Although Leicester City got their season off to a slightly sluggish start against Wolves, there were plenty of positives to take. Combined with the negatives from Chelsea’s losing start, we have good reasons to be optimistic ahead of Sunday’s game. Here are some areas the game could be decided.
1. Find work for Wilf
Both sides looked to get on the ball and play with possession in their opener. It didn’t exactly go well for Chelsea, but expect to see them continue in that manner at home.
That will mean plenty of work for Wilfred Ndidi, who already put in a strong display in his first game back. In fact, the only issue was finding enough to do with Choudhury playing the same game next to him.
If Wilf is given the room to play to his fullest potential in this game, however, he might find himself a little stretched out; Chelsea’s best creativity so far has come from wide areas, through Pedro and Pulisic.
Pulisic’s offside goal.— H (@Hugooow_PT) August 14, 2019
Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea. #LIVCHE pic.twitter.com/MNE2eGHkgH
Figuring out where and how to deploy Wilf to neutralise those threats most effectively could be key for Brendan Rodgers.
2. Chelsea vs Super Cup
Wolves travelled to Armenia and back in the week leading up to our league match. The additional wear in the legs and minds began to tell as the match wore on, but the Foxes were never able to push their advantage home.
Chelsea are a little more used to midweek European travel, but could they be equally set back by their trip to Turkey on Wednesday? They’ll have an extra day of rest compared to Wolves, but did have to play on into extra time.
He said to me at half-time in extra-time that his legs were finished, his legs were dead; and then he’s sprinting 50 yards to cover - Lampard on Kanté
The big difference, I suspect, will be that we were able to make Wolves chase the ball for 70% of the game, really forcing home the advantage. It’s unlikely that we’ll manage something similar on Sunday, but if they do see Chelsea faltering in the final stages, it’s vital that Leicester make it count this time.
3. Maddison vs Kanté (+ others)
Chelsea will most likely have at least one of their other defensive midfielders alongside N’Golo Kanté, but let’s be honest, Leicester fans will not be as interested in Kovacic or Jorginho.
Their job may be a little more straightforward than Ndidi’s, as well. If they can shut down James Maddison (and Youri Tielemans), Leicester will have a hard time creating. If they’ve learned from Wolves, the two may be pushed together into one area of the pitch, too.
Play Tielemans and Maddison in the middle with Ndidi as defensive cover. Barnes and Ayoze out wide. Score goals. Win. Repeat. #LCFC— The Windeh Citeh Fox (@AmericanFoxLCFC) August 12, 2019
After the volume of attacks which ran of steam around the edge of the penalty area last week, it will be vital that Leicester’s creative pair are able to get Jamie Vardy more involved in the game.
While the focus is on quick, short passing, Chelsea were caught out on the counter a number of times against Manchester United, so perhaps the answer this week might be to look for Vardy earlier than they have been.