- Chelsea leads all-time 53W-30D-25L
- Conte 2-0 against Leicester
- Blues won 3-0 at home
Antonio Conte looks to get Chelsea back on the winning track in the Premier League when the Blues head to King Power Stadium to face Leicester City on Saturday (Watch live a 12:30 p.m. EDT at NBC or online via NBCSports.com).
Chelsea enters the day with a five point lead on second place Liverpool and an 8-point advantage of fifth-place Arsenal. That’s less of a surprise than Leicester’s status, as the Foxes have gone from the PL penthouse to 15th, just two wins ahead of the drop zone.
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Still, things have been better for the Foxes after a very slow start. Leicester is into the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League, and has two wins and a draw in its last three PL outings.
The first-place Blues blasted Peterbrough 4-1 in the FA Cup to help right a pretty steady ship following the end of their 13-match unbeaten run. Chelsea recalled Nathan Ake from his loan at Bournemouth, and the blossoming star could feature Saturday.
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What they’re saying
Leicester’s Danny Simpson on topping Chelsea: “Obviously we know that they’ve got top players that have picked up their form from last season. [Eden] Hazard and Diego Costa have been banging in goals for fun which has helped them. They’re a real strong unit and we know we’re in for a good game. I think Man City were playing three at the back and we coped with that well. We looked at their weaknesses and we exploited them.”
Chelsea’s Antonio Conte on matching wits with Claudio Ranieri: “Claudio is a really great manager, a great man. I am proud to know him and sometimes to call him to speak. He did a great job last season and not only then. I knew him when he was coach in Italy, at Chelsea, at Valencia.”
Chelsea’s loss at Spurs is no shame and playing at King Power Stadium is no given but the Blues should at least snare a point and control the ball. Look for the outside mids in Conte’s 3-5-2 to have a big day, whether it’s a motivated Victor Moses or Ake getting a chance to break into the fold. Call it 1-0 for the Blues.
If you’re having a rough Monday morning, things could always be worse.
You could be PSV Eindhoven goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet.
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On Sunday PSV’s goalkeeper scored one of the most bizarre own goals ever as he stopped a shot on the line in the 82nd minute, then as he pulled the ball into his chest while on the floor he actually carried the ball over the line.
The Goal Decision System (GDS) awarded the game-winning goal and the reigning Dutch champs lost 2-1 to Feyenoord who are the current Eredivise leaders and stretched their lead over third-place PSV to 11 points.
Take a look at the video below to see the monumental error, as the video replay showed that all of the ball was about one blade of grass over the line.
Fine margins indeed…
Since arriving on the New York City scene two years ago it’s fair to summarize Mix Diskerud’s tenure with New York City FC as a disappointment.
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While the expectations of a quick transition from life in Europe to MLS were surely massive, the 26-year-old midfielder has failed to live up to the billing of not only being one of the NYCFC’s highest-paid players but also as a potential U.S. Men’s National Team candidate.
Diskerud saw his playing time dwindle down from 23 starts in 2015 to nine this past season under new manager Patrick Vieira, and it doesn’t appear that the Norwegian-American will see an influx of opportunities during the upcoming 2017 season.
Rumors have surfaced throughout the offseason about NYCFC potentially buying out Diskerud’s contract, however, the midfielder’s cryptic post to social media on Sunday afternoon suggests that he may not be in New York for much longer.
It has been suggested that Diskerud would possibly consider a return to Europe in the event that his contract was in fact bought out, however, the difference in salaries would likely be drastic.
According to figures released by the MLS Players’ Union, Diskerud made $761,250 in 2016, which was the fourth-highest salary on NYCFC books behind only David Villa, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo, each of whom were classified as Designated Players.
Gabriel Jesus was a revelation for Manchester City before suffering an injury, but even with a spot in the lineup for the time being Sergio Aguero may not be coming back to Manchester City next season.
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According to the Sun, Spanish giants Real Madrid are eyeing up a move for Aguero in the hopes that the Argentine striker will join the club at the conclusion of the Premier League season.
Prior to joining City back in 2011, Aguero played five seasons in La Liga with Atletico Madrid, where he scored 101 goals in all competitions for the Rojiblancos.
While Aguero is likely to hold his starting spot for some time due to Jesus’ injured metatarsal, manager Pep Guardiola had heavily favored the young forward over Aguero since officially joining the club in January.
Tab Ramos’ side completed their first task, but now the U.S. Under-20 national team has its next challenge lying in front of them.
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The U.S. U-20s finished second in Group B at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship after winning two of its three group stage matches.
Now, Mexico and El Salvador await the U-20s in the classification stage with a spot at May’s Under-20 World Cup in South Korea on the line.
During the classification round there will be two groups of three teams, with the top two teams advancing to the World Cup. Each group winner will meet in the CONCACAF Championship final.
Classification stage schedule
Feb. 27 — U.S. U-20s vs. Mexico
Mar. 1 — Mexico vs. El Salvador
Mar. 3 — U.S. U-20s vs. El Salvador
Feb. 27 — Panama vs. Honduras
Mar. 1 — Honduras vs. Costa Rica
Mar. 3 — Panama vs. Costa Rica