The footballing diarrhea that we witnessed last weekend will have hopefully exited our system for good and with appropriately violent force — sorry, been dealing with a bit of gastroenteritis (I think?) here today — and now we can get on the steady road to recovery. Maybe some bland foods. Lots of fluids of course. But no rest!
No, we definitely cannot afford any form of rest, as the schedule picks up in frequency now. Another game will follow on Tuesday and twice-weekly fixtures will be the norm until the start of the World Cup in November (save for a two-week international break at the end of September).
Leicester City are of course in just as dire need of a win as we are, and they have the narrative force on their side as well — though neither team will have Wesley Fofana on their side for this one.
Date / Time: Saturday, August 27, 2022, 15.00 BST; 10am EDT; 7:30pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Referee: Paul Tierney (on pitch); Andre Marriner (VAR)
Forecast: Overcast but warm
On TV: none (UK); none (USA); Star Sports Select HD2 (India); NTA Sport 24 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: none (UK); Peacock (USA); Hotstar (India); SuperSport GOtv (NGA)
Chelsea team news: Chelsea have gone a whole week without signing anyone, and while there are several in the pipeline for the remaining handful of days in the transfer window, we come into this game with a slightly smaller squad than we’ve become used to. Fortunately, everyone (including Mateo Kovačić) should be available for at least some bench duty other than N’Golo Kanté — though he’s obviously a big loss.
Thomas Tuchel has hinted at potential tactical tweaks after the debacle at Elland Road, but he seems unlikely to throw his tactical baby out with the bathwater, or something.
Leicester City team news: Former Chelsea defender Ryan Bertrand has been ruled out indefinitely with a knee problem. Future Chelsea defender Wesley Fofana has been ruled out until the end of his Foxes career, which should be this weekend. Ricardo Pereira’s also out, while James Maddison faces a late fitness test (and also a Newcastle test?).
Leicester squeaked out a first win of the season midweek in the League Cup, needing penalties to advance past the team third from the bottom (89th of 92) in the English Football League pyramid. On opening day, they gave up a two-goal lead in the last 30 minutes to draw; last weekend, they gave a one-goal lead in the last 30 minutes to lose. In between, they got hammered by Premier League champions Arsenal (wait, they don’t give out the trophy after three games?!).
Underestimating them would be of course a mistake, even if they’ve yet to make a notable signing this summer — Danny Ward has stepped in to take over from Kasper Schmeichel, who’s joined Nice; Alex Smithies joined as a new backup from Cardiff City.
View from the enemy: The Fosse Posse
Previously: Chelsea had to settle for a 1-1 draw at the Bridge back in May in the penultimate game of the season. Marcos Alonso scored to cancel out Maddison’s early goal. In the reverse fixture, Chelsea won easily, 3-0 at the King Power.