Leeds United’s chances of victory when they travel to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this Saturday have improved following the announcement that Blues centre-back Thiago Silva will miss the fixture due to injury.
The experienced Brazilian has been a mainstay of the Chelsea defensive line since his arrival in 2020. He has featured in all but three of their 24 Premier League fixtures this season, as well as six out of their seven matches in the Champions League.
In a significant blow, the 38-year-old is set to miss Saturday’s game against rivals Leeds due to a knee ligament injury sustained early in a 2-0 loss to Tottenham over the weekend.
This development couldn’t come at a worse time for Blues boss Graham Potter – who is under pressure after a dire run of form which has seen his side manage only two wins out of 15 in all competitions.
Anything short of a win against Leeds and then Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League Round of 16 the following week could very well spell the end for the beleaguered Chelsea head coach.
Leeds currently stand to do the league double against Saturday’s opponents after thrashing them 3-0 at Elland Road last August.
Chelsea’s loss is Leeds’ gain
When Silva was forced off the pitch in the 19th minute of Chelsea’s game against Spurs at the weekend, many Leeds fans would have seen it as cause for celebration.
The Brazilian brings solidity, composure, and experience to the Blues’ back-line – and has done since his arrival at the London club.
It is likely that Potter will opt to fill Silva’s absence with January signing Benoit Badiashile – signed from Monaco for £35m. The Frenchman – whilst undoubtedly talented – is only 21; as such he lacks the sense of calm seniority which the much older Silva can bring.
When it rains, it pours, for Potter. But Chelsea’s loss could very well turn out to be Leeds’ gain.