Chelsea travels to meet third-placed Leicester City in a bid to cut the deficit between the sides to just three points, as the team look to hit form again.
The Blues’ dressing room will be a much more confident place following their narrow victory away to West-London rivals Fulham, ending a winless run that lasted just under a month.
Another tough test awaits them, however, with Leicester remaining unbeaten since mid-December having beaten a strong Southampton side on Saturday.
Former Chelsea coach Brendan Rodgers has never beaten the club as a manager and Frank Lampard will be hoping this ill-fate continues following Tuesday’s trip to the Midlands.
Frank Lampard revealed today the only player missing from the clash is tenacious midfielder N’Golo Kante, who returns from suspension but is out with a hamstring injury and will miss the game against his former club. (chelseafc.com)
Another notable returnee is Andreas Christensen, who sustained a knee injury in the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa last month.
Reece James returned to the squad for Saturday night’s victory and will be looking to reclaim his starting position, having been sidelined in favour of Cesar Azpilicueta. James also hasn’t featured since the Villa draw.
Callum Hudson-Odoi will certainly feel unlucky he didn’t start last match and his performance when he came off the bench justified this. He showed off his vision and excellent passing range, setting up numerous chances and his quick feet were pivotal in the build-up to Mason Mount’s goal.
Billy Gilmour is another who will perhaps feel disappointed not to have started, with Lampard throwing a curveball midfield that gave shades of last season of Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho and Mount. The young Scot is more than in with a shout of starting his first league game since the 3-1 defeat to Manchester City.
Olivier Giroud is likely to be rested as a substitute in favour of a fresher pair of legs in Tammy Abraham and/or Timo Werner. It remains to be seen whether Lampard will trust the misfiring German in a central striker role, or start him out wide and play Abraham through the middle.
As for Leicester, they can temporarily jump to first place in the league with a win. Although injured in their last fixture, striker Jamie Vardy is fit and ready to contend for a starting position, while the rest of the squad is also available.
“Everyone’s available. Saturday was a tough game for us physically and mentally. We’re doing everything we can to recover the players.” On the fixture, Lampard added (chelseafc.com):
“We just need to consider the games in front of us, try to win them and steadily push ourselves up the table.
“We’re not in a bad position, we’ve had a short bad period of form but if we can put wins together this month then the picture will change as it has done already very quickly this season.”