Leicester City vs Chelsea Preview | Team News, Stats & Key Men

Leicester City vs Chelsea Preview | Team News, Stats & Key Men

On January 14th, league leaders Chelsea travel to the King Power Stadium to take on reigning champions Leicester City.  After match week 20 last season it was Leicester in second and Chelsea down in 14th.  This season, it’s nearly the opposite with Chelsea in first and Leicester in 15th.  While Leicester have fallen off their pedestal this season, they’ll still want to prove they can beat this season’s superpower, Chelsea.

After their unbelievable title winning season last year, Leicester have gone back to what people expect from them this year.  The Foxes are only six points and three places off the relegation zone.  While they probably won’t go down, they’re in a fight against relegation.  After the miracle that was 2015/2016, things seem to have returned to normal for Leicester.

Chelsea are the opposite of Leicester.  After establishing themselves as one of the biggest clubs in England, they suffered their worst finishing position since the 1995-1996 season.  But things seem to have returned to normal for them as well.  While their 13 match win streak came to an end with their 2-0 loss to Tottenham, Chelsea are back to the top of the table, five points clear of second place Liverpool.  After their loss to Tottenham, the Blues will be looking to rebound with a convincing win against struggling Leicester.

Team News

Leicester will be thankful that, despite concerns during the week, Jamie Vardy and Andy King look set to be ready for the match with Chelsea, according to physioroom.com.  They will still be without Leandro Ulloa, as he continues to recover from a thigh injury, according to physioroom.com.  They will be without stars Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani due to the African Cup of Nations.

Part of Chelsea’s success this season has been due to them being able to field the same players week in week out.  Their injury luck continues to be good as they have a fully fit squad to pick from this week, according to Physioroom.com.  They will be without captain John Terry as he serves his one match suspension from his red card against Peterborough United.

Key Players

Leicester City: Jamie Vardy

The moment that Leicester seemed to be taken serious as title contenders last season was when Leicester won this fixture 2-1 with a goal from Vardy.  This season Vardy has mirrored the rest of his team.  He has seriously struggled to recapture his form.  He only has five goals from open play this season, three of which came against Manchester City, and has registered only two assists.  His lack of output has really hurt the team’s attack, which has hurt the team overall.  He’ll need to put in one of his performances of last season for them to have a chance.

Chelsea: Eden Hazard

While Mahrez has encapsulated Leicester, Eden Hazard has encapsulated Chelsea.  After having a really poor season, Hazard is back to being Hazard again.  When the Belgian is at his best, he’s one of the best players in the league.  After being really poor last season, Hazard is back to being one of the best in the league, just like Chelsea.

Prediction

Chelsea will be ready to bounce back from their loss to Tottenham.  Leicester still have some quality in their team, as they showed in their smashing 4-2 victory over Manchester City, but it’ll be tough for them to be able to beat Chelsea, especially without Mahrez and Slimani.