Chelsea welcome Leicester to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon for an eagerly anticipated Premier League clash, with both teams needing three points for very different reasons.
The Blues have reacted well since their shock 2-1 defeat at the hands of Wolves, picking up three points against Manchester City and Brighton in the Premier League, as well as defeating Bournemouth on Wednesday to reach the semi finals of the Carabao Cup.
Victory on Saturday would allow Chelsea to leapfrog Tottenham into third place in the table before Spurs face Everton on Sunday.
Leicester, however, have big problems at the King Power. They have won just once since November 3 and have slipped to 12th in the table after a positive start to the season where a seventh placed finish looked within their reach.
Confidence will have been dented further after crashing out of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday - albeit at the hands of Manchester City. The Foxes are desperate for a win to kickstart their campaign, as well as to ease the growing discontent surrounding manager Claude Puel.
Check out 90min's preview for the game below.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick-Off?||Saturday 22 December|
|What Time Is Kick-Off?||15:00 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Stamford Bridge|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Gillette Soccer Saturday/BT Sport Score|
The Blues have three injury doubts ahead of Saturday's meeting. Victor Moses, Gary Cahill and Alvaro Morata are all struggling with knocks and are unlikely to feature.
In the absence of Morata, Sarri has the option to start with Olivier Giroud from the off on Saturday, although the Frenchman has only netted one Premier League goal this campaign, so Eden Hazard may continue in the false nine role.
The Foxes are likely to be without full back Ben Chilwell who has been absent from the last two matchday squads through injury. The England international has flourished this season so would be a big miss if unable to take part.
Matty James is back in training after recovering from a long-term Achilles injury and could feature in the squad for Saturday, but Daniel Amartey will be missing after recently undergoing an ankle operation which is likely to keep him out for the season.
Talisman Jamie Vardy was rested in midweek and is expected to start at Stamford Bridge, although the Englishman hasn't netted in the league since September.
|Chelsea||Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, David Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Pedro, Hazard, Willian.|
|Leicester||Schmeichel; Pereira, Evans, Maguire, Fuchs; Mendy, Ndidi; Albrighton, Maddison, Gray; Vardy|
Head to Head Record
If history is anything to go by, Chelsea should be optimistic about their chances on Saturday. The pair have met 112 times since their first encounter back in 1905, with the Blues winning exactly half of those games. The Foxes have claimed victory on 25 occasions, with 31 games ending all-square.
In recent times, Chelsea have been very dominant and have won five out of the last six meetings, losing just once since 2001.
That loss came during Leicester's title winning 2015/16 campaign where Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez netted for the Foxes in what turned out to be Jose Mourinho's last match in charge of London side.
The Blues have had an encouraging start to the season as the half-way point approaches. After their unbeaten run was ended by Tottenham before the loss at Wolves, the wheels were threatening to come off.
However, a resilient display against City that resulted in a 2-0 victory may well be a catalyst for the side's confidence as they continue to hunt down the top three.
Leicester, meanwhile, show no signs of repeating the miracle they produced just a few seasons ago - or even coming marginally close. It has been a tough period for Claude Puel's side on and off the pitch.
The Foxes have managed just two wins from their last 12 games and are desperate to recreate the feel good factor around the club.
Here's how each side has performed in their last five fixtures:
|Chelsea 1-0 Bournemouth (19/12)||Leicester 1-1 (1-3 Pens) Man City (18/12)|
|Brighton 1-2 Chelsea (16/12)||Crystal Palace 1-0 Leicester (15/12)|
|MOL Vidi 2-2 Chelsea (13/12)||Leicester 0-2 Tottenham (8/12)|
|Chelsea 2-0 Man City (8/12)||Fulham 1-1 Leicester (5/12)|
|Wolves 2-1 Chelsea (5/12)||Leicester 2-0 Watford (1/12)|
Despite Chelsea putting in some inconsistent performances this season, they have still managed to carve out results which is a positive sign for the club.
Following consecutive league wins, confidence will have returned for the Blues and they should have enough quality to see off a struggling Leicester side.
With James Maddison and Vardy, the Foxes will pose a threat and could breach a Chelsea defence that has looked somewhat shaky in patches this campaign, but the three points are likely to stay at Stamford Bridge.