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After tasting the sour taste of defeat in their respective Premier League matches, Chelsea and Leicester City will look to explore each other’s vulnerabilities when they meet at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon. After conceding a late equalizer against Spurs, Chelsea suffered a way more severe blow at Elland Road as Leeds steamrolled them in a humiliating 3-0 defeat. Leicester threw a two-goal cushion in their opening game and settled for a draw against Brentford before enduring two back-to-back defeats. Anything but three points on Saturday will be an underwhelming result for both clubs.
Chelsea were no match for the high-spirited Leeds side at Elland Road. Edouard Mendy conceded the opener under hilarious circumstances as he lost the ball to Brendan Aaronson and allowed him to poke it into an empty net. Rodrigo scored the second from a Jack Harrison free-kick four minutes later. Harrison himself got into the scoresheet in the 69th minute after Rodrigo returned the favour and set Harrison up for the third Leeds goal. To sum up a terrible afternoon for the visitors, the referee sent off Kalidou Koulibaly for a second yellow six minutes from time.
It was an unacceptable performance for a team that spent more than £170 million on incomings this summer. Despite the massive outlay, Chelsea’s attack has shown minimal signs of improvement. Raheem Sterling failed to impress once again as the ex-Man City squandered some good scoring opportunities. The absence of N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic was clearly felt in midfield, as the Leeds midfield dominated Chelsea’s midfield pairing of Conor Gallagher and Jorginho.
Thomas Tuchel will be forced to make a change in the starting lineup that played Leeds. Koulibaly will serve a one-match suspension because of the red card. So, the veteran César Azpilicueta will deputise at left centre back. Or, Tuchel could pick Ben Chilwell to play that role. Despite their poor performances at Elland Road, Gallagher and Jorginho are likely to return as Kovacic and Kante are both out with injuries.
Southampton seemed to be the perfect opportunity for Leicester City to register their first win of the season. But in another case of déjà vu, Leicester sacrificed their lead to leave the pitch as the losing side. James Maddison had put the Foxes ahead before Che Adams came off the bench to score a brace and continue Leicester’s winless run in the league.
Brendan Rodgers has banked significant credit at the King Power Stadium for his first two seasons at Leicester when the Foxes narrowly missed out on Champions League spots. But he must have been feeling the heat after the Southampton match as the same problems keep on coming back to haunt his team. In the 21/22 season, Leicester lost 21 points from winning positions; only two teams had worse records. The 2015/16 Premier League champions have already dropped five points from winning positions in 22/23, and we are only three matches into the new season. Ironically, Leicester’s latest blunder came against the side that had lost the most points (29) from winning positions last season; Southampton.
Leicester will miss the towering presence of Wesley Fofana again as the Frenchman is on personal leave, trying to finalise a move away in the final days of the window, possibly to Leicester’s Saturday opponents Chelsea. Because of injuries, Ricardo Pereira and Ryan Bertrand will also be unavailable in the Leicester backline.
Chelsea are not playing their best football at the moment. Some of their players are playing out of position as stopgap measures, which doesn’t help the fluidity of their game much. But they face a side with even more problems on Saturday afternoon. Bad results and transfer uncertainties have brought down the morale at Leicester. So, the hosts can pounce and take all the points to boost their campaign. Our top football betting tips experts believe the final scoreline would be 2-1 in favour of the Blues.
Chelsea to win @ 1.42