The 140th edition of the competition will see the Blues, the most successful side in the FA Cup since 2000, compete against the Foxes, who have reached four finals without winning the — the most for any side in history.
Saturday’s game will be the first of two crucial successive encounters between Chelsea and Leicester City as they battle for FA Cup glory as well as a spot in the Premier League’s top four.
Brendan Rodgers’ side travel to Stamford Bridge in a midweek clash for their league game as they look to qualify for next year’s UEFA Champions League.
Leicester had previously hosted Chelsea in the Premier League in January of this year and emerged victorious over their visitors by a scoreline of 2-0. The result led to the sacking of club legend Frank Lampard as head coach, with Thomas Tuchel replacing him shortly after.
The German has turned Chelsea into a formidable side in a short span of time. The Blues head into the FA Cup final as favourites to win the competition against a Leicester City side that haven’t been at their fluent best of late.
With the stage perfectly set for the showpiece event at Wembley on Saturday evening, here is a look at five key battles that could determine the outcome of the game.
Chelsea v Leicester: Key Battles
Reece James v Timothy Castagne
Belgian star Timothy Castagne has been Brendan Rodgers’ go-to utility man, deploying him in a variety of positions including centre-back, wing-back and full-back. The 25-year-old is likely to revert to a more familiar wing-back role on Saturday and could come up against Chelsea star Reece James, who is a force to be reckoned with on the flanks.
The marauding wide defender has been in excellent touch in the 2020/21 campaign and has thrived under Tuchel, bombing down the flanks to provide a superb attacking outlet for Chelsea. With Cesar Azpilicueta backing him up, James has been afforded a lot of freedom down the right to showcase his brilliant crossing ability. Castagne will be tasked with keeping James occupied on the right.
N’Golo Kante v Youri Tielemans
There aren’t many midfielders in world football in better form at the moment than Chelsea superstar N’Golo Kante, and unfortunately for Rodgers, Tuchel revealed that the Frenchman is likely to return to fitness ahead of the game. Kante has been sensational under Tuchel and is the heartbeat of the German’s midfield, contributing heavily across all phases of play.
He is likely to lock horns with another midfielder who has impressed profoundly over recent months, Youri Tielemans. The Belgian metronome has controlled proceedings in the middle third and can unlock stubborn defences with his superb creativity and vision. Tielemans has also scored twice in Leicester’s five FA Cup games so far, but he could have a hard time getting past Kante.