By Sean Hayes
Leicester City and Chelsea go head-to-head on Tuesday night in the third round of the EFL Cup, in one of the most-anticipated clashes of the competition’s early stages.
The current Premier League champions will be buoyed by their comfortable 3-0 win at home to Burnley on Saturday, as club-record signing Islam Slimani made the dream debut with a brace of goals.
The Foxes looked a stark contrast to the side who lacked penetration and ideas against Liverpool a week earlier, but will need to up their game once again if they are to progress in the competition.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) September 19, 2016
Chelsea also slumped to a defeat at the hands of Jurgen Klopp’s men on Friday night, as Diego Costa’s second-half goal wasn’t enough in their first loss of the season.
Unlike their opponents, Antonio Conte’s side entered the draw in the previous round and were made to work hard for their 3-2 win over League One club Bristol Rovers.
In last year’s competition the side from the capital were defending champions, but their defence only went as far as the fourth round where they were beaten on penalties by Stoke City.
Leicester also suffered the same fate, as their loss on penalties came at the hands of then Championship club Hull City.
The Far East Stand Blog: Tripping up the Foxes: Chelsea may have been handed a tough assignment for the third… https://t.co/8YcXLfokvb
— Chelsea FC News (@CFCnews) September 19, 2016
David Luiz was handed his second debut for Chelsea on Friday evening after John Terry picked up an ankle injury and should retain his place as the skipper is rested for Premier League duty.
Claudio Ranieri will be without goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel after he suffered a concussion in training and Ron-Robert Zieler will make only his second start for the club.
Leicester’s defence of the Premier League title has looked shaky only five games into the season, but after wins in Europe and the league going into the contest, they will be confident.
N’Golo Kante is also set to return to the King Power Stadium and should be afforded a top reception following his exploits for the Foxes last season.
Conte’s men have looked classy in the opening exchanges as they will prove tough opponents and they will also be looking for revenge over the side who dethroned them last season.
Potential Leicester City Starting XI (4-4-2): Zieler; Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs; Mahrez, Amartey, Drinkwater, Albrighton; Vardy, Slimani
Potential Chelsea Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Begovic; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Marcos Alonso; Kante, Loftus-Cheek; Fabregas, Moses, Pedro; Batshuayi