Chelsea head to the King Power Stadium on Sunday for their FA Cup Quarter Final tie against Leicester City.
In the last five fixtures in all competitions, Chelsea has only won once (a 2-1 victory against Crystal Palace) where as Leicester have not lost in their last four. The Foxes last defeat came against Manchester City in February.
Chelsea defeated Championship side, Hull City 4-0 in the Fourth Round with Willian, Pedro and Olivier Giroud getting on the score-sheet. Giroud’s goal was his first for the Club following his deadline day move from Arsenal. Leicester overcame Sheffield United 1-0, the goal coming from Jamie Vardy.
Chelsea are unbeaten against Leicester in their last 6 meetings, having last lost to the East Midlands side in December 2015. Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez secured a 2-1 victory for the Foxes in what proved to be Jose Mourinho’s final game as Chelsea manager.
The Leicester first team trained in Marbella ahead of the FA Cup tie. Wes Morgan has recovered from injury so expect no drastic changes. Claude Puel confirmed that only Daniel Amartey is unavailable due to a hamstring injury, sustained in the 1-1 home draw against AFC Bournemouth.
Consequently, Amartey missed the emphatic 4-1 victory away at West Brom. Former Manchester City striker, Kelechi Iheanacho has featured in all of Leicester’s FA Cup matches, scoring four goals so he will be looking to continue his fine form in the competition.
For Chelsea, David Luiz remains out until April and Ross Barkley is still recovering from injury. Youngster, Ethan Ampadu sustained a fractured ankle in Chelsea’s 4-2 UEFA Youth League victory away to Real Madrid so will be out until the end of the season.
There could be some rotation with Gary Cahill coming in, most likely for Antonio Rudiger in the left centre-back position. Álvaro Morata could come in for Olivier Giroud as the Spanish striker looks to get amongst the goals. Morata is 13 games without a goal and has subsequently missed out on an international call-up ahead of Spain’s fixtures against Germany and Argentina respectively.
What the managers said
Claude Puel – speaking to LCTV
“Only Daniel Amartey is absent. At the training camp we has a good understanding and there was some good work with good conditions and a fantastic pitch. The hotel was good and there was nice weather, of course, without snow. It was a good thing.
Is this a good time to play Chelsea? I think after the Champions League game against Barcelona, they will have four days to recover and rest. It is enough. They have a lot of players available.”
Antonio Conte – speaking to Chelsea TV
“We have to try to go to the next round of the FA Cup and then try to get into the top four of the league.
The FA Cup is a great competition. It won’t be easy to beat Leicester and there are plenty of other tough teams left in.
It was a pity to go out of the Champions League, but this is the life and now we must have great confidence and trust in our strength to move on.”
Leicester away is a tough task for Chelsea and the Foxes will fancy their chances, especially with the likes of Vardy leading and Mahrez orchestrating the Leicester attack.
Chelsea are a wounded animal following their humbling in Barcelona, so will have to turn up if they are to secure a place in the FA Cup Semi-Finals. Should it end a draw after 90 minutes, then extra time and possibly penalties await.