Predicted XI

Kante returns – How Chelsea could line up against Leicester

N’Golo Kante will return for Chelsea as they look to close the gap to the top four.

 
8:55am on Monday 18th January 2021
By
Nicholas Hughes

Chelsea are set to welcome midfield destroyer N’Golo Kante back into the starting XI when they travel to the King Power to face Leicester City on Tuesday night.

The Frenchman missed the win at Fulham due to suspension but is available once again as the Blues look to halve the gap between themselves and the Foxes with a win.

Kurt Zouma was rested at Craven Cottage but should return to the side in place of Antonio Rudiger. The centre-back is still equal-second on Chelsea’s goalscoring charts in the league this season with four.

Chelsea-fc/squad/471" target="_blank">Chelsea: Squad, FC Ratings, Matches, Formations

2020/21 Premier League: Matches, Team Stats, Player Stats

Reece James returned to the bench in that clash but didn’t feature – the last time he played was in the loss to Arsenal on Boxing Day.

The 21-year-old may not be thrust straight into the starting line-up after almost a month out, but his return is a boost for Frank Lampard’s side in the coming weeks.

Mason Mount continued his spectacular form with a brilliant display and the winning goal at Fulham and should start again alongside Kante in midfield.

The other midfield position is up for grabs, but Mateo Kovacic will likely continue there to make up what has been Lampard’s first choice midfield for the bulk of the season.

Callum Hudson-Odoi impressed in the League Cup last week and had a big impact off the bench at Fulham, form which should warrant him a start over Hakim Ziyech on the right-hand side.

Timo Werner continues to struggle for consistent form in his debut Premier League season, but he should join the attack alongside Tammy Abraham who leads the side with six goals so far.

That will mean Olivier Giroud will drop the bench, with the Frenchman’s future still somewhat up in the air in this January transfer window.

While this match will only mark the halfway point of both teams’ seasons, it feels as though a loss here could be a fatal blow to Chelsea’s Champions League hopes while Leicester will look to stay in the mix at the top of the table.

Chelsea starting XI versus Leicester City

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