English Premier League Match Preview Round 27 (2022/23): Leicester City Vs Chelsea
Written By Onyeka Daniel
Leicester City will face Chelsea at the King Power stadium in the week 27 round of fixture with both teams in dire needs of points. The Foxes, under Brendan Rodgers have been blowing hot and cold this season, dropping shambolic displays after a masterclass performance in their previous game. It is quite understandable why the fans have been calling for his sack after the club’s latest defeat against Southampton, their fourth straight defeat after defeating Tottenham before this bad run.
The former Liverpool manager did admit that he “respects the opinions” of fans who chanted for him to be sacked after last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to the struggling Saints and it was a crushing blow in their bid to beat the drop. They’re currently 2 points below the relegation zone and dropping points in this game could draw them into the relegation zone again after they managed to escape at the turn of the year.
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Coming up against a Chelsea side that wants to gatecrash the top four is something that Leicester wouldn’t want, but they will have to face it nonetheless. For the Blues, it has been a frustrating season and they have been particularly poor at home, where they have registered just three wins from 12 PL. The visit of Chelsea will likely only further worry supporters as Leicester have won just three of the last 21 league meetings between the two sides with a leaky back line keeping only four clean sheets in the process.
With their recent wins, Chelsea will feel like they’re on a resurgence but their away form is nothing to write home about, winless in their last 8 away matches. The possibility of Potter retaining his job has also been a hot topic in the Premier League, but the Englishman has surely got some of the Blues’ disgruntled fans back on his side by masterminding a thoroughly-deserved success over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
Coupled with win in the EPL the previous weekend, they’re now basking in the success of a back-to-back win following last week’s and the coach may be starting to vindicate the board’s decision to keep him on, but Wesley Fofana’s game-winning header against the Whites did little to improve Chelsea’s 10th-placed standing in the Premier League table. With an 11-point gap to make up to fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur – who have played a game more – going for glory in the Champions League is arguably the Blues’ best route back into continental competition next year, and their away fortunes still make for wholly unpleasant reading.
Style Of Play
Rodgers has basically alternated between the 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 formation, favoring the latter above the former, but they use the same basics. Stay compact at the back and use a passive press that becomes active when the opponent gets to the midfield where they hope to swarm and have a turn over of possession to launch a quick counter.
For Chelsea, despite having some more players available than they had against Dortmund, especially in the defense, expect Potter to stick with the 3-4-3 formation, which could definitely change if Leicester decide to go with a three man attack instead. They like to use the wings to great effect while giving Enzo Fernandez plenty of room to dictate the pace of the game from the middle. With Havertz upfront, they’ve someone that can attack the ground balls and also good aerially.
Leicester have 8 wins, 2 draws and 10 losses in their last 20 games played across all competitions. For Chelsea, they have just 5 wins, 4 draws and 11 losses. The Blues are currently on a 2 games winning run and getting the maximum points in this game will give them some sort of momentum going into the next round of matches. The Blues won the first leg at the Stamford Bridge, 2-1 and could record their first league double over the Foxes since 2016-17, when they wrestled the Premier League crown out of Leicester’s grasp.
Head To Head
In their last 20 games played against each other, Chelsea are clearly ahead with 10 wins, as against just 4 wins for Leicester while 6 has ended in a stalemate. In their last 4 PL games, Chelsea have won 3 while one has ended in a draw.
Players To Watch
Rodgers will be hoping that James Maddison can work his magic for the Foxes and combine with either Jamie Vardy or Kelechi Iheanacho upfront. For Chelsea, it will be Kai Havertz leading the attack with Enzo Fernandez leading the charge from the midfield.
Read Also: Fantasy Premier League Preview: Week 27
Injuries And Suspensions
Youri Tielemans, Ryan Bertrand, J. Justin and V. Kristiansen are out while Harvey Barnes and Johnny Evans are doubtful for the home side. For Chelsea, they will be missing Ngolo Kante, Armando Broja, James Reece, Edouard Mendy and Thiago Silva, while Cesar Azpiliqueta and Mason Mount are in doubt.
Leicester are trying to avoid relegation while Chelsea need all the points that they can get to force their way into the top four, hence it would be a tough game for either side. Should probably end in a draw or a slight win for Chelsea.
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