Chelsea will be looking to put a stop to this mini-slide, which is still just a mini slide at this point, as one-time rivals Leeds United come to Stamford Bridge, where three of our last four results have been 1-1 draws.
Head coach Thomas Tuchel has been putting the blame on the little things, the small details, and the final few percentage points of effort and focus missing from our performances. With a rare open midweek to follow, we certainly have no excuse in taking the foot off the pedal at any point in these 90 minutes.
Date / Time: Saturday, December 11, 2021, 15.00 GMT; 10am EST; 8:30pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Chris Kavanagh (on pitch); Mike Dean (VAR)
Forecast: Rain, probably
On TV: none (UK); none (USA); Star Sports Select HD2 (India); SuperSport MaXimo 1 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: none (UK); Peacock (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Chelsea team news: Call it whatever we want, results have not been great, and the manner of those results has been even worse. Just in the last two game, we’ve given up the lead four times and saw the team drop out of top spot in both the Premier League and our Champions League group by conceding late, late goals.
In fact, our defensive record in the Premier League worsened by 50% in the 3-2 defeat to West Ham last weekend, and we conceded as many goals to Zenit on Wednesday as we had in all of Tuchel’s Champions League matches combined.
From day one, Tuchel’s express mission has been to make Chelsea hard to beat, and that’s primarily the quality that we’ve been lacking lately.
Jorginho’s return (while still in pain) could be helpful in stemming that tide, but the absences of N’Golo Kanté, Ben Chilwell, Mateo Kovačić, and Trevoh Chalobah remain a problem. On the plus side, Timo Werner’s in great form and Romelu Lukaku was back in the goals this week as well after finally returning to the starting lineup after an extended spell out.
Leeds United team news: It’s been a bit of a disappointing season for Marcelo Bielsa’s men thus far, with just 3 wins from 15 thus far leaving them in 15th place. That said, they’ve lost just twice in their last seven league games, since mid-October.
A few recent injuries could put that record to the test, with Patrick Bamford, Kalvin Phillips, and Liam Cooper all out with hamstring strains and Rodrigo Moreno dealing with a heel injury. Fellow defender Pascal Struijk is expected to return from a hip problem.
All that said, Leeds still have Raphinha, and he can win games all by himself — just like he did against Crystal Palace the other day. (And we probably shouldn’t expect Lewis Bate to make an appearance; he’s made the bench just once all season since joining from Chelsea in the summer.)
Previously: This is Leeds’ second season back in the top flight after a 16-year absence. We beat them 3-1 in this fixture last season (still with Lampard at the helm) before drawing 0-0 at Elland Road back in March. Olivier Giroud, Kurt Zouma, and Christian Pulisic who’s actually still here, scored in said 3-1 triumph, almost exactly a year ago.