Memories of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha to the fore in Premier League

LONDON, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) — The Premier League is set for an emotional weekend as supporters and fans prepare to remember former Leicester City chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who was one of five people killed in a helicopter crash following the Foxes’ 1-1 draw against West Ham last Saturday.

The club has insisted this Saturday’s Premier League game away to Cardiff City will go ahead as part of their ongoing tribute to the man who transformed Leicester City and was largely responsible for one of the great miracles of modern football when the Foxes won the Premier League title in 2016.

“The game is not important, the result is not important but our desire, our action, our power to give our best on the pitch, to honor our chairman is, I think, the most important thing,” commented Leicester coach Claude Puel ahead of Saturday’s game.

“The result is the second thing but I think about our condition, our focus. We will be ready but I hope we can find a good balance between conviction and emotion in this game, because if we remain just with the emotion it will be difficult,” he added.

Although the main focus of emotion will be in Cardiff, Srivaddhanaprabha will also be remembered at the nine other grounds where games are being played this weekend.

The weekend kicks off with Manchester United visiting Bournemouth, whose free-scoring football has lifted them to sixth in the Premier League and has led to coach Eddie Howe being touted as a possible successor to Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.

A win against an improving Manchester United would do Howe’s case no harm, but the signs are that United are digging themselves out of the crisis which threatened to see Jose Mourinho lose his job over the last international break.

Arsenal’s impressive winning run came to an end when they were held by Crystal Palace last weekend, and now Unai Emery’s side face their biggest test since early season defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea, when Liverpool visit the Emirates Stadium on Sunday evening.

A win for Liverpool would be a setback for Arsenal, but if the Gunners can inflict Liverpool’s first defeat of the season, it would prove that they have to be seen as title contenders.

Tottenham’s defeat to Manchester City last weekend shows they are probably not title contenders, but with places in the top-four seemingly tougher than ever to come by this season, Spurs have to bounce back away to Wolves, who may just be hitting their first crisis of the season after a positive start to their top flight return.

Fresh from the news that Raheem Sterling is close to signing a new contract, Manchester City will expect to beat Southampton on Sunday, while Chelsea are favorites in a London derby at home to Crystal Palace.

Down at the wrong end of the table, Newcastle will be looking for their first win of the season at home to Watford, who have returned to form in recent weeks, while the Huddersfield faithful have to wait until Monday until they take on third from bottom Fulham, who have conceded 28 goals in their ten games to date.

Other matches this weekend see Everton at home to a solid Brighton side, while West Ham United and Burnley will both be looking for three points to take a great leap away from the danger zone, although in truth, rather than being about football, for many this weekend is about one man: Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

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