FA Cup [Preview]: Leicester City vs Chelsea

Leicester City are at the King Power Stadium for this weekend’s FA Cup quarter-final tie versus Chelsea. The Foxes are in a relatively comfortable position in the Premier League after attaining the 40-point mark, and they are likely to have a real-go against the English champions this weekend.

Likewise, the Blues are desperate for a triumph in the Cup quarter-final after they succumbed to a 4-1 aggregate defeat at the hands of Barcelona in the Champions League. Their Premier League campaign is also at a low-point, having fallen four-point adrift of the top-four, though that could be taken into concern following the international break.

Form:

Leicester had gone through a lean patch of five Premier League games without a victory before their triumph last weekend. The east Midlands outfit were dominant against bottom-club West Bromwich Albion, and they picked up a morale-boosting 4-1 win ahead of the Cup encounter.

On the contrary, the Blues ended a two-match losing run in the Premier League last weekend as they beat London rivals Crystal Palace 2-1 at Stamford Bridge. They could, however, not carry the momentum into the Champions League round of 16, second-leg versus Barcelona, where they were unlucky to lose by a 3-0 scoreline.

Players to watch for:

Riyad Mahrez – Leicester City: The Algeria international has been hugely influence towards the Foxes’ season once more, and one wonders how they could cope without him in the long-run. The winger has contributed a goal or assist in three of the last four matches (whoscored), and his creativity from the right side of the attack could be key to unlocking an uncertain Blues’ backline. Chelsea may have to keep a close watch on the attacker’s cross-field cross for Jamie Vardy, which the Englishman has dually converted into a goal. The most recent occurrence was against Sheffield United, where the game was decided by a solitary Vardy goal.

Alvaro Morata – Chelsea: Morata has had a huge downslide to his playing career since the turn of the year. The Spain international started his Blues campaign in fine fashion, and contributed six goals in as many outings. Since then, goals have come in sporadic intervals, and his form has been pretty poor in 2018. The former Real Madrid man is currently on a 13-match (ESPN) goalless drought, and he needs to find himself a goal sooner rather than later to salvage his World Cup hopes. Morata was dropped out of the Spain squad for the upcoming friendlies against Germany and Argentine with one former Chelsea marksman Diego Costa earning a recall.

Prediction:

Chelsea have not had much luck in 2018 with League Cup and Champions League exits, and we are anticipating a potential Cupset with Leicester outscoring the outgoing English champions.

Leicester City 2-1 Chelsea

 

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