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LONDON -- When the English Premier League champions take on the runners-up, the stage should be set for a clash between two teams bursting with confidence.That wont be the case when Leicester hosts Arsenal on Saturday.Not after both teams slumped to embarrassing defeats on the opening weekend of the new season. Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri even talked about his teams target of avoiding relegation after a 2-1 loss to newly-promoted Hull, while Arsene Wenger conceded that his Arsenal side just wasnt ready for an opening match that ended in a 4-3 home defeat by Liverpool.Along with the final score, a worrying aspect of Leicesters game was just how much Ranieris defense lacked the protection of combative midfielder NGolo Kante, who has joined Chelsea.Having built last seasons success largely on a counter-attacking game, Leicester also found it harder to change roles and take the game to its opponent.We need to put things right early, look forward to the next game and get a result there, captain Wes Morgan said. Were at our home ground and we want to put on a good display.There was better news off the pitch, though, with Leicesters announcement on Wednesday that Algeria playmaker Riyad Mahrez, a key figure alongside 24-goal Jamie Vardy in last seasons title triumph, had signed a new contract through to 2020.The King Power Stadium is already sold out for a game that will set Vardy, who squandered a series of chances at Hull, against the team he rejected following a transfer offer soon after the end of last season.For their part, traveling Arsenal fans will be hoping that some of the first-team regulars who were rested against Liverpool -- including center-half Laurent Koscielny -- will be back in the side but there will be no expectations of a repeat of their teams remarkable 5-2 victory in the Midlands last season.The 66-year-old Wenger said he may be tempted to take the gamble of reintroducing Koscielny into the side while revealing both Aaron Ramsey and Alex Iwobi face three weeks out after picking up knocks against Liverpool.I will have to take a gamble maybe, but I will still have 48 hours to decide that, Wenger said Thursday. If I have to take a gamble on one, its certainly on him (Koscielny).Wenger also took time to hit back at long-running claims that he is unwilling to spend big money to bring in players.You are absolutely convinced that I do not want to spend the money, but I reassure you we are ready to spend the money, he said. Buying calms the fans, of course, but we have to make sure...it is important to spend money but we have to spend it the right way.Elsewhere, Liverpool heads for newly-promoted Burnley, while Chelsea is away to Watford after Antonio Conte celebrated his first league match as Blues manager with a home win over West Ham on Monday night.Here are some other things to look out for this weekend:---POGBA POISEDThe action starts early, with Manchester United at home to Southampton on Friday night.Buoyed by his teams encouraging 3-1 win at Bournemouth, which included a debut league goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Jose Mourinho takes charge for his first league game at Old Trafford.However, the spotlight looks certain to fall on the return of midfielder Paul Pogba to United from Juventus for a world record fee of $116 million. Suspended for the game at Bournemouth following yellow cards collected in Italy, Pogba has declared himself fit after going all the way to the Euro 2016 final with France last month.You have to ask the manager, but I feel very good and have been training for 10 days. I am OK, Pogba told the Manchester Evening News on Wednesday. I am quite used to this (busy summer). I played the World Cup two years ago when at Juve, and three years ago I was at the under-20s World Cup as well. So I am OK. It is about your body and I have been training on my holidays.---BROKEN HART?The team sheet for Manchester City before Saturdays game at Stoke will reveal if there has been yet more heartbreak for Englands struggling goalkeeper, Joe Hart.Dropped in favor of Willy Caballero for the win over Sunderland and then the midweek victory over Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League playoffs, Harts future is already the subject of intense speculation.New manager Pep Guardiola, who has also dropped City regulars Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri, wants a `sweeper-keeper who can play a supporting role outside the penalty area.Its the latest setback for Hart, who was criticized during Englands lackluster campaign at Euro 2016.---WEST HAM WOESA right-thigh injury sustained by West Hams record signing Andre Ayew in the loss to Chelsea has left the Ghana striker facing a significant rehabilitation period, according to the clubs head of medical and sports science, Stijn Vandenbroucke.Ayew, who was signed for 20.5 million pounds ($26.75 million) from Premier League rival Swansea, had a scan on Wednesday. Vandenbroucke said the medical team would assess the results with a leading consultant before drawing any conclusions.However, Jack Sullivan, the son of West Ham joint-chairman David Sullivan, wrote on Twitter: We are devastated that Ayew will be out for about 4 months. He needs surgery.Roquan Smith Youth Jersey . Bradwell was scheduled to become a free agent Tuesday. Born and raised in Toronto, Bradwell is entering his sixth CFL season, with all six played for his hometown Argonauts. Brian Urlacher Bears Jersey .J. -- Josh Cribbs was in the Pro Bowl in February and out of a job six months later. http://www.bearsfootballpro.com/Authentic_Khalil_Mack_Bears_Jersey/ .ca looks back at the stories and moments that made the year memorable. Mike Singletary Bears Jersey . This should be celebrated because it will not always be this way. With the amount of money given to players by their clubs these days, it is a wonder that so many of those teams allow the sport to continue to take away many of their assets so they can play for a different team in the middle of their season. Roquan Smith Jersey . Kuznetsov, who was selected by the Capitals in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, has been playing for his hometown team Chelyabinsk Traktor of the KHL.KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Ian Kennedy served up four home runs while striking out eight batters, all in less than five innings, which led the Royals pitcher to sum up his performance quite succinctly.I dont know if Ive ever pitched that bad, he said, and got that many strikeouts.The strikeout total was just about the only highlight in Kansas Citys 11-4 loss to AL Central-leading Cleveland on Wednesday. Tyler Naquin hit two of the Indians five home runs while driving in a career-best six runs, and Carlos Carrasco tossed six shutout innings in a dominant performance.It was kind of a weird game, Kennedy said. When I was falling behind guys, they made me pay for it. But every time I got ahead, I got outs. It was kind of weird.Carrasco (7-3) only allowed one hit, a one-out double by Cheslor Cuthbert in the fourth he followed with back-to-back strikeouts. He walked two in the sixth for his only other baserunners.Mike Napoli, Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana had the Indians other home runs.Kansas City scored all its runs off reliever Austin Adams in the eighth.Its not the way we planned the series to go, said the Royals Eric Hosmer. Weve got to find some way to get hot and turn things around. Were just not getting it done right now.The division-leading Indians, who are 4-5 against the hapless Minnesota Twins this season, improved to 26-8 against the rest of the AL Central. They are 8-5 against the Royals.The Royals are really hard to play here, Indians manager Terry Francona said. We did a really good job here (two win two of three).For the second day in a row, a first-inning homer -- this time by Kipnis, his 16th -- gave them instant offense. Naquin added a solo shot in the third before adding a two-run double in the fourth.Cleveland put away the game with a seven-run fifth inning.With a heat index of 105 degrees at first pitch, Carrasco coolly sliced up a Kansas City offense that scored seven runs in a single inning in the opener. The right-hander retired 17 of the first 18 batters he faced around his lone single, and he struck oout six while throwing just 84 pitches.dddddddddddde won for the fifth time in six outings and improved to 6-1 in eight starts in Kansas City.Kennedy wound up allowing seven runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings for the Royals. It was a rare poor start for him at Kauffman Stadium; he entered the game with an AL-best 2.11 ERA at home.Then again, it was also his ninth straight game serving up at least one homer, and hes now allowed 26 of them this season, tied with teammate Chris Young for most in the majors.I guess any time you give up a home run, you try to justify it a little bit, Kennedy said. The ball was flying a little bit, but theyre homers. The curveball to Naquin -- thats a second time Ive given up a home run to a left-hander to left field. You dont see that very often.PRESIDENTIAL VISITThe Royals will meet President Barack Obama at the White House on Thursday during a ceremony to honor their World Series title. It will be the fifth president that manager Ned Yost has met: Jimmy Carter and George Bush used to come to Braves games when Yost coached in Atlanta, George W. Bush threw out the first pitch on opening day once, and Bill Clinton greeted the champion Braves at the White House in 1996. So this will be my fifth president, Yost said, which is kind of cool.TRAINERS ROOMRoyals: LF Alex Gordon got the day off as he continues to battle out of a season-long slump. Hes hitting just .200 through 62 games after signing a $72 million, four-year deal in the offseason. He missed several weeks with a fractured wrist in a collision with 3B Mike Moustakas.Indians: OF Michael Brantley was expected to have an MRI exam on his ailing right shoulder Wednesday, though the results were not yet available. Brantley experienced a setback while on a rehab assignment.UP NEXTThe Royals open a three-game set Friday night against Texas. The Indians also have a day off before visiting Baltimore on Friday night. ' ' '

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