He isn’t perhaps as explosive in that position as Ben Chilwell or Marcus Alonso but his positional awareness and ability with the ball should see his attacking numbers spike over the course of the season. Players that are selected in Tuchel’s left-wing back role are given plenty of attacking licence. Last season that player averaged a goal just over every four games and registered 2.5 shots every 90 minutes. Cucurella has all the hallmarks to match that average, so there does seem to be juice in both his goalscoring and shots prices over the coming weeks. A player that is likely to score every four or so games shouldn’t be 18/1 to score at anytime against a team they are 1/2 to beat in the match market while the 11/4 on Cucurella to hit the normal shots average of two shots for a Chelsea left-wing back is as a very appealing value play too.
A third bid is not thought to be imminent but Rodgers now seems set to drop Fofana from his squad for the Southampton match while his future at the club is up in the air. The Athletic has previously reported that Fofana is keen on a switch to Stamford Bridge, but Leicester seem determined to keep him for another year at least and only sell him to Chelsea on their terms. That would mean a world-record offer for a defender, who has five years left on the contract he only signed in March. At his press conference on Thursday Rodgers was asked whether he was prepared to leave Fofana out of his team to face Southampton, and said: “Yes, 100 per cent. “If the players aren’t totally focused and committed to the club and being here, or for whatever reason just aren’t in the right mindset, that won’t help us. “We have to ensure everyone is really focused in order for us to play the best game we can. I will always assess that after the sessions.
Chelsea were outstanding last weekend, producing a level of performance that may just give Manchester City and Liverpool something to think about this season. With additions to the playing squad to come, Thomas Tuchel may just get more out of Chelsea than expected this campaign. Leeds shouldn’t give them too many problems, especially without Patrick Bamford. Chelsea won nine of their 10 Premier League away games last season against teams who finished in the bottom half, conceding just four goals in those games. Marc Cucurella’s intelligent, aggressive and classy performance against Tottenham caught my eye as he looks more than capable of proving an outlet from the left wing-back role for Thomas Tuchel. His link play with Mason Mount completely tore Spurs apart at times.
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NAME: Chelsea – Leicester City
DATE: 27 Aug 2022
TIME: 14:00 UTC
VENUE: Stamford Bridge, London, England