Chelsea have a chance to exact some measure of revenge on Leicester City for their victory in Saturday’s FA Cup final when we take on the Foxes again today, at Stamford Bridge in “second final”. There will be no trophy awarded at the end of this one, but the winner will almost certainly get one of the two remaining top-four spots, which is a prize we frown upon in name yet were willing to take to the streets to protest in favor of not so long ago.
Three games remain in the season, and we have all to play for as we control our own domestic and European destiny.
The FA Cup final defeat was the first time during Tuchel’s reign that we’ve lost back-to-back games. We must not make it three in a row.
Date / Time: Tuesday, May 18, 2021, 20.15 BST; 3:15pm EDT; 12:45am IST (next day)
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Mike Dean (on pitch); Andre Marriner (VAR)
Forecast: More rain
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); NBCSN, Universo (USA); Star Sports HD1 (India); SuperSport Premier League (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Chelsea team news: Mateo Kovačić could finally be set to return to at least bench duty after a month out with a “minor” hamstring injury he picked up on the eve of our Champions League quarterfinal second leg against Porto. We had been coping well in our reigning Player of the Year’s absence, but the minutes and miles have caught up with Jorginho and N’Golo Kanté (and Mason Mount, even) and Kova’s return should be a welcome boost
It was hoped that Andreas Christensen, also hamstrung, would be ready to return as well, though that seems less likely at the moment.
Beyond any injury or fitness issues, Chelsea’s biggest problem by far is scoring goals. We’ve yet to concede more than 1 in any game under Tuchel (EDIT: ignoring that one West Brom match that obviously didn’t happen), but we’ve also scored more than 2 just once, and we’ve now gone 180 minutes without a goal — the longest drought in that same span. And it’s not just a question of who is or isn’t playing center forward, though Tammy Abraham’s continuing ostracization remains baffling.
Leicester City team news: Fresh off of winning the club’s first ever FA Cup, Leicester have a chance to seal the club’s third highest ever finish in the top flight and a second ever Champions League campaign. Making history, indeed (though it should not be forgotten in this morality pantomime that Leicester are bankrolled by billionaires just the same as the evil Super Leaguers, but I digress).
The one change for the Foxes from the weekend is that Jonny Evans, who re-injured his heel during the game on Saturday, will not be available.
View from the enemy: The Fosse Posse
Previously: (Not so) fun fact, Chelsea have failed to beat Leicester in the league on the last six occasions (4 draws, 2 defeats). And for our last win against them at Stamford Bridge, we have to go back almost five years, to the start of the 2016-17 season when a Victor Moses backflip put the cherry on top of the 3-0 cake.