Leicester City

Getty Images

James Maddison pulls out of England squad

Leave a comment

James Maddison has had to leave the English national team squad through illness.

Leicester City’s playmaker, 22, was expected to play a big role for the Three Lions in their EURO 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

Maddison has been called up to previous England squads but is yet to make his debut for Gareth Southgate‘s squad and he’ll have to wait a little longer.

In a brief statement England confirmed Maddison’s withdrawal through illness and said no replacement will be called up.

There is strong competition in the attacking areas for England, as Harry Kane will lead the line with Callum Wilson and Tammy Abraham waiting in the wings, while Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount, Ross Barkley and Marcus Rashford will battle for the attacking midfield spots.

Maddison has been superb at the start of the Premier League season and has scored against Tottenham and Liverpool in his last two outings.

There’s no doubt his chance to play for England will come, but with so much competition for a spot this is another chance missed for Maddison to make his mark on the international stage.

Coleen Rooney accuses Rebekah Vardy of selling fake stories

Getty Images
1 Comment

Grab the damn popcorn.

Coleen Rooney, wife of England and Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney, has accused Jamie Vardy‘s wife Rebekah of selling fake stories about her to tabloid newspapers in the UK.

That’s right. You read that correctly.

In a scathing statement released on Twitter on Wednesday, Rooney says that she shared fake stories on her private Instagram account and then blocked everyone from seeing them except for one person: Rebekah Vardy.

The fake stories, which included Rooney’s basement being flooded and a return to TV for Coleen, subsequently popped up in the Sun newspaper a few days later.

Here is what Rooney said in a statement.

And here is what Rebekah Vardy had to say in response, as she seemed to blame other people who have access to her Instagram account.

It had previously been reported that Wayne Rooney had to sit Jamie Vardy down during EURO 2016, where they were teammates for England, to ask that Rebekah stopped lashing out at French police on social media about the way England’s fans were treated during the tournament.

This episode will certainly liven things up if Vardy and Rooney meet on the pitch for Leicester and Derby County respectively when Rooney returns to England in January following his time in Major League Soccer.

You just know Derby and Leicester are going to be drawn to play each other in the FA Cup third round in January. You just know it…

As we said previously, grab the damn popcorn.

Leicester City rues stoppage time penalty in loss to Liverpool

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Brendan Rodgers can handle the late conceded penalty to Leicester City, but he thinks it may not have been awarded had the referee not blown the whistle on Saturday at Anfield.

“We are bitterly disappointed to concede the penalty and it did not look clear and obvious to me,” he said. “I think Sadio Mane made the most of the contact. I don’t think if it had not been given by the referee it would have been overturned by VAR. When the referee gives decisions it is hard for them to overrule it.”

[ MORE: Match recap | Klopp reacts ]

That it happened in stoppage time, and James Milner converted the opportunity to keep Liverpool’s perfect start to the season in order.

James Maddison had scored in the 80th minute to put the score line at 1-1. He was even more direct about Mane’s theatrics which, of course, came after a foul.

“Soft. It was very soft. I don’t think the contact warrants the way Sadio Mane went down but you have to respect that the referee’s decision stood in the end.”

Okay, but… Liverpool out shot Leicester City 18-2. The Foxes scored with their only shot on target. The result didn’t happen in the most satisfying faction, but the better team won on the day.

Liverpool stay perfect, beat Leicester in stoppage time

7 Comments

Liverpool kept their 100 percent record intact, as James Milner‘s last-gasp penalty kick secured a 2-1 victory against Leicester City.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

After Sadio Mane gave Liverpool the lead, James Maddison equalized late on at Anfield as Brendan Rodgers‘ men looked to have grabbed a point.

But then Milner scored from the penalty spot to stretch Liverpool’s club-record winning streak to 17 league games and eight from eight this season.

Liverpool stay top of the table on 24 points, while Leicester have 14 points.


3 things we learned

1. Liverpool’s luck continues: The Reds haven’t got going this season, and they’ve won all of their opening eight games. It looked like Klopp’s side were finally going to run out of luck on Saturday, as Leicester caught them cold late on but Mane then won a penalty kick. In wins against Southampton, Sheffield United, Chelsea and now Leicester they were lucky to get over the line. In truth, Liverpool haven’t got out of second gear this season. Klopp won’t care. They’re top.

2. Leicester prove top four credentials: It was far from a great display from the Foxes but they were resilient and showed they can grab points against the big boys. They will need to do that if they’re going to finish in the top four, not least the top six. Brendan Rodgers’ side put in a mature display and did him proud on his return to Anfield. This wasn’t a swashbuckling Leicester display, but it was steady and solid, and they were unlucky not to grab a point.

3. Matip missed: Dejan Lovren came into the starting lineup and he looked shaky and Liverpool really missed Joel Matip. The towering center back is out injured and has Joe Gomez struggled recently, meaning Lovren will have to get up to speed quickly for Liverpool. In the end Matip’s absence didn’t cost Liverpool, but they did look a little less solid.

Man of the Match: Sadio Mane – Took his goal really well and dug deep to do plenty of defensive work on both flanks. He continues to stand tall for Liverpool and won the late penalty kick.


Early on Liverpool did all the pressing as Leicester’s Caglar Soyuncu held things together for the Foxes at the back.

A cross from the right caused Liverpool’s defense some issues as Dejan Lovren tried to clear but sent a looping header towards his own goal.

As the first half wore on Leicester batled their way into the game as Ben Chilwell was causing Sadio Mane plenty of problems down the Foxes left flank.

Firmino then missed a great chance as Trent Alexander-Arnold whipped in a lovely ball from the right. At the other end Adrian produced a fine save from Soyuncu’s header after James Maddison whipped in a superb free kick.

Then Liverpool took the lead right on half time. James Milner’s superb long ball found Mane on the break and the Senegalese winger raced clear and finished calmly to make it 1-0.

Just after the goal Firmino pulled the ball back to Mane and his effort was straight at Kasper Schmeichel when he should have doubled Liverpool’s lead.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Schmeichel produced a fine save at the start of the second half as Alexander-Arnold’s cross found Salah and his flick was pushed away by Leicester’s goalkeeper.

Jonny Evans then cleared but the ball hit Mane and almost rebounded in as Liverpool kicked on in the second half. Leicester steadied themselves and started to cause a few problems in attack with half time sub Marc Albrighton a box of tricks. Ricardo Pereira‘s cross from the right was cleared by Alexander-Arnold as that sprung the game into life.

Firmino’s effort squirmed just wide and then Albrighton set Jamie Vardy free but he squandered a great chance at the Kop end. Andrew Robertson then had a great chance but Schmeichel saved well. Dennis Praet then flashed a shot just wide for Leicester as the game finished in an end-to-end fashion, and the Foxes grabbed a late equalizer.

Substitute Ayoze Perez wriggled free and played in Maddison, who had been quiet all game long, and the Englishman finished low past Adrian.

Virgil Van Dijk could have won it for Liverpool late on but he fluffed his lines as he nodded Robertson’s cross over, but just when it looked like the Reds would drop their first points of the season the winner arrived.

Mane was brought down by Albrighton in the box and Milner kept his cool to make it eight wins from eight as Liverpool remain perfect.

Premier League Preview: Liverpool v. Leicester City

Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images
Leave a comment
  • PL leaders Liverpool host 3rd-place Leicester
  • Rodgers makes managerial return to Anfield
  • Reds can go 8 points clear of Man City (for a day) with a win

The clash of Matchweek 8 will see Premier League leaders Liverpool host Leicester City, the two-month-old season’s surprise performers, at Anfield on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and NBCSports.com).

The Reds haven’t so much as dropped a point this season and have only trailed one opponent, 19th-place Newcastle United for a grand total of 21 minutes. Jurgen Klopp‘s side has won 16 straight PL games dating back to last season and has conceded just five goals in seven games this term. The Reds were far from their best, at least defensively, when they beat Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League on Wednesday. After going 3-0 up in 36 minutes, Klopp’s men gave all three goals back in a 21-minute period before Mohamed Salah grabbed a late winner. Back in England, though, Liverpool are yet to conceded multiple goals in a PL game this season.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live

On the other side, Leicester have the look a side set to challenge for a top-four place all season. After suffering their only loss, to Manchester United, three weeks ago, the Foxes have responded with a 2-1 comeback victory over Tottenham Hotspur and a 5-0 thrashing of Newcastle United. Brendan Rodgers is set to return to Anfield as the opposing manager for the first time since departing as Liverpool boss in 2015. Rodgers knows all too well the enormity of the task ahead of Klopp — chasing Liverpool’s first-ever Premier League-era title and the club’s first top-division title since 1990 — after coming oh so close in the 2013-14 season.

Injuries/suspensions

Liverpool: OUT – Xherdan Shaqiri (calf), Nathaniel Clyne (knee); QUESTIONABLE – Joel Matip (knock), Alisson (calf)

Leicester: OUT – Matty James (achilles); RETURNING – James Maddison (ankle)


Projected lineups

Liverpool: Adrian – Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson – Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum – Salah, Firmino, Mane

Leicester: Schmeichel – Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell – Ndidi, Perez, Praet, Tielemans, Barnes – Vardy


What they’re saying

Jurgen Klopp, on the near-disaster against Salzburg: “How do I explain that? I think it was obvious: we left the very successful path of the first 30 minutes. That was some of the best football we played so far, against how we all saw a little bit later a very well organized team with a clear idea and identity. We did everything they don’t like, on a high speed, scored the three goals, could have scored more. They changed the system – that’s allowed and is not really a problem usually, but tonight it was for us because we changed the approach a little bit for some reason.”

Brendan Rodgers, on returning to Anfield: “I’m really looking forward to going back. I had the real privilege of managing there. So much learning took place for me at Liverpool. I always take the positives when I analyze my time there. The first couple of seasons went well and we went close to the title. The third year was more difficult but there was great learning for me as a coach. The fourth season didn’t last so long. There were so many highs as a young manager and I’ll always be grateful for that.”


Prediction

Leicester will give Liverpool everything they can handle, and more, but the Anfield effect will certainly be felt when the Reds are forced to dig deep in the final 30 minutes. In the end, Liverpool will have too much possession and force the Foxes to work a little too hard just to stay in it. Liverpool 2-1 Leicester.