MX23RW : Tuesday, October 23 03:43:17
Jan 13, 2018 at 3pm UK at ​Stamford Bridge
Attendance: 41,552
Chelsea
0-0
LeicesterLeicester City

Kante (56'), Morata (87')
FT

James (18'), Okazaki (61'), Chilwell (64')
Chilwell (68')

Preview: Chelsea vs. Leicester City – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides the team news, lineups and a full preview of Saturday's Premier League clash between Chelsea and Leicester City.

Not since the 2013-14 campaign has a team other than Chelsea or Leicester City lifted the Premier League title.

Champions in two of the last three seasons, Chelsea will be looking to continue their pursuit of runaway leaders Manchester City when they welcome eighth-placed Leicester to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.


Chelsea

Eden Hazard scores from the spot past Petr Cech during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Chelsea on January 3, 2018© Offside

Chelsea will attempt to win their first match of 2018 when they welcome Leicester to the English capital this weekend. The Blues thumped Stoke City 5-0 in their final game of 2017, but have drawn each of their three fixtures across three separate competitions since the turn of the year; a 2-2 draw away to Arsenal in the Premier League on January 3 was followed by goalless draws against Norwich City and Arsenal in the FA Cup and EFL Cup respectively over the last week.

Antonio Conte's side had plenty of chances to score against Arsenal in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final on Wednesday night, but more poor finishing meant that the Blues were unable to secure a first-leg advantage ahead of the return at the Emirates Stadium later this month.

Chelsea also have the Champions League to think about as they prepare to tackle Barcelona over the next couple of months, but Conte's immediate focus will be on returning to winning ways in the Premier League.

A total of 46 points from 22 matches has left them in third – one point behind second-placed Manchester United, but 16 points behind leaders City. Fourteen wins, four draws and four defeats represents a strong season thus far, but the Blues are some way off the top of the table at this stage.

Conte's side have actually only won one of their last five away Premier League fixtures, but have triumphed in their last seven at Stamford Bridge. They have only conceded once at home in the league since the middle of October, meanwhile, and will fancy their chances of overcoming an inconsistent Leicester this weekend.

Recent form: WWDWWD
Recent form (all competitions): DWWDDD


Leicester City

Claude Puel in charge of Leicester City on December 9, 2017© SilverHub

Leicester will enter this weekend's match with seventh-placed Burnley firmly in their sights. It is going to be difficult for the Foxes to break into the top six this season, but they will be confident of finishing as 'the best of the rest'.

Four points currently separate eighth-placed Leicester from Burnley after 22 matches of the 2017-18 campaign. It has been a strange season for the Foxes, with spells of inconsistency harming their ability to push higher up the table.

There is no question that Claude Puel has improved matters since arriving, but their 3-0 win over Huddersfield Town on New Year's Day was their first victory in the league since December 13. Indeed, between December 16 and December 30, Leicester only picked up one point from four Premier League matches.

Considering that Leicester's next three away games in the Premier League are against Chelsea, Everton and City, the Foxes will have to show their true colours over the next few weeks if they are to close on the top six.

Thirteen points from 11 away matches represents a decent return for Puel's side, but they have lost at Watford and Liverpool in their last two league games on the road. It is a tough ask to overcome Chelsea this weekend, but there is no question that the Foxes have the capabilities of collecting all three points.

This team is a long way from the one that sensationally landed the Premier League title, but they have kicked on once again under Puel, and the Frenchman will be hoping that the bump continues in the capital on Saturday afternoon.

Recent form: WLDLLW
Recent form (all competitions): LDLLWD


Team News

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy celebrates scoring during his side's Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur at the King Power Stadium on November 28, 2017© Offside

Club captain Gary Cahill will return to the back three after sitting out the EFL Cup semi-final first leg against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

Tiemoue Bakayoko came off the bench against Arsenal and should start here, while Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso are expected to keep their spots in the wing-back positions once again.

Pedro and Willian are both pushing for spots in the starting XI, but it does appear that a 3-5-2 formation will see Eden Hazard once again support misfiring forward Alvaro Morata in the final third of the field.

As for Leicester, Danny Simpson will again miss out with a hamstring problem, but Jamie Vardy will return after missing his team's last two matches with a groin injury.

Adrien Silva is pushing for his full Premier League debut after recently being introduced to the fold, but it is thought that Vicente Iborra will start in central midfield alongside Wilfred Ndidi.

The speculation surrounding the future of Riyad Mahrez is refusing to go away, but the Algerian is still a Leicester player, and should start in the final third alongside Vardy. Skipper Wes Morgan's absence, meanwhile, could see Aleksandar Dragovic selected alongside Harry Maguire at centre-back.

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta; Moses, Kante, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Alonso; Hazard, Morata

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Amartey, Dragovic, Maguire, Fuchs; Albrighton, Ndidi, Iborra, Gray; Mahrez; Vardy


Head To Head

Chelsea have won each of the last four Premier League meetings between the two teams – including a 2-1 victory when they travelled to the King Power Stadium earlier this season.

The Blues also won 3-0 in the corresponding Premier League match last season, and have not actually lost at home to Leicester in the top flight since September 2000.

Leicester, however, did earn a point when they visited Chelsea on the final weekend of their title-winning 2015-16 Premier League campaign.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Chelsea 2-1 Leicester City

Leicester put on a strong performance in their last Premier League game against Huddersfield, but the Foxes have lost their last two league fixtures on the road.

Chelsea, on the other hand, have won their last seven top-flight matches at Stamford Bridge, and we are tipping the reigning champions to collect another three points on Saturday afternoon.


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Who will win Saturday's Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge?

Chelsea
Draw
Leicester
Chelsea
63.3%
Draw
16.7%
Leicester
20.0%
Alvaro Morata holds off Laurent Koscielny during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Arsenal on September 17, 2017
Read Next:
Combined XI: Arsenal vs. Chelsea
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City97202632323
2Liverpool97201631323
3Chelsea96302071321
4Arsenal970222111121
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs9702167921
6Bournemouth95221612417
7Watford95131312116
8Everton94321512315
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves943298115
10Manchester UnitedMan Utd94231516-114
11Leicester CityLeicester94051515012
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton93241013-311
13Burnley92251017-78
14West Ham UnitedWest Ham9216814-67
15Crystal Palace9216511-67
16Southampton9135614-86
17Cardiff CityCardiff9126819-115
18Fulham91261125-145
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield9036418-143
20Newcastle UnitedNewcastle9027614-82

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