Thomas Tuchel will be without at least two players for Saturday’s home clash with Leicester City with Chelsea looking to pick up their first home win of the season. Last time out at Stamford Bridge, the Blues were moments away from a deserved 2-1 victory over fierce London rivals Tottenham, before Spurs striker Harry Kane headed past Edouard Mendy in the dying seconds of the match, meaning the points were shared.
Prior to the draw, the West London outfit had narrowly won 1-0 at Everton but followed it up with a disastrous display at Leeds United last weekend, losing 3-0 at Elland Road.
The defeat means that Tuchel’s side have four points from their opening three league fixtures, and the German will certainly be hopeful that his team can kick start their season against a Leicester side with only a point to their name thus far. Brendan Rodgers’ men have endured a tricky start to the campaign, throwing away a 2-0 lead at home to Brentford on the opening weekend to draw 2-2 before losing 4-2 at Arsenal and 2-1 at home to Southampton. The Foxes are also the only club in Europe’s top five leagues not to have signed an outfield player this transfer window.
Moreover, they face an ongoing saga with Chelsea regarding the future of defender Wesley Fofana, with the Blues heavily keen on securing the services of the highly-rated Frenchman. However, the 21-year-old won’t play on Saturday with Rodgers keeping the centre-back sidelined amid the speculation.
Midfielder Mateo Kovacic is back in training and could be selected whilst striker Armando Broja is expected to be back in contention for the West Londoners, however, if Tuchel’s side are to overcome the Foxes, they’ll have to do it without some key players. Here’s who will be absent for the clash.
Chelsea will be without summer signing Kalidou Koulibaly after the defender was shown two yellow cards in Yorkshire last weekend and will subsequently serve a one match ban. The 31-year-old enjoyed a dream start to life in the Premier League, keeping a clean sheet on his debut at Everton before introducing himself to the Stamford Bridge faithful with a sumptuous volley against Tottenham.
However, the sending off put a premature end to that hot streak and the former Napoli man will sit this one out before returning for Tuesday’s trip to Southampton. What Tuchel said:
“It is a bit of a reflection of frustration, and it cannot happen,” the Chelsea boss said after the Leeds match. “We cannot get frustrated in the Premier League. It is a pure joy to play games in an atmosphere like this. ‘We should just do it and accept it. It is not okay, and it is not good.”
Tuchel could welcome his Croatian midfielder back to the matchday squad with the 28-year-old back in training after overcoming knee issues that kept him out of the matches against Tottenham and Leeds. What Tuchel said:
“Kova is back in the group and ready to play 20 minutes. We need him long term but it’s good to have him as an option.”
The French midfielder missed last weekend’s trip up north having hobbled off the pitch against Tottenham after an excellent display and won’t be available to face his former side. The 31-year-old is set to miss a handful of fixtures over the coming weeks. What Tuchel said:
“We’re talking about weeks. Four weeks plus.”