Leicester City-Chelsea Preview
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has shed some light on Andreas Christensen's absence for the club's FA Cup final loss to Liverpool, as the Blues look to successfully close out the Premier League season on a high note.
The Stamford Bridge outfit have just two games to go but can rest easy with Champions League football secured for next term after Arsenal's loss to Newcastle earlier this week.
That will have not tempered the sting of defeat at Wembley, where Christensen - outbound at the end of the season - was absent, and now Tuchel has explained that he voluntarily removed himself once more from the squad.
"Andreas came on the morning of the match to inform me that he's not ready to play the match or to start the match or be on the bench," the German said.
"He had his reasons. They will stay private and confidential but it was not the first time. As you can see over the past weeks, we had some of the same situations which is why he did not play so regularly over the last weeks.
"We thought that we were in a good progression and a good development because he played very strong in the match before the final, against Leeds, but the conversation took place and we have to respect it and of course we respected it."
Opposite number Brendan Rodgers meanwhile has been hailing Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall after the youngster came up trumps at their end-of-season awards.
"It'll mean a hell of a lot," he added. "He is a players' player, the one who puts the work in. One of the first awards when I was here, he was (named) academy player, so to get the players' player now is a great recognition.
"It's about keeping improving. I know he has the appetite to get better. If you stand still, someone will take your place - but he's determined not to let that happen. I'm delighted for him. He's an absolute joy to work with."
Chelsea - Romelu Lukaku
The Belgian has scored three goals in his last two Premier League appearances, having netted just two in 20 before this. He is looking to score in three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since a run of four in September 2017 with Manchester United.
Crystal Palace - Jamie Vardy
The former England international has scored six goals in his last six Premier League starts, netting a brace in each of his last two. He's two goals away from becoming the first player to score 100 Premier League goals while over the age of 30.
- Following their 3-0 victory against Leicester earlier this season, Chelsea are looking to complete their first league double over the Foxes since 2016-17, when they won 3-0 home and away en route to winning the title.
- Leicester have won just one of their last nine Premier League away games against Chelsea (D3 L5), with the Foxes scoring just five goals in these visits and never more than once in a game.
- Leicester haven't won their final away game in any of their last 13 Premier League campaigns (D3 L10), since a 4-2 win at Blackburn in 1996-97. Indeed, the Foxes have lost each of their last five such games, including a 2-1 loss at Chelsea last season.
- Leicester have lost five of their last seven Premier League games in London, with the exceptions being a 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace and a 2-1 win at Brentford this season. The Foxes had only lost one of their previous 10 visits to the capital before this run (W5 D4).
- Chelsea have picked up just one win in their last four Premier League home games (D1 L2). The Blues have conceded 10 goals in these four games, as many as they had in their previous 13 at Stamford Bridge.
Updated May 18, 2022