Weblog: The football punter

King Claudio is dead, long live the king!

SO where do we all stand on the Leicester revival? A flash in the pan or merely the true continuation of what happened last year.

I’ve actually grown to like Leicester supporters, who perfectly represent the fickle face of fandom.

While Gary Lineker and his chums were bleating witlessly about loyalty and perspective (like football’s ever been blessed with those attributes), Foxes’ diehards were bidding a cursory addio to Ranieri and saying come on down to Craig Shakespeare.

King’s dead, long live the king. That’s footy, folks.

Upshot? Three wins on the bounce, into the last eight of the Champions League and the King Power’s rocking. Claudio who?

I’m quite confident win number four comes at West Ham, a club where supporters are growing increasingly restless about their own manager.

The Hammers are without a win in four and were particularly awful at Bournemouth last time out. Slaven Bilic won his stand-off with Dmitri Payet but taking on the claret and blue faithful might just test out the Croatian warhorse. And they sound bang up for a fight.

So I like Leicester on Saturday and I also suggest Tottenham are a stone-cold lay at home to Southampton one day later.

These two clubs boast two of England’s hottest strikers – except neither of them are playing in this clash at the Lane. But whereas Charlie Austin isn’t missed by Saints since Manolo Gabbiadini bowled up, it remains to be seen quite how much Spurs are going to struggle minus Harry Kane.

We know Vincent Janssen is a pale imitation so all eyes will now be on Heung-Min Son and with all due respect, a hat-trick against Millwall means very little ahead of a match against Claude Puel’s well-drilled men.

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Match in Focus


Mouscron-P v St Liege

Home Win Draw Away Win
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  • Standard Liege are the lowest scorers in the Belgian top flight after ten games of the season
Expert verdict
It's been a disappointing start to the season for Standard Liege, who have scored just nine times in ten league matches and look uneasy favourites at Mouscron. The home side, who beat leaders Club Brugge 2-1 in September, have scored in every league match this term and could claim another big scalp.