On Tuesday evening, a Leicester City play host to a Chelsea side looking to get their top-four push back on track. At the weekend, both teams triumphed and held clean sheets.
Leicester beat Southampton 2-0 while Chelsea took the spoils in a 1-0 victory in the West London derby at Fulham. Leicester prepared for a far tougher struggle against Southampton after a truly impressive display against Stoke City in the FA Cup.
The Foxes didn’t have it all their own way and it was an especially frustrating night for Jamie Vardy. But in the first half, James Maddison rifled home. The ever-impressive Harvey Barnes picked up the three points in the match’s dying embers. With that triumph, the hosts of Tuesday leapfrogged reigning champions Liverpool into second. And stay above them after their Manchester United draw.
The Foxes however fell to third as Manchester City cruised past Crystal Palace. While a win here will see the men of Brendan Rodgers hit the top for at least 24 hours. Meanwhile, the success of Chelsea against a relegation-threatened and 10-man Fulham may not have relieved any of the pressure on Frank Lampard’s shoulders. But in a tightly fought London derby, the Blues finally crossed the line.
In the 78th minute, the effervescent Mason Mount bagged the decisive goal. Chelsea ended a three-game Premier League winless streak, as well as preventing a fourth-straight league loss on the road. Lampard’s crop made the journey back with zero points to their name from Everton, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal. But the top-four race is very open and despite its below-par results and performances, Chelsea is very much still in the mix.
Vardy’s expected return would leave Dennis Praet as the hosts’ only confirmed absentee through injury. Ricardo Pereira made the squad for the first time in the Premier League this season on Saturday. Chelsea defenders Reece James and Andreas Christensen are both back in the fold following injuries. While N’Golo Kante continues to nurse a hamstring problem and will miss out this week. Lampard may not want to risk Christian Pulisic from the first whistle again given his injury woes too.
Leicester City possible starting lineup: Schmeichel; Castagne, Fofana, Evans, Justin; Ndidi, Tielemans; Albrighton, Maddison, Barnes; Vardy
Chelsea possible starting lineup: Mendy; James, Zouma, Silva, Chilwell; Gilmour, Kovacic, Mount; Ziyech, Abraham, Hudson-Odoi