Preview: Chelsea vs. Leicester City

Sports Mole previews the Premier League clash between early-season title-favourites Chelsea and newly-promoted Leicester City at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea will face a second newly-promoted side in the space of five days on Saturday when they welcome Leicester City to Stamford Bridge.

The Blues put down a Premier League title marker with their 3-1 away victory over Burnley earlier this week.

They fell behind on 13 minutes but were imperious from thereon in, delivering a performance that justifies their status as pre-season championship favourites.

A debut goal for Diego Costa and a majestic man-of-the-match display from fellow summer signing Cesc Fabregas added to the positives that Jose Mourinho can take from Chelsea's opening-day win.

Leicester boss Nigel Pearson will also be quite pleased with how his side started the campaign as they drew 2-2 with Everton at the King Power Stadium.

The 2013-14 Championship winners twice came from behind to gain a valuable point on their return to the top flight, against a side who are expected to be challenging for the top four.

Danny Drinkwater was a casualty of their efforts against the Toffees and could miss the encounter in the capital. Dean Hammond is on standby to partner Andy King in the centre of the park.

There are also fitness doubts over Marc Albrighton and Jamie Vardy, who has recently signed a new four-year deal with the Foxes, while Matthew Upson remains sidelined by a foot injury.

Chris Wood's late equaliser against Everton may not be enough to earn him a starting berth, with Pearson likely to persist with David Nugent alongside record signing Leonardo Ulloa, who netted on his Premier League debut.

On the opposing substitutes' bench will be Petr Cech, who saw his nine-year run as Chelsea's number-one goalkeeper ended on Monday when Mourinho gave the nod to Thibaut Courtois.

Reports have suggested that Cech will now seek to leave Stamford Bridge before the end of the transfer window, but Mourinho is keen to keep hold of the 32-year-old.

Filipe Luis, who joined the Blues from Atletico Madrid for £16m this summer, may also have to settle for a place on the bench again, with Cesar Azpilicueta retaining the left-back berth.

Some good news for Luis this week was his recall to the Brazil squad, and his international compatriot Ramires is back in contention for Chelsea after serving a suspension carried over from last term.

The Londoners have won their last six matches against Leicester and scored 20 goals in the process.

Recent form

Chelsea: W

Leicester: D

Possible starting lineups

Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Schurrle, Oscar, Hazard; Costa

Leicester: Schmeichel; De Laet, Moore, Morgan, Konchesky; Mahrez, Hammond, King, Knockaert; Ulloa, Nugent

Sports Mole says: 3-0

Who will win Saturday's match between Chelsea and Leicester at Stamford Bridge?

Chelsea
Leicester
Draw
Chelsea
81.6%
Leicester
13.1%
Draw
5.3%
Leonardo Ulloa of Leicester City celebrates scoring his goal with team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at the King Power Stadium on August 16, 2014
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool23138254282647
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs24136547222545
6Arsenal24126645311442
7Leicester CityLeicester249783632434
8Burnley249781921-234
9Everton2477102639-1328
10Watford2475123344-1126
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2468103042-1226
12Bournemouth2467112536-1125
13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2466121941-2224
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2465132234-1223
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
18Southampton24410102435-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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