will be minus Thomas Tuchel after the hand jive with Antonio Conte resulted in a ban for one out of the two managers.
Like us, Leicester have had an underwhelming start to the season and come into today’s game looking for their first win having taken just one point from games against Brentford, Arsenal and Southampton, conceding 8 goals along the way. They are finding goals in their games however and we’re without Koulibaly this afternoon, with Mendy vulnerable as well, so they’ll be looking to exploit whatever weakness they can to get 3 points.
As for us, we had a not unexpected tough first game against Everton but managed to get the season off to a winning start, followed by the poorest of officiating robbing us of deserved points against Sp*rs, before it all went to pot against Leeds last time out. Tuchel got it right against Sp*rs and there was nothing he could do about that result, he can influence today’s game from the outset though, by picking the best XI available to him and playing them in their best positions.
Let’s wait for the team sheet….
Going into today’s game, Thomas Tuchel says “I’m not 100% sure where we are, how we are, who we are. We are in transition as a club and as a team. These things, the bigger they are, they help us get a clearer view, help us with decisions for the upcoming matches, and make things clearer to us and to me. Then we can transport it to the players to improve because we need to improve. Not only in transfers but in approach to how we play, what we play, where we improve. It is not only about shouting for players. The squad was strong enough to win the match in Leeds – and far too strong to lose 3-0. This is where everything starts.
We always see a response. That’s the good thing, we absolutely dislike losing and as painful as it is to analyse these things and look at it again, it’s necessary, we always get a response. The reasons are obvious, the reasons are clear. We are in a period, the last week, a full week to prepare the match. We used it, in our opinion, as good as possible to get back in shape and install confidence in what we do. We don’t like these things but maybe in a process like this they are necessary to sharpen your vision and have a clear view on where to put the focus. This is what we did. Now we have to compensate the loss of Kalidou Koulibaly and N’Golo Kante. From there we go. The team is hopefully well; prepared and ready to go.”
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, says “Always a tough game, a top team. They showed against Spurs they are a very good side with technically good players with the motivation to win. They will be looking for that response from Leeds.
What we’ve shown in the Brentford and Southampton games is that we mustn’t stop. You have to keep concentrating. We need to increase the intensity. We are very lucky to work in the profession we do. There are more important things in life. Football is important for lots of people and we try to make people happy. I’m one of the last people who will lose their optimism. I know there is a lot of noise what we haven’t done in terms of improving the squad. But we come in to improve and develop, and that won’t change.”
For Chelsea, N’golo Kante (hamstring) is expected to be out for a month, whilst Kalidou Koulibaly is banned after his red card at Leeds. Mateo Kovacic (knee) and Armando Broja have both trained.
For Leicester, Wesley Fofana won’t be involved and James Maddison will face a late assessment.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Cucurella, James, Jorginho, Loftus Cheek, Chilwell; Mount, Sterling, Havertz
LEICESTER (Possible line-up): Ward; Castagne, Amartey, Evans, Justin; Ndidi, Dewsbury-Hall; Perez, Maddison, Barnes; Vardy
Chelsea 1-1 Leicester (19th May 2022)
CURRENT FORM (PL)
- Leicester have won just one of their last 10 at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League
- Chelsea have dropped points in five of their last seven to Leicester at Stamford Bridge.
- Chelsea could lose back-to-back Premier League games.
- Leicester could lose three consecutive league games
- Chelsea have won only five of their last 15 home games in the league
- Leicester have two wins from their last 15 games away in the Premier League
- Chelsea’s last nine league goals have been scored by nine different players.
- Leicester have kept a clean sheet in just one of their last 27 away league games.
Sportsmole: Chelsea 2-2 Leicester