Antonio Rudiger and Willian set for Chelsea return against Leicester

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Chelsea manager Frank Lampard will be hoping to have both Antonio Rudiger and Willian available for Sunday’s Premier League visit of Leicester.

The Blues boss has lost his opening two games in charge but could be boosted by the return of Rudiger and Willian (both knee) against the Foxes.

After slipping to penalty shoot-out defeat to Liverpool in the Super Cup in Istanbul on Wednesday night, Lampard could shuffle his pack to prevent tired legs.

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has a fully fit squad available as he prepares to face his former club.

Rodgers, a coach at Stamford Bridge between 2004 and 2008, saw his team come through their opening-day draw against Wolves with a clean bill of health.

Demarai Gray missed that goalless draw as he was left out of the squad, despite being fit, and the winger will hope to be involved on Sunday.

Provisional Chelsea squad: Arrizabalaga, Caballero, Azpilicueta, Zappacosta, Rudiger, Tomori, Christensen, Zouma, Alonso, Palmieri, Jorginho, Kante, Barkley, Kovacic, Mount, Kenedy, Pedro, Willian, Pulisic, Giroud, Abraham, Batshuayi.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Alexis Sanchez has big role to play for Man United this season

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Alexis Sanchez will be a core component of Manchester United’s squad this year, and he is nearing a return.

That’s according to the Daily Star, which says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer “plans to use the Chilean to full effect this year”.

Unai Emery says he does not know if Arsenal’s summer signings have made Gunners stronger, the Daily Mirror reports.

Jadon Sancho is set to leave Borussia Dortmund next summer with rivals Manchester United and City at the front of the queue, the Daily Mail says in an exclusive.

Wilfried Zaha could still leave Crystal Palace this summer amid Dortmund and Napoli transfer interest, according to The Sun.

And the Daily Mail says Chelsea’s bitter dispute over Antonio Conte’s £9m severance package is going to an employment tribunal.

Players to watch

Andy Lonergan: The journeyman goalkeeper could start for Liverpool against Southampton on Saturday, which would mean he would become the oldest Englishman, at 63 days short of his 36th birthday, to make his debut in the Premier League this century, the Guardian reports.

Nicolas Pepe: The Arsenal winger was always destined for greatness, according to a story in the Daily Mirror.

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Mauricio Pochettino has done an ‘extraordinary’ job at Tottenham, says Pep Guardiola

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola insists he has nothing but the utmost admiration for his Tottenham counterpart Mauricio Pochettino.

The pair, whose sides face each other at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, have a perceived rivalry dating back to their respective times in charge of Catalan rivals Barcelona and Espanyol a decade ago.

That supposedly intensified in 2017 when Pochettino was irritated by Guardiola’s description of Spurs as “the Harry Kane team”, although the City manager later admitted regret at the phrasing of that intended compliment.

Guardiola has actually expressed his respect for Pochettino repeatedly over the years, and he was keen to point that out as he prepares to meet the Argentinian again.

Asked about the job Pochettino has done at Spurs, Guardiola said: “Overwhelming, extraordinary – I said (that) many, many times.

“I don’t know if Pochettino receives many compliments from other managers like me. I don’t think so.

“My opinion about him is high standards, even if he doesn’t believe me, so he’s a top, top, top, top manager.”

Pochettino’s Spurs inflicted Guardiola’s first defeat as City manager in October 2016 while they also knocked the Premier League winners out of last season’s Champions League at the quarter-final stage.

Guardiola said: “About Tottenham, I think my colleague can speak better about his team.

“But I said from the beginning, the first day, when we played against them at White Hart Lane and lost 2-0, I said words in terms of the capacity, quality and possibilities of this team, the manager and the club. They are a strong team, a good team.”

City opened their title defence with a 5-0 thrashing of West Ham last weekend with Raheem Sterling scoring a hat-trick.

The England forward, who scored 25 goals for City last season, also struck in the Community Shield a fortnight ago and Guardiola sees no reason why the 24-year-old should not aim for 30 this term.

He said: “When he’s in front of the goal, he puts it in the net. So, he can do it, yes.

“He scored 24 (actually 25, last season) and 24 to 30 is only six goals.

“But I never spoke with Sergio (Aguero) or Gabriel (Jesus) or Raz, with any of the people up front, about what are their dreams and targets are.

“I think they are happy when they are scoring goals. I wouldn’t judge him if he scored 30 goals or 35 or 20. When he scores goals, I’m happy, but if he does what he has to do for him and the team, it’s enough.”

City will be without Leroy Sane for a prolonged period after the German winger ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in the Community Shield. Guardiola has confirmed he is due to undergo surgery this weekend.

It has emerged that Sane – who was linked with Bayern Munich throughout the summer – will be treated in Austria by Professor Christian Fink, rather than Dr Ramon Cugat, the Barcelona-based specialist often used by City.

This is understood to have been a personal decision by the player, who knows Professor Fink through the German national team.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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