Leicester City v West Ham United

Here's Preview Percy's look at Saturday's visit to Leicester City. Those of you of a more sensitive nature might just want to skip the bit about Jamie Vardy's early departure the other night.....

Next up we venture to the Midlands where we will visit Leicester City. Kick-off is at silly o'clock, that being 5:30pm on Saturday so that disinterested people with the appropriate electronic equipment can have something to watch before going out to the discotheque (they still call them that don't they?).

Trains up to Leicester should be ok but if you come in on the Southend Victoria line you'll have the usual replacement buses to contend with on your way to St Pancras. Check, as ever, before you leave.

Our hosts this weekend have had what you might call a mixed start to the season. It's a case of "win a couple lose a couple" for them at present, having won 4 and lost five of the nine they have played so far. This leaves them in 11th place with 12 points. That's three places and five points clear of us.

Their last outing saw them go down 3-1 at the library. Much has been made of Arsenal's second half performance - and the last two goals were rather good it has to be (grudgingly) said. However, Leicester started brightly and were the victims of a complete shocker of a decision from ref Kavanagh who saw nothing wrong in Holding palming the ball back to his 'keeper. It was a dreadful decision and one of a number of refereeing performances last weekend where the so-called "bigger" side (or, in our match, Tottenham) got away with murder. (See also Huddersfield v Liverpool and Man City v Burnley). But everything's ok because despite being the laughing stock of world football PGMOL says that according to their stats (which are top secret but you can believe them, honest) our referees are as good as they have ever been. Which, sadly, may be true.

The other major talking point from Monday's match was the disappearance down the tunnel of Jamie Vardy on 87 minutes n'eer to return. This was not, as might have been speculated, the result of some form of dissatisfaction with his manager or the way that the game was going (though Vardy's missus seems to be joining in with anti-Puel sentiments on social media) but as a result of a dose of the trots. Puel laughed off comments suggesting that Vardy's departure was some sort of anti-management protest, suggesting instead that Rat Boy's disappearance had occurred because the player had been unable to stomach the refereeing. He's a bit of a wag you see, that Puel.

As to the cause of Vardy's' er, discomfort, well have you ever had a curry in Leicester? The last one I had up there saw me achieve Usain Bolt-like velocities on my way to the smallest room the next day. Assuming he is fit I think they might be missing a trick if they don't find an old bog and stick it behind our goal - that'll add a few mph to his pace. He'll have to check to see whether Immodium is on the WADA banned list first I suspect.

We now herald the welcome return of Daisy, the work experience girl with the beautiful smile, who, having had no new signings to comment on last week, has a whole raft of them to research. These have been financed mainly by the ?60m departure of Riyad Mahrez to Man City, and the salary savings from the other 14 players released on frees or for token transfer fees. Something like ?25m (warning - may contain add-ons) of that went to Norwich in return for the services of James Maddison who was apparently on a list of players we looked at for the summer window. He's a talented individual who can be a dab hand at the old dead-ball situation, a talent that has helped him achieve joint top-scorer status this season alongside Rat Boy. He seems to be flavour of the month at the moment as evidenced by his call up to the squads for the recent UEFA Nations Nonsense outings.

The other big fee went abroad where EUR25m (?20m or so at the Post Office though the rate will have changed by the time you get to the front of the queue) went on full-back/wing-back/winger Ricardo Pereira, generally referred to as "Ricardo", which is Portuguese for Dick I am told. Although the transfer fee was paid to Porto he had spent most of the two years preceding his transfer on loan at Nice. Which was nice. In April 2016 he was apparently awarded "French full-back of the season" by something called the International Centre For Sports Studies, which sounds like the sort of "barrel of laughs" organisation that likes to suck out all the beauty and joy from the game by reducing everything to laptops and spreadsheets. (See also Allardyce, Sam).

Reports vary as to the size of the fee paid to German outfit Frieburg for Turkish centre-half Calgar Soyuncu. Some say ?12m others ?19m. Again one suspects that the dreaded "add-ons" will be responsible for the discrepancy. He has yet to make an appearance in the league despite the size of the fee which might have been taken to indicate an anticipated partnership with Harry Maguire. Instead he has remained stuck to the racing-car seats with even fellow new signing Jonny Evans (?3.5m from relegated West Brom) getting the nod over him in recent weeks. Earlier this month the local paper up there (see also my "Poser" below) was pretty scathing about his progress since arriving in the East Midlands, citing numerous mistakes during his U23 outings and dissecting his Friburg career in almost forensic detail, suggesting the form that he was showing was pretty typical of his career to date. It's a shame that he will probably remain on the bench for this one then - he sounds like the sort of player Arnie would enjoy turning out against.

They also brought in back-up for regular custodian Schmeichel in the form of Danny Ward who came in for ?12m from Liverpool. He's featured only in the League Cup so far this season and the most interesting thing to have happened to him over the past 12 months is that he missed a trip to China with the Welsh national squad back in March for the prosaic reason that the postman lost his passport whilst it was en route to the Chinese Embassy for the purpose of stamping it with a visa.

And so to us. Well I'm not going to write too much about last weekend's match, mainly because, with a lack of new signings on their part I'll have a massive gap to fill for Wednesday's League Cup match - those previews are always a pain when you face the same side twice within a short period of time. However a couple of things should not go without comment at this stage. Firstly, Spurs supporters - if you are still looking for Harry Kane try Issa's pocket. Dioup was superb last weekend and that tackle where he gave Kane a ten yard start and still got back in time to make Kane look silly was simply superb. It got me off my seat, albeit with the state of my joints these days it was probably 10 minutes after the full time whistle before I got to my feet so nobody noticed. The thought was there though.

Secondly we send our best wishes to Yarmalenko who became the 125th new signing to go down with a serious injury. I suppose he represents a small break with tradition in that these things usually happen to our new guys during the pre-season friendlies. Having had the same injury myself a few years back I can vouch for the fact that the rehabilitation process seems to be never-ending - indeed the day that I threw the crutches away I celebrated with the sort of gusto I usually reserve for celebrating the anniversary of the arrival of my decree absolute. So one wishes the poor soul well.

Yarmalenko goes to the top of the "long-term" list with a return date no sooner than next April at least. Sanchez is a "return date unknown" - he hasn't had the op on his knee ligaments yet. Reid is looking like end-January whilst Lanzini is also an "unknown" though his rehab is said to be going well.

Nearer to returns are Wilshere and Carroll who are showing as having possible return dates at the beginning and end of November respectively. Finally Obiang will miss the trip to Leicester with a calf injury, though he should be back in time to knock Spurs out of the League Cup next Wednesday. He was much-missed last week.

It's been a odd season so far. We started playing badly and loosing. Then we started playing better and drawing and winning. Then, over the last couple of games we have played ok and lost. All of which makes making predictions very difficult for the geriatric purveyor of pre-match prescience. They were ok against Arsenal until the referee's moment of mediocrity - much the same as us up at the library where the final score was a poor reflection of the play that day. On the selection front it will remain to be seen whether Grady Diangana will get to start. He was preferred to Antonio as a replacement for Yarmalenko last weekend so a start for the younger man may not be a total surprise. I think much will depend on how we deal with our left hand side which, for me is the problem area in the side at present. I find Masuaku worrying from a defensive point of view and Anderson is not the type of player to whom defensive donkey work comes naturally. On the other hand Cresswell sometimes struggles with the attacking part of his game. Oh and, if selected, I really hope Anderson has been practising corners this week.

I think that we have two reasonably matched teams here and I'm heading towards a prediction of parity. So the ?2.50 I was given by all those women in the Playboy mansion in return for signing that non-disclosure agreement once I had mustered up enough strength to pick up the pen will be going on a 2-2 draw using the highly useful app provided on my mobile telecommunications device by the good people at Winstone The Turf Accountant (When the fun stops you should leave the pitch on 87 minutes).

Enjoy the game!

When last we met at their place: Won 2-0 (Premier League May 2018)

Joao Mario put us 1-0 up after good work by Arnautovic. They went all moany at Cresswell handling the ball to prevent Vardy. However, the fact that Vardy had shoved Cresswell to the floor causing the incident in the first place seemed to elude them. Things didn't improve for the home side after being booed off at half-time and Noble's fine volley with 25 minutes left sealed a deserved win which guaranteed safety.

Referee: Michael Oliver

Second time we have had him in in four matches, the last one being the win over the Salford mob. The fact that he couldn't prevent us winning 3-1 in that one might count against us. In the meantime if anyone has seen his spine please post it back to PGMOL.

Danger Man: Jamie Vardy

Poo boy is not at his happiest at the moment it seems and his missus is busy in "liking" tweets that are critical of Puel. It seems he's not getting an awful lot of service from his team-mates at present. Bound to score then.

Percy's Poser:

Last week we asked you to complete the missing word from the following headline from the Tottenham Independent:

The one thing you shouldn't feed XXXXX - and what you should feed them instead

Congratulations to Doris McZappa (Mrs) of Fambridge for being the first entry in the digital hat to contain the word "Ducks".

This week, to win a really spectacular prize, probably, all you have to do is complete the missing word from the Leicester Mercury:

"Fire crews tackling Beaumont Leys blaze rescue XXXXXX"

Good luck everyone!

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