Chelsea hope to get back to winning ways as Leeds United travel to Stamford Bridge on Saturday
After surrendering top spot in their Champions League group in midweek, Chelsea return to domestic action when Leeds United travel to Stamford Bridge.
Thomas Tuchel’s side were much-changed for their 3-3 draw with Zenit St Petersburg in Russia in midweek, so the late equaliser from Magomed Ozdoyev won’t have hurt as much as it could have. In fact, Tuchel may focus on the positives of that game, with Timo Werner scoring twice on his return from injury, and Romelu Lukaku doing the same.
The Whites have turned something of a corner in their last six games, having lost just once in that period. That defeat was actually in London, as Spurs won 2-1 to leave Leeds fighting to stay out of the relegation zone.
Five points from their last three games ensure they are doing just that at the minute though, and could go as high as mid-table if they can become the second team to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this season.
There’s still five missing for the Blues though, with midfield trio Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and N’Golo Kante all out, and Trevoh Chalobah and Ben Chilwell also missing. That means Marcos Alonso will start at left wing-back, and Antonio Rudiger, who may leave the club at the end of the season, could come back in.
Jorginho is suffering with back pain and is a slight doubt, but after being rested for the Champions League game on Wednesday, could return out of necessity and partner Ross Barkley or Reece James in midfield.
Speaking of returns, Patrick Bamford was hoping to make his comeback from an ankle problem against his former club, but after scoring a late equaliser against Brentford last weekend he pulled a hamstring and is set for another spell out.
That rather sums up Leeds‘ luck when it comes to injuries right now, and there’s further bad news in the shape of Rodrigo, Liam Cooper and Kalvin Phillips all set to miss this one. Robin Koch has been ill and will return to training next week, but Pascal Struijk is expected to be OK after a hip problem.
In recent meetings between the sides, Chelsea are unbeaten in the last six games against Leeds, with the Whites’ last win coming back in 2002, when Jonathan Woodgate and James Milner scored in a 2-0 win for Terry Venables’ side at Elland Road.
A Chelsea win coupled with both Manchester City and Liverpool dropping points could see them return to the top of the table, as the top three start to move away from the chasing pack. If Leeds pull off the victory, they’ll move towards mid-table and ease any lingering thoughts of being dragged into a relegation scrap.
Chelsea take on Leeds United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, December 11th. Kick-off is at 3pm.