On any normal day, Chelsea and Leicester City players and fans have a wonderful relationship. It truly is remarkable how easily these two clubs get along. Alas, this isn’t a normal day. The Blues will look to close the gap to just three points between themselves and the Foxes. Leicester has gotten off to a wonderful start this season and currently sits in third. Meanwhile, Chelsea is in seventh and rumor has it, Frank Lampard’s job could be on the line in this contest. There is no telling what is going on in Roman Abramovich’s mind, but if the Blues continue to plummet further and further away from the top four, things may get ugly.
Here is how The Pride of London staff sees this match playing out:
Olaoluwa Nwobodo: 1-2 Chelsea
Chelsea has found Leicester difficult to defeat in recent times, so this will be a tough match for sure. Lampard will have the luxury of selecting a rested and fully fit XI—minus N’Golo Kante—which could give the Blues the slight advantage they need to get three points. Leicester is in very good form and the Foxes are well equipped to hurt the Blues any way they decide to play. They have gotten back to winning ways though, and the Blues have everything they need to beat the Foxes.
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Anthony Gatt: 1-1 Draw
I think tomorrow’s game will give us a good indication on if we have the ability to bounce back and challenge for the title, or we have a battle ahead of us to even make top four. Leicester is on fire and could go temporarily top of the league with win, whereas Chelsea is still trying to find its footing after a horrid festive period. That is why I am playing it safe and saying 1-1 away from home, which could be a good result for the Blues to push on and gain more confidence ahead of Wolves next Wednesday.
Michael DeVito: 1-2 Chelsea
Finally a breakthrough against a top club. Callum Hudson-Odoi has to start on the left instead of Christian Pulisic with Hakim Ziyech on the right. Timo Werner should get the nod at center forward, as well. Midfield has to be attacking-oriented with Mason Mount and Kai Havertz. Ben Chilwell and Reece James must take the attack to Leicester.
Barrett Rouen: 1-2 Chelsea
Honestly, I think it’s just as likely that this one goes the other way. I’m hoping that Lampard picks his actual best squad and that I can stop thinking that what he says about the side being a meritocracy may be false. Leicester is a much more cohesive team than Chelsea at the moment and the Foxes don’t have the same problems that we do running through the side. Hoping Abraham plays from the off with Hudson-Odoi on his preferred left side and Ziyech or Pulisic on the other.
Mike Malley: 2-1 Leicester City
Things just aren’t right at Stamford Bridge at the moment. Despite winning 1-0 in the team’s previous match, the Blues are a step behind the other Premier League title contenders. Werner’s confidence is extremely low right now, so it is unlikely that he will get serious minutes against the Foxes. Hudson-Odoi should definitely be in the staring XI, otherwise there might be a full-scale revolt against Lampard. In the end though, Leicester’s squad cohesion will probably give it the edge.
Kevin Peacock: 0-0 Draw
There aren’t many scoreless draws in the Premier League these days, however, these are strange times. In what will be a game where neither side wants to lose, neither actually make the breakthrough. The defences and keepers win the day.
Olly Smith: 2-2 Draw
This has always been a really good marker game for Chelsea as the Foxes have been knocking at the top six door for quite some time now. This game is going to be an all out battle. The Blues like to dominate territory and possession and Leicester loves to hit teams on the counter attack. The attacking trio of Jamie Vardy-James Maddison-Harvey Barnes will be tough to keep out, and the Blues won’t. However, Pulisic has got to break the back of this poor run of form and count on Abraham to score when it matters most and prove he is the striker who deserves the most minutes at the moment.
Scott Brant: 1-1 Draw
Chelsea will play against the Foxes, but not well enough to take three points. Vardy is a question. Even if he starts, he won’t be 100 percent and Leicester may struggle a bit to trouble the Blues’ back line. Each take a point and focus on FA Cup matches at the weekend. Abraham to score.
Varun Dani: 1-2 Chelsea
With or without Vardy, the Foxes are no underdogs in this game. They will take this game as an opportunity to silently remain the dark horses for the title. Lampard needs this win more than anyone else though. Should he choose to start the players he rested on Saturday (Hudson-Odoi, Abraham, Gilmour, Zouma, James), a rejuvenating victory beckons.
Abhishek Pancholi: 3-1 Leicester City
As much as it pains me to say this, it might be the end of the line for Lampard. The Blues have been stuttering and spluttering over the past several weeks, and with rumors of a sack swirling, a defeat against a top four rival could spell the end of this romantic adventure.
Gabe Henderson: 1-3 Chelsea
The Blues rally together in a tough match to save Lampard’s job. Is it a bit optimistic? Absolutely. Do I have a soft spot for poetic, storybook moments in sports? You bet.
Travis Tyler: 2-0 Chelsea
Leicester has momentum and the recent history in this fixture on their side, but a much fresher Blues side pulls ahead early and stays ahead late.
What’s your score prediction for this massive clash? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!