Leicester City vs Chelsea: 3 important things to look out for

Here are three things to keep an eye on as the two previous Premier League title winners clash at the King Power Stadium.


Two former Premier League champions go face-to-face at the King Power Stadium, with the biggest talking point the return of Danny Drinkwater, who joined Chelsea from Leicester in a £35m deal on deadline day.

From the reintroduction of Riyad Mahrez to Antonio Conte and Craig Shakespeare’s tactical designs, RealSport have selected three key points to keep an eye on during the game.

You can read our preview for Leicester vs Chelsea HERE.

  1. 1 The return of Danny Drinkwater


    Having bought Leicester's star midfielder N'Golo Kante last summer, Chelsea returned to the club to take another key central midfielder, reuniting the duo that won the Premier League title in 2015/16.

    Danny Drinkwater cost a hefty £35m and is expected to at least be in the squad to face his former club just over a week after leaving.

    The signing of the England international brought a lot of heavy criticism Chelsea's way, with many seeing at as last-minute desperation. However, Chelsea's squad was looking rather bare and Drinkwater is a good rotation option.

    Not only that, if he can reignite his superb partnership with Kante, it could prove to be a brilliant bit of business for the Blues.

  2. 2 A low-scoring affair


    Antonio Conte is typically Italian in his expertise at seeing out the game and getting the job done.

    The 2-1 victory away to Tottenham in the second game of the season, for example, was a brilliant tactical display from Conte in which Chelsea ground out the win, denying Spurs space and claiming the victory despite being forced to play a weakened side.

    Denying space in behind

    Since Craig Shakespeare has taken charge of Leicester, they have reverted to the successful 4-4-2, direct style of play. However, for this to work, it often requires space in behind a backline for the likes of Jamie Vardy to run onto.

    Leicester also like to match up their strikers with the centre-backs, though Conte favours a three-man defence, meaning Chelsea will outnumber Leicester's forward line.

    Not only that, Conte is likely to instruct his side to play deeper, and not afford any space in behind to protect against Jamie Vardy's runs.

    Crosses & headers

    For Chelsea, space will be out wide as Leicester like to squeeze up the pitch, pinching their wide midfielders centrally and not affording any space in the central areas.

    The key to any Chelsea success will be how quickly they can shift the ball out wide, not affording any time for the Leicester players to get over, and then firing crosses into the box. Considering Alvaro Morata has scored two headers this season, it's a logical gameplan.

    However, Leicester are comfortable in dealing with crosses into the box from wide areas, so this is likely to be a tight encounter, with Chelsea requiring patience if they wish to get the victory.

  3. 3 Getting on with the job


    Riyad Mahrez has been desperate to leave Leicester for a while now and had even completed a disappearing act from Algeria's training base on transfer deadline day to secure a move away from the club.

    However, he was finally spotted playing for his national side this week after his dream move never materialised.

    There will be question marks if his head is in the right place and only he'll know, but based on evidence from the Foxes' opening three games, he seems ready to knuckle down, forgive and work hard until the transfer window reopens.

    If Leicester wish to get anything from the game, all the players on the pitch must be at the top of the game, the Algerian in particular.

    Mahrez has the ability to provide the magic needed to win any game, Leicester's 'something out of nothing' superstar, but it will be a risk throwing him into the starting XI after the drama of deadline day.

  1. POLL: Who will win this game?

    1. Chelsea
    2. Draw
    3. Leicester City
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