BBC pundit thinks one major factor could decide Chelsea vs Leeds
Mark Lawrenson anticipated a Chelsea victory against Leeds United tomorrow due to the Yorkshiremen’s injury issues.
Lawrenson’s Premier League prediction for the BBC hinged upon the health of Marcelo Bielsa’s squad.
Leeds are seriously short in first-team numbers heading into the stand-off at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
They will reportedly be without Kalvin Phillips, Patrick Bamford and Liam Cooper for tomorrow’s tasty encounter.
All three damaged their hamstrings in the 2-2 draw with Brentford last weekend.
Phillips and Cooper could be absent until February, whilst Bamford’s wounds require extra examination.
To compound Bielsa’s misery, Rodrigo and Robin Koch are also doubts for the Chelsea clash.
Due to the Whites’ lack of available bodies, Lawrenson could only see the three points remaining in London.
“Chelsea have looked a lot less convincing of late, especially at the back,” wrote the former Liverpool defender.
“They lost their way a little bit in their defeat by West Ham which is strange because they are usually so well organised and mentally strong.
“But Leeds have bigger problems, especially if Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford are facing some time on the sidelines through injuries sustained in their draw with Brentford,” he added, before predicting a comfortable win for Tuchel’s men.
Got the Blues
Although the life has been sucked out of Leeds lately, Chelsea can’t be breathing too confidently either.
Their relatively poor run of results – one win in the last four – has coincided with a wave of wounded soldiers.
Ben Chilwell and N’Golo Kante remain long-term patients in the medical room.
Mateo Kovacic is back from injury but is now isolating after testing positive for covid.
Trevoh Chalobah hobbled off during the victory at Watford, a fixture Jorginho also missed due to pain in his back.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek picked up a knock in the warm-up ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League draw with Zenit St. Petersburg.
So, before Chelsea supporters get ahead of themselves about Leeds’ worries, perhaps they should take a glance at the state of their own side first.