Can Chelsea bounce back from defeat at West Ham last weekend? Can Leeds cause an upset? What will happen in this tantalising Saturday EPL encounter?
Chelsea will look to bounce back from a difficult week, when they host Leeds United at Stamford Bridge, in Saturday’s English Premier League (EPL) showdown.
Having suffered setbacks, both domestically and continentally in recent weeks, Chelsea’s fantastic start to the campaign has since plateaued, with just one win from their last four games in all competitions.
The Blues have now slipped to third in the EPL table, while Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds outfit sit in 15th, after picking up a point in their last game against Brentford.
Chelsea remain without Ben Chilwell and N’Golo Kanté due to knee issues, while Trevoh Chalobah is still nursing a thigh injury and Mateo Kovačić recently tested positive for COVID-19.
Tuchel’s midfield options were also depleted by Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Jorginho’s absences in midweek, but the latter could make his return to the squad here.
Timo Werner has probably done enough to keep his place alongside Romelu Lukaku, after his midweek brace, while Thiago Silva and Antonio Rüdiger should both slot back into the defence.
Meanwhile, for Leeds, Liam Cooper and Kalvin Phillips both suffered thigh injuries in the draw with Brentford, while Patrick Bamford has now come down with a similar issue, sustained in the same match.
Bielsa’s attacking options have been further reduced, with Rodrigo being ruled out for heel pain, while Robin Koch is ill. However, Pascal Struijk should recover from hip discomfort in time to feature.
Tyler Roberts – who is one booking away from a ban, alongside Raphinha – can expect to hold his place up top with Bamford sidelined, while Mateusz Klich is most likely to deputise for Phillips in midfield.
With fresh injury concerns and against a powerful Chelsea team looking for redemption, we don’t expect Leeds to get anything in London. Our prediction is 3-0 to the Blues, with two successful strikes in the second half.
Chelsea possible starting XI:
Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rüdiger James, Jorginho, Saúl, Alonso; Mount, Werner; Lukaku
Leeds United possible starting XI:
Meslier; Dallas, Ayling, Llorente, Struijk, Firpo; Raphinha, Klich, Forshaw, James; Roberts