Brendan Rodgers faces microscopic scrutiny when he takes his bedraggled Leicester City side to meet Antonio Conte’s unbeaten Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday evening in one of seven Premier League games unaffected by Queen Elizabeth II’s burial on Monday. The star studded 2016 champions are in danger of being dragged into a relegation scrap after failing to win any of their opening six fixtures. The Foxes are one of only two sides yet to win a league game this season.
Leicester City twice missed out on Champions League qualification on the final day of the season and were FA Cup winners as recently as 15 months ago under Rodgers’ tutelage. But a summer of discontent in which the King Power Stadium hierarchy spent a paltry £15m – the lowest in the division, has attracted Rodgers’ criticism as the club results have nosedived and put his job in peril.
Currently second, reigning champions Manchester City can take temporary leadership of the standings if they overcome Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday. The division’s leading scorer Erling Braut Haaland, who has already plundered 10 goals in six outings, will be the man to watch along with Wolves’ newly signed fiery striker Diego Costa who is primed for his debut.
Leaders Arsenal defend a precarious one point advantage atop the table when they travel to Brentford on Sunday. Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has underlined his title ambitions by asking Brazil’s national team manager Tite to leave his players Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Magalhaes out of upcoming build up matches against Ghana and Tunisia in order to keep them fresh.
Premier League action commences on Friday night with a double header. Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard will demand better output from his squad when they welcome Ralph Hassenhutl’s Southampton to Villa Park whereas Steve Cooper’s Nottingham Forest are counting on home fans support to help propel them past fellow newcomers, Marco Silva Fulham.
Chelsea’s monumental showdown with Liverpool as well as Manchester United’s fixture at home to Leeds United have been postponed to allow the Police concentrate on security for Queen Elizabeth II’s burial on Monday. Brighton Hove versus Crystal Palace was earlier called off due to a strike by railway workers.
Aston Villa v Southampton,
Nottingham Forest v Fulham
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City,
Newcastle United v Bournemouth,
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City,
Everton v West Ham United,
Brentford v Arsenal