Cleat Geeks

Five things we learned from the Premier League this week

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What a week it has been for Leicester City. If ever there was a week for the bubble to burst it was this past week.

However, this season surprise package defeated Liverpool on Wednesday with the help of a goal of the season contender from Jamie Vardy, and then came the title favorites Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Not many were tipping the Foxes to get a result, but not only did they take the spoils, they were full value for their 3-1 victory.

Those results opened up a five point lead at the top of the table, and the bookmakers have, for the first time this season, made Leicester favorites for the title.

Manager Claudio Ranieri, who initially set his side a target of avoiding relegation this season, has rejected the new favorites tag from the bookies, insisting his side are under no pressure for the remaining 13 games of the season.

Valentines Day will be the next big test for the indomitable Foxes, as they travel to Arsenal, who have a five point gap to bridge between now and May.

A victory at the Emirates could be enough to see the Gunners’ challenge off and put the title within touching distance of Leicester.

Liverpool fans in walk out LFCC

Thousands of Liverpool fans left Anfield after 77 minutes of Saturday’s game with Sunderland to protest at a planned ticket price rise.

Next season, some tickets will set fans back $77.00 which has sparked outrage amongst football fans up and down the cou.

Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre has defended the ticket pricing structure for next season, claiming that 64% of season ticket holders will pay the same or less next year than they do for this campaign.

Perhaps the mass exodus had a negative impact on the players this weekend, as Liverpool let slip a 2-0 lead against the Black Cats in the last seven minutes.

Manager Jurgen Klopp, who missed the game due to appendicitis, said of the ticket row: “It’s not what we want.”
“What I know is everyone in the club has a big interest in finding a solution for this.”

Terry heading for Chelsea exit? john-terry

Chelsea captain John Terry suggested publicly this week that he has not been offered a new deal to remain at the club after his contract expires at the end of the season.

The 35 year-old Blues’ legend says that he wants to stay on at Chelsea beyond the end of the season, but that there has been no communication with the club regarding a new deal.

The former England skipper has been linked with a move to the MLS if a new deal at Stamford Bridge is not thrashed out, but interim manger Guus Hiddink has suggested the Terry’s Chelsea career could yet be prolonged.

What is for certain is that Terry will be needed to play a key role for his side between now and the end of the season after fellow centre-back Kurt Zouma was ruled out for six months after suffering a knee injury in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United this Sunday.

Fraser a Fors to be reckoned with FF

Goalkeeper Fraser Forster has been in sensational form for Southampton since his return to action following a knee injury.

The former Celtic stopper was in impervious form in midweek to deny title chasing Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, before keeping another clean sheet against West Ham over the weekend.

In fact you have to go back to January 2nd for the last time the Saints leaked a Premier League goal, and Forster’s return has yielded five successive league shut outs.

Forster is definitely putting pressure on Joe Hart for the England number 1 jersey at the Euros this summer, while his side are mounting a charge toward European qualification for next season.

Canaries in freefall NEIL

An awful start to 2016 showed no signs of improving for Norwich City this past week, with another two comprehensive defeats forcing Alex Neil’s men into the bottom three.

A dismal display midweek saw the Canaries ripped apart 3-0 by Tottenham at Carrow Road, before another abject display at Villa Park, where the basement side picked up a crucial 2-0 win.

It is now seven straight defeats in all competitions for Norwich, and only two victories since Novemeber 7th.

Neil must be feeling the pressure as Villa creep nearer and Sunderland and Newcastle continue to pick up points in the battle for survival.

It’s West Ham at home next before a trip to the seemingly unstoppable Leicester City and the improving Chelsea.
Things need to improve pretty quickly if Norwich are to avoid sliding further away from safety, and Neil needs to pick up points very soon in order to keep his job.

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