Football Features

Chelsea v Leicester City team news, expected XIs & prediction

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 17:45, 17 May 2021

Chelsea will be looking to tighten their grip on a place in the Premier League’s top four and avenge their FA Cup final defeat when they host Leicester on Tuesday at 8:15pm (UK time).

Thomas Tuchel’s men are currently just one point ahead of Liverpool in fifth and will know that anything less than a win will allow the Reds to overtake them when they play next. And while that is motivation enough, having just lost the FA Cup final to the Foxes a few days ago will add some real drama to this Tuesday night clash.

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Where to watch Chelsea vs Leicester on TV:

  • UK: Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Premier League

Chelsea vs Leicester predicted XIs:

Chelsea have doubts over Andreas Christensen’s availability after a hamstring injury picked up in the victory over Manchester City, and while long-term absentee Mateo Kovacic was declared available for the FA Cup final he played no part in the match, so could feature here.

Beyond that possible return, Chelsea will likely rotate heavily as they make use of their mammoth squad to try and stop the rot of two consecutive defeats. Edouard Mendy will certainly return in goal while Ben Chilwell, Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz are certain to start alongside Tuchel mainstays like Antonio Rudiger, N’Golo Kanté and Mason Mount.

Leicester meanwhile will be without their defensive leader Jonny Evans as he picked up an injury early in the FA Cup final and he will join Harvey Barnes and James Justin as long-term Leicester absentees.

Besides that it’s unlikely Rodgers will change his team too much from the one that picked up big wins over Manchester United and Chelsea in their last two games. Though James Maddison is likely to start and Ricardo Pereira could come in for the injured Evans.

  • Chelsea: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger; Hudson-Odoi, Kanté, Kovacic, Chilwell; Mount, Pulisic; Havertz.
  • Leicester: Schmeichel; Castagne, Fofana, Soyuncu; Pereira, Ndidi, Tielemans, Thomas; Maddison; Iheanacho, Vardy.

Predicted score: Chelsea 2-0 Leicester

Chelsea will have their vengeance

What Leicester did in the FA Cup final; blunting the Blues attack so thoroughly, playing the more interesting and exciting football, was truly a victory for the ages. A vindication of both the magic of the cup but also a beacon of just what a well-run club can achieve without needing to spend astronomical amounts of money on player recruitment. They were well worth their 1-0 win and it will live throughout history.

It will also drive Chelsea up the wall. The Blues have been nothing short of sensational since Thomas Tuchel took charge, sweeping all but West Brom before them as they charged up the Premier League table and into both the FA Cup and Champions League finals. They were the hot-hand; then a changed Chelsea XI lost to Arsenal in a game that didn’t seem to mean much and suddenly their momentum was derailed.

They are, however, still a terrifyingly talented team. And one thing about talented teams i they usually respond to setbacks and adversity with emphatic displays. This game is not just a mindless act of vengeance, as well, it is a concerted step towards Champions League qualification for the 2021/22 season and Liverpool breathing heavy on Chelsea’s neck will be another motivator.

Sure, Leicester also need to fear the Reds but a draw would suit the Foxes just fine, keeping them a point ahead and their destiny in their own hands on the final day. Chelsea, however, know that they have to win both their remaining games or instead allow the fate of their expensively assembled squad to rest on Liverpool dropping points or Chelsea winning the Champions League final.

Leicester would like to win this game, obviously, but they don’t need to. And need is so often the key motivating factor in football. Chelsea need to win this, both for their Champions League hopes but also their sense of pride after the FA Cup final. And due to their superior squad depth and what can only be a colossal emotional comedown for Leicester, you’d expect Chelsea to get what they need. A comfortable if unspectacular victory and a clean sheet to boot.

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Premier League 2020/21 recent form:

  • Chelsea: LWWWD
  • Arsenal: WLDWW

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