Chelsea will take on Leeds United at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Saturday, 5 December 2020.
Unbeaten in four games against Leeds United, Chelsea have won three of those games, including a 5-1 victory at the Elland Road in the League Cup in December 2012 when Luciano Becchio scored for Leeds and The Whites secured a 1-0 lead on half-time, yet five different players scored for Chelsea’s convincing comeback.
All in all, Leeds United’s last win over the Blues was a 2-0 home victory on 28 December 2002, when former England international Jonathan Woodgate and 16-year-old James Milner (that’s right – the same James Milner who now plays for Liverpool and has enjoyed an impressive career) have both scored to seal the three points against Claudio Ranieri’s Chelsea.
When Leeds United relegated from the Premier League in May 2004, Chelsea have finished their first season since Roman Abramovich acquired the West London outfit and the 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge on 15 May 2004 was Leeds’ last top-flight match until their recent promotion.
Chelsea Betting Preview
Job in Europe is done, at least until February, and Chelsea are now back to their Premier League mission when they take on Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United that has been quite inconsistent, yet their record is not bad at all, especially for a newly-promoted side.
Frank Lampard’s men were absolutely ruthless to thump Sevilla on Tuesday and to secure the top spot in Group E of the Champions League, while Olivier Giroud enjoyed his most efficient performance for quite some time as the Frenchman scored all four goals for the Blues.
Remarkably, Giroud (34 years and 63 days) became the oldest player to score a hat-trick in Europe’s prime competition (Champions League/European Cup) since legendary Hungarian striker Ferenc Puskas for Real Madrid against Feyenoord in September 1965 (38 years and 173 days).
With his prolific performance, Olivier Giroud also became the first Chelsea player to score four goals in a single game since Frank Lampard did so more than 10 years ago – in the 7-1 win against Aston Villa in March 2010.
Furthermore, Chelsea managed a fourth successive Champions League victory for the first time since their triumphant 2012 campaign, when Frank Lampard himself captained the squad during the memorable final against Bayern Munich.
With his side already assured of qualification and waiting for the Round of 16 draw, Frank Lampard made nine changes to the team that drew 0-0 with London rivals Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday and this decision proved to be extremely successful.
Both Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz made their first starts for the Blues since October following injury and illness, respectively, while talented Scottish midfielder Billy Gilmour came off the bench for his first appearance of the season.
Of the squad that played in the goalless draw with Spurs last weekend, only two players were also fielded in midweek – goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and central midfielder Mateo Kovacic. And while the former provided the required stability in goal and we would be extremely surprised if he doesn’t start again, Croatian midfielder Kovacic could be given a rest at some point.
However, also sure of their place among the last 16, the Europa League champions were without a number of first-team players, yet we cannot underestimate the importance of a victory against a Sevilla side that were unbeaten in 14 home games across all European competitions coming into the Chelsea game.
Frank Lampard’s side will host Krasnodar next week, in their last match of the Champions League group stage, and Chelsea’s boss will probably use the opportunity to field more youngsters and backup players as his side will have to prepare for three challenging games within 10 days afterwards. Indeed, the Blues are set for back-to-back away games at Everton and Wolves, before they take on London rivals West Ham United in their last match before Christmas and ahead of their Boxing Day clash with Arsenal.
Even though he’s one of the most experienced figures at Chelsea right now, captain César Azpilicueta is expected to make way for youngster Reece James (who’ll turn 21 next week) at right-back, while summer signing Ben Chilwell has been impressive at left-back.
Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rüdiger were paired at centre-back in midweek, but Kurt Zouma is expected to continue his centre-back partnership with Brazilian veteran Thiago Silva here as their defending, combined with the addition of Edouard Mendy in goal, are a solid foundation of Chelsea’s progress.
Leeds United Betting Preview
Although they’re one of the newly-promoted sides, Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United side have already established themselves as one of the most entertaining clubs in the English Premier League.
The West Yorkshire side earned their first win in four games by beating Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton in a thrilling encounter courtesy of Raphinha’s long-range strike. The Brazilian finally broke the deadlock as his effort meant that Leeds have also earned their first away League win against The Toffees since August 1990.
In the first half, Marcelo Bielsa’s men had 13 shots – the most in a Premier League half this season – but failed to find the net through due to a combination of some good saves from Everton stopper Jordan Pickford and also poor finishing by the Whites, in front of England national manager Gareth Southgate who was at the stands.
Their ability to keep the Premier League top scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin in check was also crucial for the final win, but unlike Everton, Chelsea’s efficiency is not based on a single player and the London Blues would be a more challenging enemy than their Merseyside counterparts.
Following a solid display for their 1-0 win at Goodison Park on Saturday, Leeds United will hope to build on and win back-to-back games for the first time since September, when they got the better of both fellow newly-promoted side Fulham and regional rivals Sheffield United.
To highlight their progress under Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds have also kept consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League for the first time since January 2003 and have now earned as many away games in 2020-21 (three) as they did throughout the entirety of 2003-04.
All in all, after their first 10 games since they returned to the English top-flight, Leeds United are 12th in the table (8 points off the bottom three) and for now it doesn’t seem that they’ll be involved in the relegation battle.
Moreover, the Whites are set for back-to-back home games against West Ham United and Newcastle United later this month before they head to face local rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford in their last game before Christmas and the loaded festive schedule.
Marcelo Bielsa could have Diego Llorente, Jamie Shackleton, and Pablo Hernandez all closing to a return to full fitness but the experienced Argentinian may be patient and wait for another week to make their comeback to the squad.
Jack Harrison was subbed off late on at Goodison Park having suffered a leg injury and is marked a doubt, with Rodrigo Moreno ready to deputize in support of centre-forward Patrick Bamford.
Kalvin Phillips has made a successful return following an injury and the midfielder will play a pivotal role in Leeds formation in order to stop Chelsea’s attacks.
Possible Starting Lineups of Chelsea and Leeds United
Chelsea: Edouard Mendy – Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Kurt Zouma, Reece James – Mason Mount, N’Golo Kanté, Mateo Kovacic – Timo Werner, Tammy Abraham, Hakim Ziyech. (4-3-3)
Leeds United: Illan Meslier – Stuart Dallas, Liam Cooper, Robin Koch, Luke Ayling – Kalvin Phillips – Ezgjan Alioski, Mateusz Klich, Raphinha, Jack Harrison – Patrick Bamford. (4-1-4-1)
Spooky Express Betting Prediction
Frank Lampard’s project proved it has a solid foundation and it can really reap benefits in the long-term. Indeed, the Blues have a squad that is very capable of competing on different fronts and have an additional bonus of having no fresh injuries or suspensions to contend with ahead of the tricky weekend encounter.
Leeds United, on the other hand, have also proved that they won’t go out and play as a victim, and Marcelo Bielsa’s tactics could surely challenge any of his Premier League counterparts.
With that said, considering Chelsea’s goal scoring ability as well as Leeds’ coherency and their fast-flowing tactics under Marcelo Bielsa, we won’t be surprised to witness a high-scoring affair at Stamford Bridge.
Spooky Express Free Play: Over 3 Goals -120 @ BetOnline for 7/10 Units