Chelsea vs Leicester City
Saturday, 23rd August, 2014; 3pm kick-off
Chelsea will look to build on their opening game Premier League victory when Leicester City make the trip to Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
The Blues were in fine form against Burnley on Monday night, coming from a goal down to blitz the Clarets with goals from Diego Costa, Andre Schurrle and Branislav Ivanovic in the first-half. Cesc Fabregas was instrumental from midfield.
Jose Mourinho’s big pre-match decision was to include Thibaut Courtois ahead of veteran Petr Cech in goal, and the young Belgian will expect to keep his place despite conceding to Scott Arfield. A place on the bench awaits Cech once again, with his future far from certain at the club.
In defence, ‘the special one' sprung another surprise of sorts, playing Cesar Azpilicueta instead of Felipe Luis. However, the summer signing from Atletico Madrid can expect to make his debut in this home clash against another promoted side.
John Terry and Gary Cahill still look a solid pairing at the heart of the Blues defence, with Branislav Ivanovic keeping his place on the right.
Moving to midfield, and again the Chelsea boss has a number of options in the holding roles. Fabregas can expect to keep his place, and Nemanja Matic also appears to be ahead of John Obi Mikel in the pecking order.
More big choices lie further up the pitch, and it’s in these advanced midfield positions that Mourinho has the biggest of decisions.
Eden Hazard was last season’s star of the show for the Blues and is likely to keep his place on one flank, whilst Willian needs a start and this is a good opportunity against the Foxes. Oscar remains the ideal fit behind the striker.
Costa chasing goals
And, it’s hard to see anyone other than Diego Costa getting the nod to lead the line for Chelsea, despite Didier Drogba’s return to fitness in west London. £50million-man Fernando Torres is even further down the pecking order.
That leaves a number of players out of the loop, including the likes of Ramires and Mohamed Salah, but both will hope to play a part as the season moves on and the club challenge for trophies domestically and in Europe.
Chelsea predicted line-up vs Leicester City:
Courtois; Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Felipe Luis; Matic, Fabregas; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Costa.