The specter of Wesley Fofana’s future will look over Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Leicester City even if the highly rated young center back will almost certainly not be involved at Stamford Bridge. The visitors have rejected three bids from their host for Fofana, who wants to leave and was not involved in last weekend’s defeat to Southampton.
Chelsea, meanwhile, will be looking to get back to winning ways after a 3-0 drubbing away to Leeds. They will have to do so without Kalidou Koulibaly, sent off in the closing stages of that loss, and the defense that once looked to be the cornerstone of Thomas Tuchel’s side is suddenly starting to wobble. Here is how you can watch the match and what you need to know:
How to watch and odds
Date: Saturday, Aug. 27 | Time: 10 a.m. ET
Location: Stamford Bridge — London
TV: None | Live stream: Peacock Premium
Odds: Chelsea -250; Draw +380; Leicester +650 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Chelsea vs. Leicester City
Chelsea: The pursuit of Fofana brings into sharp focus Chelsea’s somewhat faltering defense, which will be even more patched together with Koulibaly unavailable, meaning Marc Cucurella could drop into the back three with Ben Chilwell returning to the starting XI. In Tuchel’s first 30 Premier League games in charge of the Blues, only 17 goals were conceded by his defense, a tally that doubled in the second half of his tenure so far.
An all too frequently changing backline might explain why four times as many goals have been conceded from crosses while there might also be cause for concern in Edouard Mendy’s wobbles. He was harried out of possession by Brenden Aaronson in Leeds’ win last week and also appears to be having difficulty outside his box, conceding seven times in Chelsea’s last 30.
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Leicester: While it would be too early to affix the title crisis club on the Foxes, it might not be premature to unbox the label maker; Leicester have taken one point from their last three games and even that was after a disappointing two-goal lead was frittered away at home to Brentford. Fofana and Youri Tielemans want out while suitors are hovering around James Maddison at a time when club finances are far from a perfect picture.
Fofana is training with Leicester’s Under-21 side, punishment for missing a training session. “He’s a good kid, Wesley, it’s just been a real challenging situation for him,” said Rodgers. “I’ve had it a number of times in my career where players can cope with it and get on and want to help their teammates. There are others that can’t deal with the distraction. That distracts them, it’s not quite right, and then they miss a training session.
“These guys get well paid, the very least you can do is turn up. If you don’t, with all respect you can’t just walk into our group. Day to day, he’s a good kid, but it’s been hard for him to deal with everything while he is in the right frame of mind. It’s been difficult for him to play. He didn’t turn up for training one day. That was last week, hence the reason for the weekend and not being involved.”
It may not be easy for Chelsea but the trouble is about to mount for Leicester. PICK: Chelsea 3, Leicester 1
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