Whenever we end up thinking that Chelsea’s campaign is back on track, the Blues end up messing it up. The Blues were unbeaten in 2 consecutive Premier League games and looked good against top four favorites Spurs, but all of the promise that existed fell apart against Bournemouth this past week. The 1-0 loss, thanks to a Glenn Murray strike late in the game left Chelsea as low as 14th in the league table, 2 points above the relegation zone.
And the next game would be something of an uphill task for Mourinho’s men. They’ll go head to head with league leaders Leicester City, who have been a revelation this season. Above all, Chelsea would come up against Claudio Ranieri, a manager the club and its fans have a history with and that would probably add some fire to the game which Chelsea would’ve to strive very hard to get something out of.
So, here we are presenting to you a combined XI of both of these sides that will take on each other come Monday.
GK: Thibaut Courtois
The young Belgian returned to action against Bournemouth and although, couldn’t keep a clean sheet but is arguably the best goalkeeper in either of these teams’ ranks. After recovering from a serious ACL problem, Courtois could well be back to his best in the next few weeks and could probably assume the form of what he was before he sustained the injury.
RB: Ritchie de Laet
The former Manchester United man has been solid at right back this season. While Riyadh Mahrez surges forward with purpose, this man defends in a compact manner and has been awarded a WhoScored Rating of 7.20, which is rather impressive. He has scored once too, making 3.1 tackles and 2.6 interceptions per game and his reading of the game and pace off the ball is something that has made him a tricky customer to deal with.
CB: Kurt Zouma
The Frenchman has taken advantage of the defensive crisis at Chelsea and has stepped upto the plate rather commendably. The former St. Etienne star has exceeded the showings of both John Terry and Gary Cahill and his performances against Spurs and Norwich were impressive enough to hand him a place here. He’s made 3.3 clearances and has won 3.6 of his aerial duels so far.
CB: Robert Huth
The former Stoke City defender has become a key part of the Foxes defense and has emerged as someone who is reliable enough to play every game for a top of the table side. He’s featured in every single Premier League game, which is remarkable enough and has been a solid defender for Ranieri’s side. He’s made 2.1 interceptions, completing 1.3 tackles every game.
LB: Christian Fuchs
It has to be said that the new signing from Schalke has been one of Premier League’s most consistent left backs this season. He has a WhoScored rating of 7.57 and although has made only 7 appearances but has been solid throughout. Fuchs has managed to make 2.9 tackles and 3.2 interceptions, which has contributed significantly to Leicester’s backline.
CDM: Danny Drinkwater
The former Manchester United graduate has become a rather unlikely midfield engine for Ranieri’s men. Still 25, Drinkwater’s career is seemingly on the up and he has emerged as one of Leicester’s key players this season. Alongside N’Golo Kante in the heart of the park, Drinkwater never stops and works like a dog in the midfield, winning balls back and supplying them forward.
CDM: N’Golo Kante
Another player whose inclusion into a team which would face Chelsea must’ve seemed unlikely last season, Kante has done surprisingly well this season. A composed character, Kante has appeared 11 times in the league, scoring once and assisting twice and winning the man of the match twice. Someone who’s equally adept in both aspects of the game, Kante has made 3.8 tackles and 4.1 interceptions in every game which is truly impressive.
RM: Riyadh Mahrez
Someone who’s increasingly being dubbed as the ‘Algerian Di Maria’, Mahrez is an undoubted inclusion in this list. The 25 year old has been Premier League’s best performer, acquiring the highest rating in the league and 2nd best across Europe at 8.33. He’s found the net 10 times in the league and has assisted 6 times, which is almost out of this world for someone who was hardly visible on the stage last season.
The once Spurs bound Brazilian has become a bright light among faded embers this season. He seems to give the impression of being the only Chelsea player of being capable enough of pulling off something out of the ordinary, considering how bad Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas have been. He has found the net seven times in all competitions and is seemingly the only player who remembers how they won they won the league last season.
LM: Marc Albrighton
The once Aston Villa outcast who was struggling with in his career at Villa Park, Albrighton has reignited his career well and truly. The 26 year old has found the net only once but is that kind of a player who knows how to drop deep and attack just as well. He has racked up five assists and apart from Jamie Vardy and Mahrez, he has been Leicester’s most effective player.
ST: Jamie Vardy
The new found England International won’t throw up as many surprises being in this list as much as he would’ve last season. A record breaker, who smashed Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of scoring 11 times consecutively, Vardy has become a force to be reckoned with all of a sudden. Even if the 29 year old doesn’t score, he makes sure he works very hard for the team, pressing opposition defenders and consistently putting them under pressure and never giving them a moment of peace.