Jamie Vardy hunts goal-scoring record

London: Jamie Vardy, who turns 33 next month, is out on his own at the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts, with 16 goals in 16 games. Those goals have helped Leicester win a club-record eight consecutive top-flight matches by an aggregate score of 25-3. The former England man has struck in all of those victories.

In an ordinary season, Brendan Rodgers’ side might be top of the league but they are doggedly pursuing a Liverpool team who have won 15 of their 16 games. If Vardy nets against Norwich and Manchester City in Leicester’s next two games, he would give himself the chance to equal his own Premier League record of goals in 11 straight games against Liverpool 26 December.

Vardy says he is more concerned about results for the team than finding the back of the net. “I’m obviously over the moon,” said the forward, referring to his goalscoring record this season. “But first and foremost, the points are for Leicester.”

Liverpool will seek sign off their pre-Christmas Premier League duties in style against their whipping boys Watford this weekend while Leicester attempt to stay in touch before a summit meeting later this month.

Jurgen Klopp’s men are eight points clear of their nearest pursuers as they prepare to jet out to Qatar for the Club World Cup. Watford, with new manager Nigel Pearson at the helm, will not be relishing the trip to Anfield, where they have lost 6-1, 5-0 and 5-0 on their past three visits. Pep Guardiola takes his stumbling Manchester City team to face Arsenal while Manchester United look to keep up their push for a top-four spot at home to Everton.

Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola is scrambling for defensive solutions after a fourth Premier League defeat of the season, against Manchester United, last week — the same number of losses Manchester City suffered in the whole of the last campaign.

The defending champions, who are 14 points adrift of Liverpool, had 23 shots against United but looked alarmingly open whenever the visitors charged forward. Third-placed City have conceded 19 goals in the top-flight, just four fewer than they did in the entire 2018/19 season.

NT Bureau