Leicester City’s Thai Chairman Killed In Helicopter Crash

 

Leicester City’s Thai billionaire boss was among five people killed when his helicopter crashed and burst into flames in the Premier League side’s stadium car park moments after taking off from the pitch, the club said on Sunday.

A stream of fans already fearing the worst had laid out flowers, football scarves and Buddhist prayers outside the club’s King Power stadium after Saturday’s accident in tribute to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha — the man they credit for an against-all-odds Premier League victory in 2016.

“The world has lost a great man,” the club said in a statement.

“Leicester City was a family under his leadership. It is as a family that we will grieve his passing and maintain the pursuit of a vision for the club that is now his legacy,” it said.

A book of condolence will be opened at the stadium from Tuesday and the team has postponed its upcoming League Cup fixture against Southampton.

“Everyone at the Club has been truly touched by the remarkable response of the football family, whose thoughtful messages of support and solidarity have been deeply appreciated at this difficult time,” the statement said.

Police named the four other victims as Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, two members of Vichai’s staff, pilot Eric Swaffer and passenger Izabela Roza Lechowicz.

Vichai, 60, the owner of Thailand’s King Power duty-free empire, was a regular at matches who used to fly to and from home games.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is credited with turning Leicester City into a family and guiding the club to pull off one of the most memorable achievements in football.
Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

The blue chopper took off from the middle of the pitch once the stadium had emptied after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with West Ham.

Eyewitnesses said the helicopter appeared to develop a mechanical problem in its rear propeller shortly after takeoff.

Images showed orange balls of flame engulfing the wreckage in the car park of the stadium where just two years ago Leicester celebrated the most unlikely of Premier League title triumphs.

“Struggling to find the right words….but to me, you are a legend, an incredible man who had the biggest heart, the soul of Leicester City Football Club,” Leicester striker Jamie Vardy, one of the heroes of that success, posted on Instagram.

“Thank you for everything you did for me, my family and our club. I will truly miss you…. may you rest in peace… #theboss”

‘Sense of family’

Prayers and tributes poured in from the footballing world and beyond for the jovial man many credit with bringing glory to the central English city with the miracle-making club.

“He’s put Leicester on the map,” supporter Cathy Dann, 55, told AFP.

“He’s made us big,” she said, as aviation experts picked through small pieces of wreckage scattered on the stadium’s edge.

Among the tributes was an image of Ganesh — a Hindu god also seen in Thai Buddhist temples.

A minute’s silence was observed before the whistle of Sunday’s Premier League matches.

“It is a family business and they have instilled this sense of family not just throughout the club but into the city as well,” Andrew Hulley, the team’s chaplain for the past seven years, said.

Football fans in Bangkok said Vichai had helped develop the sport in Thailand as well, bringing the Southeast Asian country greater recognition in the sporting world.

“He is an important person who has raised the bar of Thai football further,” Apichart Jitratkavee, a Leicester fan in the Thai capital, said.

Chamat Uchukanokkul, 39, said Vichai was “an inspiration to Thais… He showed that we can do anything if we set our minds to do it”.

Vichai bought Leicester City in 2010 and moved to chairman the following February, pouring millions into the team and becoming a beloved figure in the club and the city — a feat rarely achieved by the Premier League’s foreign owners.

5,000-1 odds

It was under Vichai’s ownership that Leicester crafted one of the biggest fairy tales in English football history by winning the 2015/16 Premier League, having started the season as 5,000-1 outsiders for the title.

Vichai’s investments in the club helped return them to the Premier League from the second-tier Championship in 2014.

Languishing at the very bottom of the table for most of the 2014/15 season, the Foxes, as the team are nicknamed, then engineered what fans now fondly refer to as the “Great Escape”, winning seven of their last nine matches.

They ended up finishing 14th, securing another season in Europe’s richest league in 2015/16.

But not even their most devout fans could have imagined what happened next.

Vardy scored in 11 consecutive matches, propelling the men in blue to a title without parallel in Premier League history.

The impact made by Leicester’s remarkable rise under Vichai across the continent was reflected as Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid both expressed their condolences.

“The club wants to show their condolences to his family, his friends and all the Leicester fans,” said European champions Madrid in a statement.

“Our thoughts are with the whole @lcfc family. Rest in peace,” Barca posted on Twitter.

AFP

 

Fans React After Leicester City Helicopter Crash

A boy arranges a club scarf around floral tributes piled outside Leicester City Football Club’s King Power Stadium in Leicester, eastern England, on October 28, 2018, after a helicopter belonging to the club’s Thai chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha crashed outside the stadium/ AFP

 

Fans laid down football scarves and shirts outside Leicester City’s King Power Stadium on Sunday, a day after a helicopter belonging to the club’s Thai owner crashed outside the grounds.

Dozens of candles and flowers could also be seen among the tributes, as well as an image of Ganesh — a Hindu god often found at Thai Buddhist temples.

“I was really upset, I can’t get to sleep over it,” Kanti Patel, a Leicester City fan, told AFP as emergency workers pored over the crash site.

There was no confirmation whether 60-year-old billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who frequently flies to and from Leicester’s home games by helicopter, was on board the aircraft.

But many in the city in central England and in Vichai’s homeland already feared the worst for the man they credit with the club’s against-all-odds Premier League title victory in 2016.

“It means a lot to me, he did a lot for the club,” Patel said.

“To be honest I don’t know what to say but I can’t get over it. Since him being with the club the club has done well, and I don’t know what’s going to happen now.”

Another fan, Tom Lievers, arrived with a “Champions” scarf to pay tribute to Vichai.

“Well you know where we were when he bought the club — we were absolutely nowhere. So I brought down my ‘Champions’ scarf because he made us champions.”

Andrew Aldwinckle said: “He was more like he was a supporter, a proper supporter, rather than a money man. He was one of the crowd. As far as we’re concerned, that’s it.”

Steve Walton, who wore the club’s blue hat, said: “I think there’s a lot of Leicester fans around the world — not just in Leicester, but around the world — who I think will be devastated and he meant a lot to the fans.”

Vichai also brought Thailand greater recognition in the international sporting world, developing the Southeast Asian country’s football scene.

At a football game in central Bangkok, Leicester City fan Apichart Jitratkavee said: “He is an important person who has raised the bar of Thai football further.

“There were projects by Leicester City to select Thai teenagers to train in the club’s academy. They will have a chance to serve the nation in the future.”

Another fan, Nathavut Sirimontaporn, said Vichai has brought “benefits” to Thai football.

“I think having him as an owner of the Leicester City made people know Thailand more,” he said.

Fears For Leicester City’s Thai Chairman After Helicopter Crash

Smoke rises from the wreckage of a helicopter that crashed in a car park outside Leicester City Football Club’s King Power Stadium in Leicester, eastern England, on October 27, 2018. A helicopter on Saturday crashed near the football stadium in the central UK city of Leicester, police said. The crash took place hours after Leicester drew 1-1 with West Ham in a Premier League match at the King Power Stadium. Sky Sports broadcast pictures of what it said was the helicopter in flames, reporting it belonged to Leicester City Football Club’s Thai owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Leicester City’s charismatic Thai chairman was the subject of growing concerns on Sunday after a helicopter belonging to the billionaire crashed and burst into flames in the stadium carpark shortly after taking off from the club’s pitch.

There was no confirmation whether London-based Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who frequently flies to and from Leicester’s home games by helicopter, was on board the aircraft which appeared to develop mechanical problems.

The BBC’s Southeast Asia correspondent tweeted that a “source close to the family” had confirmed he was on board, but there was no word from Leicester City or from Thai officials of King Power, Vichai’s duty-free shopping empire.

Images showed smoke rising from the fiery wreckage in the carpark at King Power Stadium — the scene of unbridled jubilation after Leicester’s against-all-odds Premier League title victory in 2016.

Freelance photographer Ryan Brown, who was covering Saturday’s 1-1 draw with West Ham, told BBC Radio 5 Live that he saw the helicopter rise out of the stadium before it crashed.

“Literally the engine stopped and I turned around, and it made a bit of a whirring noise. It turned silent, blades started spinning and then there was a big bang,” he said.

He said he saw “a huge fireball” when he ran to the scene.

None of the identities of the pilot or passengers was revealed, and there was also no information about whether anyone on the ground was injured.

“We are assisting Leicestershire Police and the emergency services in dealing with a major incident at King Power Stadium,” the club said in a statement.

– ‘Heartbreaking’ –
As expressions of concern poured in from around the football world, England legend Gary Lineker, a former Leicester player and host of the BBC’s Match of the Day, tweeted: “That was the most difficult @BBCMOTD I’ve ever hosted… A terrible tragedy. Heartbreaking.”

Leicester footballers Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire both tweeted praying hands emojis and West Ham defender Pablo Zabaleta, who also played in Saturday’s game, tweeted: “My thoughts and prayers are with all those involved in the helicopter accident at Leicester City.”

Nualphan Lamsam or Madam Pang, an influential figure in Thai football who manages the national women’s team, sent “moral support to Vichai and family” in a post on Facebook.

Vichai bought Leicester City in 2010 and became chairman the following February, pouring millions into the team and becoming a beloved figure in the club and the city — a feat not always achieved by the Premier League’s foreign owners.

“Thoughts and prayers with all — particularly owners who’ve done so much for Club and our City,” Leicester’s mayor Peter Soulsby tweeted.

Sky Sports said the helicopter took off from the pitch between 1930 and 1945 GMT but developed problems shortly afterwards with its tail rotor.

The local ambulance service said it was alerted at 2138 GMT.

“We sent a doctor, two paramedics in ambulance cars, a crewed ambulance and our Hazardous Area Response Team, with the first resource arriving within two minutes of the call,” it tweeted.

Air crash investigators were also examining the scene.

– Leicester’s miracle –
It was under Vichai’s ownership that Leicester crafted one of the biggest fairy-tales in English football history by winning the 2015/16 Premier League, having started the season as 5,000-1 outsiders for the title.

Vichai made major investments in the club after his purchase, returning them to England’s Premier League from the second-tier Championship in 2014.

They initially seemed outclassed by richer and more established clubs from London, Liverpool and Manchester, languishing at the very bottom the table for most of the 2014-15 season.

The Foxes, as the team are nicknamed, then engineered what fans now fondly refer to as the “Great Escape”, winning seven of their last nine matches.

They ended up finishing 14th, securing themselves another season in Europe’s richest league in 2015/16.

But not even their most devout fans could have imagined what happened next.

Vardy, signed from non-league Fleetwood Town, scored in 11 consecutive matches, propelling the men in blue to a title without parallel in Premier League history.

The success also qualified them for the first time for the lucrative Champions League, the pinnacle of European football played by the continent’s most successful sides, including Barcelona and Real Madrid.

There, Leicester City defied the odds yet again, winning their group before eventually losing their quarter-final 2-1 over two legs to Atletico Madrid..

Leicester City Owner’s Helicopter Crashes

Smoke rises from the wreckage of a helicopter that crashed in a car park outside Leicester City Football Club’s King Power Stadium in Leicester, eastern England, on October 27, 2018.
Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

A helicopter that crashed on Saturday near the stadium of UK football club Leicester City belonged to Thai owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, a report said.

Sky Sports broadcast pictures of what it said was the helicopter in flames, reporting it belonged to the club’s owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

The helicopter crashed in the club’s car park close to its King Power Stadium following Saturday’s Premier League game against West Ham.

Sky Sports said the helicopter took off from the pitch between 8.30pm-8.45pm local time (1930-1945 GMT) but developed problems shortly afterwards with its tail rotor.

“We are dealing with an incident in the vicinity of the King Power Stadium. Emergency services are aware and dealing,” the police said.

Thai businessman Srivaddhanaprabha, who has poured millions into the club, often leaves the stadium in his helicopter, which takes off from the pitch, when he attends a Leicester home game.

It is not clear if Srivaddhanaprabha was on board or not and the identities of the pilot and passengers on board on have not yet been confirmed. It is also not yet known if anyone on the ground was injured.

A witness told Sky News, “I hope they’re okay. Doesn’t seem like they have had much of a chance. Just burst into flames.”

The ambulance service tweeted, “We are also in attendance and will update when possible.”

Srivaddhanaprabha bought the club in 2010 and became chairman the following February.

It was under the ownership of Srivaddhanaprabha that Leicester created one of the biggest shocks in English football history by winning the 2015/16 Premier League, having started the season as 5,000/1 outsiders for the title.

AFP

Helicopter Crashes Near UK Football Stadium

Smoke rises from the wreckage of a helicopter that crashed in a car park outside Leicester City Football Club’s King Power Stadium in Leicester, eastern England, on October 27, 2018. 
Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

A helicopter crashed near the football stadium in the central UK city of Leicester on Saturday, police said.

Sky Sports broadcast pictures of what it said was the helicopter in flames, reporting it belonged to Leicester City Football Club’s Thai owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

The crash took place hours after Leicester drew 1-1 with West Ham in a Premier League match at the King Power Stadium.

Sky Sports said the helicopter took off from the pitch between 8.30pm-8.45pm local time (1930-1945 GMT) but developed problems shortly afterward with its tail rotor and crashed in a nearby car park.

Leicestershire Police tweeted, “We are dealing with an incident in the vicinity of the King Power Stadium. Emergency services are aware and dealing.”

The ambulance service also tweeted, “We are also in attendance and will update when possible.”

Meanwhile, broadcaster and former Leicester footballer Gary Lineker tweeted: “Hearing that the Leicester City owners’ helicopter has crashed in the club’s car park.”

In this file photo taken on April 29, 2015, an helicopter reportedly owned by Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the owner of Leicester City football club lands on the pitch of the King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on April 29, 2015. It is, however, not clear if it is the same one that crashed. Photos: Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

AFP

Leicester Complete Double Defender Swoop

Leicester City

 

Leicester City bolstered their defensive options on Thursday with the signings of Croatian Filip Benkovic and Turkish international Caglar Soyuncu.

Despite adding two centre-backs on deadline day for Premier League clubs, Leicester resisted interest from Manchester United for England international Harry Maguire.

The two sides meet on Friday in the opening game of the Premier League season at Old Trafford.

Soyuncu, 22, joins from German side Freiburg in a deal worth a reported £19 million ($24.5 million).

Croatian under-21 international Benkovic will reportedly cost the Foxes £13 million from Dinamo Zagreb.

The double swoop takes Leicester’s summer spending over £100 million after moves for Ricardo Pereira, Jonny Evans, James Maddison, Danny Ward and Rachid Ghezzal.

AFP

Ahmed Musa Joins Saudi Arabian Club Al-Nassr

Ahmed Musa Joins Saudi Arabian Club Al-Nassr
(File) Ahmed Musa celebrates after scoring Nigeria’s opener during the game. His strike also represents Nigeria’s first goal at Russia 2018. Mark RALSTON / AFP.

 

Super Eagles and Leicester City forward Ahmed Musa has joined Al-Nassr for an undisclosed fee.

The Saudi Arabian side revealed on Friday via their Twitter handle that the Nigerian signed a four-year deal with the club.

Musa was Leicester’s record signing when he joined the Premier League side for about £16m from CSKA Moscow in 2016.

He was, however, loaned back to the Russian club last season, after scoring just two goals in 21 games at Leicester.

The 25-year-old represented Nigeria at the just concluded World Cup tournament in Russia, scoring both goals in a win over Iceland in Group D.

Having joined the Saudi professional league, Musa was received by his new club with an open arm.

Riyad Mahrez Completes Dream Move To Manchester City

CAF Awards: Mahrez Is Africa's Best Footballer In 2016

 

 

Algerian international Riyad Mahrez secured his move to Premier League champions Manchester City on Tuesday, seven months after his hopes were dashed when City refused to pay Leicester’s asking price.

This time though Leicester said they had sold him for what is a club-record fee, with some reports suggesting the champions paid £60 million ($79.6million), which would make it their record buy.

The 27-year-old — a pivotal figure when Leicester stormed to a shock Premier League title in 2016 — signed a five-year contract.

“I am so pleased to have joined City, a side playing great football under Pep Guardiola,” Mahrez told the Manchester City website.

“Watching them from afar has been a pleasure.

“Pep is committed to playing attacking football, which is a perfect for me, and City’s performances last season were outstanding.”

Mahrez, who was so upset at not gaining his move to City at the beginning of the year he sat out two matches, said his new club were revolutionising the game in England.

“They’re redefining the English game and I wanted to be a part of it,” said Mahrez.

“I think we can be successful over the coming years and I believe my own game can develop under Pep’s management.”

AFP

Rebellious Mahrez To Miss Swansea Clash

Leicester City’s Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez   Photo: Lindsey PARNABY / AFP

 

Riyad Mahrez will not be included in Leicester City boss Claude Puel’s squad for the visit of Swansea City as the Algerian’s standoff with the Foxes for their refusal to entertain a deadline day bid from Manchester City rumbles on.

Mahrez has not trained since City’s withdrew their interest on Wednesday’s due to Leicester’s demands.

“Riyad is not available for this game,” Puel told a news conference on Friday.

“All I can say about the situation is that this is the best decision for Leicester, in the best interests of Leicester. It is also the best decision for Riyad.

“It is a tough situation for us to manage but now it is time to move on and keep our focus.”

It is not the first time that Mahrez, who played a huge role in inspiring Leicester’s remarkable 2015/16 Premier League triumph, has tried to force his way out at the King Power.

However, Puel is hopeful the 26-year-old can return for the remainder of the season having also played a big part in Leicester’s upturn in fortunes since the French coach replaced Craig Shakespeare in October.

“I hope he can come back with us. He is an important player for us, of course,” added Puel.

“He can come back to the team and we need to stay united. It is difficult to manage but it will stay inside the club. We need to move forward and focus on football.

“We can’t change anything about the situation. We needs to find again a good feeling and help him come back with a positive attitude to enjoy his football.”

Reports suggest City were willing to offer £50 million ($71 million, 57 million euros) plus a player they valued at £15 million to land Mahrez.

But the Foxes asking price was closer to £80 million cash which the Premier League leaders were not willing to pay.

Mahrez joined Leicester for just £350,000 from French side Le Havre in 2014.

AFP

Conte Frustrated As 10-man Leicester Hold Chelsea

 

Chelsea’s Italian head coach Antonio Conte gestures on the touchline during the game at Stamford Bridge in London on January 13, 2018.  Photo: Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Antonio Conte’s problems mounted as spluttering Chelsea were held to a dour 0-0 draw by 10-man Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Conte’s side produced a limp display and could easily have lost to a Leicester team who missed a host of first-half chances.

Even when Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell was sent off midway through the second half for two bookings, the champions were unable to snatch a winner.

Chelsea remain third — 15 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City — and have drawn their last four matches in all competitions.

The result capped a difficult week for Chelsea boss Conte, who could be in the final months of his turbulent reign despite last season’s title triumph.

Responding to a report claiming he will leave at the end of the season, Conte this week said “everything is possible” regarding his future.

Conte has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain as his relationship with the Chelsea board has grown increasingly fractious following disagreements over transfers and the Italian’s feud with Diego Costa, which led to the striker joining Atletico Madrid.

Conte has reportedly frustrated some of his players with his intense personality and demanding training sessions and their inconsistent performances this season have added fuel to that fire.

Chelsea are reported to be considering Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri and former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique as potential replacements for the 48-year-old.

“I think a lot of our players were tired. In the first half Leicester ran more than us,” Conte said.

“We suffered a lot. We are not conceding, but we are not creating chances.”

Given the speculation surrounding their manager, it was intriguing to note the response of Chelsea fans.

Having grown used to big-name managers coming and going in the era of owner Roman Abramovich, they hardly seemed heartbroken at the possibility of another change on the bench.

When a chant of Conte’s name emanated from the stands soon after kick-off, it quickly petered out and the Italian responded with only a bashful clap towards the supporters.

Shinji Okazaki had a chance to further dampen the muted atmosphere in the eighth minute when the Leicester striker slid in to meet Chilwell’s cross, but couldn’t control a close-range shot that ballooned over the bar.

Lethargic Chelsea

When Jamie Vardy fired narrowly wide from a tight angle moments later, Conte wore a thunderous expression on the touchline.

It took a superb save from Thibaut Courtois to prevent Leicester taking the lead their pressure deserved as the Belgian plunged to his right to claw away a Wilfred Ndidi header.

Chelsea threatened when Eden Hazard teed up Cesc Fabregas for a powerful drive that Kasper Schmeichel palmed away.

But misplaced passes and lapses of concentration littered Chelsea’s play.

Vardy was a constant menace and Conte’s defence again failed to corral the England international, who found space to shoot just wide.

An injury that forced Chelsea captain Gary Cahill off late in the first half added to Conte’s problems.

Fabregas nearly put Chelsea ahead against the run of play, but the midfielder’s drive was tipped over by Schmeichel.

A key cause of Chelsea’s erratic form has been Alvaro Morata’s struggles and the lacklustre Spain striker has now gone five games without a goal.

Chelsea were still in disarray after the interval and Riyad Mahrez’s deflected effort almost crept in, prompting Conte to send on Willian and Pedro for Hazard and Fabregas.

The decision to remove Hazard drew jeers from the frustrated Chelsea faithful.

Conte’s men were gifted an unexpected lift when Chilwell, booked moments earlier, lunged into a studs-up tackle on Victor Moses in the 68th minute, earning a red card from referee Michael Jones.

However, the best Chelsea could manage were harmless long-range strikes from N’Golo Kante and Marcos Alonso as Leicester held firm to leave Conte grumbling his way down the tunnel at full-time.

AFP

Man City’s Stones Limps Off At Leicester

England’s defender John Stones takes part in an England national football team training session at Tottenham Hotspur FC Training Ground in Enfield, north London, on November 13, 2017 ahead of their international friendly match against Brazil. Ben STANSALL / AFP

Manchester City centre-back John Stones was forced off with an apparent hamstring injury during the first half of his side’s Premier League game at Leicester City on Saturday.

Stones, who has been in excellent form for City and England, pulled up while chasing the ball in the 28th minute and gave way to Eliaquim Mangala shortly after.

With Nicolas Otamendi suspended, club captain Vincent Kompany had slotted in alongside Stones at centre-back for Pep Guardiola’s league leaders.

The injury prone Kompany, a Belgium international, was making his first league start since August.

AFP

Leicester Stretch Unbeaten Run, Pulis Under Pressure

Riyad Mahrez (L) celebrates with teammates Christian Fuchs and Harry Maguire (R) after scoring Leicester City’s second goal during their Premier League football match against Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium.. on November 4, 2017. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Leicester City extended their unbeaten run on Saturday with a draw at Stoke while struggling West Brom’s winless run stretched to nine league matches against 10-man Huddersfield, cranking up the pressure on manager Tony Pulis.

With five of the top six sides not in action until Sunday, the focus was on the battle lower down the Premier League table before Liverpool were due to kick off in the late match against struggling West Ham.

In the early game, former England striker Peter Crouch came off the bench to rescue a point for Stoke City in a 2-2 draw, denying new Leicester manager Claude Puel another victory after he won his first match at the helm against Everton last week.

The 2015-16 Premier League champions are now unbeaten in six games in all competitions after early season struggles but will be disappointed they twice let their lead slip and in the end were indebted to goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who made a fantastic flying stop in the dying seconds.

Leicester parted company with Craig Shakespeare last month after slipping into the relegation zone but have recovered strongly under caretaker boss Michael Appleton and ex-Southampton boss Puel.

“I am happy with the attitude of my players, it was a good game, good intensity and passion,” said Puel.

“We had a lot of chances today. It is difficult to accept one point but Kasper saved well at the end so then OK, we take a point. It is an encouraging game which is important for the future.”

Huddersfield stunner

Huddersfield’s Rajiv van La Parra broke the deadlock in their home match against West Brom, lighting up a match devoid of real quality with a stunning strike on the stroke of the interval.

West Brom, struggling for goals, have not won a Premier League match since mid-August and remain just two points clear of the relegation zone, with Pulis’s proud record of never being relegated under threat.

Huddersfield were forced to play for more than half an hour with 10 men after Christopher Schindler was shown a second yellow card, prompting three substitutions from Pulis but the visitors failed to force an equaliser.

Elsewhere, Sean Dyche’s Burnley extended their impressive unbeaten away record with a 1-0 win at Southampton courtesy of a late Sam Vokes strike to move up to sixth in the table.

Burnley, with three wins and two draws, have already won more games and points on the road than they amassed in the whole of 2016-17, when they garnered just seven points.

Brighton earned three points at struggling Swansea with a first-half goal from Glenn Murray and a Steve Cook strike in added time gave Bournemouth a 1-0 win away at Newcastle.

West Ham will take on Liverpool in the late evening kick-off on Saturday, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in line for a first league start after his move from Arsenal and West Ham desperate for points to pull away from danger.

On Sunday, leaders Manchester City host Arsenal while second-placed Manchester United travel to Chelsea, with both sides needing a win to stay on the coattails of Pep Guardiola’s team.

Tottenham, on a high after their historic 3-1 Champions League win against Real Madrid, host bottom-placed Crystal Palace.

AFP