The international break is over, and Chelsea are back in Premier League action this weekend. The Blues travel to the King Power Stadium for an away fixture against Leicester City.
Antonio Conte’s side bounced back from their opening day defeat to Burnley, by beating Tottenham at Wembley, and then beating Everton 2-0 before the international break. Cesc Fabregas and Alvaro Morata were on the scoresheet, and the Blues sit in sixth position.
Saturday’s opposition have endured a tough start to the 2017/18 Premier League season, only winning one, and losing two of their three games so far. An opening day defeat to Arsenal was followed up with a home victory over Brighton, but the Foxes lost to Manchester United before the break.
Ahead of Saturday’s fixture, we take a look at four Leicester players that could cause a problem for Chelsea, in different areas of the pitch.
Englishman Jamie Vardy will be one of Leicester’s biggest goal threats in the fixture.
Since making his remarkable rise up the leagues, Vardy has become one of Leicester’s best players and has started the new season well. He scored twice in the Foxes’ opening day defeat to Arsenal and will hope to add more to his tally against Chelsea.
Last season, Vardy scored 13 league goals for Leicester, and also contributed with five assists. Across the entire season, the 30-year-old made 53 shots, with 26 of them on target, meaning that 49% of his shots hit the target. Chelsea’s defenders will need to keep an eye on the player.
Tricky winger Riyad Mahrez is another Leicester player that Chelsea will need to keep an eye on.
Despite submitting a transfer request at the club earlier in the window, Mahrez remained at the King Power Stadium and will hope to give a good performance against Chelsea on Saturday.
So far this season, the Algerian has added two assists, but is yet to find the scoresheet. Last season wasn’t the best for Mahrez, as he only contributed with six goals and three assists.
On his day, Mahrez can turn defences inside out, and Chelsea will need to be at their best to stop him.
One of Leicester’s summer signings, Harry Maguire will be a rock at the back for Craig Shakespeare’s men.
After making a £15 million move from Hull, Maguire has made an instant impact at his new club, scoring and assiting already this season. His form earned him a first call-up to the England squad, but he did not make his debut for the Three Lions.
A tough centre-back, Maguire will hope to keep Morata quiet on Saturday. Last season at Hull, the 24-year-old made 54 tackles, with a success rate of 72%. He also won 69 aerial battles, compared to 29 lost, so the Blues will have their work cut out for them aerially.
Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel will be the Foxes’ last line of defence, as they aim to keep Chelsea from scoring.
In Leicester’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester United, the Dane made an impressive save from the spot as he kept out Romelu Lukaku’s penalty. He kept his only clean sheet of the season so far in a win over Brighton.
Last season, the keeper kept eight clean sheets in the Premier League. Interestingly, Schmeichel made 12 punches, compared to only nine catches. A quality goalkeeper, so Chelsea’s attacking players will need to be at their best to beat him.