Shining Vardy eyes new milestone
London, December 4
Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy can make history for the second weekend running when the Premier League’s early-season over-achievers visit slip-sliding Swansea City on Saturday.
Vardy’s goal in the 1-1 draw against Manchester United saw him set a new Premier League record of scoring in 11 consecutive matches, eclipsing the mark set by United old boy Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2003.
Should he score at Swansea, Vardy will equal an even more historic mark: Jimmy Dunne’s English top-flight record from 1931-32 of scoring in 12 successive games for Sheffield United. But the England striker has played down the significance of the new milestone, telling Sky Sports: “I just have my eyes on helping Leicester get three points at the weekend. If someone else gets the winning goal, then I am more than happy.”
While Leicester go into the weekend level on points with leaders Manchester City, Swansea are just four points above relegation zone following a run of one win in 10 matches.
Manchester City have an opportunity to put pressure on the chasing pack as they visit Stoke City on Saturday. With progress assured in both the League Cup and the Champions League, Manuel Pellegrini’s side can plough all their resources into the league campaign ahead of a sequence of six matches in 24 days.
Third-place Manchester United could be forgiven for having their thoughts elsewhere as they gear up for Saturday’s home game against West Ham United. On Tuesday they visit Wolfsburg for a match they are likely to have to win to secure a place in the Champions League last 16, leaving manager Louis van Gaal with a dilemma over who to select for the visit of West Ham.
Another manager ruing a long injury list is Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger, who will be without star forward Alexis Sanchez and midfielder Santi Cazorla — to name but two players — for the home game with Sunderland.
Champions Chelsea will expect to continue their recent improvement at home to a Bournemouth team who have gone eight games without a win and shipped 18 goals in six outings. Eddie Howe’s side could therefore prove ideal opposition for the return of Diego Costa, who is likely to be recalled after spending Chelsea’s 0-0 draw at Tottenham Hotspur last weekend stewing on the bench.
While Spurs, who visit West Bromwich Albion, remain unbeaten in 13 league games, they are at risk of being outflanked by Liverpool, whose 6-1 League Cup win at Southampton on Wednesday was their seventh in eight games. Jurgen Klopp’s side, who trail fifth-place Tottenham by two points, visit second-bottom Newcastle United on Sunday.