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A place in the FA Cup semi-finals will be up for grabs when Chelsea and Leicester City lock horns at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The first international break of 2024 is nearly upon us, but not before Sunday’s action-packed games. In England, the proceedings get underway with an FA Cup quarter-final between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea beat Preston North End, Aston Villa, and Leeds United to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals. The Blues have been cup specialists in recent years, reaching the FA Cup final in five of the last seven years while being the losing finalists in the Carabao Cup finale this season. But they have blown hot and cold throughout the 2023/24 season, dropping to 11th in the Premier League standings.

On the other hand, Leicester City reached the FA Cup quarter-finals by beating Millwall, Birmingham City FC and Millwall in the previous rounds. The Foxes have seen their form wobble in recent weeks, winning only one of their last five games in the EFL Championship. That has cut their lead atop the table to three points, putting Enzo Maresca’s men in a spot of bother.

Chelsea and Leicester City last met in the FA Cup in the 2021 final, with the Foxes clinching a 1-0 win to win the competition for the first time. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

TheHardTackle
Chelsea vs Leicester City: Preview and Prediction
by Keshav Awasty March 16, 2024 5:38 pm Reading Time: 8 mins read
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A place in the FA Cup semi-finals will be up for grabs when Chelsea and Leicester City lock horns at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The first international break of 2024 is nearly upon us, but not before Sunday’s action-packed games. In England, the proceedings get underway with an FA Cup quarter-final between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea beat Preston North End, Aston Villa, and Leeds United to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals. The Blues have been cup specialists in recent years, reaching the FA Cup final in five of the last seven years while being the losing finalists in the Carabao Cup finale this season. But they have blown hot and cold throughout the 2023/24 season, dropping to 11th in the Premier League standings.

On the other hand, Leicester City reached the FA Cup quarter-finals by beating Millwall, Birmingham City FC and Millwall in the previous rounds. The Foxes have seen their form wobble in recent weeks, winning only one of their last five games in the EFL Championship. That has cut their lead atop the table to three points, putting Enzo Maresca’s men in a spot of bother.

Chelsea and Leicester City last met in the FA Cup in the 2021 final, with the Foxes clinching a 1-0 win to win the competition for the first time. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

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Team News & Tactics
Chelsea
Mauricio Pochettino has greeted a positive update on the team news front ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Leicester City on Sunday, the Chelsea manager will be bereft of the services of five first-team players.

The good news is Ben Chilwell should return to the starting eleven after appearing on England’s squad for the latest international break. With the former Leicester City defender’s knee injury not being as bad as feared, he will likely feature on Sunday.

In addition, Benoit Badiashile and Levi Colwill are closing in on returning to action, although Sunday’s game might have come too soon for the duo to feature from the get-go. Meanwhile, Reece James, Romeo Lavia, Lesley Ugochukwu, and Christopher Nkunku remain on the sidelines due to their hamstring injuries, while Wesley Fofana is a long-term absentee due to a knee issue.

Chelsea will line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation against Leicester City, with Robert Sanchez taking his place in the goal. The backline should feature Malo Gusto, Axel Disasi, Trevoh Chalobah, and Ben Chilwell.

As for the midfield unit, Moises Caicedo and Conor Gallagher will pair up in the double pivot. Cole Palmer will reprise the no. 10 role, with Raheem Sterling and Mykhailo Mudryk being the two wide attackers. Finally, Nicolas Jackson should spearhead the Chelsea attack against Leicester.

Leicester City
Unlike his counterpart in the Chelsea dugout, Enzo Maresca does not have many issues to deal with ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge. The Leicester City manager will be without only three first-team players on Sunday.

Kasey McAteer is the most notable absentee, with the 22-year-old struggling to overcome his recent fitness issue. In addition, Ricardo Pereira and Dennis Praet are recovering from their respective hamstring injuries.

Mads Hermansen will take his usual spot between the sticks, with Leicester City lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of him against Chelsea. Pereira’s absence might see Hamza Choudhury lining up as the right-back. The 26-year-old will likely join Wout Faes, Jannik Vestergaard, and James Justin in the backline.

As for the midfield unit, Harry Winks and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall will pair up in the double pivot. While Winks will look to keep things tight in the middle of the park, Dewsbury-Hall will provide the forward thrust. Yunus Akgun should reprise the no. 10 role, with Abdul Fatawu Issahaku and Stephy Mavididi being the wide attackers. Finally, Patson Daka should lead the line for the away side on Sunday.

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