Leicester City - Chelsea: Preview and Predicted Lineups

Chelsea has eased the immediate pressure on Jose Mourinho by advancing to the Champions League round of 16, but the Blues face a tough ...

Chelsea has eased the immediate pressure on Jose Mourinho by advancing to the Champions League round of 16, but the Blues face a tough ask to follow up their European exploits with a trip to high-flying Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Monday night.

The Foxes are in sensational form this campaign having won four of their last five league outings and lost just one in nine. On the other hand, Chelsea has failed to take three points from any of its previous five league fixtures on the road.

A win for the hosts would see them return to the summit of the Premier League table until next weekend, while Mourinho's men need a victory to claw themselves into 14th place and away from the looming relegation zone.

Leicester City Team News

Matthew James won't be risked in the first-team after recovering from a long spell out with a knee injury he sustained in May.

Former Manchester United full-back Ritchie De Laet is also sidelined with an ankle injury.

Claudio Ranieri expects both players to return in the new year.

Leicester City Starting XI Prediction

Schmeichel | Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs | Mahrez, Drinkwater, Kante, Albrighton | Okazaki, Vardy

Last Five Meetings

Leicester City 1-3 Chelsea (Premier League, April 2015)
Chelsea 2-0 Leicester City (Premier League, August 2014)
Chelsea 5-2 Leicester City (FA Cup, March 2012)
Chelsea 4-3 Leicester City (League Cup, October 2007)
Leicester City 0-4 Chelsea (Premier League, January 2004)

Score Prediction

Given the struggles we've endured this season, what a relief it is to feel some sense of normality in the form of reaching the Champions League knockout stages. Almost nothing else has panned out as expected, which is underlined by the fact we're arguably considered underdogs ahead of travelling to a side that was in the Championship only two seasons ago.

Chelsea and Leicester illustrate an exemplary contrast of teams defying expectations this campaign. While the Foxes contemplate the prospect of securing European football next season, we're floundering a single point outside the relegation zone.

However, I think there's still a decent chance we can spring a surprise at the King Power Stadium. There's no doubt we have the better squad on paper and if we can carry our Champions League form into this weekend, we're in with more than just a shout to end Leicester's incredible run.

There will be captivating battles all over the pitch in this one, but I'm particularly intrigued to see how our two centre-backs will cope dealing with two out-and-out strikers. Chelsea has rarely (or if my memory is correct, perhaps never) faced a team that plays with two up top this season, a fashionable tactic throughout the last five or so years.

Whether he's paired with Gary Cahill or Kurt Zouma, John Terry is barking at his partner, advising them through each phase of play, just like a proper captain and defensive leader should. With both centre-backs potentially occupied by a direct opponent, this could force Zouma or Cahill to play with more independence and potentially throw out our usual arrangement at the back.

Although the upturn in confidence gained from our midweek Champions League success will serve us well against Leicester, it would take a monumental effort to inflict their second defeat in 19 games. I'll go for a 1-1 draw. What are your score predictions?

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