Chelsea vs Leicester City Preview: Frank Lampard takes charge at Stamford Bridge for the first time
Frank Lampard back at The Bridge | Photo: Getty/ Darren Walsh

Chelsea vs Leicester City Preview: Frank Lampard takes charge at Stamford Bridge for the first time

Chelsea host Leicester in their first home game of the season in a 4:30pm kick off this Sunday

footyjournojake
Jake Dance

Frank Lampard makes his first appearance at Stamford Bridge since taking over as manager as they host Leicester City in the Premier League.

The Blues' boss will be keen to see an improvement on some increasingly impressive  performances as Chelsea look for their first official win this season. Brendan Rodgers' side will be more than happy to spoil the party however, as they travel to London this Sunday. 

Both teams have failed to score so far in the league and will therefore be hungry for goals. Leicester have also shown their resilience though, managing a clean sheet in their opening game - a stark contrast to Chelsea's four goals conceded against Manchester United

Story behind the game 

Leicester currently sit above Chelsea in the Premier League table after managing a 0-0 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers in their most recent fixture. Whilst Chelsea were left reeling after a 4-0 defeat to Manchester United.

That being said, the result did not necessarily reflect the Blues' performance at Old Trafford. The team were mercilessly punished on the counter-attack after individual errors - something they will need to look out for when facing the pace of Foxes' striker Jamie Vardy

Chelsea have also since played in the UEFA Super Cup, playing 120 minutes of football on Wednesday evening against Liverpool. The game finished 2-2, with the Reds emerging victorious on penalties

Whilst Lampard can be pleased with the performance against last year's UEFA Champions League winners, this does also mean that they will be up against a Leicester side that is considerably more fresh. 

 

The Blues will have been travelling back from Turkey with the majority of their first team players having played a game and a half in different conditions. This means they may not be able to perfect the high intensity philosophy that the new manager has been attempting to integrate.  

In terms of head to head fixtures, Chelsea certainly have the upper hand. In 17 meetings, Leicester have been the losing side in 12 occasions, managing a draw three times and only beating the Blues twice. 

In the Premier League however, the Foxes appear as the more form side in recent history. The Midlands club ran out 1-0 victors the last time the two sides met at Stamford Bridge, and managed a 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture

Team news 

N'Golo Kanté has finally fully returned from injury, putting in an impressive performance against Liverpool on Wednesday. The tireless midfielder managed the full 120 minutes and played a key part in his team's first goal. 

 

Whilst this seems to show that the Frenchman is back to his super-human levels of fitness, he may not necessarily start after playing so many minutes since his return. 

Centre-back Antonio Rüdiger is looking more likely to make his return after being named on the substitutes bench in the Super Cup. The German international has been out since April, with Chelsea desperate for a man of his defensive qualities after conceding six goals in two games. 

Willian is another player that could be in contention for selection this weekend as the tricky winger looks to return to full fitness after a busy summer on international duty with Brazil.  

Callum Hudson-Odoi is still unavailable for selection as he continues to train with the Under 23's to regain his match fitness, but the fan-favourite is looking to return ahead of schedule. 

As for Leicester, they should have their full squad available to them with no injuries reported so far. 

Predicted line-up

Chelsea: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rüdiger, Alonso; Jorginho, Kovačić; Pedro, Mount, Pulisic; Abraham. 

Leicester: Schmeichel; Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell; Ndidi;  Tielemans, Choudhury; Maddison; Vardy, Perez.

Key clashes

This match looks like it could be won and lost in the midfield. Leicester deployed four midfielders in last week's 0-0 draw - and it looks likely to be the same again. 

 

It will be a tough job for the likes of Jorginho, Mateo Kovačić and Mason Mount to break through - but they do have plenty of creativity to work their way out of tight situations.

If the Blues can do this, then the pace and trickery of Christian Pulisic could turn out too much to handle after the young American proved how lethal he can be against Liverpool. 

Chelsea's back-line will also need to be very alert, after conceding chances too easily to Manchester United in their previous game. Vardy will be more than happy to burst through a weak defence and punish the London club again. 

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