Chelsea have been assured of a top-four finish thanks to Arsenal’s defeat to Newcastle United on Monday, guaranteeing Champions League football for next season and avoiding any silliness like having to play games on Thursday, certifiably the worst day of the week.
No serious football should ever be played on Thursday; thankfully this game is already only semi-serious, at best.
Date / Time: Thursday, May 19, 2012+10; 20.00 BST; 3pm EDT; 12:30am IST (next day)
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Stuart Attwell (on pitch); Lee Mason (VAR)
Forecast: Sunny and warm
On TV: none (UK); none (USA); Star Sports Select HD2 (India); SuperSport MaXimo 2 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: none (UK); Peacock (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Chelsea team news: Up to half a dozen players could be missing through injury, illness, or introspection, with Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, and Mateo Kovačić all dealing with knocks of various seriousness, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell ruled out until next season, and Andreas Christensen ... being whatever he is being at the moment.
With practically nothing left to play for, Thomas Tuchel’s looking for a few
good hungry men to finish out the season with perfunctory ease, hopefully while still collecting at least the one point necessary to guarantee a third rather than just a fourth place finish.
Leicester City team news: It’s not been a great season for Brendan Rodgers and Leicester. They can finish no higher than eighth after back-to-back fifth-place campaigns, and will thus be out of Europe for the first time in three years as well, where their last act was falling to José Mourinho’s AS Roman in the Europa Conference Semifinals earlier this month.
The Foxes will be without Wilfried Ndidi, Hamza Choudhoury, and Hero of May 19, 2012, Ryan Bertrand — all ruled out for the season — while Youri Tielemans, Nampalys Mendy, and Ricardo Pereira face late fitness tests. Like for Chelsea, injuries have been a defining feature of their season, especially with Jamie Vardy missing big chunks of time. He does have four goals in his last two games, bringing him level at 16 goals in all competitions with James Maddison having a career year.
Incidentally, Leicester’s 5-1 win at the weekend over Watford saw Kasper Schmeichel’s streak of consecutive Premier League starts end at 149, which had been “unhealthy” for the team, according to the manager. Oh Brendan...
View from the enemy: The Fosse Posse
Previously: Speaking of streaks, we ended a three-match losing streak against Leicester (including last year’s FA Cup final) with an emphatic 3-0 win in late November, during our best run of form all season. N’Golo Kanté got on the scoresheet against his old team, even, sandwiched by goals from Toni Rüdiger and Christian Pulisic. Ben Chilwell and Reece James both picked up an assist, in a telling stat, keeping us top of the table for a couple more weeks.