Table-topping Chelsea travel to Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday looking to maintain their points cushion at the summit of the standings.
Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side went in to the recent international break in pole position, with the gap between the Blues and 2nd place Manchester City currently standing at 3 points.
However, Jurgen Klopp’s team were beaten by high-flying West Ham, with the Hammers leapfrogging Liverpool to go 3rd.
That would have been a sigh of relief for Chelsea, who will still see Liverpool and Manchester City as greater threats to their title challenge than West Ham, despite the exceptional form of David Moyes’ side this season.
In the not too distant past, Leicester City have been tipped as the team to crash the Champions League places, but that hasn’t been the case so far this term.
The Foxes are currently 12th, having won just 2 of their last 5 matches heading in to this clash with Chelsea.
It no doubt marks a disappointing start for Brendan Rodgers’ side, who for the last two seasons have missed out on a top 4 place on the final day of the campaign.
Rodgers’ future has also been a subject of speculation recently, with the former Celtic coach linked to the Manchester United job, despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still firmly in situ at Old Trafford.
The Northern Irishman was quick to distance himself from any talk of jumping ship to United, labelling the matter “disrespectful” and stating “it is something that is not real.”
No doubt the links are born out of a place of admiration for the ex-Liverpool boss, who has won plenty of plaudits for the job he has done at King Power Stadium.
Rodgers will certainly earn his coin on Saturday lunchtime if his side can get a result against league leaders Chelsea – a side the Foxes beat in last season’s FA Cup final at Wembley.
Furthermore, Leicester have proven difficult opposition on home soil for some of the bigger outfits this season, with Manchester City toiling to a narrow win whilst Manchester United were swept aside 4-2.
Chelsea lost 2-0 in the corresponding fixture last season whilst Frank Lampard was still coach, but the Blues have hit a different gear under Thomas Tuchel and will be the favourites on Saturday against a Leicester side who have been below-par this season.
Tuchel has had to operate in recent weeks without forward players Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku due to injury, with there some doubt as to whether either man will be available for the trip to the East Midlands.
Marcos Alonso also suffered a knock before the international break and will be assessed, whilst Mateo Kovacic is a definite absentee with a hamstring strain.
Mason Mount withdrew from the England squad and missed a couple of games before the international window with a mouth complaint – the midfielder has since had some wisdom teeth extracted and is available again for selection.
Leicester have found life tough this campaign without key defender Wesley Fofana and he remains out, whilst a big blow comes in the form of the missing Youri Tielemans – the scorer of the Foxes’ FA Cup winning goal against Chelsea last season – with a lower leg problem.
Marc Albrighton and Ryan Bertrand are both in contention after recovering from niggles during the international break.
Leicester v Chelsea at King Power Stadium begins at 12.30 on Saturday 20th November.