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Chelsea v Leeds United – Match Preview

Chelsea host Leeds United in the Premier League on Saturday evening, in what should be an exciting showcase of attacking football.

Here’s everything you need to know about that mouthwatering meeting at Stamford Bridge:

Form

Chelsea: WWWDW

After six successive victories, the Blues winning run was ended by a stubborn Tottenham Hotspur side at the weekend, as the two potential title challengers played out a drab 0-0 draw.

There was much hype going into the game regarding the ramifications on the title race, yet in truth, neither side offered much in the way of attacking threat as both Frank Lampard and Jose Mourinho appeared more concerned with avoiding defeat than claiming victory.

That bore draw means Chelsea are now unbeaten in their last eight league fixtures, with their last defeat coming back in September against last season’s title winners Liverpool.

Such a run has led many to suggest that the Blues will be right in the mix this term, yet manager Lampard sought to play down any such suggestions, perhaps a wise move considering the erratic nature of the current Premier League campaign.

Chelsea also continued their fine form in Europe, as four goals from Olivier Giroud saw them hammer Sevilla away from home, despite Lampard making a number of changes to his side. The Frenchman will surely now be in contention to start at the weekend, particularly after Tammy Abraham’s missed chances against Spurs.

Lampard will also have plenty of decisions to make, particularly in attack, with the likes of Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz now firmly in contention to start after only recently returning from injury and illness, respectively.

Leeds: WLLDW

Much has been made of Leed’s attacking prowess since their long-awaited return to the top-flight, and having started the season with a somewhat leaky defence, the West Yorkshire side have started to show a newfound solidity at the back, though the goals have somewhat dried up at the other end.

After failing to score against the 10 men of Arsenal a week ago, Marcelo Bielsa’s side looked to be once again heading for a goalless draw against Everton on Saturday, only for summer signing Raphinha to net a superb late effort to give his side a much-needed win.

Despite putting in a number of impressive displays so far this term, Leeds have struggled to translate that into wins, with just two victories in their last five games.

That being said, last season’s Championship winners look likely to cause problems for any side in the division and won’t be phased by the wealth of attacking talent at Frank Lampard’s disposal.

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One man who continues to impress is England international Kalvin Phillips, with the central midfielder looking more and more at ease in the top-flight with each passing game and acts as the real stable presence in Bielsa’s free-flowing set-up.

The 25-year-old will need to be at his best with the likes of N’Golo Kante and Mason Mount to come on Saturday, although as he’s already proved in the games against Liverpool and Arsenal, he’s more than capable of performing against the biggest and the best.

As for the trip to London, Bielsa is likely to go with the same side that triumphed at Goodison Park, while the likes of Pablo Hernandez and Diego Llorente remain on the sidelines with injury.

Last Meeting

League Cup, 19 December 2012, Leeds 1-5 Chelsea

With Leeds having been out of the top-flight since 2004, the two sides last meeting came in the League Cup back in 2012, with Neil Warnock and Rafa Benitez the two men in respective dugouts.

Despite lining up with the likes of Frank Lampard, Juan Mata and Fernando Torres, the Blues fell behind just before half-time, with Luciano Becchio firing home to the delight of the home supporters.

Unfortunately for the Championship side, their top tier opponents came out flying in the second half, with goals from Mata, Victor Moses, Branislav Ivanovic, Eden Hazard and Torres sending Chelsea into the semi-finals.

The Blues would go on to lose to Swansea in the next round, setting up an unlikely final between the Welsh side and Bradford, with Michael Laudrup’s side eventually winning the trophy.

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Predicted Lineups

Chelsea: Mendy; James, Silva, Zouma, Chilwell; Kante, Kovacic, Mount; Werner, Giroud, Ziyech.

Leeds: Meslier; Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Alioski; Phillips, Dallas, Klich; Harrison, Bamford, Raphinha.

Who is the referee?

Kevin Friend

How can I watch?

UK and Irish readers can watch the match on Sky Sports Main Event.

What time is kick off?

Saturday, November 5th, 20:00 GMT

Odds

Chelsea – 8/15

Leeds – 11/2

Draw – 3/1

Smashed it! 10 players that shone during Champions League gameweek 5

See also – Hoddle insists Chelsea are ‘better’ than Barca and Real Madrid and tips Lampard’s side for at least CL semi finals

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