Following the dramatic events a few days prior in the FA Cup Final which saw the Foxes seal an unlikely 1-0 win over the Blues, it’s Chelsea vs Leicester City in a huge clash to help determine who goes into the final day with an advantage for the highly-coveted top four spot. Despite the disappointment in not winning the Cup, arguably this match represents more to Chelsea in the sense of being able to give themselves another option to qualify for next season’s Champions League, otherwise it would all come down to the big finale against Manchester City at the end of the month. On the other hand, the Foxes will be buoyed by this experience and will be seeking to do a quick-fire double over their more fancied opponents which would confirm their top four place. With so much on the line, some of the writers at The Chelsea Social give their thoughts and predictions regarding the Chelsea vs Leicester City clash.
Chelsea vs Leicester City: Introduction
Well the last clash between Chelsea vs Leicester City wasn’t exactly in the Blues’ end of season script. The narrative was meant to be that the talented Blues, spearheaded by both its rising superstars and seasoned legends, would win the FA Cup which would spearhead their charge for winning all of their remaining matches, including cementing the ‘holy grail’ on May 29th with Chelsea’s second Champions League crown. However, with the soul-crushing defeat at the hands of the Foxes in the FA Cup Final, it’s safe to say the script has well and truly been flipped! That said, there were a few lessons to be learned from that match and which Tuchel and his troops will need to ensure they channel those learnings into positive output in what’s now a gigantic clash following the Arsenal debacle a week ago.
From a Premier League perspective, the last time these two teams squared-off it ended in a bitter 2-0 defeat for the Blues which effectively signalled the end of the Frank Lampard’s Chelsea managerial era (for now at least). In that match, Chelsea were lifeless, soulless, heartless, totally uninspired and outplayed by a more enthusiastic and purposeful Foxes that evening at King Power Stadium. While it was ‘only’ 2-0 in the end, the reality was it could’ve been 3, 4 or more if truth be told. It was one of those games in which Chelsea didn’t turn up, metaphorically speaking.
With respect to this clash, like with any future event, the past is not a reliable indicator of what may transpire in the next instance. In other words, Thomas Tuchel would be wise to advise his wounded warriors to forget the recent head-to-head history against the Foxes, but if they wanted to draw inspiration from past events, they should look to none other than some of their more memorable performances against Manchester City, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid etc. Losses happen all the time, even to the best teams, what matters the most is how players and teams respond to adversity i.e. character revealing opportunities.
From a personnel perspective, it seems that the Blues will have a clean bill of health, including dynamic and silky-skilled Mateo Kovacic and possibly the Great Dane Christensen available for selection. Conversely, Leicester will continue to be without a few of their key stars, and possibly including Jonny Evans who needed to be subbed off in the FA Cup Final. That said, the names on paper matter for very little if those listed on that paper don’t deliver what’s expected of them.
So without further ado, let’s dive into how the writers at The Chelsea Social feel the Chelsea vs Leicester City contest will unfold.
Following the devastation over the weekend between Chelsea vs Leicester City, I thought to myself ‘now we have genuinely have to win these next 2 Premier League games in order to salvage our season, or otherwise it will all come down to the Champions League Final’.
While I’m still feeling shattered about that loss, particularly given we should have won it based on player availability and general form (before the Arsenal disaster), I’m choosing to (perhaps blindly) place my trust in Tuchel and our boys given they’ve shown us throughout the season that they have it in them to bounce back. And, bouncing back is what will be required here as our season is effectively on the line given that unbelievable 2-1 win to Liverpool at the end of stoppage time against West Brow the other day. That said, as long as it remains in ‘our hands’, I feel somewhat comfortable we can put a terrible week behind us and work up some momentum ahead of the big showdown on May 29.
From a team selection perspective, I think it’s safe to assume Mendy comes back in goal (not that Kepa had a bad game the other day, but Mendy is our no.1), I expect to see the same back five (given it’s the same opponent and hence the same threats/profile), and I do believe we will see Kovacic returning and parterning alongside Kanté in the pivot. Up front, this is where it gets tricky for me. I do think we will go with Mount on the right, Pulisic on the left and Havertz up top. That said, I could see Werner starting on the left and Pulisic again being an impact sub. Regardless, whoever gets picked must know that our season ultimately is depending on them to deliver. Given this, I expect us to grind out a difficult, yet hard-fought win.
Final Score: Chelsea 2 – 1 Leicester City
Following the disappointment of Saturday’s FA Cup Final defeat to Leicester, Thomas Tuchel’s Blues return to action in the Premier League as we go in search of a top four finish in the penultimate game of the league campaign. Chelsea will look to avenge the cup final loss against the side that beat in the Foxes. The game will also prove to be a boost for the Blues as for the first time in almost six months, supporters will allowed into the ground where I myself am going to be in attendance, exciting times! The return of fans will certainly have an impact on the game and be the driving force behind the side to get the three points.
This game against Leicester is a must-win for us if we are to stand a good chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season without the pressure of having to win the competition in the final later this month. Chelsea will be hopeful that it’s third time lucky this season against Brendan Rodgers’ side having lost 2-0 earlier in year at the King Power Stadium which proved to have cost Frank Lampard his job as Blues manager. The Foxes could be facing a potential cup final hangover in this game having celebrated winning a first FA Cup in their history so Tuchel’s men would look to capitalise of it if that’s the case.
Last Wednesday, Arsenal visited the Bridge and came away with a 1-0 victory that put a serious dent in our top four hopes so winning this game is vital going into the final day with Liverpool hot on our heels. I don’t see this match being as entertaining as Saturday’s Wembley showpiece, but it’s important that Chelsea turn up otherwise we could see a repeat of the final which is not what Tuchel will want to see. The Blues will want to welcome back the fans with a win but unfortunately I can’t see that happening and I reckon this will finish in a draw.
Final Score: Chelsea 1 – 1 Leicester City
A Cup Final loss after a damaging Premier League loss at home to Arsenal mean Chelsea are up against it. Liverpool winning on Sunday through a freak goal from their own goalkeeper compounds matters. They are one point behind with two winnable games to play. The remit from the last four months returns for Tuchel’s Chelsea side: just win. One can dissect the last two performances from top to bottom, but that matters little now. The fact is that the players need to dust themselves off and produce three impeccable performances to have a positive end to the season, potentially a magnificent one with a Champions League win.
Leicester will go into the game in the most buoyant of moods having secured their first ever FA Cup. Manager Brendan Rodgers is likely to look to frustrate Chelsea again and potentially hit the Blues with another sucker punch. To win this game will require Chelsea to rediscover their defensive resolve. In addition, the attack will have to do something it hasn’t done on more than two or three occasions under the German: be productive. There are still many positives within the Chelsea camp, but the team will need to have a steelier mentality, take the onus and win the game. They say misery loves company, but in order for this young crop to grow into a team of winners rather than nearly men, they have to start winning the games that matter. And it starts tomorrow.
Mendy will be back to slot into a defence that is more comfortable and assured with his presence. Questions are rightfully being asked about Jorginho after two abysmal performances, but with Kovacic still working his way back and Gilmour inexperienced, it looks like the Italian may be the only option in the midfield. Who takes their place in the attacking triumvirate is anyone’s guess with Werner’s pace an asset, but his profligacy and withering confidence a liability. Expect Pulisic, Havertz and Mount to start as a result. Tuchel often shows his mettle when backed against the wall. He needs to do so again. There is no margin for error in the next 270 minutes for Chelsea Football Club. Over to you, Blues.
Final Score: Chelsea 1 – 2 Leicester City
It was a harrowing weekend for everyone involved with Chelsea. But the fixtures continue to come thick and fast as we approach the finale of the season. After Liverpool’s late winner, victory on Tuesday is of paramount importance. As Saturday taught us though, Leicester know exactly how to stifle Tuchel’s Blues.
The midfield battle will be key, and with that I think a new combination is needed to combat Leicester’s threat. Chelsea also struggled to assert themselves up top and I fancy Havertz to make an impact from the start. It’s going to be difficult but I expect Chelsea to bounce back with a narrow victory.
Final Score: Chelsea 2 – 1 Leicester City
After losing the FA Cup final to Leicester City, the Blues are back at it again looking to exact their revenge and outfox the Foxes in a match that will likely determine a place in next year’s Champions League. The squad was arguably abject in the attacking phases in the cup final and Tuchel has to get this issue sorted in such a crucial match. The Blues have had their backs against the wall for months and found a way to fight back and get the right results. The squad must remember this going into the match, play their own game, and get back to the types of performances that have them fighting to be crowned Europe’s elite club once again.
I expect the squad will be angry, motivated, and playing with a chip on their shoulder. I predict that Mendy returns between the sticks and that the 3 center backs ahead of him will be Azpilicueta, Silva, and Rudiger. I predict the middle of the park will see the return of Kovacic and Kante, with Chilwell and James at wingback. I predict some shake up of the front 3 with Pulisic, Havertz, and Werner starting.
Final Score: Chelsea 1 – 0 Leicester City
Written by Matt, Dan, Sam, Travis and RJ
Edited by RJ Bonaccorsi (@RJ_Goodthings)
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