This Saturday Chelsea are looking to boost their top four chances as they take on Leeds United in the Premier League.
The clubs have previously had an intense rivalry and if history has taught us anything this is bound to be a classic and you can listen to the action live on talkSPORT at 12.30pm.
Surprisingly to some these days, the Elland Road outfit historically have a strong record when it comes to facing the Blues, tallying 39 wins against them, with only 35 losses.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has taken the league by storm and helped his side to an 11 game unbeaten run, with eight wins in all competitions since his appointment.
Their vintage display against Everton leaves them with three wins in a row and has them sitting in fourth place. A brilliant turnaround since their struggles prior to Frank Lampard’s departure.
Leeds on the other hand have been in poor form, losing five of their past seven matches in the league, including a disappointing 2-0 loss against West Ham on Monday.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side will be desperate for a win and they will have a challenge going up against Tuchel’s formidable defence.
Chelsea team news
Tuchel’s side are in a good nick coming into this match, with their only significant absentee being Tammy Abraham.
The English striker is set to miss his fifth match due to an ongoing issue with his ankle.
Abraham is Chelsea’s top goalscorer this season, with 12 goals and six assists in 30 appearances, and although he hasn’t scored in the Premier League since Boxing Day his energy and attacking prowess will be missed.
The Blues, however, have been in great form without him and Tuchel’s disciplined defensive mindset has led the club to five clean sheets in a row at home in the league, something they hadn’t achieved since 2015.
When asked about his defensive success Tuchel said “defending is about effort… It is about reliability, trust, courage, bravery.”
Andreas Christensen has been the heart of the Blues’ barricade, however, Tuchel revealed he’s suffered a fresh injury setback, meaning Thiago Silva, who’s returning from a thigh injury, is likely to get the nod.
Kai Havertz had possibly his best game in a Chelsea shirt in their 2-0 win against Everton and has likely earned himself a starting spot against Leeds.
The German midfielder has impressed Tuchel with his recent performances and will look to keep his form going.
Although there may be a few changes, Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, Mason Mount, and Ben Chilwell all seem set to remain in the starting XI.
Mount looks set to nab Mateo Kovacic’s place in the team as they look for more firepower to keep their great run going. The Englishman has gained many plaudits with his energy and passion, with some people viewing him as the next Chelsea and England captain.
Edouard Mendy will most likely be the man in goal, with Tuchel trusting the Senegalese keeper over Kepa, who has had a torrid time at Stamford Bridge.
How Chelsea should look against Leeds
Leeds United team news
Bielsa will be keen to get his side back to winning ways after a disappointing run of four losses in their last five games.
Leeds have impressed many this season and they sit comfortably in 11th place, nine points clear of the relegation zone. But lately their fans haven’t had much too cheer about.
They will be without Pascal Struijk, Pablo Hernandez and Adam Forshaw for the clash.
Bielsa did give some assurance that Struijk may return soon however as he said: “Given the injury Pascal has, it is not a serious injury because various of our players, including himself, have played with this injury. This is why I say this is not serious.”
He also confirmed that Kalvin Phillips and Rodrigo could both be in the starting XI, a massive boost for the club.
Stuart Dallas has been in fine form as of late, with a brilliant performance against West Ham and he should start.
Patrick Bamford looks set to lead the line up front, and a big game will be needed from him if Leeds are to get a win against his old club. The former Championship Player of The Year has 13 league goals and five assists to his name.
Jamie Shackleton will be welcomed back with open arms after a muscular injury, while German defender Robin Koch has returned from injury but will most likely feature for the Under-23s as he regains his fitness.
Jack Harrison could replace Tyler Roberts in the team and with the former’s work rate possibly helping him get the nod.
Helder Costa also seems destined for the bench after his poor display against West Ham. Many have tipped the Portuguese winger for a move away from Elland Road and his lack of contribution may eventually push him out of the club.
How Leeds should look against Chelsea
You can listen to Leeds vs Chelsea, live and exclusive on talkSPORT on Saturday from 12:30pm