Is Ben Chilwell’s England spot in contention?

By Oliver Taylor

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Photo via Creative Commons

Despite starting in four of England’s six qualifying games for the 2020 Euros, recent poor form and disciplinary issues have called into question Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell’s starting place.

However, a lack of proven alternatives could force England manager Gareth Southgate to stick with Chilwell for the upcoming Euro 2020 tournament this summer.

Chilwell was left out of the squad for Leicester’s 2-1 defeat to Burnley on January 19, after missing training earlier in the week.

Manager Brendan Rodgers said: “It’s something that happens at every club, there are misdemeanours that take place.

“It’s a very important stage of the season for us and our preparation for games, and the two players missed a very important session for us. It was dealt with internally.”

Chilwell returned to Leicester’s lineup for their 4-1 victory against West Ham United on January 22.

Questions over Chilwell’s form in recent weeks have lingered, especially after a poor performance in the first half against Southampton on January 11.

Leicester went on to lose the game 2-1, particularly disappointing after their 9-0 victory against the same opponent in October.

Two alternatives for the Three Lions at left back could be Newcastle United’s Danny Rose or Manchester United’s 19-year-old starlet Brandon Williams.

Rose started at the position for England in the two qualification games to not feature Chilwell, a 4-0 victory against Bulgaria on September 7 and a 2-1 defeat to Czech Republic on October 11.

However, Rose struggled to find game time at Tottenham Hotspur after Jose Mourinho’s appointment in November. As a result, Rose has only started one game in the Premier League since his last England appearance.

Williams made his first-team debut for the Red Devils as a half-time substitute against Rochdale in the Carabao Cup in September. He has started in four of the last six games.

Middlesborough and Leicester fans take the fighting off the pitch

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Police intervened on the fighting fans 

By Mark Farmer

Clashes between Leicester City and Middlesbrough fans broke out on the evening of Saturday 26 November after their team’s game at the King Power Stadium.

Fan-recorded videos emerged on social media shortly after the final whistle.

Rival supporters can be seen in a stand-off leading to punches being thrown by both sets of supporters before police intervened.

The match, which ended in a 2-2 draw, saw the home side salvage a point late on through a 94th minute Islam Slimani penalty to cancel out two Alvaro Negredo goals.

Both teams have found themselves embroiled in a relegation battle, despite Leicester’s title winning heroics last season.

This does not excuse the behaviour of the supporters, however, who began fighting inside the stadium before piling together on the terraces outside the ground.

One Leicester City season of ticket holder of 11 years, Vicki Connelly, said: “There were about 50 people fighting inside the stadium and stewards were trying to split them up.”

“There were large groups outside that were trying to get at each other.”

Footage prior to the skirmishes showed Leicester fans chanting, ‘dirty northern b*******’ to antagonise Middlesbrough supporters into fighting.

Scenes like these have threatened to drag the sport back into its dark ages that were more commonplace in the 1980s with hooliganism rife on football’s terraces.

One twitter user Lee Lowery, 20, took to the social media site to voice his concerns.

He said: “Seeing Leicester and Boro fans fighting yesterday after the game and thinking what a disgrace, don’t even call yourselves fans of the sport.”

Vicki reiterated this after she revealed a male Middlesbrough fan threatened to ‘knock her out’ after she was overheard praising his team.

She said: “I don’t think these people represent football fans at all, because most of them don’t know how to behave.

“I get that people are going to be passionate about their team because I am, too.

“I saw fans chanting at each other, and that’s fine because it was all light-hearted, but as soon as it gets physical its gone way too far.”

Leicestershire Police confirmed two men, aged 18 and 33, were arrested following the incidents on Saturday.

They have been released on bail pending further inquiries.