First of all, the title of this preview pays homage to a group of five friends, who are reportedly getting back together for a little reunion special. Now to the good stuff. Thinking back on my time as a Chelsea fan which has spanned roughly 20 years, I can’t remember a season as emotionally stressful as this current one. It seemed we faced a very difficult low point only to be rewarded with the chance to possibly get such a high that Tommy Chong would be proud. It’s the first of four huge matches: Chelsea vs Leicester City in the FA Cup Final.
(Editor’s note: There will no further Friends references allowed in this preview)
Now, we face the opportunity to lift some silverware. Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea will be hungry to prove themselves, to show the world that they better be ready for this side. They want to begin their establishment as an English and European powerhouse once more. They have beaten their fellow UCL finalists Manchester City to get here.
Chelsea will be squaring off against another side who has seemed to have quite the season as well. Third place Leicester City will want to show they are a firm contender for the Premier League titles of the future and drop their Top 6 title and move into a Top 4 spot. This game will surely be a good one.
Chelsea vs Leicester City: Form Guide
Last Five Results: D-W-W-W-L
While those last five results may not seem super impressive, two of those wins came against Real Madrid and Manchester City. Chelsea’s form before Wednesday was truly a sight to behold. The way the team has been coming together for the majority of the second half of the season gave Chelsea fans a lot of hope.
Then came Wednesday and the crushing feeling of reality set in once more. While it wasn’t a horrid performance overall, the match just goes to show what one truly horrid mistake against ANY Premier League opposition can mean for the rest of the match. While I believe Leicester’s game plan would be much different than Arsenal’s if only up one goal. The match still pointed out some obvious flaws in our side.
Last Five Results: W-W-D-L-W
Boasting the same record in the last five matches as Chelsea, Leicester impressively beat Manchester United, but were previously embarrassed by Newcastle and were held to a draw against Southampton.
This record is nothing to base a season off of though. Leicester have impressed all season and still sit third in the Premier League table. While their form can be sporadic at times, this is not a team to glance past. They have proven through the last several sessions that they are doing everything they can to be title contenders so that the next time they win, it won’t be with 5000/1 odds.
Chelsea vs Leicester City: Team News and Predicted Lineups
Thankfully, after Thomas Tuchel’s press conference we have learned that Mateo Kovacic is finally fit and back in the squad. While he wasn’t confirmed as a starter, having him as an option will surely be a boost for the squad. Tuchel also went on to note two players who would be starting the match. One being N’Golo Kante, who missed the clash with Arsenal due to injury and Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has been our FA Cup keeper this season.
This is the time to deploy our forces. Tuchel will look to put a very strong team out, while keeping in mind that in two weeks time he will manage the biggest match of the season. While no one impressed midweek, I expect to see some familiar faces in this match’s starting lineup.
While Christensen is still out, I expect Rudiger to rejoin the starters along with Werner and Ziyech.
Chelsea Predicted XI: (3-4-3) Arrizabalaga; Azpiliceuta, Silva, Rudiger; James, Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell; Ziyech, Werner, Mount
Leicester have also been struck by the injury bug. They will travel to Wembley without Harvery Barnes and James Justin who have missed a good chunk of the season. However, they are looking to have Jonny Evans back from a foot injury as well as restore James Maddison back to his starting position in the center of the pitch.
With a front two of Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Ineanacho Leicester are going to look to strike hard and fast, but will also most likely look to have three at the back
Leicester City Starting XI: (3-4-1-2) Schmeichel; Evans, Fofana, Soyuncu; Pereira, Ndidi, Tielemans, Castagne; Maddison; Vardy, Iheanacho.
Chelsea vs Leicester City: Matchday Details
- Date: Saturday, 15 May 2021
- Kick off time: 5:15 BST
- Where: Wembley Stadium, London
- Referee: Referee: Michael Oliver; Assistant Referees: Stuart Burt and Simon Bennett; Fourth Official: Stuart Attwell; Reserve Assistant Referee: Dan Cook; Video Assistant Referee: Chris Kavanagh & Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis
- The FA Cup final will be covered live on BBC One and BT Sport in the UK
COME ON YOU BLUES!
Written by John Tateossian (@johntat16)
Edited by Rob Pratley