Now that the FA Cup final has been played and Champions League football has been secured, the season feels like it’s winding down for Chelsea. Still, they have two matches left to play in the Premier League and it’s important that standards don’t drop. Third place is a minimum requirement for a team of this standard and collecting the requisite one point from the next two games shouldn’t be difficult.
First up in these two final games is Leicester City at home, a team who started the season with aspirations of qualifying for Europe, but which now sit marooned in mid table. It’s fair to say that the Foxes have had a disappointing campaign, but they are still a formidable team on their day and shouldn’t make taken lightly, especially, considering how Chelsea have struggled at home. On the flip side, Leicester have also struggled away this season, especially in London making it anyone’s guess as to who is favourite.
The high intensity FA Cup final against Liverpool has taken its toll on Chelsea and as a result, several key players are set to miss out. Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Matteo Kovacic are all likely to be out through injury, and Andreas Christensen’s availability is “uncertain” following his last-minute withdrawal on Saturday. Ben Chilwell and Hudson-Odoi are also out and will not play again this season.
For Leicester, Youri Tielemans and Ricardo Pereira are both doubts thanks to injury, and Hamza Choudhury is a definite absentee. Midfielder Nampalys Mendy may be available to return after missing games through illness.
Many Chelsea fans seem like they can’t wait for the season to end but it’s important that the players don’t start to think like this as well. The job isn’t done yet and third place still needs secured. Also, it would be nice to see some young players given the chance in the final game of the season. If this is to be possible, Chelsea needs to get the job done today and secure third place ahead of Tottenham,
Ahead of the match, some of the writers at The Chelsea Social have made their predictions:
Maria Dulce (@usernamedulce)
The second to last game of the season with the top four guaranteed sets a comfortable condition for the Chelsea team to play at home. Similarly, the opposition also has little to play for, standing in the 9th place of the PL table in a trophy-less season.
Furthermore, it is likely for Tuchel to demand a response from his side after the frustrating loss on the weekend in the FA Cup. However, little will be changed in the team selection, seeing that several players will be absent due to injury concerns. For that reason, it is reasonable to expect the attacking trio to consist of Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic, and Romelu Lukaku. As for the game’s rhythm, although Chelsea may arguably have a technically superior squad, the scoreline will depend on the team’s mentality to keep up a good form even at the end of the season. Additionally, direct plays and high pressure up the pitch should enable the team to create goalscoring opportunities. The current setup of the front three proved to be efficient with their positioning and movement – which optimistically, should continue to happen throughout the match.
In what might feel like a friendly match, both teams will be playing for similar stakes: a win to begin wrapping up the season in a good way. Leicester will arrive at the Bridge confident after their 5-1 victory against Watford – and Chelsea players must match that mentality if they plan on getting a result. Hopefully, this will be an entertaining yet satisfactory game. Thus, my prediction is Chelsea 2 – 1 Leicester.
Up the Chels!
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Leicester
Rosy Cobb (@WeKnowWWA)
Chelsea’s penultimate game of the season sees them take on Leicester City following another disappointing FA Cup final display. With Champions League football secured for another campaign, the London side have little left to deal with on the pitch and will busy planning for the arrival of their new owner Todd Boehly.
The outgoing Andreas Christensen is unlikely to feature again for Chelsea with a move to Barcelona imminent and having declined to play last weekend. This match against his former side will come too soon for Ben Chilwell who returned to first team training this week following his ACL injury early in this campaign.
I’m expecting Havertz and Werner back in the line up to take on the Foxes, and to see some rotation of places, Lewis Hall in for Alonso perhaps, if Tuchel is keen to look at longer term cover for Chilwell. He may look to increase the worth and visibility of some of his fringe squad members luke Ross Barkley ahead of the transfer window and he may look to youth, but one things for sure, change is coming at Stamford Bridge.
I’m going for 2-0 to Chelsea to seal that third spot!
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Leicester
Chelsea Extra (@CFCExtra)
As this long and tough season draws to a close, I’m hoping that we finally get a couple of comfortable results in these last two games. Leicester don’t have anything to play for so expecting this to be a fairly dull and low intensity game.
I predict we’ll see a lot of rotation as well, as the players are coming off the back of a physically and mentally draining cup final defeat. This could mean minutes for players like Hakim Ziyech, Saul Niguez and maybe Malang Sarr.
It would be nice to get third place wrapped up in this match. The thing I want to see most in these last games is minutes for Harvey Vale and other youngsters. This is unlikely to happen if we still have things at stake come Sunday so let’s hope we at least get the required point versus Leicester.
As I said, I don’t see this being a particularly entertaining game. I’m predicting a dull and safe performance, with limited chance creation and maybe a couple of goals all in. It won’t be pretty, as is the story of our season, but it should just about get us over the line.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Leicester