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Man U, leicester to battle for top four finish.

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Leicester City and Manchester United will both be looking to secure top-four finishes in the Premier League table when the pair lock horns on Sunday afternoon for what is a huge contest at the King Power Stadium.

The Foxes are currently fifth in the table, one point behind fourth-placed Chelsea and third-placed United, meaning that the three sides are battling for two positions, with Chelsea hosting Wolverhampton Wanderers on the same afternoon. The Foxes have struggled since returning to the field last month, though, picking up just two wins from their eight league matches, suffering three defeats in the process, to drop outside of the Champions League positions. Brendan Rodgers’s side know that a win over United would guarantee a top-four finish, although a point could also be enough. Indeed, if Chelsea were to lose at home to Wolves then a draw would see Leicester claim fourth as they have a much better goal difference than Frank Lampard’s team.

It is absolutely fascinating heading into the final afternoon, and the fact that United dropped points at home to West Ham United on Wednesday, coupled with Chelsea’s loss at Liverpool, means that Leicester are still in the hunt despite their disappointing form since the restart. United moved from fifth to third on Wednesday despite the fact that they were held to a 1-1 draw by West Ham at Old Trafford. The 20-time English champions have won five and drawn three of their eight Premier League games since the restart, placing themselves in an excellent position to secure a return to the Champions League. A point would ensure that they finish inside the top four, although they could lose and still qualify for next season’s Champions League if Chelsea fail to overcome sixth-placed Wolves at Stamford Bridge. The recent draws with Southampton and West Ham, in addition to the 3-1 loss to Chelsea in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, have been disappointing, but there is no question that the club would have taken this position when they returned to the field after the lockdown period.

Much of the club’s summer activity, namely a potential move for Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, allegedly hinges on whether they can qualify for next season’s Champions League, although they could still make it by winning the Europa League if they were to drop out of contention here.

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Bamfords’s impressive hat-trick inspires Leeds win as Villa taste defeat

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It was a marvelous performance by Marcelo Biyelsa’s side on Friday as Leeds United smashed Aston Villa by 3 goals to nil, all coming from the Englishman Patrick Bamford.

Leeds came into the game with confidence, hoping for a win after a poor performance at home to Wolves, and a win against Sheffield United.

 

Villa came into Friday’s game having won their first four games of a league campaign for the first time since 1930-31, but three expert finishes from the Leeds striker prevented the hosts making it a club record five victories on the spin to open their season.

The result lifts Leeds to third – their highest position at the end of a day in the division since September 2002.

It was reward for a relentlessly positive performance from an injury-hit visiting side that should probably have yielded more goals.

 

In the first-half, Bamford missed with a header and then side-footed wide after being found by Jack Harrison’s low cross at the end of swift counter-attacking move.

Leeds’ record signing Rodrigo was also guilty of spurning good opportunities, slicing one shot wide before seeing an effort blocked by Ezri Konsa.

 

Dean Smith’s Villa team, who had put seven goals past champions Liverpool in their previous home game, saw a Jack Grealish shot cleared off the line by Luke Ayling after the ball had fallen to the midfielder from Trezeguet’s miscued shot.

Villa’s captain also went close with a saved effort from close range after he had shown great tenacity and skill to carry the ball from within his own half.

 

But Bamford had the decisive say, finding the corner of the net at the 55th minute from just a few yards out after Emiliano Martinez had palmed out Rodrigo’s low shot.

If his first was simple, his second and third were stunning – a rising effort into the top corner from 20 yards after he was found by Mateusz Klich on 67 minutes and a dug out, curling finish following Helder Costa’s low ball seven minutes later.

 

This spectacular hat-trick from Bamford has him breaking records in the Premier League, becoming the second player to score six goals in Leeds first six matches this season, only Eric Cantona in 1992-1993 has scored as many goals for the club at this stage of the season in a Premier League Campaign.

 

Patrick Bamford is also the 9th Leeds player to score a PL hat-trick and the first since Mark Viduka away at Charlton in April 2003.

 

Leeds are now two points and a place behind Villa, who remain second, a point behind leaders Everton.

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