Chelsea vs Leicester: Terry returns as Conte 'faces sack'

Blues boss sticks with a back three as Claudio Ranieri returns to Stamford Bridge with the league champions

Antonio Conte and John Terry
(Image credit: Getty)

The two most recent Premier League champions clash on Saturday - and neither team looks as if they are on course to lift the title this season.

The last time Leicester, led by former Blues manager Claudio Ranieri, visited Stamford Bridge they were given a guard of honour by the home side having just won the league. This time, however, the Foxes travel to London languishing in 12th place, ten points off the top of the table and only four above the relegation zone.

However, Ranieri will be more relaxed than the home manager Antonio Conte, who is apparently in danger of the sack just three months into the season, with bookies no longer taking bets on the chances of him losing his job.

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His Chelsea side, who started the season brightly, have secured just four points from their last four games and were dismantled 3-0 by Arsenal last month.

Conte made light of the rumours about his future at the pre-match press conference on Friday, saying he was trying to find out who had placed the bets on him losing his job.

He also confirmed he would stick with his tactic of playing three centre-backs for the game.

"Prior to the international break, Conte used a 3-5-2 system for the 2-0 victory over Hull City with David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta as his three centre-backs, while Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses operated as wing-backs," says Metro. "And the Chelsea manager is now set to stick with the same tactics, although he now faces a selection headache with John Terry available to face the Premier League champions."

According to the London Evening Standard, Conte "hinted one of them will make way to fit Terry in".

It will be Ranieri's third return to Stamford Bridge since taking over at Leicester and each time he has been up against a different manager, says Sky Sports.

In Conte, he will also be facing a manager he tried to sign when he was a player in 1999, says Steve Bower of the BBC.

His team will also be up against former Foxes midfield lynchpin N'Golo Kante, who left Leicester for Chelsea in a £32m move in the summer.

Having lost all three away games this season, the question for Leicester is whether they can cope without the Frenchman when playing on the road, says Bower.

The match is a "big game for both teams", says Paul Merson of Sky Sports. Chelsea may not be title contenders, he adds, but most teams in the Premier League have "sussed" Leicester out.

"Leicester are not going to pass around you and when you are organised at the back, it's difficult for them to create. I don't see anything other than a Chelsea win."

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