Chelsea 3rd (14-4-4) vs Leicester City 8th (8-6-8)
Saturday 10:00 AM ET, Live on NBCSN at Stamford Bridge
Leicester City has a dismal away form against the so called “big six” (W0 D3 L9) and will need to overcome that to take all three points home on Saturday. Luckily, this match-up comes at a nice crossroad for both sides. Neither Chelsea or Leicester have looked very solid in their last few games and it may come down to who wants it more.
Chelsea’s home form is another thing Leicester will have against them come kickoff. The champions have won all seven of their last Premier League matches there, most notably their 5-0 destruction of Stoke on the last match of 2017. Their 2018 form on the other hand should give the travelling faithful hope. A 2-2 draw with Arsenal and two 0-0 affairs in cup ties means Chelsea are there for the taking.
Alvaro Morata is a man out of form. He’s only scored once in his last five league matches for Chelsea and had a solid run in the Carabao Cup semifinal in which he produced little to nothing for his side. He also squandered about three or four clear goal scoring chances in the league game versus Arsenal that surely would have seen them collect all three points.
Leicester looked very drab against Fleetwood Town on the FA Cup and the side Claude Puel put out was an example of the the sum of the parts not being greater than the whole. Fleetwood deserved the replay and probably should’ve nicked it at the end if it weren’t for a little bit of luck.
Although Jamie Vardy missed out on the “Vardy Derby”, the good news is he is available for selection against Chelsea. Islam Slimani worked well in a mostly full strength Leicester side last time out, scoring two goals against Huddersfield Town. Five days later in the Cup, he was crying out for some decent service and looked a bit like he did in his first year in Leicester Blue.
These two met on opening day at the King Power and Chelsea persevered 2-1. I expect a similar scoreline but in Leicester’s favor. If Claude Puel goes with our strongest lineup, especially given we’ve finally had some rest, the Foxes can sneak a victory just as long as they don’t let them score too early or give up their lead right before the half.