On Saturday afternoon Chelsea host champions Leicester in the weekend’s headline act.
The Foxes currently sit in 12th position and they will be looking to avoid the gap increasing between themselves and the top four in the Premier League. For Chelsea, this game represents an opportunity to build upon their 2-0 victory over Hull City and also gain ground on their rivals after back-to-back defeats at the hands of Liverpool and Arsenal.
Ahead of the two sides taking to the field, CaughtOffside has combined the best eleven players from both teams.
GK: Kasper Schmeichel
Thibaut Courtois may well feel aggrieved not to be included in this side, but if we value recent form above merit there is only one winner. The Belgian international has looked shaky between the posts in recent months and, when compared to Schmeichel’s assured shot-stopping qualities displayed throughout Leicester’s title-winning campaign and beyond, Courtois is understandably overlooked.
RB: Cesar Azpilicueta
Since moving to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2012, Cesar Azpilicueta has scarcely put a foot wrong. Jose Mourinho famously said – as quoted by the Daily Mail – that a team of eleven Azpilicueta’s could win the Champions League. Unfortunately, this side can have only one.
CB: Wes Morgan
If you had told Wes Morgan at the beginning of the 2015/16 campaign that he would have his hands on the Premier League trophy at the seasons end, he may well have laughed in your face. However, his physical defending style and near-telepathic partnership with Robert Huth played a huge role in his sides’ success/
CB: John Terry
At 35-years old Chelsea’s captain remains the most reliable out of Antonio Conte’s centre-back ranks. A defender who has always relished a battle with the opposing forward, and even in his elder years he shows few signs of slowing up.
LB: Christian Fuchs
Perhaps one of the bargains of the Premier League era, another who was influential in Leicester’s title triumph and he didn’t cost them a penny. Whether it been defending his own goal or joining the attack, Fuchs is one of the most esteemed full-backs in the league.
RM: Riyad Mahrez
Who else to run the right-channel in this team than the Premier League player of the year? After bagging 17 goals and 11 assists last season, Mahrez emerged as the best in the division. He recently confirmed – via Sky Sports – that there were approaches from Arsenal for him in the summer, but Leicester fought hard to keep hold of their prize asset.
CM: Cesc Fabregas
Though not currently featuring in Antonio Conte’s plans, Cesc Fabregas remains a world-class central-midfielder. He displayed the quality he still possesses against Leicester last month, bagging a brace in a EFL Cup fourth-round tie between the two sides.
CM: N’Golo Kante
Having made the switch from Leicester to Chelsea in the summer, this game will have added flavour for Kante. A fee in the region of £30 million – as reported by BBC Sport – brought great expectation and he has so far proved his worth to the Stamford Bridge faithful.
LM: Eden Hazard
When on form, Hazard is considered by some the best player in the Premier League. His explosive dribbling style and goal-scoring exploits make him a nightmare for any full-back. He scored in both of Belgian’s World-Cup qualifiers during the international break and will be no doubt be hoping to carry that form into Saturday’s game.
ST: Jamie Vardy
The meteoric rise of Jamie Vardy was one of the stories of last season, and with every goal he scores he writes another chapter. From factory worker and non-league forward, to Premier League champion and England international, all through hard-work and unquestionable dedication. Vardy is one of the deadliest strikers in the league and Chelsea’s defence will have a tough time keeping him quiet.
ST: Diego Costa
Diego Costa is the Premier League’s top goalscorer so far this season, having netted six times in Chelsea’s opening seven games. He struggled for form and fitness at times last season, but has started this one emphatically. Leicester’s defence are virtually guaranteed an eventful game facing up against the Spaniard.
Chelsea will be the favourites to beat Leicester on Saturday. If you plan to bet on the game, visit www.bestbettingsites.uk to check out the best bonus offers available.