Opponent Focus: Leicester City

On Saturday we play our second match of the season against a similar opponent to Burnley, similar because they too just came from the Championship, however ’the Foxes’ didn’t take that into account in their  first game of the season, when they managed to share a point with Everton via a Chris woods equalizer at the King Power Stadium. Leicester won the Championship last season and on their first outing in the Premier League this season they look to have gotten the hang of things in the top flight since it’s been a while they have been here. Leicester became the 5th team to break 100 points last season in the process of winning the Championship, and the previous four that have done that ahead of them stayed in the League in their first season.

So here’s a quick peep at Leicester City before the big game, just to remind ourselves who we are facing since it’s been over ten years we faced them in the League.

The last time we faced Leicester City, Claudio Ranieri was in charge of things at Stamford Bridge and the Premier League title then was a power struggle between Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson, Wenger at that time was winning the battle, Arsenal had started an unbelievable run at the time and the squad would go on to be named “the invincibles” after 49 games unbeaten. How things have changed upon the Foxes return, Arsenal just ended their trophy drought while Man.Utd weren’t even in the top 4, Man.City are a major force now and we, Chelsea, are on our second Mourinho spell.

However all that shouldn’t concern the new comers, they arrive in the league as the most confident side from the Championship this season and have even more reason to be after sharing a point with last season’s 5th placed Everton, making them believe they could go all the way to stay above the relegation zone this season, but it’s too early to say.

Manager, Nigel Pearson, like Mourinho, is in his second spell at Leicester, in his first, he took the side to the League One title and Championship play-offs, leaving for Hull City in 2010 stating that the club seemed reluctant to keep him. In November 2011, the club’s new chairman, Thai business man, Vichai Raksriaksorn, persuaded Pearson to come back to an 11th position Leicester, and what a story three years later, winning the Championship and back in the Premier League.

Leicester Stats

102, the total number of points they acquired to finish last season as winners of the Championship, their highest points acquisition ever.

14, the amount of penalties the Foxes won last season. No team in the top four tiers of English football received more.

31, the number of consecutive games from November to May in which Leicester scored, it is the best run in the Championship.

Notable Players

Mathew Upson is used to the Premier League, he even went to a World Cup with England back in 2010 and was a starter for that matter, brought on a free transfer to the side; he provides the Premier League experience they need at the back, which is vital if they want to remain here.

In the middle of the park, the Foxes have Danny Drinkwater. Formerly a trainee at Man.Utd the 24 year old was a key player for Leicester City last season, going on to be named their player of the season. He provided the stability in the midfield, averaging more oases per game than any other player in the Championship.

On the wings, Leicester has Knockaert and Mahrez, and would now be joined by former Aston Villa player, Marc Albrighton, providing them with more pace on the flanks. While in attack, Chris Woods and David Nuggent are forwards that have been in the Premier League before, and know the performances required of a striker in keeping a team above the relegation zone, however, it is Argentine striker, Leonardo Ullnoa, whom much is expected from after the club spent a record £8m to acquire from Brighton and Hove Albion F.C, scoring on his debut against Everton in the top flight was not a bad introduction.

All the best to Leicester this season, but we as Chelsea fans hope this is a walk in the park, 3 points at Stamford Bridge and more than a single goal would be nice from Mourinho and his boys.

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