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Leicester splash $29M to sign Porto, Portugal RB Pereira

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The summer transfer window only opened on Thursday, and Premier League clubs are already handling their pre-World Cup business — perhaps in an attempt to avoid the post-tournament inflation of fees and wages.

[ MORE: Chelsea top Man United to win 8th FA Cup | Three things ]

Leicester City announced on Saturday that Porto and Portugal right back Ricardo Pereira is moving to the King Power Stadium for a fee of $29.5 million. Pereira, 24, was named to Portugal’s 23-man squad for next month’s World Cup in Russia, where a strong showing could have easily lifted his price tag closer to $40 million and added another $10,000 to his weekly wages.

Having been linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur just last summer — he seemed a natural replacement and reinvestment following Kyle Walker‘s move from Tottenham to Manchester City — ninth-place Leicester will rightly feel Pereira’s arrival is something of a massive coup for the club, given his considerable European experience — both in the Champions League and Europa League — so early in his career.

[ MORE: Conte’s tumultuous tenure at Chelsea (likely) ends with a trophy ]

Pereira previously played for current Leicester manager Claude Puel while on loan to Ligue 1 side Nice (2015-16 season), and has his new boss’s seal of approval.

“I’m delighted to have a player of Ricardo’s quality on board for next season,” Puel told the club website. “I remember him well from my time at Nice.”

Statistical guide to 2017-18 Premier League season

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Sometimes statistics tell new stories.

Take 2014-15, when Burnley was relegated but Kieran Trippier sneakily lead the Premier League in crosses and Aaron Cresswell did the same in minutes.

Both have turned into league mainstays.

[ MORE: U.S. players in the Premier League ]

So let’s dig into the numbers from what should be a Man City heavy run through the league leaderboard.

Most wins: Man City (32)

Most losses: Swansea City (21)

Most draws: Southampton (15)

Most goals: Man City (106)

Least goals: Swansea City and Huddersfield (28)

Most goals allowed: West Ham and Stoke City (68)

Least goals allowed: Man City (27)

Best goal differential: Man City (+79)

Worst goal differential: Stoke City (-33)

Most goals: Mohamed Salah, Liverpool (32)

Most assists: Kevin De Bruyne, Man City (16)

Yellow cards: Oriol Romeu, Southampton (11)

Team yellow cards: West Ham and West Brom (73)

Red cards: Jonjo Shelvey, Newcastle and Wilfred Ndidi, Leicester (2)

Team red cards: Leicester City (5)

Saves: Jack Butland, Stoke City (141)

Clean sheets: David De Gea, Manchester United (18)

Shots on target: Harry Kane, Spurs (76)

Shots attempted: Kane, Spurs (184)

Shots per game: Man City (17.5)

Least shots per game: Swans (8.9)

Minutes played: Several with 3420 (Jack Cork, Burnley; Lukasz Fabianski, Swans; Alfie Mawson, Swans; Asmir Begovic, Bournemouth; Lewis Dunk, Brighton; Jordan Pickford, Everton; Mat Ryan, Brighton; Harry Maguire, Leicester; Jonas Lossl, Huddersfield; Mathias Jorgensen, Huddersfield).

Fouls suffered: Richarlison, Watford (96)

Fouls committed: Luka Milivojevic, Crystal Palace (69)

Fouls committed per game: Everton (12.1)

Least fouls committed per game: Bournemouth (8.9)

Offsides: Jamie Vardy, Leicester City (45)

Crosses: De Bruyne, Man City (313)

Corner kicks: De Bruyne, Man City (154)

Penalty kicks attempted: Milivojevic, Palace (8)

Penalty kicks converted: Milivojevic, Palace (7)

Penalty kicks converted without a miss: Sergio Aguero, Man City (4)

Total touches: Nicolas Otamendi, Man City (7820)

Passes: Nicolas Otamendi, Man City (2791)

Pass percentage: Man City (89 percent)

Worst pass percentage: Burnley (70.5 percent)

Possession: Man City (66.4 percent)

Least possession: West Brom (42.8 percent)

Interceptions: Dunk, Brighton (99)

Interceptions per game: Yohan Cabaye, Palace (2.5)

Blocks: Kyle Naughton, Swansea (120)

Tackles: Wilfred Ndidi, Leicester (121)

Tackles per game: Huddersfield (19.6)

Least tackles per game: Bournemouth (13.4)

Highest rated, WhoScored.com: Aguero, Man City (7.81)

Lowest rated, WhoScored.com: Andre Gray, Watford (6.24)

Highest rated per 90, Squawka.com: Eden Hazard, Chelsea (57.82)

Lowest rated per 90, Squawka.com: James McClean, West Brom (-18.53)

Combined goals-assists: Riyad Mahrez to Vardy, Leicester (7)

Aerials won per game: Peter Crouch, Stoke and Christian Benteke, Palace (7.8)

Passing percentage: Andreas Christensen, Chelsea (93.4)

Worst pass percentage, non-GK: Sam Vokes, Burnley (49.4)

Offsides won per game: Christian Kabasele, Watford (1.3)

Clearances per game: Shane Duffy, Brighton (8.8)

Own goals: Dunk, Brighton (4)

Key passes per game: Mesut Ozil, Arsenal (3.2)

Dribbles per game: Hazard, Chelsea (4.9)

Long balls per game, non-GK: Jordan Henderson, Liverpool (5.6)

Tottenham 5-4 Leicester City: Wild win for Spurs

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  • Kane scores twice, has 30 for season
  • Vardy scores twice, 20 for season 
  • Spurs finish third in PL table; Leicester ninth

Tottenham Hotspur won a nine-goal thriller at Wembley on Sunday, as Mauricio Pochettino‘s men secured a place in the Premier League’s top four for the third-straight season.

Jamie Vardy scored twice, as did Harry Kane and Erik Lamela as Leicester threw away a 3-1 lead.

Tottenham finish the season on 77 points, while Leicester have 47 points but Claude Puel’s future is uncertain.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The game got off to a rapid start as Vardy flicked home a header at the near post from Mahrez’s perfect free kick. An 19th PL goal of the season from Vardy gave Leicester the lead.

At the other end moments later Vardy’s international teammate, Kane, equalized as he made the most of a mistake from Simpson. Kane raced clear and slotted home to make it 1-1 as he tried to win the PL Golden Boot for the third-straight season.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Toby Alderweireld then had a decent effort on target which was saved and then Leicester retook the lead. Vardy controlled in the box and an onrushing Mahrez slammed home to make it 2-1.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

At the start of the second half Leicester went 3-1 up via a stunner from Iheanacho from outside the box but soon the game turned on its head.

Lamela tapped home to make it 3-2, then a shot was deflected off Christian Fuchs and in to make it 3-3 four minutes later. Harry Maguire then had a shot which he scuffed just wide as the crazy game was end-to-end.

Lamela scored another to make it 4-3 as Spurs scored three times in the space of 11 minutes to turn the game on its head.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Vardy then made it 4-4 as Mahrez timed his pass perfectly and Vardy smashed home his 20th goal of the PL season in style.

Yet there was one more twist in the tale as Kane cut inside and curled home perfectly into the far corner to make it 5-4 as Spurs won a nine-goal thriller to see out their time at Wembley.

AT HALF: Salah sets record, Kane scores, Chelsea absent (video)

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There are a few surprising performances on Championship Sunday, namely Chelsea’s lack of one at Newcastle United.

[ STREAM: All 10 Championship Sunday matches ]

Newcastle United 1-0 Chelsea [STREAM]

In 2015, Dwight Gayle‘s two goals for Crystal Palace in the last 10 minutes of a 3-3 draw with Liverpool crushed the Reds’ title hopes. His early Newcastle goal Sunday helped insure Liverpool’s Top Four hopes three years later, and the Magpies are dominating the Blues.

Southampton 0-0 Manchester City [STREAM]

If you’d hazard a guess which two of the 10 morning matches would be nil-nil, this would not be atop the list…

 

Swansea City 1-2 Stoke City [STREAM]

Andy King made a dent on the scoreboard with his goal in the first quarter hour, but Badou Ndiaye leveled the scoring as one of the few bright spots of Stoke’s relegation campaign may be bidding goodbye with a goal. Peter Crouch has it 2-1 at the break.

Liverpool 2-0 Brighton and Hove Albion [STREAM]

Mohamed Salah has set a new Premier League record with his 32nd marker of the league season. Dejan Lovren has more or less grabbed the permanent marker to write Liverpool’s name in next season’s Champions League.

Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Leicester City [STREAM]

Riyad Mahrez cued up Jamie Vardy for an early goal, but Spurs answered in no time through that man Harry Kane. Mahrez scored a goal of his own as two teams with nothing to lose are promising more entertainment at Wembley.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Huddersfield Town 0-1 Arsenal [STREAM]

Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang has scored for the Gunners in Arsene Wenger‘s final match in charge.

Manchester United 1-0 Watford [STREAM]

Marcus Rashford on the board for the Red Devils on a play began by Michael Carrick and helped along by Juan Mata. That’s why Mourinho plays Lukaku so much (#jab).

West Ham United 1-0 Everton [STREAM]

Manuel Lanzini has Big Sam’s old club leading his new club. Fitting.

Burnley 1-0 Bournemouth [STREAM

That Kiwi man, Chris Wood, has another goal for the Europa League-bound Clarets.

Crystal Palace 0-0 West Bromwich Albion [STREAM]

…though the second of the morning’s nil-nils is a little more predictable.

Watch Live: Leicester City vs. Arsenal

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Leicester City hosts Arsenal from the King Power Stadium (Watch live at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold and online via NBCSports.com) as Arsene Wenger‘s tenure as Gunners manager heads into its final stretch.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Wenger has made several changes to his XI, with Per Mertesacker and Mustafi on the bench today, while the Foxes have kept many of their regulars in the team with the exception of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel — who has an injured ankle.

LINEUPS

Leicester City: Jakupović, Simpson, Morgan (c), Maguire, Fuchs, Choudhury, Silva, Mahrez, Diabaté, Iheanacho, Vardy. Subs: Hamer, Benalouane, Dragović, Iborra, Barnes, Gray, Thomas.

Arsenal: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Mavropanos, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Ramsey, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck, Aubameyang. Subs: Ospina, Osei-Tutu, Mertesacker, Mustafi, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah.