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

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

The last two Premier League champions will meet at the KP Stadium on Saturday as Leicester City host Chelsea. The former are unlikely to be competing at the top of the division during this campaign, but the current champions will have ambitions to retain their title. On deadline day, they signed Danny Drinkwater and Davide Zappacosta. The former was signed from this weekend’s opponents and there is a possibility that he can reform his midfield partnership with Ngolo Kante. This was central to the Foxes winning the league during the 2015/16 season. If they both start on Saturday, it will make for a very interesting sub-plot.

Leicester have started the season with one win from three matches, but they were handed a tough start. They came close to getting a result at the Emirates Stadium on the opening day and delivered a determined performance against Manchester United. Craig Shakespeare will make sure that they are tough to beat on Saturday and they will look to cause Chelsea problems on the counter-attack. It is a huge blow that Adrien Silva wasn’t registered in time and won’t be able to feature until January as he looked to be a good addition.

Antonio Conte will be underwhelmed by the club’s summer transfer business, but he knows that he has the ability to compete at the top of the division with his current squad. The deadline day additions provide him with extra depth and he will be hoping that Michy Batshuayi can offer good support to Alvaro Morata after they failed to sign Fernando Llorente. Although Diego Costa remains at the club, it seems unlikely that he will be given a chance in the first-team again. The Blues have recovered after an opening day loss and they will be confident they can pick up another three points at the weekend.

Interesting stats

  • Leicester City have conceded four goals in two matches against last season’s top six. They need to be tighter at the back if they are to gain a positive result this weekend.
  • Chelsea have scored two goals in each of their three Premier League matches to date.

Key Men

Vardy

The Leicester City striker has started the season in good form and he will be hoping to maintain that throughout the rest of the campaign. There is a chance that he could go to the World Cup and play a prominent role in the England squad. At one point in his career, that seemed impossible, but he now has a great chance. Although there are no guarantees that he will make the squad, he will if he continues to score goals. The 30-year-old scored twice on the opening day against Arsenal and showed that he remains a goal threat in the Premier League. It will be matches such as the one this weekend that will give him the most motivation to succeed. Chelsea haven’t looked as formidable as they did last season and Vardy can cause problems for their defence. His movement is good and his pace will pose a threat. If he has a good game, there is a chance that Leicester can take something from the match.

Kante

The rise and fall of Leicester City can both be attributed to Ngolo Kante. His arrival was key in creating a balanced team that could challenge for the title. It was an extraordinary achievement and the Frenchman played a vital role in it. It was his exit to Chelsea that led to the downfall as they didn’t sufficiently replace him straight away. Wilfred Ndidi has now joined the club and he looks to be an excellent midfield player. It will be an exciting battle to watch as he goes up against the man he replaced in the Leicester midfield. Kante hasn’t had the most eye-catching start to the new season, but the spotlight will be on him this weekend. The Foxes will look to give the ball to the visitors and play counter-attacking football. Their former player will be crucial in preventing them from doing that. He needs to provide cover to the defence and maintain a good position throughout the match.

Team News

Robert Huth and Vicente Iborra could both be fit in time to play a part in this fixture. However, Adrien Silva won’t be able to feature due to a registration error. Riyad Mahrez will start after missing out on a deadline day move.

Chelsea don’t have any injury concerns heading into this weekend. Gary Cahill has one more match to serve before he can return from his suspension. Zappacosta and Drinkwater could be in line for their debuts.

Verdict

This is going to be one of the more intringuing contests of the weekend. Leicester City may not be the team that they were two seasons ago, but they are one of the better sides operating outside of the top six. They can cause Chelsea problems and won’t be afraid to take the game to their more illustious opponents, especially at home. The likes of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Shinji Okazaki can cause them problems. It would be a surprise if the home side don’t score, but the champions should have enough to take the three points.