Leicester City vs Chelsea Preview: Foxes look to bounce back after painful cup exit
Ayoze Perez and Kurt Zouma | Photo: Getty / Plumb Images

Attentions turn back to the Premier League as Leicester come up against Chelsea with both teams aiming to cement their place in the top four.

After heartbreak at Villa Park on Tuesday evening, the Foxes will be looking to bounce back with a win at the King Power Stadium as they welcome Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.

Trezeguet’s last minute goal sunk Leicester’s hopes of their first final in 20 years with Aston Villa coming away 2-1 winners on the night and 3-2 winners over the two legs. This disappointment for Brendan Rodgers’ side will need to be forgotten quickly and the focus will now return to securing a Champions League spot.

Opponent Overview

Chelsea have had an somewhat inconsistent season so far. After a promising run of six wins in a row from September to November, the Blues had high hopes under their new boss Lampard.

Over the past few months they have lost their stride. Since losing to Manchester City on the 23rd November, they have only picked up four wins with their most recent victory coming at Stamford Bridge against Burnley.

Chelsea currently sit eight points behind Leicester and six points above fifth place Manchester United. A win on the road will close the gap to third position and will give their hopes of a top four finish this season a massive boost.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Leicester will have the same squad available to them for Saturday’s game, with captain Wes Morgan suffering from illness and Nampalys Mendy out injured. Jamie Vardy will look to return to the starting 11 but with Kelechi Iheanacho in such good form, the league’s top goalscorer may have to wait.

Tammy Abraham has returned to training but remains out for the Blues. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Christian Pulisic also remain out injured. Right back Reece James has been out with a knee injury but is in contention to return to the squad.

Predicted Line-Ups

Leicester City: Schmeichel; Chilwell, Soyuncu, Evans, Pereira; Ndidi, Tielemans, Maddison; Barnes, Perez, Iheanacho.

Chelsea: Kepa; Alonso, Rudiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta; Kovacic, Kante, Jorginho; Mount, Hudson-Odoi, Batshuayi.

Previous Meeting

Back in August at Stamford Bridge the two teams couldn’t be separated. Only seven minutes into the game, Mason Mount gave the home side the lead after a mistake by Wilfred Ndidi. Chelsea continued to press and could’ve had another before half time but Leicester managed to hold on and headed into the break only one down.

The Foxes came out fighting in the second half. Brendan Rodgers’ side dominated proceedings and applied plenty of pressure to the Chelsea defence. This pressure paid off with 25 minutes remaining as Ndidi made up for his earlier error and headed home from a James Maddison corner. The away side then had a great chance to take all three points but Maddison couldn’t keep his effort down from just outside the six yard box.

The game finished 1-1 with both teams unable to claim a winner. This was Frank Lampard’s first point as Chelsea manager after a 4-0 loss to Manchester United in their first game of the season. For Leicester, this was a second consecutive draw to open the season after a goalless fixture at home to Wolves.

Embed from Getty Images

Managers' Comments

Brendan Rodgers is keen to move on from the club’s cup exit and is looking forward to the game against Chelsea. He said: ‘’It’s going to be an exciting game for us, Frank has done a fantastic job there.’’

Rodgers has also failed to beat Chelsea in his last 13 attempts. The Foxes boss said: ‘’Every record is there to be broken and we’ll look to do that at the weekend.’’

Frank Lampard has spoken about his relationship with Rodgers and praised his work as a manager. He revealed: ‘’I have a huge respect for him. He produces players and coaches. His first team staff shows that.’’