We are getting closer to the New Year, and the Premier League is still giving us surprises. The Foxes are at the top of the Premier League table whereas the defending Champions Chelsea are at a lowly 14th place. The two teams have surprised everyone due to the unexpected nature of their results. Now, the two sides take on each other as Leicester host Chelsea this weekend. Leicester City currently has a two-point lead over the second-placed Arsenal. The league leaders have 32 points in 15 games this season.
As this mouthwatering encounter nears, we take a look at the five players that Leicester must counter to stay at the top of the Premier League.
Willian’s attacking threat will be something that the Foxes defence must take care of. The Chelsea winger has become a set piece specialist this season with his six free kick goals in all competitions. However, he has been found guilty of losing possession of the ball, a bit too quickly. Leicester must make sure that they stay close to the Brazilian and take advantage of his weakness. Moreover, they must ensure that they do not concede unnecessary free kicks in the danger area as Willian will not miss any opportunity to convert them into goals.
It would be safe to say that the Serbian has been the worst Chelsea player this season. His lack of pace has proved fatal for the Pensioners and Leicester must be looking to counter it. If Ivanovic is not careful enough, Riyad Mahrez could be too hot to handle. Leicester must look to use their pace while counter-attacking to win this match. Ivanovic still lacks confidence, and he is one player that Leicester must target.
There were days when attackers lost all their hope when they had to play against Terry. However, the legendary Englishman is no longer that same wall. Age has got the better of him, and it looks that Vardy will have fewer problems dealing with the veteran. He is very slow, and his reactions have been late. He will be another target man for Vardy and co. Long balls and through balls are Leicester’s biggest threats, and JT has not been comfortable in dealing with them.
One can simply not forget Hazard. Despite his lack of form and the long goal drought, a player of Hazard’s quality can never be discounted. It is true that he has had a very forgetful season this year. However, players such as Hazard need only one good game to come back to their best. He could harm Leicester if the Leicester defence does not close him down quickly. If the Foxes manage to neutralise his attacking threats, most of their job will be done. It will help them to concentrate more on their attacking and take 3 points from the game.
Much of the midfield battle will depend on how the Chelsea CDM play. Most of the midfield battle will depend on the Big-Serb. Leicester must find a way to get past him in order to win the match. In an away game, Matic’s importance to the Chelsea squad increases even more, and the Leicester team must counter his physicality with their pace and trickery.