Foxes future plans excite Fuchs

Veteran Austrian left-back Christian Fuchs is excited about what lies ahead at Leicester City, having signed a new one-year contract with the Foxes.

The 33-year-old moved to the King Power Stadium in the summer of 2015 and has since racked up almost 100 Premier League appearances, helping the Foxes to their famous title triumph in his first season with the club.

And Fuchs, who has had to play second fiddle to Ben Chilwell for most of the current campaign, believes that next season will be an exciting one for the Midlanders under the charge of Brendan Rodgers.

He told the club's official website: "I'm thrilled to be signing a new one-year deal. It's an exciting time for everyone, with a new training ground being built and some fantastic young talent coming through.

"Our ambition is to play good football and continue to improve. I can't wait to see what next season brings for this football club."

Meanwhile, City have also confirmed that both defender Danny Simpson and striker Shinji Okazaki will be leaving the club at the end of the season.

Right-back Simpson, 32, joined Leicester in the summer of 2014 from QPR and has since made over 130 appearances for the club – without getting his name on the scoresheet.

Japan striker Okazaki arrived from German side Mainz at the same time as Fuchs and has scored 19 goals in 128 appearances in all competitions.

Leicester end their season at home to Chelsea on Sunday, with the hosts 9/5 to win the game, 10/1 to claim a 2-1 victory and 3/1 to keep a clean sheet.

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Lennon happy to deflect title praise

Celtic's interim boss Neil Lennon was happy to deflect any praise from himself after they secured an eighth successive Scottish Premiership crown with a 3-0 win at Aberdeen.

The Hoops had a first-half header from Mikael Lustig to ease any nerves before fellow defender Jozo Simunovic headed home for the second week running eight minutes into the second half.

Odsonne Edouard rounded off the scoring late on, ensuring Celtic now only need to defeat Hearts in this month's Scottish Cup Final at Hampden Park to clinch the 'treble treble' of domestic dominance.

Lennon and his players attended the funeral of Billy McNeill, captain of the 1967 European Cup-winning Lisbon Lions team and former manager at Parkhead, on Friday, while his teammate Stevie Chalmers – the match-winner against Inter Milan 52 years ago – has also passed away this week.

In the circumstances, Lennon was keen to dedicate this latest title success to their memories.

"I can't think of two more worthy people to dedicate this title to, if the fans and the club are behind it then so am I," he said afterwards.

"They were the two giants of this club and I can't speak highly enough of my opinion of them, they were the greats and Billy, for me, was what the club is all about."

Lennon came in back in February as interim boss after Brendan Rodgers departed to manage Leicester City.

Stepping into Rodgers' role was the 'toughest piece of management' Lennon has done, he says, and he also paid tribute to his predecessor.

"Credit to Brendan [Rodgers] for the success because of foundation he built and I was lucky enough to build on," he added.

Rangers meanwhile are 2/5 to beat Hibernian at Ibrox on Sunday. Lennon's former club are 15/2 while the draw is 10/3.

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Citizens pair remain sidelined

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola has admitted that playmaker Kevin De Bruyne may not play again this season, having been plagued by injuries this term.

De Bruyne sustained a hamstring problem in the 1-0 Premier League victory over Tottenham Hotspur and has subsequently sat out the wins at Manchester United and Burnley.

And his prospects for a return to action before the summer are now in doubt after Guardiola answered when asked when De Bruyne would return: "I don't know. For next Monday he is not available."

The Citizens play host to Leicester City on Monday evening, with veteran midfielder Fernandinho also seeming highly unlikely to feature as he is still recovering from a knee injury sustained in the 2-0 derby triumph over United.

Meanwhile, Guardiola has warned his players to expect a major test against a Foxes side who defeated Arsenal 3-0 in their last match.

He added: "Brendan (Rodgers) has showed his incredible qualities as a manager, to have in two months his team play already the way he wants to play.

"They have such fast players and have incredible quality. I saw their last three games and I was really impressed. The players know it will be an incredible test for us."

The league meeting of the two sides on Boxing Day at the King Power Stadium finished in a 2-1 Leicester victory, with Marc Albrighton and Ricardo Pereira their goalscorers.

The Citizens are 8/1 to record a 2-1 victory of their own on Monday evening, with the men from Manchester 1/8 to win the game and 1/5 to retain their Premier League crown.

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Rodgers keen to finish on a high

Former Liverpool and Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers is pleased with the balance between youth and experience he has at his disposal at Leicester City.

The Foxes have enjoyed a fine run of results since Rodgers replaced Claude Puel as manager at the King Power Stadium in February, with Sunday's impressive 3-0 victory against Arsenal being their sixth win in their last nine top-flight encounters.

Leicester's last two games of the campaign are against Premier League leaders Manchester City and Chelsea, and Rodgers is keen to keep the winning habit going.

He said: "I wanted to come in and finish as high as we possibly could. I said to the players that we really need to focus on the performance [against Arsenal], and don't worry about winning, losing or drawing – just work on how we play.

"This is an important period for us to bed in all the concepts. Everything I would want for the team, we were good at. They're a very humble group of guys. They're supported by a fantastic group of senior players that are humble and want to be the best they can be.

"I think we had five players 22 and under, which is nice. The beauty with the squad is they're very coachable and they're very hungry to improve."

Leicester are 16/1 to beat Manchester City on Monday and 12/1 to score a penalty in the match.

Okazaki to head to pastures new

Japan international Shinji Okazaki has announced that he will be bringing his four-year stay at Leicester City to an end this summer.

The 33-year-old joined the Foxes from Mainz for £7million in July 2015 and was part of the Premier League title-winning squad in his first campaign with the club.

He has made 113 Premier League appearances for City but has been used sparingly in the last two months since Brendan Rodgers succeeded Claude Puel at the King Power Stadium.

"My 30th birthday was in the midst of the challenge for the Premier League title," said Okazaki, who is out of contract at the end of this season.

"It was my first season at Leicester. What I chose to get out of the game was the job of linking the defence and the attack, and it resulted in the first title of my life. However, although there was some sense of accomplishment, the satisfaction was not as big as I thought.

"My role at Leicester is definitely not a striker. So I have decided to leave Leicester. It is because I thought strongly that I would like to challenge next season in a place where I can play as a striker but there have been few opportunities for playing this season."

Leicester can be backed at 16/1 to beat Manchester City in their next match on Monday 6th May and at 18/1 to keep a clean sheet against Pep Guardiola's table-topping team.

Premier League: Foxes Are Far Too Smart For Arsenal

Leicester 3-0 Arsenal

Leicester City added to Arsenal’s woes with a 3-0 win at the Kingpower Stadium today, Jamie Vardy scoring a brace in the process.

It’s a result which has seriously damaged Unai Emery’s hopes of guiding his team to a top-four place in his first season in charge, and in all honesty, the Gunners shot themselves in the foot! Arsenal had gone down to ten men after Ainsley Maitland-Niles had needlessly got himself sent off and then Leicester, who were already the better team, just blew them away.

It all looked so good for the Gunners after they beat Manchester United recently but with two games to go in the 2019 Premier League they are in disarray. Three defeats on the bounce have left them off the pace at a crucial time in the season. If they had beaten just one of Crystal Palace, Wolves or Leicester they would still be in with a good chance.

But Leicester dispatched the Gunners in style, and under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers, they could be a team to watch next season. Outside the top two, the next four teams in the league are losing games with alarming regularity and, on this showing, I wouldn’t bet too much against Leicester finishing above Arsenal next year.

The other big Premier League 2019 news of the day was that Manchester City went back to the top of the league with a win at Burnley, while Chelsea drew at Manchester United to go two points clear of Arsenal in fourth place.

Highlights of the game

The Foxes looked lively throughout the first half and Arsenal were lucky to go into the break level, but their prospects were drastically reduced on the half hour.

Maitland-Niles had already earned a soft yellow card before he rashly chopped down James Maddison, and he quite rightly received his marching orders to give the Gunners a much tougher task in the second half. And they simply weren’t up to it.

The Foxes broke through on the hour when man-of-the-match James Maddison crossed for Youri Tielmans to plant his header beyond Bernd Leno and into the corner of the net.

The final margin could have been much bigger had it not been for the Arsenal keeper, who pulled off a string of great saves, the best being a one-handed stop from Wilfred Ndidi’s well-directed header.

Jamie Vardy has enjoyed an upturn in form since the arrival of Brendan Rodgers and he made it two with a typical ‘Vardy’ goal. He outpaced the sluggish Gunners defence to latch on to a long punt forward and lifted it over the advancing Leno and onto the crossbar. He was still the quickest to react nodding home the rebound to make the game safe.

And the arch Leicester poacher bagged another in the fifth minute of added time poking home Ricardo Pereira’s low cross.

The Kingpower faithful celebrated, but the travelling Gunners fans must have thought themselves a little lucky they hadn’t come off even worse.

Jamie Vardy has now 18 goals in the Premier League

Jamie Vardy celebrates with James Maddison after scoring Leicester City’s first goal against Arsenal

Key Statistics

After shipping six goals in the last two games Emery’s team has now made it nine from three and that is no defensive form for a Champions League hopeful.

Leicester is still just about in the race for Europa League football according to the latest Premier League 2019 betting odds, they are three points behind seventh-placed Wolves with a better goal difference, and it all augers well for next season. Since Rodgers’ arrival at the Kingpower, only the pacesetters Manchester City and Liverpool have won more points than the Foxes.

Youri Tielemans’ goal was his third in nine games, in which time he has also made four assists, while Jamie Vardy has nine goals since the arrival of the new chief.

If the Gunners are to do better next season, they need to learn how to win on the road; they have won just six of 18 away games…pitiful!

What’s next?

Emery has one eye on the Europa League as another, and now more likely, a route into the Champions League and Valencia visit the Emirates in the semi-final first leg on Thursday, and then the Gunners have a home game against strugglers Brighton next weekend which should see them get back to winning ways.

The Foxes can still have a lot of say in matters at the top end of the table, with a trip to title hopefuls Manchester City, who won at Burnley today and then a home game against Chelsea on the final day.

And of course, we’ll be there every step of the way at us.

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Foxes Vardy fears allayed

Jamie Vardy will be fit for Friday's Premier League game against Newcastle United after recovering from a minor groin issue, Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed.

The Foxes frontman netted a brace against Huddersfield at the weekend in a 4-1 win before going off with a minor groin problem.

The Magpies visit the King Power Stadium on Friday and Rodgers, who is seeking five wins on the trot after losing his first match as Leicester manager to Watford, has confirmed the striker isn't a worry.

"He's absolutely fine. He felt a slight niggle in his groin towards the end of the game and rather than risk it, we took him off," Rodgers said on Wednesday.

"He's recovered well in the early stages this week and now he's back as sharp as he usually is."

England international Harry Maguire is set to return to the line-up having missed the Terriers clash for the birth of his first child.

"He looks very happy. Having a child eventually it makes you a better person," Rodgers told reporters.

"He obviously didn't train a lot last week, we gave him the week to make sure Fern and the baby were safe, but he's come, looks good and focused."

Leicester's upturn in form under Rodgers' steer has increased their hopes of qualifying for European football next season. They are 8/11 to defeat Newcastle on Friday but Rodgers won't be taking the visiting side lightly, especially with Rafael Benitez at the helm.

"Rafa is a top-class manager who organises his team exceptionally well," said Rodgers. "They play in a 5-4-1 structure when they haven't got the ball, so patience is going to be important, but with speed and creativity where we can.

"They don't give away many goals, so we know we're going to have to be patient and show quality throughout the game."

Newcastle are 9/2 to win Friday's clash, with the draw priced at 14/5.

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Vardy earns Rodgers praise

Jamie Vardy is 'one of the best around' according to Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers.

The Foxes frontman scored a second-half brace on Saturday as they won 4-1 at relegated Huddersfield Town.

The result sees Leicester climb from ninth to seventh, level on points with Wolves having played a game more. Rodgers has now won four of his five games in charge since arriving from Celtic in February to succeed Claude Puel.

Youri Tielemans gave Leicester the advantage at half-time before Vardy doubled the visitors' advantage with his 14th league goal of the season not long after the break.

Aaron Mooy's penalty cut the deficit but Vardy restored the two-goal cushion with a spot-kick of his own before James Maddison round things off.

The former England forward Vardy is pleasing his new club boss.

"We play a very aggressive game, an attacking game that suits offensive players and obviously he's one of the best around," said Rodgers of Vardy.

"It's great to have someone right up there who does not just score the goals but who sets up our press. He works very hard and he's a joy to work with."

Leicester's upturn in form under Rodgers ensure they maintain hopes of possible Europa League qualification and that is something the former Liverpool boss is happy to target.

"The idea is to finish as high as we can. You want to be in Europe if you can. We'll see if we can find a different way to get in there," said Rodgers.

"If it's this season great. If not, throughout my contract here that was the aim. So far the boys have been absolutely first class."

Leicester are 7/10 to win their next game at home to Newcastle on Friday evening. The Magpies are 17/4 with the draw priced at 5/2.

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Rodgers keen to keep Tielemans

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers is interested in making on-loan midfielder Youri Tielemans' move to the Foxes permanent at the end of this season.

The 21-year-old Belgian arrived at the King Power Stadium from Monaco in January on a deal until the end of the season and has adapted well to life in the Premier League.

Rodgers says "there will be discussions between the clubs" about a permanent transfer and has described Tielemans as a "wonderful talent".

Manchester United have been linked with a move for the former Anderlecht player, but Tielemans insists he would be happy to extend his stay with the Foxes.

"I don't know what is going to happen this summer," he said. "But I feel really good here. We are now in April and we will see over the next months.

"At Leicester, I can be part of something great. They will have a new training ground, the stadium will be much better than it is now with more fans coming over."

Tielemans has also praised Rodgers, saying of the former Liverpool and Celtic boss: "He is a really open-minded manager; you can talk to him, whatever question you may have, you can ask him.

"And that's really positive for us because a lot of players were confused about what was going on [under the previous manager Claude Puel].

"Everything is clear now. He wants to play offensive and attacking."

Leicester can be backed at 8/11 to beat rock-bottom Huddersfield Town on Saturday while they are 5/4 to keep a clean sheet against the Terriers.

Rodgers cool over Maguire talk

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers has played down speculation suggesting that central defender Harry Maguire could leave the club at the end of the season.

The 26-year-old England international has been linked with interest from Manchester United for some time and such suggestions have grown louder in recent days.

However, Rodgers is focused on getting the most he can on the first few months of his Foxes tenure and not on what might happen come the summer.

Ahead of a Saturday Premier League visit from Bournemouth, Rodgers told his pre-match press briefing: "At this moment in time, all the players are happy and working well. But knowing how the game works, clubs always lose players.

"Harry is very much a Leicester City player, a fantastic player who signed a new contract last year. There is nothing to add to that."

Meanwhile, Rodgers is also hopeful that midfielder Mark Albrighton might be able to feature before the season is done, as he is making good progress in his recovery from a serious hamstring injury.

"I think he will be available at some point," Rodgers added. "He's worked very, very hard in his time out and he's out on to the pitch now doing his rehabilitation with the guys, so that's great news for him.

"He's worked tirelessly at trying to get himself back fit, we're hopeful that before the end of the season he'll get some game time."

City are available at 4/5 to defeat Bournemouth at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, with the hosts 9/1 to win 2-0 and 7/4 to keep a clean sheet.

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