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Chelsea vs Leicester City: Team News, Possible Lineups, Match Facts, Preview & Prediction

Chelsea face another newly promoted team within a week, this time at Stamford Bridge in what happens to be a rather tricky yet smooth beginning to their fixtures.

Chelsea showed some early hiccups against Burnley as they conceded the first goal. But thereon, inspired by an exceptional display of playmaking by new signing Cesc Fàbregas, Chelsea strolled past Burnley eventually winning the match 1-3.

This game is going to be considerably tougher as Leicester have a better squad than Burnley and they also had a good opening match against Everton where they came twice from behind to earn a good point from the match. Leicester would offer more resistance and have more experience of playing against top opposition.

Team News:

For hosts Chelsea, Brazilian midfielder Ramires is back from his last season’s extended suspension. The energetic midfielder is likely to bolster the squad, but would mostly be on the bench. Drogba played a few minutes the other day meaning he is fit enough to play a part in the match. There are no more absentees.

As for the team selection, manager Mourinho would like to use last time’s aggressive attack minded team to break Leicester. He may look to give Filipe Luís a debut, but even Cesar Azpilicueta is fully capable of starting ahead like he did in the previous match.

As for Leicester, they would have to cope with the absence of midfielder Danny Drinkwater. Dean Hammond is likely to partner Andy King in central midfield. Mathew Upson remains out of this match with a foot injury while Marc Albrighton and James Vardy are doubtful due to fitness worries.

Manager Nigel Pearson would most likely go ahead with the Nugent-Olloa partnership up front with Chris Wood on the bench. Thus Leicester are going to field a 4-4-2 against a 4-2-3-1 of Chelsea.

Key Tactics:

Chelsea showed against Burnley that they now have the ability to break down oppositions which sit too deep looking for a counter. Fabregas in the pivot with Matic gives the team the technical and physical dominance in central midfield, which is being seen after a long time in Chelsea. With a blend of possession and direct football, Chelsea are set to dictate the tempo of the match.

Leicester on the other hand won’t be having much possession. Their way of playing should be simple and aggressive if they want to ruffle Chelsea’s feathers even slightly. We saw how vulnerable Chelsea are initially when they conceded againsy Burnley. Leicester must make sure that they don’t give Fabregas, Hazard and Costa much space at all.

Key Players:

Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Andy King, Leonardo Ulloa and Schmeichel (Leicester)

Predicted Team Line ups:

Chelsea: Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Luís, Matic, Fàbregas, Hazard, Oscar, Schürrle, Costa.

Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, Moore, Konchesky, Mahrez, Knockaert, Hammond, King, Nugent, Ulloa.

Predictions:

According to Paddy Power, a 3-0 win for Chelsea is very much on the cards.

The Blues look formidable and composed to mount a serious challenge for the title this year and a win against such a lower ranked side is absolutely essential.

Could Chelsea Create The World’s Best Midfield Duo?

Perhaps the most important element of any team that has ever played a competitive football match, is the midfield. They run everything and literally dictate the game. They will help out the defence when needs be, but also contribute heavily in attack. I know there is no way of definitively which position is most crucial to a team, because it varies depending on the situation. However, without a good midfield your defence becomes weaker and there is no link between the attackers and the rest of the team which which will have repercussions in attack.

Chelsea already have good options in midfield with Nemanja Matic, Ramires, Marco van Ginkel and now Cesc Fabregas. But, as with everything in life, it can be improved upon. The Blues think that the man that will provide that improvement is Luiz Gustavo of Wolfsburg.

The Express are reporting that Arsenal and Manchester United are also part of the race to sign the Brazilian star. However, a price-tag of £26 million may put off some clubs.

In my opinion, Gustavo is worth that amount when you take in to consideration a number of different factors. The Wolfsburg star has shone for Brazil in the World Cup with a couple of assured displays in the centre of the park.

This has resulted in them conceding just one goal so far. He’s a midfield general and will do everything in his power to make sure his side gain the upper hand as early as possible. His athleticism and energy allow him to cover his territory for the full 90 minutes in any game. Gustavo has a keen eye for a pass, but is also quick to stop any attack the opposition try and mount.

I think that Matic and Gustavo can create a midfield so strong, that it could be considered one of the best in the world at some point in the future. It’s a partnership that has everything a manager can dream of. It’s also a midfield that every attacker and defender can wish for. This duo will also have plenty of time to grow and develop as Gustavo is 26 and Matic is 25. The partnership could last for six or seven seasons.

£26 million seems like a bargain now

How Are The Chelsea Boys Doing In Brazil?

With every participating country now having played at least one game at the World Cup, it’s time to have a little look at some Chelsea players that have been playing. Have they all been living up to expectations and playing the way that they do for the Blues?

The hosts, Brazil, are the home of Chelsea stars Ramires and Oscar. Ramires didn’t start in the first game against Croatia, but did feature in the first XI against Mexico in a right wing role which is a lot different to what he is used to. He proved ineffective in that game and didn’t really cause too much threat to the Mexican defence. Oscar started both games and was man of the match against Croatia, scoring once and showing some real pieces of skill from the right wing. According to Opta statistics, he successfully took on players 7/11 times. This was a big difference compared to the Mexico game when he only managed one successful take on in a 0-0 draw.

Eden Hazard had a productive first game against Algeria claiming an assist and successfully taking on players five times. He did not have any shots though and that is unlike him. Romelu Lukaku was fairly ineffective, not managing a shot throughout the entire game. But, he did show glimpses of his strength against defenders.

Gary Cahill was the only Chelsea player that started for England against Italy and made one successful tackle, one interception and 2 successful clearances. He did have one aerial duel but did not come out on top in that one.

These were just a few players that have taken the stage in Brazil and the more games they play, the more they should be able to cope with the environment and that will aid their performance.

Chelsea Could (And Should) Snap Up German Duo!

With so many stars in action in Brazil, it’s obvious that at least a few will show what they can really do. This is met with the eager eyes of domestic clubs around the world who are readying bids as we speak. A number of managers have actually gone to Brazil to commentate on the action.

Arsene Wenger has travelled with French TV and Roberto Martinez has linked up ESPN. These managers have become more quotable than the ones that have stayed at home because they obviously have their opinions on players and they can’t hide that when analysing performances.

Jose Mourinho will be watching the games very closely and will create a list of players that he likes so the Chelsea scouts can compile a detailed dossier on them. One would assume that as Mourinho is Portuguese, he’d make a special effort to watch them. However, his country wasn’t the aspect of the game that really caught his eye, as the Daily Star are reporting that he’s lining up moves for Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira.

While the Blues have plenty of options in midfield, added to by the arrival of Cesc Fabregas, it’s never a bad move to increase the depth even further. This ensures that all bases are covered in the event of an injury crisis. By lining up Kroos and Khedira, Jose is looking for players with versatility. They can cover anyone in the midfield and efficiently.

Khedira has spent a majority of this season out with an injury after becoming a crucial member of the squad under Jose’s reign at Real Madrid. The Chelsea boss knows all about Sami and what his strengths are as a midfielder. He knows the best system for him and the best team mates to accompany that. The German is incredibly talented and has talents in most key areas of the game. Tackling is his strong point, but good energy and creativity also feature heavily.

Toni Kroos is much the same as Khedira as they are both creative and good defensively, however, the Bayern Munich star is famed for his passing attributes. You’ll often see him dictate play in the centre of the pitch and record some astounding statistics in the process. He’ll often exceed 90% passing accuracy, even with a ridiculous amount of passes under his belt. The way he can switch play and deliver that incisive through ball is also applauded by experts around the globe.

Has Chelsea Misfit Suffered From Harsh Treatment?

On transfer deadline day, in January 2011, Chelsea broke the bank and paid £50 million for the services of Fernando Torres from Liverpool. He had three and a half prolific years with Liverpool scoring 66 goals in 102 Premier League games and so the amount Chelsea paid looked justifiable. Whilst at Chelsea he has only scored 20 in 110 games and this has caused a lot of criticism from Chelsea fans, but is that fair?

Torres is obviously a player lacking in confidence and the only way that he will be able to get that back is by scoring goals. If Chelsea fans really want their team to succeed, it might be an idea to get off of Torres’ back. When he was bought in 2011 that must’ve put him under an enormous amount of pressure compared to a striker that signs for a lower fee. This is because they feel they have to justify the fee paid for them, which is right, but Torres is a human being like everyone else and so it’s only natural that he felt the pressure. He has still been working hard for the team and I think that he is a very important player.

With plenty of names being rumoured to be joining Chelsea next season it’s looking increasingly unlikely that Torres will remain there and he did not help himself after missing an open goal for Spain against Holland in the World Cup. Caughtoffside claim that Atletico Madrid are planning to sign the misfit and this could potentially be part of a swap deal with Diego Costa going the other way.

If Torres does leave in the summer he will no doubt look back at his time with Chelsea and wish it could have gone better. Now at the age of 30 he is starting to lose his pace and athleticism and that could turn potential buyers off. But, if he can get back to scoring like he used to then he will be a great buy for whoever gets him.

Should Chelsea Bid For Bundesliga Star?

While all the media focus surrounds the World Cup at the moment, there is some behind-the-scenes movement for a few clubs. They are using the lack of coverage of other stories to their advantage and getting deals done and cheaply. Especially those not at the World Cup as they obviously don’t have that distraction which could keep them from signing a contract. If you wait too long and their stock rises, during the biggest football competition of all time, then other clubs will swoop in and claim him before your very eyes.

Well that’s exactly what Bayer Leverkusen are attempting to take advantage of as the Express claim that Hakan Calhanoglu only has eyes for them. The Hamburg star enjoyed a fantastic season in the Bundesliga after a successful loan spell at Karlsruher. However, Leverkusen aren’t the only teams interested in the services of the Turkish international as Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal could also make late moves for him. But, it seems as though the German side are the closest to signing him.

Is a bid for Calhanoglu actually necessary on Chelsea’s part though? One of the advantages of signing Hakan is that he is one of the best young players in the Bundesliga, but is incredibly advanced for his age. At just 20-years-old, he has strengths that far exceed his age band. For example, intelligence in the final third is something he boasts. With 11 goals and 5 assists in all competitions, he’s certainly providing the direct threat also.

However, a disadvantage of signing the Hamburg attacking midfielder, is the fact that the Blues are very well stocked in that position of the pitch with Oscar, Willian and now Cesc Fabregas able to play there. Calhanoglu can’t compete with that trio so it would be unfair for Jose Mourinho to turn his head with a lucrative offer and then not get played much. Hakan won’t be cheap either as he has 4 years left on his current contract and, due to his age, Hamburg will want to be well compensated.

5 Players That Chelsea Should Consider Signing!

With the World Cup currently being played in Brazil, there are payers that will be putting themselves in the shop window if their performances stand out. It is also not just those at the World Cup that Chelsea should be looking at, there are many other players that were either injured or not selected for whatever reason that could be a great signing for the Blues, if pursued. Here are the players I feel that Chelsea should try desperately to sign;

Lucas Moura:

the Paris Saint Germain star possesses an unbelievable amount of pace that will give Premier League full backs nightmares. As well as the pace he has, he can also deliver a more than adequate ball from either wing and can also be used as an attacking midfielder. His versatility would be a great asset to the club.

The Daily Star suggests that PSG are ready to sacrifice losing him in order to bring in Eden Hazard. Hazard has recently expressed his desire to stay with Chelsea and the lack of support from PSG to Lucas might well make him want to move across the channel.

Luke Shaw:

He has been linked with Chelsea for a while now and judging by his performances over the last couple of years for Southampton, he looks as though he could be a great replacement for Ashley Cole at left back. Shaw has bundles of pace that aid his attacking threat down the wings.

In addition to that he is also very efficient at keeping wingers at bay. Whilst he is still very young, he has the potential to be one of the best full backs in world football and with other Southampton players heading for the exit, he might not see reason to stay with the Saints.

Javier Hernandez:

A great striker who has had a great few years in the Premier League with regards to goals. However, he is not a preferred choice to start up front and mostly never has been. This could be the summer that he finally says enough is enough and looks for pastures new.

He is a great finisher and will scare defenders with his electric pace. As well as that, he is also a great header of the ball for his size. He has scored 37 goals in 101 games for United and the majority of his appearances have been from the bench.

Raphael Varane:

the French international centre back is currently playing for Real Madrid and has been described as one of the most promising youngsters in Europe at the age of 21. The loss of David Luiz leaves a hole in the centre of defence to be filled and this man could be the one to look to.

For his age, he is extremely strong and good in the air. He is technically good on the ball and, despite his age, is reasonably experienced as he played his first ever senior game back in 2010 for Lens.

Danny Ings:

the 21-year-old Englishman has had a prolific season for Burnley in the Championship. This helped to lead them to the Premier League.

He is still very young and looks like he could be a top class player in the future. He is very quick and his finishing last season was different class. Interest from a club like Chelsea could turn his head and there is no doubt, in my opinion, that he would do a very good job up front for the Blues.

Chelsea Boss Not Content With Just One New Striker! Great, In My Opinion

Sometimes a manager will sign a player that he really wants to get and will devote his time and energy into making that player a success. This can have great benefits, or it can be quite risky. The Blues have all but confirmed the signing of Diego Costa and that’s the player that Jose Mourinho will devote his time to. While Costa has had an incredible season, if he suffers an injury or a dip in form then Jose’s project will go out the window.

Fernando Torres and Demba Ba would’ve hoped that they would be there to rely upon if this situation does occur, however, GiveMeSport are reporting otherwise. It looks as though Chelsea are lining up a move for Borussia Dortmund star, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The striker enjoyed a successful campaign in the Bundesliga after making the switch from Saint Etienne last summer.

This is a positive move from Mourinho who is adding depth to an already well stocked position. Aubameyang is no rookie either as he starred for Dortmund’s team this season. 16 goals and 5 assists is quite a fine record for your debut campaign.

What the Gabon international boasts is his outrageous amount of pace that can turn a defender inside out in a few strides. He will be a completely different option to Diego Costa which will be great for Mourinho when he needs to change the game. If playing isn’t having the desired effect, as they know how to deal with his threat, then they won’t prepared to deal with Aubameyang.

A fantastic option and it will prove that Mourinho is taking no prisoners next season in his quest for trophies.