Chelsea will have up to 2,000 fans allowed at the Stamford Bridge when they host Leeds United on Saturday evening for their first league meeting since 2004.
After stumbling through the opening games of the season, Chelsea have seemingly found their footing, going unbeaten inside 90 minutes in their last 15 games stretching back to September and winning seven of their last eight, the last of which was an emphatic 4-0 thrashing of Sevilla, with forgotten man, Olivier Giroud putting up a performance for the ages, grabbing all 4 goals at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Seville.
With the group top spot secured, they now focus their attention back to the league where only leaders Tottenham stopped them from getting a fourth straight win in the top-flight in their goalless stalemate at Stamford Bridge last weekend.
Giroud’s 5-star performance puts Lampard in a bit of a quandary as far as team selection is concerned but he is likely to stick with his preferred Werner – Abraham partnership upfront.
Leeds have blown hot and cold in their return to the Premier League since 2004. Adapting to the rigours and vagaries of the top flight has seen them put up some great performances particularly against the top sides, but they have also had some stinkers they would want to forget quickly against less fancied opposition.
Marcelo Bielsa would be content with their return of 4 wins, 4 losses and 2 draws from their opening 10 games of the season if offered at the start of the season.
Their wheels appeared to be coming off when they suffered a couple of 4-1 defeats to Leicester and Crystal Palace before the last international break. They have however bounced back with a credible 0-0 draw against Arsenal and a disciplined 1-0 win away at Everton last weekend and they will be looking to build on these when they travel to London.
Chelsea now look like the title contenders they were supposed to be following their busy transfer season that saw them bringing in star players to complement their already talented young core. After the slow start, the biggest turn-around has been in their defence which has then allowed their offence to flourish. With most of their injured players like Pulisic and Kai Havertz returning from the treatment table, they look even more formidable. Leeds will be competitive but Chelsea’s quality just trumps anything they will throw at them. We have no hesitation in picking Chelsea to win @ 1.54 with Melbet as our initial betting tip.
It is difficult to predict which Leeds team will show up for any match. However, they have generally tended to step up against the big teams. Right from the get-go, they showed they are ready to compete, pushing champions Liverpool all the way before losing 4-3 on opening day. They are not shy to shoot whenever they are presented with an opportunity. Marcelo Bielsa’s side are averaging more than 15 shots per game this year, with just Liverpool and Man City bettering them on that count. We expect an attacking spectacle here and there should be great value in picking both teams to score @ 1.63 with Melbet Welcome Bonus as our final shout of this Saturday evening clash.
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