Chelsea 3-2 Leeds Utd Match Thread
09 Dec 2021 10:17 am, by Ellandback1
Saturday 11th December 3:00pm | Stamford Bridge
Leeds face a torrid Christmas calendar, starting with a trip to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternnon. Whilst Bielsa's men rarely pick up too many points in the Capital, their task is made even harder by their ever-growing injury list. Liam Cooper and Kalvin Phillips are long term absentees, Rodrigo and Bamford are managing injuries whilst Pascal Struijk is still struggling with his hip. Teen sensation Charlie Cresswell would be a perfect replacement for the Leeds skipper, however Bielsa is more likely to draft Luke Ayling to centre back (to partner Llorente), with Dallas possibly switching to right back.
Kalvin Phillips will be a major loss in the holding role. Leeds have only won twice, out of twelve attempts without the England talisman in the starting line up. Fortunately, Adam Forshaw is a like for like replacement, so at Least Leeds won't lose their shape. But who will fill the other midfield roles with Rodrigo out and Dallas potentially having to cover at right back? Could Joe Gelhardt get a start up front with Tyler Roberts, on a high after his first goal of the season, dropping into midfield.
Fresh from their 3-3 draw at Zenit Saint Petersburg on Wednesday evening, Chelsea have no new injury concerns but they are without Mateo Kovacic, who tested positive for Covid-19 this week. They'll be looking to get back to winning ways after losing to a last gasp winner at local rivals West Ham last weekend, and were leap-frogged by Liverpool in the process. Trevoh Chalobah (hamstring), N'Golo Kante (knee) and Jorginho (back) are rated as doubtful, but £90m rated Romelu Lakaku is set to start against the Whites having returned midweek from a three month lay off. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is available.
Leeds have won one just one of the past 10 meetings in all competitions. They have lost four consecutive Premier League away fixtures against Chelsea. Chelsea could draw three Premier League home matches in a row for the first time since 2016. They are in danger of losing consecutive league fixtures for the first time under Thomas Tuchel. Leeds have only lost once in seven Premier League matches. However, they have suffered nine defeats in their past 10 Premier League fixtures in London. Since the beginning of last season, Leeds have lost nine of their 12 Premier League games (75%) without Kalvin Phillips, compared to just 11 defeats in 41 (27%) when he plays.
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