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Third time was not the charm for Chelsea at Wembley, as after losing to Arsenal in the 2020 FA Cup final and their upcoming opponents Leicester last year, the Blues once again fell short in the showpiece event.
Three months on from being defeated by Liverpool in the EFL Cup final via a penalty shootout, Chelsea and the Reds did not bring their best shooting boots to Wembley for the FA Cup final, where Cesar Azpilicueta and Mason Mount‘s missed spot kicks proved fatal.
The Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup will therefore represent Chelsea’s only pieces of silverware this season, but Arsenal’s defeat to Newcastle United on Monday night means that Thomas Tuchel‘s side are guaranteed to finish in the top four and will seal third with all three points in midweek.
A 3-0 thumping of Leeds United did at least end a three-game winless run in the Premier League for Chelsea last week, but Stamford Bridge has not been kind to the Blues in recent months, with Tuchel’s side winning just four of their last 12 in front of their own fans.
The capital club have at least found the back of the net in all of those matches and will welcome the visit of a hapless Watford side to their turf on the final day – opponents whom Leicester needed no second invitation to tear apart at the weekend.
Chelsea have been rocked by allegations of Andreas Christensen refusing to play in the FA Cup final and disappearing from the team hotel on the morning of the game, and he could have pulled on the blue jersey for the final time ahead of his summer exit.
Ben Chilwell and Callum Hudson-Odoi both remain out of contention, while Timo Werner is absent due to a fresh hamstring problem, and Klopp has concerns over Kai Havertz and Mateo Kovacic – the latter’s ankle problem has now swelled up again.
N’Golo Kante‘s return to fitness could see the Frenchman return to the engine room after a bright cameo at Wembley, while Cesar Azpilicueta and Hakim Ziyech‘s fresh legs could come in handy after two hours of action in the capital.
Meanwhile, Leicester number one Kasper Schmeichel was surprisingly benched for Danny Ward in the win over Watford, but the Danish shot-stopper is expected to return to the XI for the trip to Chelsea.
Nampalys Mendy was taken off early in that game due to sickness so may be spared from the off here, while Wilfred Ndidi, Ryan Bertrand and Ricardo Pereira remain sidelined alongside Hamza Choudhury, who has picked up a knock.
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arc Albrighton and Ademola Lookman are both ready to return to the starting lineup to cover for the affected Mendy in a slight change of shape for the visitors, who should otherwise stick with the winning formula from Vicarage Road.
Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Mendy; Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Rudiger; James, Kante, Jorginho, Alonso; Ziyech, Mount; Lukaku
Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Castagne, Fofana, Evans, Justin; Tielemans, Dewsbury-Hall; Albrighton, Maddison, Barnes; Vardy