As Leicester dares Liverpool at Anfield
BY PAUL EREWUBA
After the FA Cup and Champions League crackers, the English Premier League (EPL) and other leagues across the world would again come alive this weekend.
In the EPL, the local derby between arch rivals Manchester City and Manchester United billed for tomorrow has been postponed, so also is the clash between Southampton City and Arsenal billed for today.
League leaders, Chelsea will take on Swansea City, as Antonio Conte’s men attempt to extend their grip on the league leadership.
Indeed, Conte and his crew have admitted that they are not expecting an easy three points when Chelsea takes on Swansea today. Chelsea are eight points clear at the top of the Premier League.
In contrast, Swansea are battling to keep their top-flight status as they sit just four points above the relegation zone. But Conte is expecting the Swans to put up a fight at Stamford Bridge. No doubt, the South Wales outfit have seen an upturn in form since their manager, Paul Clements arrival last month, winning four of their last six league outings.
“Now it’s important to have a rest and then to restart to prepare for another tough game against Swansea,” Conte reportedly said.
Continuing he retorted: “If someone thinks the Swansea game is easy, they make a great mistake.”
Pedro and Diego Costa both scored second-half goals against Wolves and Conte is eager to carry the momentum from another win until the end of the season.
The Italian added: “Now it’s important to continue in this way. We are in two competitions. We have the possibility to go into the next round, to arrive at the end. “It’s important to know we have to work very hard, to continue with this concentration, with this will to fight and to go ahead.” But the EPL talk of the town news is Leicester’s relegation problem. After an impressive run last season which ultimately saw them lift the Premier League Cup for the first time, Leicester have been a shadow of themselves this season.
The fight to avoid relegation from the English Premier League is as intense as the race at the top as Leicester are not finding it funny.
With 14 matches and about four months of the season to play, the bottom six sides are separated by just two points: Sunderland (19 points), Crystal Palace (19), Hull (20), Swansea (21), Leicester City (21) and Middlesbrough (21).
The reigning champions, Leicester, have their destiny in their hands as they face Liverpool at Anfield on Monday. Nigeria’s duo of Ahmed Musa and Ndidi are expected to re enact that brilliance that saw them beat Everton 1 – 2 in the FA Cup.
Musa’s pace terrified Everton and the forward bought last summer from CSKA Moscow is now looking to be a capable deputy for Jamie Vardy, to lift Leicester from the relegation quagmire.
There is another positive news story for Ranieri, with the performance of his £15m signing Wilfred Ndidi, the Nigerian who needed only two training sessions to convince his new manager that he was ready to start a game.
Ndidi, brought in from Genk to fill the N’Golo Kanté shaped midfield void, is expected to compliment others to see Leicester swim out of relegation.