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Chelsea vs Leicester predictions: Forgettable affair for Blues and Foxes
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Simon Barlow
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Edouard Mendy is looking to bounce back
Edouard Mendy is looking to bounce back

Chelsea will look to put their chastening experience at Leeds last weekend firmly behind them when they host struggling Leicester at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.

Edouard Mendy was not the first, nor will he be the last, goalkeeper to be caught out trying to be clever on the ball, but that error shaped the game against Leeds and puts him in the firing line for possibly the first time in his Blues career. 

Thomas Tuchel attempted to defend his players in public, insisting they were the better team, but you can bet his post-match dissection of the defeat left them in no doubt of the need for a strong reaction. 

Second to last in the standings after last Saturday's surrender to Southampton, Leicester beat a path to the capital amid swirling speculation over their unsettled central defender Wesley Fofana. 

His departure would be a major blow to manager Brendan Rodgers, whose own future may be coming to a crossroads as he seeks to return the Foxes to an upwards trajectory. 

Team news 

Leicester could be without James Maddison
Leicester could be without James Maddison

Tuchel, who expects to serve his touchline ban this weekend, says N'Golo Kante (hamstring) will be missing from his midfield for several more weeks, but Mateo Kovacic (knee) has recovered well enough to play for up to 20 minutes. 

Kalidou Koulibaly serves a one-match ban after picking up a red card at Elland Road with Marc Cucurella tipped to drop into the Blues' back three. 

That would allow Ben Chilwell to regain a spot in the starting XI against his former club. 

Ruben Loftus-Cheek could replace Conor Gallagher, ineffectual in central midfield last Sunday, but Kai Havertz is likely to retain his place in attack ahead of Armando Broja, who is ready to feature again after injury. 

Five of Chelsea's substitutes last weekend: Christian Pulisic, Haki Ziyech, Trevoh Chalobah, Ethan Ampadu and Callum Hudson-Odoi have been linked with moves away before the approaching transfer deadline. 

For the Foxes, Fofana sits out another game as his future is resolved, while midfielder Youri Tielemans is also facing an uncertain future at the King Power Stadium. 

James Maddison felt a twinge in training on Wednesday and is rated a slight doubt, but Harvey Barnes could keep his spot on the left after coming through 90 minutes in the EFL Cup against Stockport County in midweek. 

Caglar Soyuncu is the obvious choice to come in if Rodgers returns to a back three at Stamford Bridge with Ayoze Perez the player most likely to drop out. 

The stats 

Fewer than three goals have been scored in seven of the last ten head-to-head meetings between the clubs. 

Leicester goalkeeper Danny Ward already has the worst goals prevented rate in the Premier League this season at -2.8. 

Ward and Chelsea counterpart Mendy are two of the three top-flight goalkeepers ruled to have made an error leading directly to a goal — together with Manchester Utd stopper David de Gea. 

Prediction 

Mendy owes his teammates a flawless display, but he might not get much of an opportunity to shine if Leicester are without their best player this season in the form of Maddison. 

The Foxes star has created seven chances already this season and remains their greatest set-piece threat, so it will be a major blow if he does not make Rodgers' starting line-up. 

The visitors' potential switch to a more defensive system could plug some of the gaps that Southampton exploited when they played on the front foot against the Foxes for a spell last week. 

And Chelsea are hardly oozing goals at the moment with the team seemingly still in a state of flux, so this might be quite a dry affair in terms of penalty-box action.

Tags

ChelseaLeicester CityPremier League
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