Premier League Preview and Prediction: Leicester City vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League – Leicester City FC vs. Chelsea

Venue: King Power Stadium – Saturday, January 14 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Leicester 9/2 – Draw 29/10 – Chelsea 8/13

Match Preview

Leicester welcome Chelsea to the King Power Stadium on Saturday evening in a game, a tie between two teams with reversed roles compared to last season.

This time last year Chelsea were loitering in mid-table, while Leicester were well underway to completing the seemingly impossible. The foxes are struggling to recapture their from from 2015/16 and are currently just six points above the relegation zone.

Claudio Ranieri will be hoping his side can pick up a positive result against his former employers, who have already been tipped to be crowned Premier League champions only halfway through the season.

Leicester’s last Premier League fixture ended 0-0 away at Boro, they look to have turned over a new leaf, having also progressed in the FA Cup with an impressive win away at Everton.

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Antonio Conte’s side bounced back well after their 13 game-winning streak was brought to an abrupt halt at the hands of Spurs in their last Premier League outing.

Chelsea responded well, having also progressed in the cup and now their attentions turn to reminding the chasing pack just how clinical they have been this season.

The Blues are only five points clear at the top and with some very tough fixtures coming up, there is much work to be done.

The Chelsea fans will be hoping their star players will be feeling fresh following a rest in their cup tie. They looked off the pace in their last fixture and an impressive display here will continue to strike fear into their competitors.

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Team News

Leicester City’s forward options are limited ahead of this tie. Islam Slimani and Riyad Mahrez are both at the African Cup of Nations, while there are doubts around the fitness of Jamie Vardy and Leonardo Ulloa. Daniel Amartey is also at AFCON, while Andy King could miss out through fitness.

Chelsea will be without captain John Terry following his dismissal in their FA Cup win last weekend, his appeal was unsuccessful and the ban was upheld. However, the former England captain would have most certainly returned to the bench had he been available for selection. Marcos Alonso is Chelsea’s only injury concern, he is a doubt.

Key Points

Leicester’s last five: L/D/L/W/D

Chelsea’s last five: W/W/W/W/L

Key Stat: Domination – Chelsea are unbeaten against Leicester in 11 of their last 12 meetings in all competitions.

Key Player: N’Golo Kante – This is a huge game for arguably the most important Premier League midfielder. It marks his return to the King Power since winning the league with Leicester last season. He will need to remain focused regardless of whatever reception he receives.

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Score Prediction

Leicester City 1-2 Chelsea – Leicester City to fall short here. They are missing a number of key players and face a Chelsea side who have been in scintillating form. Chelsea have conceded five goals in their last three games, their defence had only been breached twice in nine games previous to that run, so Leicester will feel they have a chance of finding the back of the net here.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Crystal Palace vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League – Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea

Venue: Selhurst Park – Saturday, December 17 – 12:30 GMT (07:30 ET)

Match Odds: Crystal Palace 17/4 – Draw 3/1 – Chelsea 8/13

Match Preview 

Crystal Palace welcome Chelsea to Selhurst Park on Saturday morning, with the London Derby being the first game of the Premier League fixtures this weekend.

Alan Pardew’s side come into this one off the back of their midweek defeat against United, a game full of controversy. It was a tough result for Palace to take but they have to pick themselves up and be ready for this tie.

Crystal Palace are just three points above the relegation zone and need to get on a run of form sharpish to ensure they’re not dragged into the battle to avoid the drop. A positive result here and stopping Chelsea’s winning run would do wonders for the confidence of both the players and fans.

Worryingly for Palace, they have won just one in their last ten Premier League games, picking up just five points from a possible 30.

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There is not much to say about Chelsea’s run of form that hasn’t already been said, however they are only six points clear at the top of the table and the Premier League throws up never ending surprise results.

Antonio Conte’s side have won their last ten games in a row but know they’re going to be in for another tough afternoon here. Chelsea will be expecting to remain tight at the back and clinical as they move forward.

Chelsea’s defensive displays have been resilient, especially in their last two one-nil wins. They have kept eight clean sheets in their run of ten wins and will be hoping to add another to that list this weekend.

Conte has strength in depth at his disposal, he has already started making more use of his squad, with the likes of Cesc Fabregas working his way back into the side, it wouldn’t be surprising to see another change in the middle for this tie.

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Team News

Crystal Palace are expecting to be without seven players for this London Derby as Papa Souare, Jonathan Benteke, Connor Wickham, Steve Mandanda, James Tomkins, Bakary Sakho and Loic Remy are all doubtful.

Chelsea’s injury list remains minimal, Kurt Zouma, John Terry and Marco van Ginkel are all still working their way back to fitness, while Oscar, Eden Hazard and John Obi Mikel are all doubts.

Key Points

Crystal Palace’s last five: L/L/W/D/L

Chelsea’s last five: W/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Emphatic – Chelsea have won their last ten Premier League games in a row. They are four games away from equalling the current record for most consecutive wins in the Premier League era.

Key Player: Diego Costa – The Spaniard is on fire. Chelsea’s run of form has been impressive but would probably not have been possible without Costa being as clinical in front of goal as he has been. Expect him to be in the thick of the action this weekend, he does however remain one booking away from suspension.

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Score Prediction

Crystal Palace 1-2 Chelsea – Another hard-fought game for both of these sides. Palace are expected to set up to frustrate Chelsea in this tie and it will be down to Conte’s men to break down a solid side once again.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Everton

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea vs. Everton

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Saturday, November 5 – 17:30 GMT (13:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Chelsea 8/15 – Draw 16/5 – Everton 19/4 

Match Preview

Chelsea welcome Everton to Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening in a fixture that has produced some classic matches full of goals in recent times.

Antonio Conte’s side continued their winning streak last weekend with their 2-0 victory over Southampton, it was their fourth consecutive Premier League win without conceding a goal.

If history is anything to go by we could be in for plenty of action in this one as there have been 23 goals in the last six meetings between the sides in all competitions.

Chelsea will want to go into the international break preserving their defensive record and will see this as a chance to increase their winning run to five games.

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Everton ended their four-game winless run with their 2-0 victory over West Ham last time out, but they know they have a tough game on their hands here.

Ronald Koeman’s side trail Chelsea by just four points heading into this one. They have had a strong opening ten games (W5-D3-L2) and look capable of pushing for the top six this season.

Everton have struggled for positive results at Stamford Bridge, they have failed to win away against Chelsea in their last 22 attempts. This would be an ideal time to put that unwanted run to an end.

The Toffees can take heart in the fact that they have scored at least twice in their last three matches against Chelsea. If they can breach the three-man backline they will be within a great chance of picking up a favourable result.

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Team News

Conte is likely to be without four players through injury as Cesc Fabregas, John Obi Mikel, Kurt Zouma and Marco van Ginkel remain in their recovery period.

Everton’s injury list seems to continue to worsen as Leighton Baines, Arouna Kone, Muhamed Besic, Tyias Browning, James McCarthy and Matthew Pennington are all expected to remain out. Idrissa Gueye is serving his one-game suspension.

Key Points

Chelsea’s last five: L/W/W/W/W

Everton’s last five: L/D/D/L/W

Key Stat: Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 22 home games against Everton in all competitions.

Key Player: David Luiz – Much was made of Chelsea resigning Luiz. The Brazilian has played an integral role since Chelsea switched to 3-4-3 and looks a far more mature player since returning to the club. The fan-favourite is showing both leadership qualities and passion that Chelsea lacked last season.

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Score Prediction

Chelsea 1-0 Everton – The Blues have been on an incredible run of form in the Premier League. They have looked far more resilient defensively and have the ability to make it five clean sheets in a row this weekend.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Manchester United

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea vs. Manchester United

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Sunday, October 23 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET) 

Match Odds: Chelsea 23/20 – Draw 9/4 – Man Utd 5/2 

Match Preview

Chelsea take on Manchester United and welcome back Jose Mourinho on Sunday in what is set to be arguably their biggest game of the season so far.

The Blues have been inconsistent over their last five games. They’ve only picked up seven points from a possible 15, but have won their last two.

Antonio Conte was pleased with Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Leicester last weekend. He has seen his side put in some strong performances since opting for a formation change to his more familiar 3-5-2.

This is going to be a huge occasion for Chelsea fans and a number of players who won the league with Mourinho just two seasons ago. He should receive a warm reception but he will quickly be reminded that he is ‘the enemy’ once the game kicks off.

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Manchester United have been in a poor run of form domestically, picking up just five points from the last 15 on offer.

Mourinho tightened things up defensively against Liverpool in their last Premier League game, but allowed his side to play with more freedom in their Europa League demolition in midweek. Paul Pogba starred in that game, scoring twice. He will be looking to continue to prove doubters wrong here.

The emotions will be high for Mourinho on his second return as an opposition manager to Stamford Bridge, much of the build up has focused on him as United manager, which may well help to keep a little pressure off some of his underperforming stars.

Manchester United will be looking to put an end to an unwanted run of ten without a win against Chelsea in all compeitions. Mourinho won his only other visit to the Bridge as an opposition manager and he will be desperate to win here.

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Team News

Chelsea will still be without Kurt Zouma as he continues his recovery from a long term knee injury. John Terry has been declared fit by Conte. Oscar, Branislav Ivanovic, Cesc Fabregas and John Obi Mikel were all unavailable for selection last weekend, they remain doubts. It remains to be seen whether Willian will return from compassionate leave.

Manchester United could be without Chris Smalling as he came off in their midweek Europa League with a muscle injury. Phil Jones remains out, while Morgan Schneiderlin is a doubt.

Key Points

Chelsea’s last five: D/L/L/W/W

Manchester United’s last five: L/L/W/D/D

Key Stat: Chelsea are unbeaten against Manchester United in their last ten meetings in all competitions.

Key Player: Diego Costa – Chelsea’s goal-machine and talisman will be itching to keep his goalscoring run going this weekend. Costa is the Premier League’s top scorer with seven.

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Score Prediction

Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United – There have been four draws in the last five meetings between these two sides. Chelsea have struggled against the so-called ‘top sides’ this season and will be desperate to extend their unbeaten run to three. Manchester United to draw their third on the bounce, but importantly avoid defeat away from home in a difficult fixture.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Leicester City

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea FC vs. Leicester City FC

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Saturday, October 15 – 12:30 BST (07:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Chelsea 4/7 – Draw 16/5 – Leicester 9/2

Match Preview

Chelsea welcome champions Leicester to Stamford Bridge on Saturday in the opening game of the Premier League fixtures this weekend.

The Blues are clearly still in a rebuilding phase after last season. They have looked inconsistent and vulnerable in a number of games already.

Antonio Conte’s side won 2-0 away at Hull in their last Premier League outing, three points they desperately needed, having lost their previous two games.

Chelsea are already a way off the pace in the title race. They’re sitting 7th, five points off the top and three outside of the top four.

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Leicester City are also in a run of unfavourable form. They have won just two of their seven games this season and are just four points above the relegation zone.

The Foxes have struggled against the so-called ‘big sides’ this season and have failed to pick up points in games they seemed to breeze through in their title-winning campaign.

Claudio Ranieri’s side come into this one having drawn 0-0 against Southampton. Although Leicester are performing well in the Champions League, they are struggling to relay that form domestically.

Leicester have to see this as a tie they can pick up a positive result in. Chelsea conceded twice in their last league game at Stamford Bridge and have looked shaky defensively.

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Team News

Chelsea are expected to be handed a defensive boost with the return of their captain John Terry. Kurt Zouma and John Obi Mikel are both expected to be out, while Victor Moses is a doubt. Willian is unavailable for selection due the passing of his mother this week.

Leicester City’s squad is in good shape for this tie. They are only expecting to be without Matthew James, so Claudio Ranieri has the luxury of a strong bench regardless of what starting XI he selects.

Key Points

Chelsea’s last five: W/D/L/L/W

Leicester’s last five: W/L/W/L/D

Key Stat: These two sides have been inconsistent in their last five games, picking up the same amount of points (7).

Key Player: Diego Costa – The Premier League’s leading goal scorer this season has been in fine form. Costa has netted six times

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Score Prediction

Chelsea 1-1 Leicester – Chelsea to come unstuck at home once again. They are looking far better than last season but defensive problems are there for all to see. Leicester need to begin picking up points to avoid being drawn into a rut of form. This would be a good result for Ranieri’s side, who posses the ability to damage Chelsea on the counter attack.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Newcastle United vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League – Newcastle United vs. Chelsea

Venue: St James’ Park – Saturday, September 26 – 17:30 BST (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Newcastle 4/1 – Draw 14/5 – Chelsea 8/13

Match Preview

Newcastle United host Chelsea this weekend in a fixture which has thrown out some surprising results in recent years.

Newcastle have had a poor start to the season, with new manager Steven McClaren struggling to impose his style of play on the Toon.

The Magpies are yet to win a Premier League game and find themselves sitting 19th and are only not propping up the table due to goal difference. Their season needs to pick up, and fast, if they’re to avoid another slog to stay clear of the relegation battle. Newcastle fans will be left disappointed once again after the investment made over the summer.

They come into the game off the back of last weekend’s 2-1 away loss against Watford and, to make things even worse than they could be, they were knocked out of the League Cup in midweek by Championship side Sheffield Wednesday.

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Chelsea’s struggles seem to be improving after their awful start to the defence of their Premier League crown. Mourinho’s men saw off nine-man Arsenal in last weekends controversial tie.

The Blues sit 15th in the league at the moment and need to go on a lengthy unbeaten, but more importantly winning, run if they are to make up the ground on Manchester City.

A win in this one would be a good result for Chelsea considering their recent form at St. James’ Park and Mourinho will be drilling his players that anything but three points is unacceptable.

Chelsea can send out a signal of intent if they are to find a big win this weekend, but they cannot afford to be complacent as it is a fixture which throws out unlikely results.

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Team News

Newcastle have 12 injuries, the highest total in the Premier League. But Steve McClaren could see a number of his players available for selection again for this game. Sylvain Marveaux, Daryl Janmatt, Rolando Aarons, Jack Colback and Cheick Tiote could be in contention to feature. Papiss Cisse, Steven Taylor, Emmanuel Riviera, Paul Dummett and Massaido Haidara are all expect to miss out.

Chelsea are expected to be without just the three players, as Kenedy, Willian and Thibaut Courtios are unavailable. Diego Costa is banned following his actions last weekend against Arsenal so former Newcastle forward Loic Remy could start up top for the champions.

Key Points

Newcastle United’s last five in the Premier League: L/D/L/L/L

Chelsea’s last five in the Premier League: L/WL/L/W

Key Stat: Newcastle have won the last three meetings between the sides at St. James’ Park and have only lost one of the last five in this fixture at home.

Key Player: Eden Hazard – The Chelsea superstar needs to kick on from netting his first goal of the season last weekend against Arsenal and show why he is so highly regarded. He didn’t feature in Chelsea’s midweek win so he should be fresh.

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Score Prediction

Newcastle United 2-1 Chelsea – A prediction which may surprise many but given Chelsea’s form against Newcastle away from home it would not be unheard of. Newcastle often manage to kick-start their season with a positive result in this fixture, anything is possible.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: West Bromwich Albion vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League – West Bromwich Albion vs. Chelsea 

Venue: The Hawthorns – Sunday, August 23 – 13:30 BST (08:30 ET)

Match Odds: West Bromwich Albion 9/2 – Draw 11/4 – Chelsea 8/13

Match Preview

West Bromwich Albion have another tricky fixture as they host Chelsea this weekend. Both sides are still looking for their first win of the season.

West Brom picked up their first point of the season last weekend in their 0-0 draw against promoted Watford. Tony Pulis’ side are yet to score in either of their games this season, but new signing Salomon Rondon has been bought in to lead the line.

The Baggies last win came over the Premier League champions at the back end of last season. Pulis’ side had a good preseason but have struggled to relay that form so far this campaign.

It is difficult to tell whether or not this is a good time for West Brom to play the defending champions, as although they are out of form they will see this a good chance to pick up their first win of the season.

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Chelsea have had a very poor start to the season and even this early on, trailing Manchester City by five points is a concern for Mourinho.

Last weekends demolition at the hands of City seems to have sparked the Blues back into life in the transfer market. Having signed Pedro they are now being linked with Juventus’ Paul Pogba. The future of John Stones remains unclear but it is obvious he is a player Chelsea are hoping to sign.

This is Chelsea’s worst start to a Premier League season since 1998/99 and they cannot afford to drop more points in this one. The pressure is certainly on Jose Mourinho and his players will be all too aware of the wrath they could potentially face from the boss and fans alike if they do not win here.

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Team News

West Brom are still missing Ben Foster. Salomon Rondon will be hoping to start and show what he can do against a struggling Chelsea defence. Joleon Lescott will be hopeful of regaining his first team place after being left out of the 0-0 draw with Watford.

Jose Mourinho could bring Thibaut Courtois back into the starting line-up after he served his one game suspension. Asmir Begovic will certainly feel hard done by if this is the case as he without question was Chelsea’s best player on the pitch last weekend and stopped the scoreline from being anymore humiliating. Victor Moses and Oscar look set to be sidelined, while new signing Baba Rahman is tipped to start at left-back, pushing Cesar Azpilicueta into his more natural position of right-back. Branislav Ivanovic could find himself on the bench after he has struggled to find form this season. The decision to look out for is whether or not Mourinho starts John Terry after his substitution last weekend. Pedro may well feature but it remains to be seen whether or not he will start. Lots of talking points for the potential Chelsea line-up and there will no doubt be some controversy.

Key Points

West Brom’s form: L/D

Chelsea’s form: D/L

Key Stat: Leaky – Only Sunderland (seven) have conceded more goals than Chelsea so far this season, not a stat you could have imagined hearing just two weeks ago.

Key Player: Nemanja Matic – The big Serbian’s performance will be vital to how this game goes for the defending champions. If he can control the midfield, marshall the back-four and steady the ship Chelsea stand a great chance of picking up three points.

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Score Prediction

West Brom 1-1 Chelsea – West Brom to pick up a solid point against a disorganised, struggling Chelsea side. Pulis will know his side can frustrate Jose Mourinho’s men which will lead to their weaknesses showing yet again on the pitch.  

Could Chelsea beat Liverpool to this £32.5m star to replace MLS bound Drogba?

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba is set to leave the club with MLS his most likely destination, leaving the Blues with only two recognised Premier League forwards on the books in the shape of Diego Costa and Loic Remy.

Jose Mourinho will expectedly be lining up a replacement for the Ivorian as both Costa and Remy are prone to injuries, so strength in depth could be the key to retaining the Premier League crown next season.

It has been revealed this week that Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke has a buyout clause of £32.5m and manager Tim Sherwood has admitted that should anyone meet the asking price, there is nothing Villa can do to stop him leaving.

“There’s a buyout clause in his contract so it will be impossible for us to stop him if he wants to go. Someone’s got to meet that buyout clause and if they don’t, it won’t be considered because we don’t want to lose him,” said Sherwood, as reported by The Guardian.

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Benteke enjoyed an impressive end to the season with Villa, netting 11 times in his final 11 league games, as well as helping them to the FA Cup final with a goal in the 2-1 semi-final win over Liverpool.

Sherwood knows that the cup final could be the Belgian striker’s last game for the club but has urged him to stay at Villa Park in order to hold out for a possible dream move next summer.

“We’re building up to a European Championship, which is a huge stage for Christian, and a tournament where you feel that Belgium will be one of the favourites to win it. By playing for Aston Villa it hasn’t hindered him being the first choice for Belgium up to now.

“If he were to stay here and score at the ratio that he has since I took over, and ends up with 20 or 30 goals next season and then has a good Euros, he is probably playing for Real Madrid [by 2016]. Christian could go to the best club in the world if he scores 30 goals next season. He could be that good.”

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Liverpool have already been strongly linked with the 24-year-old but a move to a side playing Champions League football could be more appealing.

Because of Benteke’s stature and strength, he is a player in a similar mould to Drogba and would suit Chelsea’s style of play under Mourinho, who likes physically imposing forwards to lead the line, therefore making the Belgian an ideal replacement.

Could Christian Benteke move to Chelsea this summer?

Chelsea star praises character of the team

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas scored a last-gasp winner for the Blues at Loftus Road to secure a 1-0 victory over QPR on Sunday afternoon, and the Spaniard has praised the character of the team.

“The win was vital. We are playing for the most important trophy of the season and we are up there since the first day so we have to continue that,” Fabregas told Chelsea’s official club website.

“We know that some teams are putting pressure on from behind and we want to be solid, win out the games and this shows the character of this team.”

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The win restored a seven-point lead over Arsenal at the top of the Premier League for Jose Mourinho‘s side, although Fabregas admitted that it wasn’t an easy game and QPR’s performance, as well as the conditions, were tough on Chelsea, but feels they dealt with it well.

“It was very difficult to play this game with wind, the pitch was very dry, and it was not the circumstances we want to play football. That obviously is a positive advantage for QPR but we still showed great mentality and we never gave up.

“Even in the difficult moments we coped very well with the game and Didier Drogba played a big part because he held onto the ball very well up front and that gave us life through the game.”

Chelsea welcome third-placed Manchester United to Stamford Bridge next weekend before a visit to the Emirates Stadium to take on second-placed Arsenal the week after in two games that will surely play a huge part in determining the final outcome of this Premier League season.

How good is the character of this Chelsea team?

Chelsea star running out of time to break Arsenal legend’s record

Cesc Fabregas couldn’t have dreamed of a better start to life with Chelsea as his first ten Premier League games with the club saw him rack up an impressive nine assists.

Despite being quick out of the blocks this season, Fabregas has tailed off slightly and the assists have dried up with just two in his last seven league appearances.

The Spanish playmaker is now currently on 16 assists for the whole season and after his blistering start, Fabregas was tipped to break the all-time Premier League record for most assists in a campaign – a record currently held by Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.

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Henry laid on a monumental 20 goals for his teammates in the 2002/03 campaign and the closest anyone has come since was when Frank Lampard set-up 18 in the 2004/05 season while playing for Chelsea – Fabregas himself also recorded 17 assists in the 2007/08 season for Arsenal.

Most assists in a Premier League season:

  • 2002/03: Thierry Henry (Arsenal) – 20
  • 2004/05: Frank Lampard (Chelsea) – 18
  • 2007/08: Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal) – 17
  • 1992/93: Eric Cantona (Manchester United) – 16
  • 2014/15: Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea) – 16*

With nine games remaining, Fabregas has got a little bit more work to do if he is to break the record and he’ll certainly need to pick up the pace once again.

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The 27 year old had already set-up six goals in his first four Premier League games, so if he can replicate that kind of form, then he certainly stands a great chance of becoming the record holder.

Chelsea’s remaining fixtures:

  • 04 April – Stoke City (home)
  • 12 April – QPR (away)
  • 18 April – Manchester United (home)
  • 26 April – Arsenal (away)
  • 29 April – Leicester City (away)
  • 02 May – Crystal Palace (home)
  • 09 May – Liverpool (home)
  • 16 May – West Brom (away)
  • 24 May – Sunderland (home)