MX23RW : Tuesday, May 14 19:21:38| >> :600:312246:312246:
May 12, 2019 at 3pm UK at ​King Power Stadium
Attendance: 32,140
LeicesterLeicester City

Preview: Leicester City vs. Chelsea - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between Leicester City and Chelsea, including team news and predicted lineups.

Chelsea will be looking to guarantee themselves third position in the Premier League table when they travel to Leicester City on the final weekend of the 2018-19 campaign.

The Blues have already secured a top-four position ahead of Week 38 in England's top flight, but potentially need a win to claim third. Leicester, meanwhile, occupy ninth but can still finish above Everton in eighth.


Big Harry Maguire in action during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Leicester City on May 6, 2019© Reuters

Heading into the final weekend of the 2018-19 Premier League campaign, Leicester occupy ninth spot in the table. As mentioned, the Foxes could still finish above Everton in eighth, but Wolverhampton Wanderers have already secured their spot as 'the best of the rest', claiming seventh ahead of Week 38.

Fifteen wins, six draws and 16 defeats - that is how Leicester have performed this season. It has been a tough campaign for a number of reasons, but the club's fans will be feeling confident about the future.

Indeed, Brendan Rodgers appears to be the right fit for the Foxes, who have won five of their last nine Premier League matches. The former English champions beat Arsenal 3-0 in their last top-flight match at the King Power Stadium, before only just narrowly losing away to Manchester City on Monday night.

This team, with a few additions, could be a real force next season. It remains to be seen whether Rodgers can keep the squad together, though, as interest in the likes of Harry Maguire and James Maddison is bound to arrive. The former is once again being linked with Manchester United, while the latter has had a fine first season in the top flight.

Jamie Vardy had his problems under Claude Puel earlier this season, but the Englishman has seemingly found his shooting boots once again. On-loan midfielder Youri Tielemans has also been a fine addition, and it will be interesting to see where the Belgium international ends up this summer.

Leicester will also have a tough job keeping hold of Ben Chilwell, who continues to be linked with Manchester City ahead of the opening of the transfer window.

The Foxes have actually only gathered one more point at home (26) than on their travels (25) this season. Indeed, their supporters have seen them lose eight times at the King Power Stadium this term, and Rodgers will have to improve that record during the 2019-20 campaign if the team are to push forward.

Leicester have only won their final Premier League fixture in three seasons out of 12, suffering six defeats in the process. Chelsea had a demanding game against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday night, though, and the 2016 English champions will fancy their chances of collecting all three points this weekend.

Recent form: WWLDWL


Gonzalo Higuain celebrates after adding to the tally during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Watford on May 5, 2019© Reuters

Chelsea have been unable to sustain a title challenge this season, but finishing third in the Premier League and winning the Europa League would be considered a decent campaign for the capital outfit.

Having dropped points in 16 of their 37 league fixtures this term, it is a little bit surprising that the Blues are in the top four. Arsenal and Manchester United have both had their own problems, though, and there is no pressure on Maurizio Sarri's side ahead of the trip to the King Power Stadium.

It has been a strange season for the Blues when considering the criticism that Sarri has faced. The fans have not always been delighted with the team's football this season, but the capital side have only lost one of their last seven Premier League matches.

Chelsea were held at home by Burnley on April 22, but then picked up a welcome point away to Manchester United before beating Watford 3-0 at home last weekend.

Only City, Liverpool and Arsenal have collected more home points than Chelsea (42) this season, but Sarri's team have lost seven times on their travels, which will be a concern ahead of this match.

The former English champions booked their spot in the Europa League final courtesy of a penalty-shootout win over Frankfurt on Thursday night. The Bundesliga side caused a lot of problems over the 180 minutes of football, but Chelsea managed to advance to set up an all-English final with Arsenal.

This weekend could well be the final time that Eden Hazard is seen in the Premier League. Indeed, the Belgium international continues to be strongly linked with a move to Real Madrid. Hazard has been an excellent servant to the Blues, but a switch to the Bernabeu is looking increasingly likely.

Chelsea have been unsuccessful in appealing their two-window transfer ban, though, which will make it a very testing summer for the club. A number of talented players will return from loan spells, but it remains to be seen whether the capital outfit can challenge for the major trophies next term.

Recent form: WWLDDW
Recent form (all competitions): WDDDWW

Team News

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante reacts after missing a chance during the EFL Cup final against Manchester City on February 24, 2019© Reuters

Matty James and Daniel Amartey remain unavailable for the Foxes this weekend. Danny Simpson and Shinji Okazaki could make their farewell appearances for the club as they prepare to leave on free transfers, but neither will be in the starting XI.

Hamza Choudhury impressed for the Foxes against Arsenal and City, and should keep his spot this weekend.

Maddison and Vardy will also make the XI, but Rodgers has a decision to make on the right with Marc Albrighton and Harvey Barnes battling for the position.

As for Chelsea, N'Golo Kante is once again expected to miss out with a hamstring problem, while Antonio Rudiger and Callum Hudson-Odoi will not play again this season following operations.

Andreas Christensen is also a doubt having picked up a knock against Frankfurt on Thursday night, which could see Cesar Azpilicueta switch to central defence and Davide Zappacosta come into the right-back berth.

Elsewhere, Mateo Kovacic and Marcos Alonso will be pushing for starts, while Pedro is expected to be given the nod in the final third as Willian started against Frankfurt.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was also substituted in the Europa League semi-final with a slight problem, but the England international should be available.

Leicester possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Pereira, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell; Albrighton, Tielemans, Ndidi, Choudhury, Maddison; Vardy

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Kepa; Zappacosta, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Alonso; Barkley, Jorginho, Kovacic; Hazard, Higuain, Pedro

Head To Head

Leicester recorded a 1-0 win over Chelsea in the reverse match earlier this season and are attempting to do a league double over the Blues for the first time since 2001.

That said, the London club have been victorious in six of their last seven trips to the King Power Stadium, including 2-1 wins in both the FA Cup and Premier League last season.

Leicester's last home Premier League win over Chelsea came during their 2015-16 title-winning campaign.

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We say: Leicester 2-1 Chelsea

Leicester were excellent in their last home game against Arsenal, and we fancy the Foxes to collect all three points against a Chelsea side that have already booked their spot in the top four.

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Who will win Sunday's Premier League clash between Leicester and Chelsea?

Olivier Giroud in action for Chelsea on April 3, 2019
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