Match Preview: Leicester City v Chelsea
Champions Chelsea take a trip to the home of their predecessors this weekend in a game full of interesting sub plots.
Chelsea sit 6th in the table following their 2-0 victory over Everton before the international break. Question marks surrounded the west London club at the start of the campaign following an off season full of dressing room discontent and unexpected transfers. This was compounded when Antonio Conte’s men suffered a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Burnley on the opening weekend. A 2-1 triumph over Tottenham Hotspur in their first Premier League match at Wembley eased the worries of the Blue’s supporters before the win over Everton proved that Chelsea would once again be competing at the top end of the table.
Eden Hazard could play his first match of the season at the King Power having been absent from the opening three matches while recovering from a broken ankle suffered on International duty back in June. Hazard can expect a positive reception from both sets of fans should he make it as far the pitch thanks to his contribution to the Foxes’ lifting the Premier League title in 2016. The Belgian’s goal against Spurs sparked scenes of mass euphoria in the City of Leicester as the most unlikely of Champions were crowned.
The fixture list demanded that Leicester hit the ground running. A home tie against newly promoted Brighton was sandwiched between trips to the Emirates and Old Trafford. The Foxes put in a lacklustre performance against Manchester United but had displayed their attacking prowess in both the narrow loss to Arsenal and the comfortable victory over Brighton.
Saturday will see Danny Drinkwater return to Leicester following his deadline day move to Chelsea. The central midfielder spent five years in the East Midlands and was one of the key players in City’s rapid rise to the pinnacle of English football. N’Golo Kante will also return to the club that brought him to England as the Chelsea pair hope to rekindle the partnership that brought them so much success two seasons ago.
It is hard to look beyond Chelsea in this early season clash but Conte will be wary of the threats that Leicester pose. City possess plenty of pace up front and if they can stay compact in defence and midfield will pose a serious threat on the break.