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Ten-man Leicester hold lacklustre Chelsea
January 22 2018, 02:04 | Perry Erickson
Clive Rose Getty Images
The Blues were also held to a 0-0 draw by second-tier Norwich in the FA Cup third round last weekend. After 14 matches in 46 days, the Blues are feeling the strain.
Antonio Conte believes Chelsea's lacklustre performance at home to 10-man Leicester City was down to tiredness. We suffered a lot in the first half and at the start of the second half.
"We played with tiredness today", Conte said. "I think a lot of our players were exhausted", the Italian said.
"If we just keep concentration on Eden, other players can make the difference also".
It made for tense viewing for the Chelsea home support. Even then Leicester limited them to few clear chances and this game was another clear sign that Claude Puel has the Foxes on the right track.
Leicester City might be losing Mahrez and if that happens, it could be a problem.
A below-par Chelsea failed to create chances of note until stoppage time, when Kasper Schmeichel smartly repelled Marcos Alonso's free-kick.
Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante suffered a hamstring injury while on international duty with France in October
Arsenal are aiming to try and break back into the top four this season after the disappointment of their fifth-placed finish last term left them playing Europa League football.
Leicester City came to play, and did, setting a new Premier League record for the number of shots taken by an away side in the first-half of the game.
The Foxes travel to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon and face a tough task at a ground that they have not won at since 2000.
Chelsea are expected to field a full-strength side against Leicester. Captain Gary Cahill was rested for the midweek Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg with Arsenal and could return in defence.
Asked if fatigue was the reason for taking off Hazard and Fabregas so early, Conte replied: "Yes".
I was going to leave Bristol City out this weekend because they could well be exhausted from their near-heroic exploits at Man City on Tuesday, but they're odds against at home to an inconsistent Norwich side which has tempted me to back them to win or draw. "He can still communicate with his players during the match and speak to them at half-time as well".