Leicester City

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PL roundup: Man Utd, Chelsea win big… but so do Man City

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Get caught up on all of Saturday’s Premier League fixtures — eight games, 26 goals scored…

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Arsenal 2-0 Tottenham HotspurFULL RECAP

Arsenal hit Tottenham twice in five minutes, just before halftime, en route to a spirits-lifting north London derby victory. Shkodran Mustafi opened the scoring with a looping headed in the 36th minute, and Alexis Sanchez slammed home from close range in the 41st. Spurs’ chances were few and far between — and largely lacking in quality — as Mauricio Pochettino‘s side was held scoreless for the second time in three PL games.

Leicester City 0-2 Manchester CityFULL RECAP

The Man City buzzsaw just keeps spinning, with a neat and tidy 2-0 victory away to Leicester the latest — and 10th straight — impressive result for Pep Guardiola‘s side. Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne got the goals, four minutes apart, either side of halftime, and City sealed up their seventh clean sheet in 12 games this season.

Manchester United 4-1 Newcastle UnitedFULL RECAP

Paul Pogba‘s back after 10 weeks out with an injury, and Man United are a completely different team — it’s as simple as that. Newcastle went ahead through Dwight Gayle (assisted by DeAndre Yedlin) in the 14th minute, but Anthony Martial, Chris Smalling, Pogba and Romelu Lukaku each scored a goal as United roared back for a 4-1 victory.

West Bromwich Albion 0-4 ChelseaFULL RECAP

Eden Hazard scored twice, to go with single tallies from Alvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso, and Chelsea leapfrogged Spurs for third place in the league table. West Brom’s winless skid, which began on Aug. 27, is now 10 games (three draws). The Baggies currently sit 17th in the PL, and will fall into the relegation zone if West Ham United beat Watford on Sunday.

Liverpool 3-0 SouthamptonFULL RECAP

Liverpool got a brace from Mohamed Salah and a third goal from Philippe Coutinho and cruised past Southampton and extend their current winning streak to three games, and close the gap between themselves and (now) Spurs to one point in the top-four race. Saints fell to 14th in the table, now just four points clear of the bottom-three.

Burnley 2-0 Swansea CityFULL RECAP

Burnley can’t believe their luck right now — both the fact that they’ve won three in a row and currently sit seventh in the table, level on points with Liverpool and Arsenal; and that Sean Dyche is still their manager and hasn’t been hired away. Jack Cork and Ashley Barnes scored the goals on Saturday. A visit from Arsenal next weekend is now a litmus test for the Clarets.

Bournemouth 4-0 Huddersfield TownFULL RECAP

Callum Wilson has scored goals by the boatload his entire career… when he’s been healthy. After two major knee injuries in the span of 18 months, Wilson is fully fit and has hopefully beaten away the injury bug. He bagged a hat trick against Huddersfield on Saturday, the second of his PL career. The Cherries now sit 13th, while David Wagner‘s Huddersfield has fallen to 10th.

Crystal Palace 2-2 EvertonFULL RECAP

In Saturday’s battle to see whose season could yet sink lower, 20th-place Crystal Palace blew a pair of one-goal leads to drop two points at home against 16th-place Everton. James McArthur scored in the first minute, but Leighton Baines equalized from the penalty spot five minutes later. Wilfried Zaha made it 2-1 to Palace in the 35th, but Oumar Niasse brought Everton level again in the 46th minute.

Leicester 0-2 Man City: Cruise control

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Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus led Manchester City to an easy 2-0 win over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

The Premier League leaders have 34 points through 12 matches and lead second place Chelsea by nine points.

Leicester sits 12th with 13 points.

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Claude Puel and Leicester City thought a man advantage was headed their way in the third minute when Vincent Kompany chopped down an on-goal Jamie Vardy, but only a yellow was shown to the Belgian center back.

More bad center back news came when John Stones pulled up with a hamstring injury. He was replaced by Eliaquim Mangala.

Positivity came via a terrific team goal to make it 1-0, as Leicester couldn’t get to the break unscathed by Man City. The 45th minute saw De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling move the ball through traffic for David Silva, who slid across for Jesus.

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Oh, did Leicester nearly equalize, and were punished for not doing so.

Jamie Vardy’s header was punched clear by Ederson, and a rebound was pushed off the bar.

That when Man City countered with lightning precision. De Bruyne cued up a long diagonal for Leroy Sane, then ran to the top of the arc to recollect it, belting a shot past a flying Kasper Schmeichel.

Jesus almost had it 3-0 on a rebound moments later.

Sterling made a terrific rondo-esque pass through three defenders then darted forward to finish a 1-2 with Silva that Schmeichel punched out for a corner.

PL preview: Leicester City vs. Man City

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  • Man City unbeaten in the PL (10W-1D-0L)
  • 38 goals scored in 11 games; 16 in their last 4
  • Leicester unbeaten in last 5 games (2W-3D-0L)

It took an early-season managerial change, but Leicester City have managed to turn around another spiraling-out-of-control campaign in recent weeks, only to return from the international break as Pep Guardiola‘s irresistible Manchester City side makes its yearly visit to the King Power Stadium on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com).

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After winning just one of their first eight Premier League games this season, Leicester made the bold decision to fire Craig Shakespeare four months into his tenure as the club’s full-time manager. In came former Southampton boss Claude Puel, who has a win and a draw in his first two games in charge (on the back of a win in Michael Appleton’s lone game as interim manager). With seven points from three games following Shakespeare’s dismissal, the Foxes sit on 13 points and are suddenly up to 12th in the PL table.

A little further up the table — say, the very top by a wide(ning) margin — you’ll find Man City, winners of 15 straight in all competitions (nine in the PL), scorers of 15 more goals than the next closest side, and runaway title favorites just past the quarter mark of the 2017-18 season. This is what Guardiola was hired to do at City, and he’s delivering a year or two ahead of schedule.

The only thing likely to stop City from running away with the title would be a series of injuries and/or health scares felling key figures — the first of which nearly occurred this week, as star striker Sergio Aguero fainted during halftime of Argentina’s friendly against Nigeria. Aguero has since returned to Manchester and been given a “perfect” bill of healthy by the club’s medical staff (see below). City’s new all-time leading goalscorer, Aguero has eight in eight PL games and leads a side currently on pace to score 131 goals this season.

What they’re saying

Claude Puel, on Guardiola and his new job: “He is a great manager, a fantastic manager. His teams keep possession and they counter attack well. They are the best team in Europe in this moment. … It is amazing. I am enjoying it because the feeling of the players is very good. They work with attention and a good focus.”

Pep Guardiola, on Aguero and other injuries: “The doctor says he’s perfect. He was conscious all the time in Argentina and he’s okay. Nothing to be worried about. … I have something in mind to replace (Nicolas) Otamendi. We have (Eliaquim) Mangala, maybe Kompany can come back. Kyle (Walker) can play there. … I don’t know if (Fabian) Delph will able to play because in four sessions this week, he trained two. Hopefully we can recover him, because he is so important.”

INJURIES: Leicester — OUT: Robert Huth (foot); QUESTIONABLE: Vicente Iborra (ankle) | Man City — OUT: Benjamin Mendy (knee); QUESTIONABLE: Raheem Sterling (back), Vincent Kompany (calf), Fabian Delph (calf)

Prediction

While Leicester have seen an uptick in results of late, their defensive record remains spotty, at best, against sides induce far less terror than Man City. The game should set up in Leicester’s favor, though: City will have 70 or so percent of possession, which means more than a few chances to hit them on the counter. There’s a 10 percent chance Leicester get something from this one, and a 90 percent chance City turn them into just another statistic.

Leicester City’s Silva still stuck in limbo after CAS decision

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Adrien Silva received some bad news on Thursday afternoon.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport denied the Leicester City midfielder’s initial claim for relief in order to force through his international transfer certificate, which would clear him to play for the English club. Silva completed a $29 million transfer deal with Leicester City on August 31 shortly before the transfer deadline but the paperwork didn’t make it through in time, keeping the Portuguese international stuck in limbo as a signed Leicester City player but unable to play matches until January at the earliest.

CAS gave Silva a small win in the decision though, saying that proceedings will continue over his ITC issue after a hearing is held.

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The decision is a frustrating one for both Leicester City and Silva. The paperwork was reportedly 14 seconds late, which while technically after the deadline, perhaps there could be some leniency shown here so that the player isn’t punished.

Meanwhile, seven months before Portugal heads to Russia for the 2018 World Cup, Silva, who would certainly be in play to make the final squad if not start the opening match, must continue to sit on the sidelines and lose match fitness ahead of the tournament.

On the bright side, if he can earn his way back into the Portugal side, he’ll be much less tired than the rest of his teammates, which will be at the end of a grueling club season. Perhaps with a full hearing, CAS will come around and give Silva a chance to play before January.

Even with the tough news, Silva appears to be keeping a positive outlook.

Report: Everton, Leicester City, Brighton interested in NYCFC’s Harrison

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Jack Harrison’s MLS season came to an end last Sunday but he could be back on the field in a couple of months.

The Daily Mail reports that Everton, Leicester City and Brighton and Hove Albion all have the New York City FC winger on their radars, joining the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City in watching the 20-year-old. Harrison is currently in England training with the England U-21s ahead of a qualifying match at Ukraine.

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The trio could spring for him in the January transfer window, though it would take a big transfer fee to pry him away from NYCFC and City Football Group. Per the Journal of Sports Administration and Supervision, Harrison’s Generation Adidas contract is a three-year guaranteed deal with two player option years following, meaning still under contract to MLS but is heading into the last year of the guaranteed portion of his deal.

Harrison is coming off his first full season in MLS, starting in 35 of 36 games, finishing with 10 goals and six assists as well as cementing himself as one of the league’s most exciting prospects. Harrison’s form even earned him a call-up to England’s Under-21s, where he featured twice, starting once for the Three Lions in Euro U-21 Championship qualifiers.

Should Harrison join a Premier League club and earn a place in the starting lineup, it would be the latest step in an incredible journey that saw him moved to upstate New York by his mother to ensure he had an education as well as proof that MLS can develop young players for the Premier League again.