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Liverpool, Leicester City headline Premier League Asia Trophy

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The Premier League is coming this summer to Hong Kong.

The territory in Southeast China will host the 2017 Premier League Asia Trophy, featuring Liverpool, Leicester City, West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace. The tournament will take place from July 19-22, with all games taking place at the 40,000-seat Hong Kong Stadium.

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“We are very excited to be returning to Hong Kong this summer for the Premier League Asia Trophy,” Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore said in a statement. “We know from previous visits that fans in Hong Kong, and across the region, are passionate supporters of our clubs.”

This summer’s edition of the biennial tournament is the first to feature four Premier League teams. In the past, an Asian All-Star XI or a local club would be the fourth team to take part. By bringing a fourth team over, the Premier League is increasing the opportunity for Premier League fans to have a chance to see more of the league’s stars up close and in person.

For Liverpool, it will be the start of a busy season that will include UEFA Champions League action for the first time since 2015.

Leicester City 1-1 Bournemouth: Foxes, Cherries share spoils

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  • Stanislas scored third goal in last three
  • Bournemouth finish 9th
  • Leicester finish 12th

Leicester City and Bournemouth drew 1-1 at the King Power Stadium on Sunday as the Foxes

The Cherries took the lead through Junior Stanislas but Jamie Vardy made it 1-1 in the second half and that’s how it remained.

Leicester finished the season in 12th, while Bournemouth secured their first-ever top 10 finish in PL history.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

After just one minute Bournemouth took the lead as Stanislas finished off at the back post as Leicester missed two tackles in the build up.

At the time the Cherries were on course for an eighth-place finish.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Leicester finally woke up as Islam Slimani went close from a corner and the Foxes looked lively as they pushed for an equalizer.

Bournemouth held on to their lead until half time at the KP.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Four minutes into the second half Vardy equalized for Leicester as he tapped in his 16th goal of the season at the back post after Slimani’s knock down. Game on.

Andrew Surman whizzed a free kick just wide as Bournemouth tried to get back ahead.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

Vardy had a goal disallowed for offside as he played a one-two with Slimani and that controversial decision cost Leicester plenty of places

January window made the difference in tighter relegation battle

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This year’s Premier League table sees just eight points between eighth place and 17th , and just four more before the relegation races. The latter gap will max at 15 and could be as small as nine.

It was 23 last season, and 21 the previous season. This year will end a three-season run of 20-plus points between 8th and 18th, and seems likely to be a harbinger of what’s to come.

With the big TV money increasing roster investment even more, it will become more difficult to stay in the league for all sides. Perhaps we’ll be talking a gap from 9th to the drop on occasion, especially if West Ham or Southampton ups its investments.

But look at tiny Burnley smashing its spending records this year, and how many clubs have shattered their transfer records. Part of that is a function of the market, but consider how much big boys Newcastle United and Aston Villa spent in an effort to return to the PL. The days of idle windows working are long gone. At best, they will be outliers.

Additionally, expect to see more activity in the transfer market itself (if not in January, then August).

Sunderland proved the old maxim of Jims and Joes being more important than x’s and o’s on a weekly basis this season, and — with apologies to Paul Clement, Sam Allardyce, and Craig Shakespeare — the winter window saved the seasons of Swansea, Palace, and Leicester as key pieces Patrick Van Aanholt, Luka Milivojevic, Mamadou Sakho, Wilfred Ndidi, Martin Olsson, and Tom Carroll arrived to new homes.

(You may find it curious to see Leicester there, but Ndidi’s arrival was probably the No. 1 move in the country. In a world without N'Golo Kante, he was Best XI quality at his position).

Even Hull City’s turnaround under Marco Silva prominently featured January buys in the forms of Andrea RanocchiaLazar Markovic, Alfred N'Diaye and others.

When you see that Sunderland whiffed on several half-hearted Moyes-Everton reunions and Middlesbrough got little from its four window buys, all four of which sit outside their Top 11 in per-match performance, it’s fairly clear that men make the difference.

There’s always danger in evaluating an entire league based on one season, but it feels prescient to me. What do you think?

Leicester 1-6 Spurs: Kane, Son increase record points total

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  • PL goals no. 23, 24, 25 and 26 for Kane
  • Son’s 20th and 21st goals (all competitions)
  • Spurs locked into 2nd, obliterate record points total

The key to life is remembering to enjoy the good times, because the possibility always exists that this is as good as it’ll ever be.

Tottenham Hotspur fans, no one knows this better than you, but a quick reminder never hurt anyone. Look no further than the last 18 months of emotions experienced by Leicester City supporters for an example of how quickly those good times can vanish.

[ WATCH: Kane scores 4 to take charge in Golden Boot race ]

Thursday’s clash between the two sides at the King Power Stadium, where just 12 months ago Leicester lifted the Premier League trophy, so perfectly contrasted clubs with fortunes currently headed in polar opposite directions. Tottenham, spearheaded by Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, had to do little more than turn up for kickoff before returning south to London with a 6-1 victory.

Son’s showing started off poorly, as the South Korean international raced in on goal in the 15th minute, one on one with Kasper Schmeichel, before blazing his right-footed shot well over the bar without a single defender applying pressure. It was an inexcusable effort to not test the goalkeeper.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

10 minutes later, streaking through the penalty area in a similar situation, Son opted to cut the ball back into traffic for Kane, who was flanked by defenders on either side. It made no different, though, as the 23-year-old put his trailing right foot through the ball and redirected just inside the far post for a 1-0 lead (his 23rd PL goal this season).

11 minutes after that, Son made the most of a scoring chance of far greater difficulty. Dele Alli chipped the ball over a pair of defenders and found Son not far from the penalty spot. With a defender bearing down on him, Son wasted no time and fired first-time. Schmeichel couldn’t get down and to his right quick enough.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Spurs’ only blemish on the night came in the 59th minute, when Hugo Lloris charged out of his penalty area and failed to clear the ball out of play. After a frantic scramble of failed shots and passed, Ben Chilwell ended up with the ball atop the 18-yard box and fired low and through traffic to halve the Foxes’ deficit.

The 2-1 scoreline lasted all of four minutes, as Kane moved level with Lukaku on 24 goals. Toby Aldeweireld floated a cross to the back post, where Victor Wanyama headed the ball back across the face of goal and Kane found himself largely unmarked two yards off the goal line. England’s leading man applied the finish with his head, and the score was 3-1.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Son scored Spurs’ style points on his second of the game, his side’s fourth, in the 71st minute. Moussa Sissoko picked out Kane in the center of the field, and Kane played the ball forward to Son. The 24-year-old created a half-yard of space by cutting inside and onto his favored right foot, and hit an inch-perfect strike into the bottom right corner for 4-1.

Son exited the game without completing the hat trick in the 78th minute, while Kane remained on the field long enough to bag his 25th and 26th PL goals of the season, in the 89th and 93rd minutes. Having played seven fewer PL games this season due to injuries, Kane now leads Lukaku by two.

Mauricio Pochettino‘s side’s record points total rises to 83 (the previous high was 72, in 2012-13) — two more than Leicester won the title with last season — already assured of a second-place finish. Meanwhile, Craig Shakespeare‘s side remain 11th in the league table. A win on the final day of the season, Sunday, could see them rise as high as 8th or fall as low as 15th.

STREAM LIVE: Leicester City host Tottenham Hotspur

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Leicester City welcome Tottenham Hotspur to the fortress that is the King Power Stadium on Thursday (Watch live, 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) with the Foxes aiming to keep their incredible home form under Craig Shakespeare going.

The Foxes have won all five of the PL home matches they’ve had under the interim boss who took charge in February following the firing of Claudio Ranieri.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

Spurs have second place locked up and Mauricio Pochettino‘s men can now relax after securing a win in the final game at White Hart Lane. They now finish a fine campaign with trips to Leicester and Hull before regrouping over the summer and readying themselves for a season at Wembley Stadium while their new 61,559 capacity home is finished.

In team news Leicester make one change as Daniel Amarety replaces Andy King.

Tottenham bring in Mousa Dembele and Moussa Sissoko to the starting lineup, with Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker out.

LINEUPS

Leicester City: Schmeichel; Simpson, Benalouane, Fuchs, Chilwell; Mahrez, Ndidi, Amartey, Albrighton; Okazaki, Vardy. Subs: Musa, Kapustka, Slimani, Zieler, Gray, Wasilewski, Moore

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Wanyama, Dembele, Sissoko; Dele, Son; Kane. Subs: Vorm, Wimmer, Lesniak, Shashoua, Eriksen, Nkoudou, Janssen