Chelsea vs Leicester City preview: How to watch, kick off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch

Fresh from playing each other in the FA Cup final, Chelsea and Leicester City face off once again with a different prize in mind, a top-four finish.

Due to Liverpool's dramatic late winner against West Bromwich Albion, the game has become all the more significant as both teams look to hold off last year's champions to qualify for next season's Champions League.

Chelsea will want to gain revenge for the FA Cup final defeat while solidifying their own position in the top four, as well as building up form ready for the Champions League final against Manchester City.

The Foxes, meanwhile, have a slight edge on their opponents as they find themselves two points ahead of the Blues, with a win against them guaranteeing a place amongst Europe's elite.

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Team news

Chelsea do not have any new team news to contend with ahead of the match as they still will be without the injured Andreas Christensen.

Mateo Kovacic could have a bigger part to play after recovering from his hamstring injury that kept him out for five weeks.

After coming off early during the final, Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that he will be without Jonny Evans due to his ongoing heel injury.

The Foxes are also expected to be without Cengiz Under after the winger picked up a minor hip issue. 

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Predicted line-ups

Chelsea: Mendy; James, Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger, Chilwell; Kante, Jorginho; Mount, Pulisic, Werner.

Leicester: Schmeichel; Albrighton, Castagne, Fofana, Soyuncu, Thomas; Ndidi, Tielemans; Maddison; Vardy, Iheanacho. 

Last meeting

The last meeting between the sides is still fresh, as Leicester defeated Chelsea in the FA Cup final to break the hoodoo and win the famous trophy for the first time in their history.

After a cagey first half, Youri Tielemans opened the scoring on 63 minutes with a goal that will go down as one of the most memorable cup final strikes in history as his strike rifled into the top corner from 25 yards out.

Chelsea then looked to get back into the game but were denied by two world-class Kasper Schmeichel saves, before former Fox Ben Chilwell's last-minute equaliser was chalked off by a tight VAR call.

All of this meant that Leicester held on to their slender lead to win the FA Cup in front of 6,000 Foxes fans and continue their remarkable story in recent years.

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Ones to watch

If Chelsea are to return to form and claim revenge over the East Midlands side, they will need Mason Mount to be at his best.

The young midfielder has become a crucial cog in Chelsea's team, emphasised by the fact that he has played more minutes than anyone else. His nine goals and eight assists have gone a long way towards helping his side to the Champions League and FA Cup finals, as well as a potential top-four finish.

One midfielder who will be looking to challenge Mount in the centre of the park is the FA Cup match-winner,  Tielemans.

The Belgian has been brilliant for his side this season and his goal in the final will have already secured him legendary status amongst the fans, but it is his general play and his ability to control the game that have been the most impressive.

Like Mount, Tielemans has been a near ever-present for his side and his influence on the team has grown throughout the season.

If the cup final is anything to go by, the game should be a tightly fought contest, meaning that it will be up to the likes of Mount and Tielemans to inspire their teams from midfield to give their respective sides the edge.

Pre-match thoughts

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Thomas Tuchel shared to the media what he has said to the players to get them to return to their best.

"I said when we started that I will always try to be reliable with the players. To praise them for what they did, not is what is on the scoreboard. The result is not always reliable or logically. While we won the data against Arsenal, a certain energy, focus and determination was missing. Then we speak to the team and that is what we got in the FA Cup final.

"We can win the same match if we are more lucky and have precision in front of goal. We're fighting hard to get the momentum back and have another clean sheet. The margins are so tight in football for wins and losses. It's easy to handle your self-confidence when you win but nobody needs to be afraid of the situation."

When quizzed on which Chelsea game is more important, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers stated: “It was a very important game for us at the weekend to create this legacy of being the first team in the club’s history to win the FA Cup. And now we have another huge game. We want to arrive in the Champions League and we have to do it ourselves. Our job is to see if we can get a result. If we get a win, we’re there, brilliant, but if not, we’ll go to the last game.”

Speaking further about whether Chelsea will be seeking revenge, Rodgers stated: “When you are a club that wants to win, you know sometimes you will fall short. They are in the Champions League final for a reason. They’ve got an excellent squad. We have to work hard and be equally aggressive and see if we can make our chances count.”

How to watch

The game is due to be played on Tuesday 18 May and it will be broadcast on Sky Sports.

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