Chelsea head in to their meeting with Leicester on Wednesday night knowing that six points from their next two games would bring the Premier League title back to Stamford Bridge. The Blues have a 10 point lead to protect, and they head to the King Power Stadium for their game in hand with the chance to widen that advantage, but they will face stiff competition against an in-form side.
Nigel Pearson has led his side to four straight wins that have turned them from odds-on favourites for the drop to within four points of safety. They propped up the table for most of the season, but their remarkable run has them close to securing a second season in the top flight, and a win in this game would have them on the verge of sealing their survival.
There’s plenty for both sides to play for here, so we shouldn’t expect a game like the one at the Emirates on Sunday. Leicester have been banging in the goals of late, and they’ll come into this one with a lot of confidence and very little to lose. Expect them to put pressure on the league leaders’ back four, and they’ll probably provide a sterner test than Arsenal did.
Chelsea will be hoping to be able to field a striker on Wednesday, after having to start Oscar as a false nine in their game at Arsenal. Didier Drogba wasn’t fit enough to start, while Loic Remy and Diego Costa were both ruled out. Remy is definitely out, but Costa could return despite failing a fitness test before the Emirates trip. Oscar suffered a suspected concussion in that game, but he should return in time for the trip to the KP.
It’s doubtful that anyone will want to sit out the final few games before the title is confirmed, and there’ll be plenty of time for resting the big stars in the final few games. After the Blues lift the title, you can expect to see a few of the young prospects getting a run out in the first team ahead of a rumoured jump up to the first team squad next season.
After making the switch to 4-3-3 on Sunday, expect Mourinho to move back to a 4-2-3-1 system for this one, with one of the central midfielders making way. We may see a little bit of rotation with three games in a week to deal with, with the likes of Kurt Zouma or Filipe Luis making an appearance.
With the title so close, the Blues have to go out and finish it now. They could lift the trophy on Sunday, which would mean they would have it finished with three games to spare. With all the sides behind them slipping up across the season, this is the time for the leaders to record back to back wins and show that they’ve been far and away the best team in the division this year.
LCN Verdict: Chelsea to win 2-1