Chelsea travel to Leicester for their final match of the Premier League season, kicking off on Sunday at 3:00pm. As the Champions League qualification is already sewed up, there is a lot less pressure on this game than we may have anticipated. Nonetheless, we’ll want to finish the domestic season strongly, and try to confirm 3rd spot in the league, which would be two positions higher than last season. Progress, right?
Our Form: (D-D-D-W-D)
Our only win in 90 minutes in our last six games was against Watford which was a terrific second half showing. It was a clear contrast to our second half on Thursday night, as we struggled to put anything together in the Europa League semi-final. Thankfully, FIFA and UEFA introduced extra time and penalties all those years ago, so we didn’t have to wait until midnight for us to get that 2nd goal. Eventually, we won on penalties, and we’re off to Baku!
Eden Hazard, who huffed and puffed throughout the game, and looked a frustrated figure throughout, did have the last say when he stuck in the winning penalty in the shootout. It may be his last kick in a Chelsea shirt at Stamford Bridge, but how fitting was it that he sent us through to the Europa League final?
Our Opponents: Leicester (W-L-D-W-L)
Leicester have finished their season strongly, and you can see how far they have come under new manager Brendan Rodgers in their last two matches. First, they absolutely dominated Arsenal from start to finish to beat them 3-0 in their last home match, and then took Manchester City all the way at the Etihad, only to be beaten by a Vincent Kompany wonder goal.
Jamie Vardy spearheads their attack, but they have class players across their team from Harry Maguire at the back, Youri Tielemans and Wilfred Ndidi in midfield, and James Maddison supporting the attack and they’ll cause us difficulties all afternoon.
Head to Head
We usually have a dominant record against Leicester but we haven’t beaten them in our last two Premier League matches at Stamford Bridge, with them winning the reverse fixture this season 1-0 just prior to Christmas. At the King Power Stadium, we have beaten them on our last four visits in all competitions, including an FA Cup and League Cup victory.
Our last league defeat at Leicester was in that shocking 2015/2016 season, where Leicester would go on to win the league, and our then-manager Jose Mourinho was sacked following the 2-1 defeat.
Chelsea will be without Antonio Rudiger and Callum Hudson-Odoi for the rest of the season, and its likely former Leicester player N’Golo Kante will also be ruled out with a hamstring problem. Mauricio Sarri may give some players some needed rest.
For Leicester, Daniel Amartey is the only player ruled out, as they should start the same team as they did against Manchester City.
I am not confident heading into this match, and to be honest, will be surprised if we were to get the win. Our players will be tired, some key players will be out, and with not a lot at stake to play for, I am not overly enthused for this match. Eden Hazard, if he starts, may be playing his last Premier League match for us, so it may be written for him to get winning goals for us, but it will more likely be a consolation goal.
I don’t like to be too pessimistic, but after seeing Leicester in recent matches, we have a lot to fear, and our team may be excused for having an off-day considering our efforts on Thursday night. I’ll try and be positive, with us getting a score draw, with Hazard and Higuain getting on the score sheet. Come on you Blues!
Score Line Prediction: Leicester City 2-2 Chelsea