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Leicester City vs Chelsea preview: Vardy likely to feature, Kante ruled out

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Leicester City will host Chelsea in one of two Premier League clashes, slated for today, as they continue to fight for a place in next season’s Champions League.

Brendan Rodgers’ side have not lost a game in their last five matches, winning three and drawing two. Their last game saw them defeat Southampton 2-0 courtesy goals from James Maddison and Harvey Barnes.

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The win against the Saints took their points tally to 35 and they could jump right into first place ahead of the two Manchester clubs with a win over Chelsea.

But in order to achieve that, they need to overcome a Chelsea side who are desperate to return back to their winning ways following a recent slump. A Mason Mount strike secured all three points against Fulham and Frank Lampard will be hoping they can secure all three points and another clean sheet against the Foxes.

Early team news

Brendan Rodgers is hoping that he can call upon Jamie Vardy for tonight’s game after the player sustained a knock in their win against Southampton.

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The manager will, however, be unable to have the services of both Dennis Praet, who’s set to miss the next few months with a major hamstring problem, and Nampalys Mendy, who’s questionable with a neck injury.

On Vardy’s injury, Rodgers said: ‘It was obviously sore and restrictive for him, so we thought we would take him off towards the end and give him some sort of breather. It was that impingement he gets on his hip.’

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Frank Lampard, on the other hand, is unable to deploy Ngolo Kante in midfield as he has been ruled out with a hamstring injury. Christensen, however has returned and could be in the squad to face Chelsea.

‘Christensen is available but N’Golo unfortunately isn’t,’ said Lampard. ‘His hamstring is not quite ready for this one and those are the two of note to report on.’

Head to Head

Chelsea have the upper hand in the 28 games played between both sides. The Blues have managed 14 wins, with 7 coming from home and the other 7 coming on the road.

Leicester have won thrice at home and twice away making a total of five wins against Chelsea. There has been nine draws between both sides.

The last three meetings between Leicester City and Chelsea have ended in a draw, with both sides netting three goals each in these games. The first of these draws was in December 2018 when the game ended 0-0. The first fixture of last season ended 1-1 while the second ended 2-2.

In terms of this season, both clubs are averaging the same number of goals per game and goals conceded per game (1.83 and 1.17). Chelsea edge out Leicester on clean sheet having kept 7 to Leicester’s 6 while the Foxes have more wins (11) to the Blues’ ( 8).

Predicted lineup

Chelsea

With Ngolo Kante out injured, Jorginho is expected to maintain his place after featuring in the win against Fulham. Reece James, on his return could also be recalled to the lineup in place of Azpilicueta who looked ineffective from an attacking perspective against Fulham on Saturday

Timo Werner who is yet to score in his last 10 games for Chelsea could also return to the starting lineup against Brendan Rodgers’ side while Kurt Zouma could also return after losing his place to Toni Rudiger at the weekend

Chelsea predicted XI (4-3-3):

Mendy; James, Zouma, Thiago, Chilwell; Havertz, Jorginho, Mount; Ziyech, Werner, Pulisic

Leicester 

With Jamie Vardy expected to start the game, Leicester are expected to go with their preferred 4-2-3-1 formation with the former England striker set to lead the line.

He will be ably supported by James and Barnes who netted in their win against Southampton.

Leicester City predicted XI ( 4-2-3-1) 

Schmeichel; Castagne, Fofana, Evans, Justin; Ndidi, Tielemans; Albrighton, Maddison, Barnes; Vardy

Match details

Date / Time: Tuesday, January 19, 2021, 20.15 GMT; 3:15pm EST; 1:45am IST (next day)

Venue: King Power Stadium, Leicester, England

Referee: Craig Pawson

Assistants: Ian Hussin, Sian Massey-Ellis

Fourth official: Jonathan Moss

VAR: Andre Marriner

Assistant VAR: Stephen Child

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