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Preview: Leeds United vs Chelsea - N'Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic sidelined, Christian Pulisic doubtful for Premier League clash

Matthew Debono

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Preview: Leeds United vs Chelsea - N'Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic sidelined, Christian Pulisic doubtful for Premier League clash

Chelsea face Leeds United in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon at Elland Road.

Thomas Tuchel’s side were victorious on the opening day of the season against Everton following a 1-0 win, but were held to a 2-2 draw by Tottenham Hotspur last weekend in controversial fashion at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League

Now Chelsea want to get back to winning ways this weekend to maintain their unbeaten start, and face a Leeds side who also have won one and drawn the other of their first two games of the new campaign - beating Wolves and drawing to Southampton. 

Thomas Tuchel on the touchline against Tottenham. (Alamy)
Thomas Tuchel on the touchline against Tottenham. (Alamy)

Chelsea did the double over Leeds last season, winning 3-0 back in May in Yorkshire as the hosts fell down to 10 men early on. 

Now they head back up north and Tuchel is expecting a high intensity game as his side look to inflict a first defeat of the season on Jesse Marsch’s men.

“I expect a high intensity game, a high pressing team from Leeds and a very emotional stadium,” said Tuchel on Friday in his pre-match press conference.

“We had a fantastic game last season at Elland Road and scored very early, very dominant and very focused and effective in front of goal.

Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea celebrates his goal to make it 0-3 against Leeds in May. (Alamy)
Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea celebrates his goal to make it 0-3 against Leeds in May. (Alamy)

"Of course there was an early red card that played into our hands. Still, was a very good performance. This is what we expect. Repetitive intensity, high pressing and a team that loves the chaos, a team of Leeds that has a high acceptance for mistakes. They don’t get frustrated by mistakes, they accept mistakes as chances to do counter-pressing and so on. 

“We have to be well aware and also to manage our expectations, our level of acceptance for mistakes because mistakes against these high intensive teams like Liverpool, Leeds, Southampton, who have a certain style of pressing - you make mistakes. You cannot play without mistakes against these teams. You accept it before the match and make the best out of it, find the spaces. 

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"There is not a lot of time for decision making and this is what we prepare for now in training and hope to be on our top level and to find the level we had last week to be able to prove the statistics wrong! I did not know about it (record at Elland Road). So thanks for telling me.”

Marsch admitted he would be disappointed to see Tuchel on the touchline following his red card against Spurs last weekend. 

He said: "No (handshake on Sunday), he won't be there, right? Are they saying he might be able to be on the bench? That doesn't seem right does it? If you get a red card, you're out of the match."

Tuchel picks up his red card after full time. Image: Alamy
Tuchel picks up his red card after full time. Image: Alamy

"I will be disappointed if they allow him to be on the bench. There is a simple rule in football. Whether it's soccer or football, if you get a red card you can't play the next match.

Tuchel will be without N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Armando Broja for the trip, while Christian Pulisic is doubtful with an Achilles issue.

The Chelsea head coach said: “Quite serious (N’Golo Kante injury). We’re talking about weeks. Not good news. We are disappointed and sad because N’Golo is super important and super fit. He will be out for weeks. 

“Same with Armando (Broja). He will be out for days. Cannot come with us to Leeds. Mateo Kovacic as well, still out with knee problems. 

“Christian Pulisic had problems but trained today. Let’s see.”

When is the match?

It will take place on Sunday 21st August at 2pm (UK) time.

Where is the match?

The Premier League match will be held at Elland Road, Leeds.

How can I watch the match?

The fixture will be available to watch live on Sky Sports, as well as Sky Go in the United Kingdom. 

For those in the United States, the game can be watched on USA Network.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Chelsea, Leeds United, Premier League, Football

Matthew Debono
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