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#1 14-11-2017 09:19:39

Registered: 10-11-2017
Posts: 43

eighth inning Tuesday to rally

Chelseas NGolo Kante lines up against his former club Leicester live on Sky Sports 1 HD on Saturday.  His departure has left a gaping hole in the Foxes midfield, writes Nick Wright... When NGolo Kante arrived at Leicesters Belvoir Drive training ground for the first time last summer, the story goes that he was mistakenly directed towards the schoolboy players. The little Frenchman did not look like much at 5ft 6ins, but he soon set about defying the doubters, and over the next nine months he was a towering influence in Leicesters historic season.By the end of it, Steve Walsh, the head of recruitment who brought Kante to Leicester from French side Caen, had made a habit of telling the same joke. We play three in midfield, it went. We play Danny Drinkwater in the middle with Kante either side. Kante had been the driving force behind Leicesters title triumph, and Claudio Ranieri echoed Walshs comments after the midfielders £32m departure to Chelsea in July. If Chelsea bought Kante, its because he played as two players last season, he said. The referee counted 11 but we were 12.It was a typically good-humoured response from Ranieri, but adapting to life after Kante has been no laughing matter. The 25-year-old made more tackles and more interceptions than any other player in Europes top-five leagues last season, and seven games into the new campaign the champions sit 10 points off the top having struggled to fill the sizeable Kante-shaped gap in their midfield.Without Kantes superhuman energy in midfield, Leicester have become far more vulnerable at the back. Leicester are averaging 16 tackles and 14 interceptions per game compared to 23 and 22 last season, and with Wes Morgan and Robert Huth no longer afforded the same protection, the Foxes are now facing 5.3 shots on target per game instead of 3.7. Leicester defensive comparison (all stats per game) Season Tackles Interceptions Shots on target faced Goals conceded 2016/17 16.0 14.0 5.3 1.6 2015/16 22.9 21.6 3.7 1.0 Its little wonder theyre struggling, and its a headache for Ranieri, whose Kante succession plans were dealt a considerable blow when summer signing Nampalys Mendy hobbled off with an injury during Leicesters 0-0 draw with Arsenal back in August. Leicester had high hopes for their latest young recruit from Ligue 1, but Mendy has spent the last two months on the sidelines. Nampalys Mendy was injured during Leicesters draw with Arsenal Danny Drinkwater has taken on more defensive responsibilities in the meantime, averaging 4.3 tackles per game compared to 3.0 last season, and he has been partnered in midfield by the 21-year-old Daniel Amartey, a January signing from Danish side FC Copenhagen who spent the formative years of his career playing as a right-back. Watch NOW TV Watch Sky Sports for just £6.99. No contract. It has been a baptism of fire for Amartey, who only played 102 minutes of Premier League football in his first six months at the club. The Ghana internationals defensive numbers pale in comparison to Kantes contribution last season, and he was overrun during Leicesters heavy defeats to Liverpool and Manchester United.Ranieri refused to blame the youngster, however, instead pointing to a lack of collective effort from his attacking players. It is about how the midfielders play together, he said. If the strikers dont help Drinkwater and Amartey, or if the wingers dont close narrow, then it is difficult. That happened against Liverpool. Daniel Amartey has been drafted into Leicesters midfield The stats back Ranieri up, with Riyad Mahrez, Marc Albrighton and Jamie Vardy all averaging fewer tackles per game than last season, but there have been signs of improvement in recent weeks. Leicester kept consecutive clean sheets against Porto and Southampton before the international break, and Ranieri feels Amartey is adjusting to his new role.I think Daniel improves a lot, said the Italian. I am very happy with him. He played so many matches on the flank in his previous team and sometimes in the middle as centre-back or central midfielder. Ive always believed his best position is as a central midfielder. Slowly, slowly, he is only 21 years old. It is not easy to take this position.Amarteys improvement is encouraging but he cannot compete with the dynamism of Kante, who averaged 64.0 sprints per 90 minutes last season compared to Amarteys 46.2. Its a considerable difference, and it partly explains why Kantes absence has upset the teams balance so much. NGolo Kante has played every minute of Chelseas Premier League campaign While Morgan and Huth have been exposed at one end, Leicester have become less effective at the other. Kantes driving runs through midfield were a valuable link between defence and attack last season, and Drinkwaters increased defensive workload means he is creating just 0.7 scoring chances per game compared to 1.3 last year. Leicesters attacking threat has been compromised. They have only scored eight goals in seven league games.Now everybody must understand that there is no Kante so we have to be more close, more attentive, said Ranieri earlier this season. We have to think different and close space quicker. We must be smarter.Leicester are having to change their approach and its taking time for it to come together. Kante may not have looked like much when he arrived, but he left as a giant. The midfielders role has changed at Chelsea, but Saturday afternoon could still provide a reminder of what Leicester are missing.You can watch Englands tour of Bangladesh, plus Premier League football and the British Masters on Sky Sports. Upgrade now and enjoy three months at half price! Also See: Mahrez: Arsenal made contact How did your internationals do? Michael Raffl Jersey . Bozak and Clarkson suffered the injuries in pre-training camp workouts, according to Carlyle, who said they made "small amounts of improvement" from Friday to Saturday. After the players were deemed less than 100 per cent by doctors after Thursdays medical testing, the Leafs held them out of on-ice testing and are being cautious. Claude Giroux Jersey . Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points, Shawn Marion had 22 and the Mavericks beat undermanned Philadelphia 124-112 Friday night, handing the 76ers their 10th straight loss. … ey-jersey/ . How foolishly wrong I was. Forget the now inherent corruption and back handed favours that plague the beautiful game. Goal Line Technology? Youre having a laugh. As for them penalty cheating bandits, footballs lawmakers upend them by awarding the penalty to the opponent each time a player attempts to con the referee into awarding ghost penalties. Radko Gudas Jersey . Floundering in the English Premier League, United has delivered better performances in Europe this season and stunned Bayern by taking the lead against the run of play through Nemanja Vidics header in the 58th minute. Bayern had dominated possession but struggled to create a clear-cut chance before Schweinsteiger arrowed a half-volley high into the net in the 67th to give the German side a slight advantage ahead of the second leg in Munich next week. Dale Weise Jersey . DeGrom outpitched Jake Peavy in a tantalizing hitless duel that carried into the seventh inning Saturday night before the New York Mets broke loose and beat the San Francisco Giants 4-2. MILWAUKEE -- Aaron Hill is comfortable at Miller Park. A night after going 4 for 4 with a pair of RBI singles, Hill hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning Tuesday to rally the Arizona Diamondbacks past the Milwaukee Brewers 7-5. "Hes a really good hitter. I know he kills us," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "We make mistakes to him, but hes patient. He fights off tough pitches and he doesnt miss mistakes. At least against us he doesnt." Hill is batting .472 (17 for 36) with four home runs and 11 RBIs in eight career games at Miller Park. Hills home run Tuesday came after Miguel Montero had a tying single. Evan Marshall (1-0) pitched 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief in his major league debut for the victory. "Evan Marshall was electric in his first big league appearance," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "He had a little cheering section out there. His parents and his wife were here. He came in and threw the ball like we were told he was throwing the ball down in Triple-A. It was much needed for us." Addison Reed pitched a scoreless ninth inning to record his ninth save in 10 opportunities. Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Owings also homered for Arizona, which has won five of its last seven games on the road. Brandon Kintzler (1-1) gave up the three runs in the eighth. "I feel terrible for letting the team down in that situation," Kintzler said. Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada. The Brewers scored for five runs in the bottom half off Josh Collmenter. "The first inning was not well-played at all," Gibson said. "We gave up four unearned runs. But true to (Collmenters) form, he hung in there. Hes great at keeping his composure." Collmenter gave up just four singles after the first. He departed in the sixth after consecutive two-out singles to Logan Schafer and pinch-hitter Rickie Weeeks.dddddddddddd Marshall came on to record the final out of the inning. Collmenter gave up five runs -- one earned -- and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out three and walked one. "I just wanted to give the team a chance to win to try and keep us in it long enough," Collmenter said. "When you get a comeback win like this, its huge for the club." The Diamondbacks entered the eighth trailing by a run. But Goldschmidt hustled for a double and scored on Monteros single. Hill then hit a drive over the left-centre field fence. Goldschmidts first-inning homer came immediately after Arizona challenged a call in which leadoff hitter Gerardo Parra, who had singled, was ruled out at first base on a pickoff. The call was overturned by review. Lyle Overbay had an RBI single, Ownings two-out throwing error allowed another run to score, Jean Segura followed with a run-scoring single and Schafer capped the big inning with a two-run double. Both pitchers settled down after that. Estrada retired 11 of the next 12 batters following Goldschmidts home run before issuing a walk to A.J. Pollock leading of the fifth. Pollack later scored on Collmenters ground out, cutting the lead to 5-3. Owings hit his first big league homer leading off the sixth. "Obviously it feels good. It makes it even more special that we got a win out of it," Owings said. Estrada yielded four runs and four hits over six innings. He struck out four and walked two. NOTES: The Diamondbacks placed reliever J.J. Putz on the 15-day DL with right forearm tightness and optioned pitcher Mike Bolsinger to Triple-A Reno. The team called up Marshall from Reno and Chase Anderson from Double-A Mobile. .The Brewers lost for the first time this season (19 games) when scoring four or more runs. ... Wily Peralta (4-1) will take the mound for Milwaukee against Arizonas Bronson Arroyo (2-2) in the three-game series finale on Wednesday. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '



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