‘Soft centre’ – Pundits in agreement ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Leeds

Chelsea host Leeds United this weekend looking to continue their strong recent run of form.

The Blues are unbeaten in 15 matches in all competitions but face a tough test against a side winning plenty of plaudits for the way they have taken to life in the Premier League.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard will also renew acquaintances with Leeds counterpart Marcelo Bielsa following an acrimonious row over spying on training during Lampard’s time as Derby County boss.

With that in mind, here is what the pundits think will happen in the game.

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Mark Lawrenson, BBC

Whenever I see this fixture I think about the tempestuous 1970 FA Cup final between the teams, which I went to. Leeds are still up and at you, but in a different way.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side started the season well, but have had a mixed recent run of results which saw them ship four goals in two successive games. I think the quickness of the players among some Premier League sides have caused them problems.

The soft centre in this team is defensively.

The front players for Chelsea will be too good for Leeds, and manager Frank Lampard also has to decide about what to do with his striker Olivier Giroud after he scored four against Sevilla.

At the back the Blues are conceding fewer. Chelsea’s new keeper Edouard Mendy is doing well and Thiago Silva has settled at the back and is helping fellow centre-back Kurt Zouma. At the moment I think Chelsea have a good chance of a top-four finish.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Leeds United

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Michael Owen, Bet Victor

This could be a cracker. Leeds are so much better when they’re playing against teams that come at them. You can see that sides are starting to realise this and giving them some respect. Everton tried it for periods last week, albeit Leeds caught them in the end.

The thing is with…


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