Chelsea has more quality options on the bench thatn Leicester City and it will be interesting to see who wins the tactical battle to lift the trophy.
Chelsea take on Leicester City in their first of two finals this season on Saturday at Wembley stadium. The blues have been in sublime form since Thomas Tuchel took charge in January following the sacking of Frank Lampard. They beat Real Madrid in the semifinals of the Champions League to enter the final. In the summit clash, they will play Premier League champions Manchester City. Tuchel’s side beat Manchester City 2-1 in the FA Cup semi-final to reach their fifteenth FA Cup final. On the other hand, Leicester City beat Southampton 2-1 to reach their fifth FA Cup final. Brendan Rodgers side are third in the Premier League, just two points ahead of fourth placed Chelsea, whom they will meet again on Tuesday in the Premier League fixture.
Chelsea’s strength lies in their speedy attackers upfront. The likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech can trouble the best defenders. N’Golo Kante and Jorginho are masters in the midfield with Kovacic doubtful as he is coming back from an injury. Kante’s relentless skills along with Jorginho’s abilities will be key to Chelsea’s success.
Veteran defender Thiago Silva is likely to marshal the back three that comprises of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, who is coming back from injury. Versatile defender Cesar Azpilicueta is likely to play at the right wing back and former Leicester man Ben Chilwell or Marcos Alonso will start at the left-wing back.
Brendan Rodgers’ side is coming on the back of a 2-1 victory against Manchester United in the Premier League. The Foxes have no shortage of pace and strength up front, with Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho in the forward line. Iheanacho, who joined Leicester in 2017 from Manchester City is having a dream season. The Nigerian striker has scored 18 goals in all competitions, four in the FA Cup so far, including the winner in the semi-final against Southampton.
Brendan Rodgers decision to tweak the formation a little bit to play Iheanacho alongside Vardy has turned out to be fruitful. 34-year old Vardy’s pace and relentless running along with Iheanacho’s strength complement each other very well.
Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans will have the task of delivering passes from the midfield that split the defence. The 24-year-old is having a very good season. His ability to counter the opponets attacking players will be crucial in the final. Wilfred Ndidi will do more of the defensive duties in the middle of the park.
Leader of the Leicester defence, Jonny Evans who injured his heels during the warm-up before the Newcastle game last Friday is likely to come back to partner Caglar Soyuncu and Wesley Fofana in a back three. Castagne and Periera will hold the key.
Both the teams have similar kind of strengths and weakness but Chelsea have more quality options in the bench. It will be interesting to see who wins the tactical battle. The team that uses their resources well could win the 140th FA Cup final.