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Chelsea welcome Leicester City to Stamford Bridge this evening in the penultimate match of the 2021/22 Premier League season. Following the Blues’ struggles on and off the field in recent weeks, many supporters are keen for the season to finally reach its conclusion with a new era at the club on the horizon.
Todd Boehly’s consortium are expected to finalise the last details on the takeover of Chelsea Football Club by the end of the month. Should the takeover be completed with no hitches, a big summer transfer window awaits.
Several players are expected to leave Stamford Bridge when the season ends, and a big revamp of the squad is needed. One of those who are confirmed to leave is Antonio Rudiger.
The German defender has reportedly agreed a deal to become a Real Madrid player in the summer transfer window upon the expiry of his contract with Chelsea. Rudiger has been a key part of the Blues’ squad this season, and it will be a tricky task for the club to replace him with someone of similar ability.
However, Rudiger could have a big part to play in the final two games as he prepares to say one final farewell to the Chelsea supporters. It’s unclear whether he will be given any game time in the last two matches, with Thomas Tuchel perhaps tempted to give some youngsters a chance in what are effectively two dead rubbers against Leicester and Watford.
If Rudiger does indeed play against the Foxes this evening at the Bridge, then the centre-back could continue his fantastic goal scoring record against the side. Four of Rudiger’s nine Premier League goals have come against Leicester.
If he scores tonight, then the defender will become the first Chelsea player to score in three successive games in the Premier League against the Foxes since Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink back in 2002. That would be some achievement for a defender.
As mentioned above, Rudiger’s place in the team is uncertain this evening, with whether Tuchel will go strong still unknown. However, the Chelsea head coach insisted that his team will be doing everything in their powers to ensure there is a positive end to what has been a very difficult season at times.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference at Cobham on Wednesday, Tuchel said: “My feeling was that the whole season we were in position in one, two, or three – somebody told me for one week we were place number four, I thought we were not. So it’s not a good moment to start now to be fourth. We still have to play for us, our demands, and our fans.
“Most importantly, though, for our expectations and what we demand. We are very happy we have secured a top-four place, this is what the first target when we start the season, what we play for, but still it is two home games, and we will do everything to win them for our feeling, our supporters and for a positive end to the season.”
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