Marc Albrighton

Leicester 1-0 Aston Villa

Paul Konchesky pulled Leicester to within two points of safety as The Foxes beat Aston Villa.

Konchesky struck a fine left-footed strike at the end of the first half in a match that Leicester dominated.

Matty James and Ciaran Clark were sent off in stoppage time as tempers boiled over.

The Foxes remain bottom of the table but are level with relegation rivals Crystal Palace on 17 points.

David Nugent wasted a great early opportunity by putting an effort wide in the 13th minute after Marc Albrighton slid him in.

Christian Benteke then had the ball in the net but he was flagged offside.

Nugent passed up another glorious opportunity to score, this time with his head, as he managed to put the ball wide from three yards.

He came close with a spectacular volley from the edge of the area that cannoned off the bar.

Leicester continued to pile the pressure on and Konchesky fired in a brilliant effort from just inside the area after Alan Hutton failed to clear.

The Foxes came out the traps quickly in the second half and almost doubled their lead but Brad Guazan expertly denied a Matty James header with a fingertip save.

Guzan made another excellent stop to deny former villa man Albrighton’s drive.

James lunged in on Jores Okore to earn a straight red card while Clark received a second yellow card for his reaction to the incident.

Benteke came close with a header but Leicester held on.

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Top Signing Per Club: A-L

The transfer window slammed shut last night and the Premier League sides will have to make do with what they have until January. Here @0riginalfooty takes a look at the top signing made by each club whose name begins between A and L.

Arsenal
Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona, £30m). Similarly to the capture of Mesut Ozil last summer, this signing has caught the imagination of Arsenal fans and has generated belief that The Gunners can be genuine title contenders once more. He may not have made a flying start to life in the Premier League but the Chilean should prove to be an excellent piece of business.
Other notable signings: Calum Chambers (Southampton, £16m), Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle, £12m), David Ospina (Nice, £3m), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal, £16m).

Aston Villa
Philippe Senderos (Valencia, free). The arrival of the Swiss centre-back was greeted with caution by Villa fans as Senderos had never really proved himself as a totally reliable defender. However, he has struck an instant understanding with Villa skipper Ron Vlaar and Villa’s defensive woes now seem a thing of the past. If he can keep up this form, he will prove to be a marvellous addition.
Other notable signings: Aly Cissokho (Valencia, undisclosed), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United, loan) Joe Cole (West Ham United, free), Kieran Richardson (Fulham, undisclosed), Carlos Sanchez (Elche, undisclosed).

Burnley
Matt Taylor (West Ham United, undisclosed). Burnley have had a tough set of opening fixtures and, despite performing valiantly, they will know how difficult it will be to stay in this league. They were a side who needed to add Premier League experience to their ranks and Taylor certainly fits the bill. His know-how at this level could prove vital to The Clarets survival hopes.
Other notable signings: George Boyd (Hull, £3m), Nathaniel Chalobah (Chelsea, loan), Matt Gilks (Blackpool, free), Lukas Jutkiewicz (Middlesbrough £1.5m), Michael Keane (Manchester United, loan), Michael Kightly (Stoke City, undisclosed), Steven Reid (West Bromwich Albion, free), Marvin Sordell (Bolton Wanderers, undisclosed), Stephen Ward (Wolves, undisclosed).

Chelsea
Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid, £32m). Costa has been a revelation since signing from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid and has scored four goals in his opening three matches. What has been more impressive, however, is his work-rate off the ball and willingness to battle and make defenders lives a misery. Jose Mourinho will be delighted with his contribution so far and he could easily prove to be the best signing of the season.
Other notable signings: Didier Drogba (Galatasary, free), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona,£30m), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid £20m).

Crystal Palace
Brede Hangeland (Fulham, free). Hangeland has been a quality performer in the Premier League for many years now and will be an excellent addition to Neil Warnock’s defence. He is a natural born leader on the pitch who is dominant in the air and will happily battle with opposition attackers.
Other notable signings: Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City, £900k), Kevin Doyle (Wolves, loan), Martin Kelly (Liverpool, undisclosed), Chris Kettings (Blackpool, free), Wilfried Zaha (Manchester United, loan).

Everton
Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea, £28m). Roberto Martinez smashed Everton’s record transfer record by bringing in burly Belgian frontman Romelu Lukaku. He was the top scorer for The Toffees last season and is a constant menace going forward. Everton have put a lot of faith in him with such a big outlay and will hope he can fire them to Champions League football this season.
Other notable signings: Christian Atsu (Chelsea, loan), Gareth Barry (Manchester City, free), Muhamed Besic (Ferencvaros, undisclosed), Samuel Eto’o (Chelsea, free).

Hull
Hatem Ben Arfa (Newcastle United, loan). Hull were very busy on deadline day and surprised many fans with their capture of Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa. Ben Arfa fell out with his parent club when he was fined for being overweight but has been given a lifeline by The Tigers. There is no doubting Ben Arfa’s quality if he can stay fit and Hull fans will be eagerly anticipating his debut.
Other notable signings: Michael Dawson (Spurs, undisclosed), Mohammed Diame (West Ham, undisclosed), Tom Ince (Blackpool, undisclosed), Jake Livermore (Spurs, undisclosed), Harry Maguire (Sheffield United, £2.5m), Andrew Robertson (Dundee United, £2.9m), Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City, undisclosed).

Leicester
Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton, £7m). Ulloa, Leicester’s record signing, has made an excellent start to life in the Premier League and scored the equaliser in their most recent draw against Arsenal. He’s a powerful striker who is deadly in the air and The Foxes will be hopeful that his goals can keep them in the Premier League.
Other notable signings: Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa, free), Jack Barmby (Manchester United, free), Esteban Cambiasso (Inter Milan, free), Ben Hamer (Charlton Athletic, free), Matthew Upson (Brighton, free).

Liverpool
Mario Balotelli (AC Milan, £16m). Balotelli has returned to English football, much to the delight of the media, and Liverpool fans will be hopeful that he can produce the world-class form that we know he is capable of on a regular basis. If he can put his troublesome ways behind him and focus on his football then he will be a steal at £16m.
Other notable signings: Emre Can (Bayer Leverkusen, £8m), Adam Lallana (Southampton, £25m), Rickie Lambert (Southampton, £4m), Dejan Lovren (Southampton, £20m), Javi Manquillo (Atletico Madrid, loan), Lazar Markovic (Benfica, £20m), Alberto Moreno (Sevilla, undisclosed).

 

Premier League Preview: Leicester City

There are only 4 weeks to wait ‘til the start of the Premier League. Over the next few weeks @0riginalfooty will preview the new season, take a look at each team and offer our predictions as to where each side will finish. Here we take a look at Leicester.

Leicester cruised to victory in the Championship last season, finishing 9 points clear of Burnley and only losing 6 matches. They are a side backed by wealthy Thai billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprbha who has promised great riches to be spent on the Midlands side but they are yet to make any great waves in the transfer market.

The Manager
Nigel Pearson returned for his second spell in charge of Leicester City in 2011 having fallen out of favour with then owner Milan Mandaric in his previous time in charge. In his first full season as boss he guided them to the playoffs and last year he masterminded a relatively comfortable title victory. He is yet to have been a fulltime manager in the Premier League so this is a new challenge for him.

Pearson is new to Premier League management

Pearson is new to Premier League management

Biggest Signing
Leicester are yet to really make a big splash in the transfer market and have only brought in new faces on free transfers thus far. Matthew Upson, the former England international, has been drafted in from Brighton, goalkeeper Ben Hamer from Charlton and Jack Barmby from Manchester United. Their biggest signing to date has been that of Marc Albrighton from Aston Villa. Albrighton enjoyed an impressive return to the Villa side, having struggled with injury in previous seasons, and it was a surprise to see the side from the West Midlands let him go. Their loss will be Leicester’s gain and they will be looking forward to seeing the tricky winger in action.

Marc Albrighton could be a handy addition to Leicester's squad

Marc Albrighton will be a handy addition to Leicester’s squad

Who is tipped to join them?
Leicester are set to break their transfer record by signing Brighton striker Leonardo Ulloa for around £7 million. A fee has been agreed so Leicester fans can expect to see his arrival in the coming days. The Foxes are also battling it out with Queens Park Rangers to sign Steven Caulker and Fraizer Campbell from relegated Cardiff City. Finally, Nick Powell has been mentioned as a possible target to join from Manchester United on loan.

Leonardo Ulloa will become Leicester's record signing

Leonardo Ulloa will become Leicester’s record signing

Who should they sign?
Nigel Pearson has been keen to stress that he believes his squad is good enough to survive in the Premier League as it is but there is very little top-flight experience amongst his players and that must be a concern. Matthew Upson and Paul Konchesky are experienced defenders but both are long past their best and don’t inspire confidence at this level so another proven defender could be an option such as Brede Hangeland. In addition to this, Leicester’s strikers are inexperienced in Premier League football and the step up can often prove to be too much. Fraizer Campbell is a sensible pursuit in that regard.

Hangeland could be a good addition for the Foxes

Hangeland would offer good experience to their defence

Key Player
Kasper Schmeichel. The son of the great Peter Schmeichel was impressive when he first burst on to the scene for Manchester City and was unfortunate to be replaced in the side by Joe Hart. Schmeichel has since plied his trade in the lower leagues but will be prepared for his Premier League return. He could be the difference as to whether the Foxes survive or are relegated.

Schmeichel is a very capable goalkeeper

Schmeichel is a very capable goalkeeper

Prediction
Nigel Pearson may be convinced his side can survive in the league this season without reinforcements but I’m not. Unless Leicester can add some real quality to their squad they will almost certainly return to the Championship at the end of the season. I feel they are likely to miss out on a number of their targets due to interest from QPR and relegation beckons. Expect Leicester to finish 18th.