Leicester v Chelsea preview: Claudio Ranieri hoping for victory against former club
By Oliver Yew
Last Updated: 14/12/15 7:14pm
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri will be hoping to lead his side to victory at home to former club Chelsea on Monday Night Football, live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 7pm.
Ranieri spent four years at Stamford Bridge between 2000 and 2004 but his focus now is Leicester, who are two points clear of Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table after 15 games.
Leicester, who saw Ranieri and Jamie Vardy named manager and Player of the Month for Novemeber respectively, are on an eight game unbeaten run in the league and will be hoping to extend that against a Chelsea side that lost to Bournemouth last weekend.
The Blues recovered in midweek to record a 2-0 victory over Porto in the Champions League to book their place as group winners in the last 16.
However, focus now returns to the Premier League where Chelsea have picked up just one win in their last six matches and are without victory in their last five games away from home.
The Foxes have no new injury concerns with Ritchie de Laet (ankle) out for the rest of the month and Matty James edging towards a comeback following a long-term knee injury.
On-loan winger Nathan Dyer is available again after being ineligible to face his parent club Swansea in Leicester's 3-0 win at the Liberty Stadium last week.
Mourinho has a full squad to pick from for the trip to Leicester with both John Terry and Ramires returning from injury in the win over Porto.
Midfielder Cesc Fabregas was dropped and could miss out again after the improved performance in midweek, while striker Radamel Falcao is fit again and could be on the bench.
The head-to-head record makes good reading for Chelsea. They have won their last six Premier League meetings with Leicester.
However, Mourinho's side have won just one of their last eight Premier League away games (W1 D2 L5).
Since losing to Chelsea back in April, Leicester have been one of the form teams in the league, losing just one of their last 19 matches.
This is Chelsea's worst start to a Premier League season (15 points from 15 games) since 1993/94.
Vardy's goal run maybe over but he has now scored or assisted in 13 consecutive league games, beating Stan Collymore's run of 12 set between March and August 1995.
Paul Merson's prediction
This is must, must, must win for Chelsea. There are 14 points between them and the top four, but I think they need to be judged on how many points they are off Leicester.
They're 18 off Leicester, but for me the Foxes are not going to be winning the league come May. If they come anywhere in the top four, it will be fourth. So for Chelsea, Leicester are the side they need to chase down.
We say every week Chelsea will win this game, win seven on the trot and be fine, but they did not look like winning against Bournemouth. Kept the ball forever and did not look like scoring.
This is a really, really hard game to judge. Chelsea haven't really ripped anyone to shreds this season, although they did play well against Porto. I'll go 2-2.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-2