Chelsea will be seeking to continue their climb up the table against Leicester, having beaten the Foxes in their past three meetings. Now, the Blues will have Danny Drinkwater on their side too when the two teams meet at the King Power Stadium on Saturday afternooon.
Leicester have had a tough start to the season, facing three of last season’s top six in their first four league games. They almost held Arsenal only for a late comeback from the Gunners, whilst Manchester United eventually found a way through then ran riot to win 2-0 last time out. A win over Brighton will give some hope.
Chelsea finally seem to have finished their warm up and their destruction of Everton last weekend to follow up on a comprehensive win over Tottenham will see their confidence high as they travel to the midlands despite a poor opening day defeat to Burnley.
Leicester may not have picked up an ideal result at Old Trafford, but with few options to choose from and having been defensively strong for much of the tie, there could be just one change. Onyinye Ndidi could come in to replace Nampalys Mendy after his move to Nice.
Chelsea could name an unchanged line-up after they thrashed Everton last weekend. Eden Hazard may have to settle for a role on the bench whilst Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater will hope to apply pressure to Cesc Fabregas in the middle of the park.
Harry Maguire may be a doubt with a knee problem picked up with England but is likely to overcome it in time to feature, but Vicente Iborra is unlikely to be involved with a groin concern.
Eden Hazard could take up a place on the bench after featuring for Belgium against both Gibraltar and Greece in World Cup qualifiers. Danny Drinkwater could make his debut against his former side, but is unlikely to start given that he is yet to play a minute of competitive football this season. This will be the final game of Gary Cahill’s three match ban after a sending off on the opening day.
Match prediction: Leicester City 0-2 Chelsea
Chelsea are on a roll and their quality should see them through. The Foxes’ defensive strength may keep the score down, but they’d do well to take anything from the game at all.
Crystal Palace’s hopes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek return boosted after latest comments
The midfielder is unlikely to get what he’s after at his parent club.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has boosted Crystal Palace‘s hopes of securing his services for another season, after claiming he will only remain with Chelsea this summer if guaranteed a regular first-team spot at Stamford Bridge next season, in quotes via Sky Sports.
The 22-year-old spent last season on loan at Selhurst Park after making just 31 appearances for Chelsea since his debut in 2014, and his immense talents have earned him a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad this World Cup.
“I want to play as much as I can,” revealed Loftus-Cheek. “Even this past season just gone, I didn’t play as much as I would have liked because of injuries. So I still feel I need a proper season of playing, wherever it is.”
Loftus-Cheek made 25 appearances for Roy Hodgson’s outfit last term, and is still unhappy with the amount of minutes he managed, so it’s pretty safe to assume Chelsea – given the disastrous domestic season they’ve just had – won’t be bettering his previous return, or be prioritising taking chances on academy products next season.
And Palace will be keen to offer the stylish midfielder a deal to extend his stay with the former England manager, where, if available, he will continue to be considered one of the first names on the team-sheet.
Palace are likely to face competition from rival clubs though, as Loftus-Cheek is emerging as a star on the biggest stage of all in Russia; having flourished in his brief cameo against Tunisia. And he’s now considered likely to start against Panama, with Dele Alli nursing a slight injury.
Aston Villa could reportedly owe John Terry £560,000 in wages
The owner may have to sell shares in the club.
Aston Villa’s financial mess looks likely to continue, as the cash-strapped club could now owe captain John Terry a whopping £560,000 in wages, unless he transfers to a different club this summer, according to reports from the Times.
Villa are said to have reached an agreement with HMRC to postpone a payment of £4 million last week, but a further payment is expected this week and the club owner Tony Xia may have to go as far as to sell shares in the club to ensure all debts are paid.
The ex-Chelsea legend announced his impending departure from the midlands club last month, after they failed to secure Premier League promotion in the play-offs and his current contract is due to expire at the end of the month. But he is said to be entitled to a further month’s pay.
His weekly-wage packet was said to be worth £70,000 at Villa Park, meaning the overdue payments from the last two-months add up to over half-a-million for the 37-year-old defender. However, the outstanding July payment will only stand if Terry retires or remains a free-agent, meaning Villa will be keen to land him a new club.
Villa reportedly need £40 million in order to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations (Birmingham Mail), after gambling that they would gain promotion to the Premier League this season.
England must start Marcus Rashford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek after Panama reveal tactics
England must opt for creativity after the Panama captain’s comments
Panama have revealed plans stifle England with a physical approach in their upcoming clash on Sunday, in quotes from captain Roman Torres on the Telegraph, and Gareth Southgate should ensure the Three Lions’ approach is suited to the style of opponent.
The Central Americans were beaten 3-0 by a star-studded Belgium outfit on Monday in their World Cup debut, meaning a win against England is pivotal in ensuring they remain in the competition beyond the group stages. And England will have a tough task taking the lion’s share of points on the day.
“England are a bit more direct than Belgium. They try to make use of the pace they have. We’ll need to be compact and limit their space,” revealed Torres told the Telegraph.
And as a result England must employ the right tactics. Creativity and bravery will be key, as they will undoubtedly have the majority of possession, and Southgate will want to make it count. Marcus Rashford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek added instant impetus to a languid outfit, after coming on late against Tunisia.
The team’s performance became full of purpose and directness in the last 20 minutes, with both taking the responsibility of carrying the ball forward and creating, and from that arrived the corner and subsequent winner from Harry Kane.
The end product from the likes of Rashford was missing in the opening stages of the game also, as team-mate Jesse Lingard squandered a number of key opportunities to put the game to bed early, and Southgate will not want a repeat this time around.