Le­ices­ter City end soc­cer sea­son in style

CityPress - - Sport -

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Le­ices­ter City closes the cur­tain on their re­mark­able sea­son to­day and, fit­tingly, it will be at Stam­ford Bridge, the home of pre­vi­ous cham­pi­ons Chelsea.

The Foxes al­ready have the Premier League tro­phy in the bag, but would not want to see their 10-match un­de­feated streak come to an end. There was lit­tle ev­i­dence of a han­gover in their fi­nal home game of the sea­son against Ever­ton, where they cel­e­brated with a 3-1 win. Al­most as un­ex­pected as Le­ices­ter’s march to the ti­tle has been Chelsea’s malaise af­ter cruis­ing to the tro­phy last sea­son. The Blues have not won in their past three matches, and seem to have al­ready given up on the cur­rent cam­paign. How­ever, they will not want to end their sea­son by be­ing beaten in front of their own fans, and have a chance to re­mind the Foxes that they will be back next sea­son. How­ever, the Blues will have to play with­out de­fender John Terry, who was sus­pended af­ter pick­ing up a red card, as is for­mer Chelsea cen­tre-back Robert Huth for Le­ices­ter. Brazil­ian duo Wil­lian and Diego Costa are also ex­pected to miss out with ham­string in­juries, while the Foxes have no in­jury ab­sen­tees. Manch­ester City will be de­ter­mined to get all three points when they take on Swansea City at the Lib­erty Sta­dium, as they look to se­cure the Cham­pi­ons League. The Cit­i­zens cur­rently oc­cupy the fourth and fi­nal Cham­pi­ons League spot, but can still miss out on the top four if they lose be­cause Manch­ester United are just two points be­hind them. That makes it a must-win game for City, but they will have to be wary be­cause the Swans have just won backto-back games against Liver­pool and West Ham.

City will ex­pect to have Samir Nasri and Alek­san­dar Ko­larov re­turn from ill­ness and a mus­cu­lar in­jury, re­spec­tively, but Vin­cent Kom­pany, Pablo Za­baleta and David Silva will miss out. The Swans have doubts about Jef­fer­son Mon­tero, but Gylfi Sig­urðs­son and Neil Tay­lor are ruled out.

Should City slip up on their trip to Wales, neigh­bours Manch­ester United will have to take full ad­van­tage by beat­ing Bournemouth at Old Traf­ford.

In team news, United will be with­out Mat­teo Darmian and Bas­tian Sch­we­in­steiger, while Marouane Fel­laini has been sus­pended. For the Cher­ries, Syl­vain Distin and Adam Smith are both side­lined.

Then there’s the race for Europa League qual­i­fi­ca­tion, with West Ham, Liver­pool and Southamp­ton all still ca­pa­ble of qual­i­fy­ing in the fi­nal round of fix­tures.

Liver­pool have a fi­nal in that com­pe­ti­tion com­ing up, but should be able to get a re­sult against an out-of­sorts West Brom at the Hawthorns, who have now gone eight games with­out a win, los­ing five times.

Southamp­ton are one point above the Reds ahead of their clash with Crys­tal Palace at St Mary’s, and will be in a con­fi­dent mood fol­low­ing re­cent wins over Manch­ester City and Tot­ten­ham. The Saints have won four of their last five, with the Ea­gles in less spir­ited form.

– TEAMtalk Me­dia


FI­NAL HUR­DLE Mar­itzburg United coach Ernst Mid­den­dorp has to get three points to avoid rel­e­ga­tion THIN ICE Shaun Bartlett needs a win and a prayer if the Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria are to sur­vive the drop HEADS UP Chris­tian Fuchs of Le­ices­ter City and Pe­dro of Chelsea fight for the ball in a pre­vi­ous match

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