22nd August, 2014
Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side will attempt to apply early pressure on their main Premier League rivals when they face a newly-promoted side for the second time inside a week with the visit of Leicester City to Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Mourinho’s team started their campaign with a comfortable 3-1 victory at Burnley that included a first competitive goal for recent signing Diego Costa following the striker’s £32 million ($53 million, 40 million euros) move from Atletico Madrid.
And it would constitute a major surprise if they failed to take maximum points against Nigel Pearson’s City side.
Chelsea recovered from the unexpected shock of falling behind to Burnley before moving impressively through the gears to effectively kill off the game before half-time.
The performances of Costa and Cesc Fabregas, another major close-season signing, offered promising signs that Mourinho’s efforts to strengthen his side’s attacking options have been successful.
But Andre Schurrle, fresh from his success with Germany at the World Cup in Brazil and the scorer of Chelsea’s second goal at Turf Moor, insists there is more to come from himself and the rest of the team.
“I think it was a good start for me, but of course we can be better. And when I am 100 percent fit, there will be more,” Schurrle said.
“So there’s a lot of work for me, but I’m feeling good. I’m enjoying my game, I’m enjoying being on the pitch.
“I think the whole team played well at Burnley. We had a lot of control, passes, good combinations. It was a lot of fun on the pitch.”
Thibaut Courtois will again start in goal having been selected ahead of long term number one Petr Cech at Burnley, a decision that has raised doubts about Cech’s long-term future at Chelsea.
Mourinho must decide whether to hand a debut to newly arrived left-back Filipe Luis after starting with Cesar Azpilicueta in the opening game.
– Cambiasso uncertainty –
Meanwhile Leicester manager Nigel Pearson has admitted he has become frustrated by his attempts to land former Inter Milan and Argentina midfielder Esteban Cambiasso.
The Premier League newcomers have been trying to close a deal for the 33-year-old for a number of weeks but it has proved difficult to complete.
“We have not made too much progress but I’m still hopeful something could be done,” said Pearson.
“It is complicated because representatives keep coming out of the woodwork.
“It’s fair to say we can do with one or two more to make the squad stronger in depth. But that’s not to say I’m not pleased with our players already.
“On Cambiasso it may not be football issues. It is more complicated than I’m prepared to discuss. I’m hopeful something can be done but there are a lot of variables I’m not in control of.”
Pearson has problems for this weekend with regular midfielders Danny Drinkwater (hamstring) and Matty James (shin) ruled out but striker Jamie Vardy and winger Marc Albrighton should be available.
“Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton have been training so there is a possibility of them being involved which is positive for us,” added Pearson, whose side started the season with a 2-2 draw at home to Everton.
“We’re OK in terms of availability. It is probably a week too early for both Danny Drinkwater and Matty James.”