Chelsea faces Leeds in the English Premier League on Saturday at Stamford Bridge. The Blues are in diabolical form and coach Graham Potter is coming under increasing pressure. The visitors ended an 11-match winless run last time out under new coach Javi Gracia and beat the Blues 3-0 in the reverse fixture.
Potter’s team are playing poorly and getting some terrible results in the league and cup competitions. They languish in tenth place, some 14 points off the top four but just 10 points above the relegation zone. The last 11 fixtures have seen just one victory and six defeats. The side drew 0-0 vs Liverpool away and Fulham at home before a 1-1 draw at West Ham. They put up a meagre 0.15 xG in the second half of that clash.
A 1-0 loss away to Dortmund came next having played a good second half, producing 1.76 xG without scoring. A home game against Southampton looked like a chance to get back to winning way but Chelsea instead lost 1-0. A 2-0 loss at Tottenham followed last time out in a dire performance.
Chelsea Team News
In defence, Benoit Badiashile or Wesley Fofana will get a start after Thiago Silva went down with a six-week knee injury. Christian Pulisic and Armando Broja are out injured. Hakim Ziyech could be dropped with Mason Mount getting a recall.
N’Golo Kante is back in light training but won’t play in this one. Mateo Kovacic returns from illness. Edouard Mendy remains absent with a finger problem in goal. Big-money signing Marc Cucurella could be left out of the squad once again.
Potter is fighting for his job and a defeat here could be the end for him or another nail in the coffin at least.
Chelsea will try to attack and win the match as a draw would be as bad as a defeat.
Leeds sits just a point above the drop zone. Their form has been very poor for a long time. A run of just three points from six matches after the World Cup break saw Jesse Marsch given his marching orders. A 1-0 loss at relegation rivals Nottingham Forest proved the last straw for the board. With a caretaker in charge, Leeds went to Old Trafford and got a 2-2 draw albeit having led 2-0.
A 2-0 defeat at home to the Red Devils followed a few days later before a 1-0 defeat at Everton. With new coach Javi Gracia in charge, they ended their run without a victory at home to Southampton. Junior Firpo’s 77th-minute winner proved the only goal. In midweek, a full-strength XI lost 2-0 at Fulham in the FA Cup.
Leeds Team News
Leeds are without three players who have longer-term injuries and there are doubts over three others for this match. Stuart Dallas, Adam Forshaw, and Rodrigo are certainly ruled out, but Pascal Struijk could return as left-back.
Luis Fernando Sinisterra is another who could be back and he would start down the right wing if fit. Liam Cooper could also return but he is set to be among the subs. Javi Gracia must choose between Patrick Bamford and Georginio Rutter to lead the line.
The Whites would take a point from this match as an objectively excellent result. However, they may see Chelsea as being “there for the taking”.
Quite a positive and aggressive approach, similar to that seen by Southampton two weeks ago, could be used by Leeds.
Chelsea have won 1 of their last 11 matches in all competitions (L6, D4)
CFC have failed to score in 10 of their last 15 matches (all comps)
Chelsea have won just 2 of their last 7 home EPL matches
Leeds have just 1 win in 12 away EPL matches (8 losses)
Leeds have failed to score in 3 of their last 5 away fixtures (in the EPL)
The Blues are in disastrous form but should be able to win this match. The same was said about the Southampton home defeat so it’s a risk to back Chelsea right now. Leeds have a good, new manager and every chance of taking a point or more.