Christian Fuchs

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Watch Live: Chelsea v. Leicester City

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Chelsea host Leicester City on Sunday (Watch live, 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) in their home opener, as U.S. men’s national team star Christian Pulisic is handed the first start of his Premier League career.

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Frank Lampard will get a great ovation on his homecoming to Stamford Bridge, while Brendan Rodgers‘ Foxes will fancy their chance of causing an upset.

In team news Christian Pulisic starts on his home debut for Chelsea as he replaces Ross Barkley on the left, as Olivier Giroud and N’Golo Kante replace Tammy Abraham and Matteo Kovacic from the team which started at Man United last Sunday.

Leicester bring in Christian Fuchs at left back with Ben Chilwell out with a minor injury and the Austrian international coming in.


LINEUPS

Leicester XI: Schmeichel, Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Fuchs, Ndidi, Perez, Tielemans, Choudhury, Maddison, Vardy. Subs: Justin, Morgan, Albrighton, Ward, Iheanacho, Barnes, Praet.

League Cup: Man City wins in PKs; Burton upsets Boro

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It took penalty kicks to separate Leicester City and Man City, while Middlesbrough was booed off the pitch after 90 minutes of an upset loss as the first two quarterfinals of the League Cup were played Tuesday in England.

[ MORE: Steffen wins USMNT award ]


Leicester City 1-1 (1-3, PKs) Man City

A bungling batch of penalties ended an entertaining quarterfinal at King Power Stadium, and the reigning champions are alive for their third League Cup in four years.

Christian Fuchs airmailed Leicester City’s second attempt of penalty kicks, but Raheem Sterling chipped his ensuing panenka over the bar for Man City.

It was three-straight misses when Man City’s Arijanet Muric saved James Maddison‘s tame low effort and then nabbed Caglar Soyuncu’s shot to cue up Oleksandar Zinchenko for the winner.

Before that, we learned that Kevin De Bruyne can ball.

Okay, that’s not news, though we haven’t been able to see it in sometime thanks to a pair of knee injuries.

De Bruyne had played just 251 minutes heading into Tuesday’s League Cup quarterfinal at Leicester City, though he’s looking plenty sharp.

Watch the Manchester City midfielder cut his mark with a clever back leg move, then sweep a shot through a defender’s legs and past the reach of Leicester backstop Danny Ward.

It’s delightful stuff. Watch it here.

No sooner had De Bruyne left the contest after 70 minutes, Leicester City restored the stalemate via Marc Albrighton. The veteran midfielder collected a Wilfred Ndidi over-the-top pass with style before lashing past Arijanet Muric.

Middlesbrough 0-1 Burton Albion

There goes Tony Pulis‘ Boro outfit thanks to a strike from Southampton loanee Jake Hesketh, as Burton Albion trumped the ol’ West Bromwich Albion coach at his own game.

The League One side is the only non-Premier League team left in the tournament, and will now face either Man City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, or Bournemouth in the semifinals.

Crystal Palace edge past Leicester

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  • Luka Milivojevic scores only goal of the game
  • Palace hadn’t won any of their last 14 PL games without Zaha
  • Leicester with just one win in six

Crystal Palace battled to a 1-0 win against Leicester City at a soggy Selhurst Park on Saturday, as Roy Hodgson‘s side did the business without their star man Wilfried Zaha.

Luka Milivojevic’s fine strike in the first half was enough to grab all three points for Palace, but Jamie Vardy hit the post in the second half as Leicester battered the Eagles but somehow they couldn’t find an equalizer.

With the win Palace move up to 15th place on 15 points for the season, while Leicester have 22 points and sit in 11th.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Crystal Palace started the game well with Jordan Ayew causing problems but the final pass or shot was just off.

Leicester then had the ball in the net as Vardy put goalkeeper Vicente Guaita, starting his first Premier League game, under pressure. Although a foul was given for a shoulder barge by Vardy, it seemed like Palace’s goalkeeper had got away with one.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Vardy headed a Christian Fuchs cross at goal but Guaita saved easily before the break as Leicester grew into the game in south London.

But it was Palace who took the lead as Milivojevic picked the ball up 25 yards out and fired a beautiful shot into the far corner past Kasper Schmeichel. 1-0 to the Eagles.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

Leicester played with more urgency in the second half as Demarai Gray tried his luck after a rapid counter but rushed his final shot.

At the other end Ayew was played in but Harry Maguire blocked, as the Foxes battled to stay in the game. Gray then found Rachid Ghezzal in the box but the Algerian winger sent his effort just wide as Leicester pushed hard for an equalizer.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Vardy was then played in and his poked effort was pushed onto the post by Guaita, as Palace were hanging on for dear life.

Despite late Leicester pressure the Eagles secured a second-straight home win to drag themselves further away from the relegation zone.

Premier League Preview: Leicester City vs. Liverpool

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  • Reds swept Foxes in PL last season
  • But Leicester knocked Liverpool out of League Cup
  • Reds lead all-time 46W-24D-39L

If the concept of a throw-in coach sounds a little odd, don’t worry: Jurgen Klopp was once like you.

And by once, we mean just a couple weeks ago.

[ MORE: JPW’s PL picks ]

“To be honest, I’d never heard about a throw-in coach,” Klopp said. “How it is as a football manager, you know a lot about different things. I played the game, I’ve been managing since around about 18 years or so. But that doesn’t mean I’m a goalkeeper specialist and I’m obviously not a throw-in specialist.”

Klopp is getting Liverpool ready for a Saturday visit to Leicester City to kick off the Premier League weekend (Watch live at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com), and was asked about his new throw-in coach Thomas Gronnemark.

Yes, for a third time, we’re talking about a throw-in coach. And for good reason: The man holds the world record for longest throw-in.

As for the match at the King Power Stadium, Liverpool will look to build on last season’s 3-2 win over the Foxes which stood as their first victory in the away fixture in five seasons.

Leicester lost its season opener at Manchester United, but has since won a pair of league matches and plowed Fleetwood Town in the League Cup (Christian Fuchs scored a stunner in the 4-0 win).

Liverpool is 3-0, but the Foxes represent their stiffest test of the young season.

What they’re saying

Klopp on his new throw-in coach“When I heard about Thomas, it was clear to me I wanted to meet him,” Klopp said. “When I met him, it was 100 per cent clear I wanted to employ him. Now he is here and we work on that from time to time. You cannot have enough specialists around you. I must always be the guy who makes the decisions on when we use all these specialists but you cannot have enough. We have the fitness, medical department, we have the nutrition, and now we have somebody for throw-ins. He’s a good guy, to be honest. He has already [made a difference].”

Kasper Schmeichel on signing a new contract with Leicester: “I’m very happy to be here for many more years. I’ve spent the majority of my career at Leicester now and had some amazing times here, so hopefully we’ll have some more. I’ve felt at home at this Club from day one, so I’d like to thank the fans for the support they’ve given me and also the owners who’ve played a huge part in my career. I want to bring more success to this Club as I’ve loved every minute and hopefully we can keep going in the right direction.”

Prediction

This could be a slip up for the Reds, albeit no bigger than Man City’s last weekend of play. We’re going to give two goals to both in a 2-2 draw.

Saturday friendly preview: Top Premier League teams all in ICC action

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Saturday serves up a jam-packed slate of friendlies as the Premier League opener is less than two short weeks away. Here’s a quick overview of what to watch for as the teams take the field in preparation for the start of the league season.

Arsenal vs Paris Saint-Germain

Unai Emery continues his run-up to his first official match in charge of Arsenal, and the regulars are seeing plenty of the field. In their last International Champions match, a 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid precluded a hideous penalty shootout where three of four Gunners to take failed to find the back of the net. Still, the performance was promising as the Gunners held 61% possession and put six shots on target.

Now, Emery takes on his former club as they face off against Thomas Tuchel and PSG. There is a defensive setup to be earned, with Shkodran Mustafi, Rob Holding, and Calum Chambers all battling along with new signing Sokratis for two central defensive spots. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan will hope to see their names on the scoresheet as the preseason moves on, held off it in the ICC opener.

Manchester United vs. Liverpool

They say preseason performances mean nothing, but don’t tell that to Jose Mourinho. Manchester United’s preseason has been criticized heavily, with lackluster performances and sluggish buildup have fans worried for the upcoming campaign. One bright spot has been Alexis Sanchez who has looked far more comfortable in a Red Devils shirt than he did following his move last winter.

Another positive has been Ander Herrera, who is excelling in a Jose Mourinho setup. The midfielder has proven solid cover to the defensive back line while also providing dangerous distribution up front.

Meanwhile, Mo Salah did nothing to quiet the excitement for his second season in Liverpool red, scoring just over a minute after coming on as a second half substitute in Liverpool’s comeback ICC win over Manchester City. Virgil Van Dijk also looks every bit the record signing he was, and the Reds look primed for another exciting season. This could be a fun one at the Big House.

Chelsea vs Inter

The Blues have begun their preseason tour of the globe, but they are devoid of significant talent with World Cup performers yet to join the squad. They met Perth Glory in Australia, now face Inter in France, and then head to Dublin to play Arsenal in a true trip around the globe.

Maurizio Sarri has plenty of work to do, but a positive has been new signing Jorginho, who came over from Napoli alongside his boss. Cesc Fabregas also looked sharp against Perth Glory, but Kurt Zouma is injured and remains in London.

Bayern Munich vs Manchester City

Man City makes its third and final appearance in the ICC after a pair of losses to Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund. Like Chelsea, the City preseason squad is ravaged by World Cup participants, left with a youthful group of backups. New signing Riyad Mahrez was on hand to start and play 74 minutes in the loss to Liverpool, Leroy Sane came on in the second half to score a goal, and former Chicago Fire and NYCFC striker Jack Harrison showed well. Otherwise, there is little of note in the City squad besides a chance for Bernardo Silva, Patrick Roberts, and Phil Foden to get some minutes in a bid to impress and earn first-team minutes this season.

Barcelona vs Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs heads to the Rose Bowl to take on Barcelona in ICC action. The La Liga giants receive their first preseason action, and in the squad is new signing Malcom.

For Mauricio Pochettino, he has a somewhat strong squad in the United States, but they are devoid of just the English stars that reached the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup and still giving fringe players plenty of chances to impress. Christian Eriksen is in tow despite his appearance in Russia this summer, and American defender Cameron Carter-Vickers is seeing significant time at the back. Midfielder Lucas Moura is hoping to give Pochettino something to think about, scoring a brace in the 4-1 win over Roma last time out and looking to compete with Eriksen and Dele Alli for midfield playing time. Serge Aurier is also receiving important minutes as he returns from a serious knee injury and hopes to compete with World Cup hero Kieran Trippier.

Leicester City vs. Udinese

The only Premier League team in action Saturday outside of the ICC, Leicester City meets Italian side Udinese in Austria’s Worthersee Stadion. The players are dealing with serious heat and humidity in central Europe, and they all have to play sidekicks to Austrian international Christian Fuchs who has drawn significant attention on their preseason tour. Still, the squad is strong, with World Cup participants such as Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfried Ndidi now with the team and participating in full training, set to see time in the match.