Tag: prediction

Claude Puel: Riyad Mahrez not available against Manchester City

Claude Puel has said Riyad Mahrez will maintain his self-imposed exile not play for Leicester at Manchester City on Saturday.

Mahrez, 26, has not trained or played since a move to the Etihad Stadium fell through on deadline day of the January transfer window.

The Algerian international, who scored 35 goals and contributed 24 assists in 127 top-flight appearances, has handed in a transfer request but the Foxes had refused to hear any interest in the player before the transfer deadline.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Thursday, Puel said that he believes that Mahrez, who he describes as “magnificent” will remain unavailable.

“I think Riyad is not available for Saturday’s game. I hope Riyad can get his head right and come back with us and work hard. The best way is for him to come back and enjoy his football.”

“He is a magnificent player and he enjoys his football. He loves his team-mates, and that’s important. He loves to touch the football but he needs to come back right. I hope he can come back with a good attitude and prepared to work, but he will need time and time to be match-fit.”

“It’s important this remains inside the club and private, not in the public,” Puel added. “The most important thing for me is to keep Riyad and the club and the fans united and in a good way about this. It is important to keep a good feeling together through these difficulties.”

On the other hand, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has suggested that Manchester City would keep tabs on the forward despite Leicester having being ununderstood to have been demanding as much £95m as a bare minimum.

Prediction:

Manchester City 3 – 1 Leicester City

Harry Kane targets away win at Bernabeu for Tottenham

Harry Kane says that Tottenham will go to Santiago Bernabeu confident and in anticipation of a win against Real Madrid after their 3-0 Champions League victory at Apoel Nicosia on Tuesday night.

“I’d say it’s the most confident I’ve felt,” Kane said. “I’ve scored quite a few goals this September and there’s another game left at Huddersfield on Saturday. Hopefully I can take the form into that game and keep going.”

“It’s part of being more mature. The more I play, the more I get a sense of what defenders will do at certain times. For example, I went back across through the [defender’s] legs for the second goal against Apoel, little things like that. As you get older and wiser, things come naturally.”

Kane, 24, did not find the net in August, but has scored twice in two matches for England and nine in five for Tottenham thus far in September.

While looking forward to adding to his account against Huddersfield town in the Premier League this weekend, Kane says that he also has sights in Spurs’ next Champions League fixture — to be played against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on 17 October, before Tottenham would then host the European champions at Wembley in the return fixture on 1 November.

Spurs are also currently joint-leaders of Champions League Group H with Real, having followed up the 3-1 win against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley with victory in Nicosia. Kane, who has never been to the Bernabeu, intends to make his mark in the upcoming game.

“We feel we can beat anyone on our day,” Kane said. “Of course we know it will be tough but it’s two good teams and an open game, probably. It will come down to who is more clinical – hopefully that can be us. We are going there to win, not just to get a result. We will see what happens.”

“They (Real Madrid) have one of the best defences with [Sergio] Ramos, Marcelo, players like that. I want to test myself against the best and they have been the best in the last few years, without a doubt. It’s going to be exciting. I want to put in a performance like I have been recently.”

Prediction:

Huddersfield Town 0-2 Tottenham

Antonio Conte to commit foreseeable future to Chelsea

Chelsea coach Antonio Conte has silenced rumours of a departure from Stamford Bridge and reasserted his aims to claim the Premier League title with the club and then “build something important” in the future.

Latest speculations had been linking the former Italian international coach with a return to the country in the summer, specifically to Internazionale. Conte’s agent and friend, Federico Pastorello, also said that the manager’s spell in English football could prove short-lived, but Conte clearly has different ideas.

“I don’t like it when others speak for me,” he said. “Pastorello is a friend, I know him well, but I don’t like when others speak for me. If someone wants to know something about me, then they must ask me.”

“We’re fighting for the title and we want to achieve this goal, then we’ll try to build something important together (for the upcoming seasons).”

Conte had saw his side retain their seven-point lead on top of the League with a hard-fought victory over Manchester City mid-week, but where league points are concerned Chelsea need six more wins to claim the title.

Their closest rivals for the Premier League trophy were Tottenham Hotspurs, who managed keep up with the Blues thanks to a dramatic 3-1 win at Swansea City. Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino said his side are capable of winning all the remaining games and will fight to the end.

Conte is well aware of the Spurs threat.

“For all my players and me, only if you win do you write the season down in history,” Conte said. “If we don’t do that, it will have been a good season, but not a ‘great’ season.”

“So the only message I have given my team is that Tottenham must win their last eight games. So we must make six wins and the 18 points we need. If we do this, we win the title.

Chelsea travels to Bournemouth this weekend looking to keep their winning momentum going. Prediction: (Bournemouth 0:2 Chelsea)