Puel positive on Foxes future

New Leicester City manager Claude Puel is confident that the Foxes can improve in the coming months and enjoy a productive season.

City currently lie in 14th place in the Premier League after winning just two of their opening nine games, a run which saw boss Craig Shakespeare sacked earlier this month.

It's about trying to perform on the pitch and to get in the top half of the table.

Claude Puel

Caretaker manager Michael Appleton helped restore some order by guiding the team to wins over Swansea City and Leeds United, the latter in the EFL Cup, before moving aside to make way for Puel.

And Frenchman Puel, who led Southampton to eighth place in the top-flight and the final of the League Cup last season, is looking to build on the recent upturn in results.

He told reporters ahead of Sunday visit from Everton: "The ambition for the moment is to keep the good spirit in the team and to keep the team dynamic.

After, with confidence, we can work on the details in the training sessions.

"I can't say what position we will finish in as a team, but it's about trying to perform on the pitch and to get in the top half of the table.

"It is not ideal to come in at this point, but I have seen five Leicester games this season and believe we can do something.

"They won the title two years ago, played in the Champions League last season, now we are in a little difficulty and we need to find some consistency."

The visiting Toffees are under the charge of caretaker boss David Unsworth after Ronald Koeman was shown the door, with the former England defender keen to help the Merseysiders recover from a dismal run of results.

He added: "It's always about getting results. We need wins now quickly – not for me but for the club."

A draw on Sunday at the King Power Stadium is priced at 12/5, with a 1-1 final scoreline available at 11/2, while both teams to score is a 7/10 shot.

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Morata offered Conte backing

Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata has been backed to get back among the goals, having failed to find the net in any of his last four games.

The 25-year-old Spain international scored seven goals in his first eight games for the Blues following his summer arrival from Real Madrid, but has failed to add to his tally since netting in the 2-1 Champions League win at Atletico Madrid in late September.

However, Blues head coach Antonio Conte has no doubts that Morata will soon be back on the scoresheet, hopefully in the game at Bournemouth on Saturday.

He told reporters: "If you remember before the international break he was injured, also after 20 minutes in the Man City game, and against Crystal Palace he didn't play.

"I think we have to consider this. I'm happy with Alvaro's commitment and his performance.

"Tomorrow he has another opportunity. For me, it is not important for the striker to score, but it is important for them to play well and play for the team."

Morata is priced at 4/5 to score at any time against the Cherries, with the Spaniard 6/4 to score the first Chelsea goal of the game, while the Blues are 17/2 to claim a 1-0 victory on the South Coast.

Meanwhile, Conte also confirmed that midfielder N'Golo Kante is close to a comeback after missing most of October due to a hamstring injury.

The clash with the Cherries has come just too soon for the France international, but he could be ready for the midweek Champions League meeting with Roma in the Italian capital.

He added: "N'Golo is still not ready, we have to wait. I hope to have him back for the Roma game."

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Silva eases Pereyra concerns

Watford head coach Marco Silva has indicated that he will not rush Roberto Pereyra back from his latest injury too quickly.

The 26-year-old Argentinian, who recently returned to the Hornets side after suffering cruciate ligament damage ten months ago, limped out of the Hornets' 4-2 defeat to Chelsea on Saturday.

Silva does not think the former Juventus star faces a long lay-off but does accept that he has to treat the player carefully.

Speaking before Saturday's Premier League match against Stoke City, which Watford are 21/20 to win, Silva said: "I can't say to you 100 per cent for sure [when he will be back].

"He came back in good fitness and did very well in the last game. We hope if he is not back for the Everton game [on 5th November] he is available after the [international] break.

"I believe this injury will not keep him out for a long time but we need to be careful, and put him back in when he has good fitness."

Meanwhile, Nathaniel Chalobah, Isaac Success and Craig Cathcart will all miss the Stoke game but there is better news concerning Younes Kaboul and Sebastian Prodl.

Silva said of the injured duo, who have been sidelined since September: "We have a situation with Younes and Sebastian.

"They are still unavailable but in the next few days they will start training with the first team."

Watford are 9/2 to beat Stoke, 11/2 to be relegated this season, by a two-goal margin, while the odds on there being three goals in the match are available at 3/1.

Coutinho not ruled out – Klopp

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has not given up hope of Philippe Coutinho being passed fit to feature against Huddersfield Town at Anfield on Saturday.

The 25-year-old Brazil international playmaker missed training on Thursday due to a hip problem, with initial reports suggesting that Coutinho would definitely miss out against the Terriers.

However, Klopp will make a final decision closer to kick-off, telling reporters: "It's not clear yet.

"Last week he had some back problems before the Tottenham game, but then during the week it settled down with treatment and all that stuff, so he was fit for the game.

"This week he had a little bit of problem with the adductor. It's not clear so far if he is out, we will make the decision after training (on Friday).

"He didn't train yesterday, that's true, but that's all for the moment."

The Reds are available at 2/7 to claim all three points against the Terriers on Saturday afternoon and are 13/2 to win the game 2-0, while Mohamed Salah can be backed at 10/11 to score at any time.

Meanwhile, midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has declared himself fit and ready for action, having been forced to sit out the 4-1 defeat by Tottenham at Wembley last weekend due to a knee injury.

The Netherlands international told the clubs official website: "I'm still in a little bit of pain, but I can play with it. I did full training and felt good, so probably I can play.

"The manager decides if he's going to put me in the first XI, but I will be available."

Liverpool and Huddersfield have not met at all this century, with the Reds claiming a 2-0 FA Cup victory in West Yorkshire in December 1999 when the two sides last clashed.

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Hodgson: I can make a difference

Roy Hodgson admits he is relishing the pressure that comes with attempting to keep Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

Palace are 8/11 to be relegated this season after losing their first seven matches, failing to score a goal in any of them.

They finally broke their duck by beating Chelsea 2-1 at Selhurst Park a fortnight ago, only to then lose 1-0 at Newcastle United last weekend.

They entertain West Ham United on Saturday and can be backed at 7/5 to beat Slaven Bilic's side and at 9/1 to win the match from behind.

Former England, Liverpool and Fulham boss Hodgson said: "I took the job, that brings pressure and I have to deal with that.

"Do I like it? Do I still get the sleepless nights that all football managers get after bad results? Yes, I am afraid I still do.

"That has not changed with time. And maybe when the day comes when it does change, and you can just as happily go home when you have won or lost, then that is probably the time when you should not be in it any more.

"I took the job because I wanted the pressure. I wanted the experience. I wanted to work with the players again. I believe I can make a difference. I believe I can help."

Spurs hurt by Kane absence

Tottenham Hotspur will be without star striker Harry Kane for the clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford at lunchtime on Saturday.

The 24-year-old England international has scored 13 goals in 12 games for Spurs this season, but will miss out this weekend due to a minor strain to his left hamstring.

And, despite Kane having only found the net once in seven previous appearances against the Red Devils, Lilywhites head coach Mauricio Pochettino admits that not having his main attacker will be a major blow.

He told reporters: "The doctor and medical staff made the decision to not take the risk. There is no sense in taking that risk and making the problem bigger.

"Always you want all players available, but it is a problem. Play more or play less? Because it is most important that they are all available and fit.

"We will see afterwards for Wednesday and Real Madrid, but for tomorrow it's impossible. We cannot take a risk, (but) it's a minor injury, very small.

"I'm not happy, I'm disappointed, because Harry is our main striker, he's one of the best players, not just in Tottenham, in Europe, in the world.

"Always you are going to miss your best striker. I'm not silly or stupid to talk in a different way, but that is football."

Tottenham have been beaten on their last three visits to Old Trafford and have failed to score in the process, losing 1-0 in each of the last two seasons.

A 1-0 victory for the Red Devils on Saturday is priced at 13/2, with the hosts 13/8 to keep a clean sheet, while Romelu Lukaku is available at 20/21 to score at any time.

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Morrison adds to Pulis’ problems

West Brom, who have failed to win any of their last seven Premier League matches, will be without James Morrison for the foreseeable future.

The 31-year-old former Middlesbrough midfielder is struggling with a knee injury and has not featured in the Baggies team since last month's 2-0 defeat at Arsenal.

It is another setback for struggling Albion as it was announced earlier in the week that Craig Dawson may not play again until late December because of the knee injury he sustained during the 1-0 defeat at Southampton.

Boss Tony Pulis said of Scotland international Morrison: "We've had a setback with Mozza.

"He'll be out for the foreseeable future. I am hoping that Gareth Barry will train today [Friday]. Not sure on Jonny [Evans]."

Of his side's poor recent form after they had won their first two games of the campaign 1-0, Pulis added: "The players are as disappointed as anybody."

Albion play in-form Manchester City this weekend – Pep Guardiola's team have scored 27 goals in their last six Premier League fixtures – with Pulis saying: "There are areas we have to improve on. Manchester City are the form team in Europe.

"We will approach the game a little bit different than normal but I won't say how we will do it. They're a very good team."

West Brom, 4/1 to be relegated this season, are 11/2 to draw against City at The Hawthorns, while Guardiola's team are 7/1 to win the encounter 3-0.

Wagner keen to shock old friend

David Wagner is hoping he can get the better of Jurgen Klopp when Huddersfield Town take on Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.

The two men have been friends for the last 26 years when they were room-mates at German club Mainz.

They are now managers of two Premier League sides with Wagner on a high after last weekend's 2-1 victory against Manchester United.

The Terriers are 14/1 to cause another shock by beating Klopp's team, while they are currently available at 11/8 to be relegated from the Premier League this term.

Liverpool slumped to a 4-1 defeat at Wembley to Tottenham last Sunday and are 11/8 to finish in the top four this season.

Terriers head coach Wagner said: "Jurgen is more a family member than a friend.

"We have a lot of fun, as you would expect from such good friends. We met at Mainz (in 1991) and, here we are, at this point, where we will meet at Anfield in a competitive Premier League game."

Meanwhile, Town midfielder Philip Billing has been ruled out for up to 12 weeks after undergoing ankle surgery.

The 21-year-old suffered the injury in the 2-0 loss at Swansea City a fortnight ago.

"The focus now is to help him return fitter and stronger than before, so he is ready to help us for the rest of the season," Wagner said of the Danish youngster.

Huddersfield are 33/1 to beat Liverpool 1-0 on Saturday.

Clement calls for more time

Swansea City head coach Paul Clement would like to be judged at the end of the season and not in the near future, despite his side's recent lack of form.

The Swans have won only one of their last six games in the Premier League and are only outside the relegation zone on goal difference ahead of a tough trip to Arsenal on Saturday.

However, Clement, who masterminded an escape from the drop last season, is calm about the situation and hopes to be given the time to turn things around at the Liberty Stadium.

He told the club's official website: "We have played nine league games. I believe I should be judged at the end of the season, when we have played 38 league games.

"I have been around this game long enough to know that you have got to remain level-headed whether you are going through a good spell or a bad one.

"There's always a better moment around the corner if you are persistent, you maintain belief and you stay together.

"Me and the players are positive. We are working well because we know if we stay focused, we stay together and we are determined, the rewards will come.

"We are two wins away from the fans not being worried because we are in 12th, 11th or 10th position in the table."

City will be without both Renato Sanches and Wilfried Bony for the game at the Emirates Stadium, while left-back Martin Olsson also misses out due to a hamstring problem.

The Swans have secured three wins and a draw from their six Premier League visits to the Gunners, but last season lost out 3-2 to their hosts.

Swansea are 11/2 to claim a draw on Saturday, with a 1-1 final scoreline priced at 12/1, while City are 8/11 not to be relegated come the end of the season.

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Dyche focused on Clarets role

Burnley manager Sean Dyche has vowed to get on with the job at Turf Moor after being linked with possible interest from other Premier League clubs.

Dyche was reported to be target for Leicester City before they appointed Claude Puel to succeed Craig Shakespeare, while Everton are also rumoured to have the former central defender on their wish-list.

However, Dyche is committed to continuing the work he has done with the Clarets in the last five years, with Burnley currently in eighth place in the Premier League standings.

He told reporters: "I have said a few times, you are always flattered as it recognises the work that myself, the players and the clubs do.

"I mentioned last week different links with different clubs have come around. There's no story, it's other people's stories, it's not mine, but it's right that I get asked about it.

"It doesn't play on the mind at all, I just get on with it. I've had the experience of those links the last few years and I've continued to get on with it."

Meanwhile Dyche also confirmed that Chris Wood is a doubt for the Monday evening visit of Newcastle United, with the former Leeds United striker having suffered a hamstring problem in the 3-0 defeat to Manchester City.

New Zealand international frontman Wood has scored four goals in nine appearances since completing a £15million move across the Pennines in mid-August.

The Clarets are priced at 7/4 to defeat Newcastle at Turf Moor on Monday evening, with a 1-0 home victory available at 15/2, while Burnley are 9/4 to keep a clean sheet.

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