Frank Lampard is adamant he can handle the pressure that has come with Chelsea's slump in form, which continued with a 2-0 defeat to Leicester City on Tuesday.

Goals from Wilfred Ndidi and James Maddison sent Leicester top of the Premier League, nine points clear of a Chelsea side that has now won just two of their last eight league games.

Lampard's team are five points adrift of the top four, with their 29 points the fewest Chelsea have had at the midway point of the season since 2015-16, when Leicester won the league and the Blues finished 10th.

Asked about his future at a post-match media conference, head coach Lampard said: "I can't control it. I've been asked before, I understand it, it's the expectations of this club.

"It's a developing team but I can't get caught up in the reaction. I took this job knowing we would have difficult times.

"We just have to fight. Where everything was rosy in mid-December, it isn't so rosy now. I am good at handling pressure."

Chelsea have taken seven points from a possible 24 since going top of the Premier League in December with a win over Leeds United.

On his side's form, Lampard told BBC Sport: "We were in a really good place in December, second in the league and two points from the top. Maybe complacency set it. There's only one way out of it which is hard work. Today Leicester were in better form than us.

"It is clearly concerning. It is a period we are not happy with, other clubs have been in that period. All we can think about is getting through the period, working hard. The important thing is the players bounce back. This is the cut-throat nature of what it is.

"The players have to keep their heads up but also keep their eyes open and review the game and see there was an energy in the Leicester team we didn't have.

"You cannot be sluggish and slow because it won't work against a team like Leicester that are firing."

Leicester are top after 19 games or more for the first time since they lifted the trophy in 2016, but Brendan Rodgers' focus is not on their status as potential title challengers.

"It is still too early. But it shows in the first part of the season consistency has been good and performance levels have been very high," Rodgers said to BBC Sport.

"This gives the belief to the players. It keeps the momentum going and keeps the concentration. In order to stay there at the top you need desire and hunger and I feel we have seen that from the team."

Leicester City underlined their status as Premier League title contenders after a 2-0 win over Chelsea sent the Foxes to the top of the table.

Under-pressure Chelsea boss Frank Lampard's hopes of building on a 1-0 win at Fulham last time out were dealt a blow inside six minutes when Wilfred Ndidi's strike from the edge of the area put Leicester in front.

After Chelsea were denied a penalty by VAR, James Maddison continued his rich vein of form to double Leicester's lead four minutes before half-time.

A lacklustre Chelsea side rarely looked like producing a comeback, meaning Leicester leapfrog both Manchester clubs to go top after 19 games or more for the first time since their title-winning 2015-16 campaign.

Lampard's side, meanwhile, find themselves nine points behind Leicester and five adrift of the top four.

Chelsea's failure to deal with a set-piece saw Leicester take the lead in stunning fashion, Ndidi's effort with the outside of his boot cannoning off the post and beyond Edouard Mendy after Harvey Barnes had scuffed Marc Albrighton's pull-back into his path.

Another long-range strike almost made it 2-0 as Maddison crashed a shot off the crossbar and, after Reece James and Thiago Silva tested Kasper Schmeichel, Mendy was forced to turn an ambitious attempt from Albrighton over the bar.

Callum Hudson-Odoi fired into the side-netting after good work from Christian Pulisic, with Jamie Vardy then failing to chip Mendy when through on goal, though replays showed he had strayed offside.

Leicester looked set to be punished for failing to build on their advantage when Jonny Evans tripped Pulisic and Craig Pawson pointed to the penalty spot, only for the VAR, Andre Marriner, to rule the contact had taken place outside the box.

The hosts instantly took advantage of their reprieve as Maddison coolly stroked home as Albrighton's delicate long ball found Chelsea's defence wanting.

Brendan Rodgers' men remained in the ascendancy after the break, James Justin off target with a free header and Youri Tielemans denied by Mendy.

Those missed chances proved immaterial, Timo Werner finding the net for Chelsea only to see the offside flag raised, with the club that shocked the Premier League in 2016 sending a fresh indication they could repeat the feat.

What does it mean? - Omens good for Leicester challenge

While so much of the focus has been on title contenders in the north west, Leicester are quietly unbeaten since a December 16 loss to Everton.

Leicester look primed to pose a serious threat to their more illustrious rivals, who do have games in hand on the Foxes.

More questions will be asked of Chelsea boss Lampard, however, his team having claimed just seven points from an available 24 since beating Leeds United to go top in December.

Three in a row for Maddison

Maddison has now scored in three straight league games for the first time in his career, the midfielder matching his tally from last season (6) despite having played 14 fewer games.

Road woes for Lampard's defence

After conceding again at the King Power Stadium, Chelsea have kept a clean sheet in only 17 per cent of their away games in the Premier League under Lampard. Among those to have managed in at least 10 away games, that is the lowest percentage of any Chelsea boss.

What's next?

Both teams turn their attention to FA Cup games on Sunday, when Leicester visit Brentford and Chelsea host Luton Town.

Frank Lampard stated Chelsea do not have players to compare to the calibre and experience of Eden Hazard and Diego Costa as he again sought to temper expectations around his youthful stars.

A 1-0 win over 10-man Fulham last weekend was the Blues' first three-point haul since before Christmas and they are seventh in a Premier League table they briefly topped early in December.

Throughout the subsequent slump, when critics have highlighted a moderate return on considerable transfer investment, Lampard has pointed to the fact the likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner - the Germany duo who have underwhelmed since arriving for a combined cost in the region of £125million - and a host of other youngsters still have their best years ahead of them.

For now, though, he feels the elite winners from his own playing days at Stamford Bridge are something Chelsea lack and must work towards

"When you look at the Premier League going forward, around us, when people were sort of lauding us to be title challengers and stuff like that, we do have a squad when you look at the composition of it that is very young, particularly in the forward areas," he told reporters ahead of Tuesday's match against third-placed Leicester City.

"We don't have that history of players: goal machines or assist machines or those things that win you games. With our team, it's potential.

"The club hasn't got an Eden Hazard contributing 50 per cent of goals and assists, it hasn't got a Costa scoring 30 goals.

"We're trying to develop those players and I believe in them strongly, but at the moment we're not quite there, where other teams around us possibly are at the front end of the pitch.

"I think for us, and I should just focus on us, there could be tough times. That's why it's important for me, and I've said this to the players, to keep working, but also to be patient and stay calm around that."

Another figure from the club's past, Brendan Rodgers, will be in the opposite dugout to Lampard at the King Power Stadium.

Leicester manager Rodgers was appointed to Chelsea's academy staff during Jose Mourinho's first spell in charge, although he infamously said he did not wish to "destroy" his career when touted as a possible replacement for Andre Villas Boas in 2012 while at Swansea City.

"I don't know, that's a difficult one, I've got to be careful with this one," Lampard replied when asked whether the Chelsea he leads is a more "nurturing" environment than the one Rodgers experienced.

"I don't want to speak for Brendan when he said that. I suppose at that time, there was a turnaround of managers. I was a player here, so I get that.

"Whether he would give the exact same answer tomorrow after the game, maybe not. For me, all I can do is tackle the job that's in front of me and at the moment we, as Chelsea, are not the Chelsea of when Brendan made those quotes.

"I'm presuming they were made at the time of Chelsea having [Didier] Drogba, [Petr] Cech, [John] Terry, I'm not going to name myself, [Claude] Makelele, whoever, and it would have been a team that was always challenging and the benchmark was different.

"At the moment, we're not a team that has Costa, [Cesc] Fabregas, Hazard, any of the era that came slightly after that.

"We're a team relying on players at the front end of the pitch [who] are clearly new to the Premier League, young to the Premier League."

Lampard was keen to highlight his pitch was not one for sympathy.

He added: "We've seen a couple of big clubs and big managers be questioned within one or two or three weeks, a couple of results this year.

"That's the modern world; I'm not crying about this because it's the Premier League, we all have different expectations, [and] if we're seen to not be getting to them, the pressure comes. That's why we're in this job."

Mason Mount can be an inspiration to Chelsea stars struggling for form, according to head coach Frank Lampard.

The England midfielder made the difference on Saturday as the Blues recorded just their second victory in seven Premier League games.

Mount struck the only goal in the 1-0 win over 10-man Fulham, a result that leaves them five points outside the top four.

The 22-year-old has mostly been in top form amid a mixed season for Chelsea, in which expensive signings such as Timo Werner and Kai Havertz have failed to impress.

Lampard believes plenty in his squad could learn from Mount's example.

"I keep talking about him a lot, and his work ethic in training is one of those reasons, he keeps his standards high in training every day. There are things that other players can look at with Mason," he told reporters ahead of Tuesday's clash with Leicester City.

"And at the same time it's clear when you're in a difficult patch individually or collectively you have to fight and play your way out of it, so you rely on players around you doing their job.

"Mason's doing it at the minute, but we've got lots of players like that in forward areas, we just need a kick-start from them, we need to see some numbers, production from the front end of the pitch.

"You look around the Premier League and you see teams that have been successful generally or in good runs have people at the top end of the pitch that are firing and scoring and assisting, and we've been a bit short of that recently, but it will come back.

"The players have to fight their way back through those little periods or patches, and at the moment Mason is a good example of someone that's always fighting, and is playing really well."

Lampard also dismissed any lingering critics of Mount, saying: "I'm not sure how anybody could really criticise him of late.

"Mason's type, the type of midfield player he is, he does so much great work for the team off the ball, which I think for the naked eye is not as exciting as an overhead kick or treble step-over.

"He does all those basics well, he moves the ball so quickly, he's a great team-mate, we've seen recently he scores goals, he finds assists, he does all those things so I don't think it matters if people are critical in any way.

"One thing he has got as well is a really great attitude. He has a really great way of seeming like he is never perturbed by critics outside. The critics are wrong. There is no doubt about that.

"Anyone who knows football and watches Mason Mount play understands what an incredible talent he is. He's just turned 22. Imagine when he's 25, imagine when he's 27. The critics don't matter when it comes to Mason."

The win at Fulham was another frustrating outing for Werner, who missed a clear-cut chance to make the points safe in the closing moments.

The former RB Leipzig striker has scored four times in 18 Premier League games and just once in his past 13 outings in all competitions, in the 4-0 FA Cup win over League Two side Morecambe.

Werner's struggles have seen him compared to Fernando Torres, who endured a difficult time at Stamford Bridge after moving from Liverpool, but Lampard said: "I don’t want to compare him to anybody.

"Everybody’s story is different. Fernando Torres had difficult times here and came away winning the Champions League so I don't think we should compare too much.

"All we need to do here at the moment, Timo, myself and team-mates around him, is to create the best environment to get the best out of Timo, which means himself working hard.

"Any striker knows – when you see the chances he missed the other day that's just repetition on the training ground. Everybody will go through those moments whether you repeat it a thousand times or not. But when you are in that moment you must repeat and keep working.

"He also needs support around him. He needs to keep his head up and focus and my job is to support around him and give him positivity and confidence. Timo Werner didn't by chance score the amount of goals of the last few seasons. He scored those goals because of his huge talent.

"A tough time for him at the moment is a small period in what I believe will be a fantastic career for him going forward at Chelsea. I've got no doubts about that. I hope people around him can also see it that way."

Chelsea needed a late intervention from Mason Mount to overcome Fulham 1-0 on Saturday, relieving the pressure on boss Frank Lampard. 

Brendan Rodgers - a man tipped to take over at Stamford Bridge if Lampard is removed as boss - saw his Leicester City side climb up to second in the table with a 2-0 win over Southampton. 

There were also wins for Brighton and Hove Albion, West Ham and struggling West Brom. 

Here is the pick of the Opta facts from Saturday's action in the Premier League.

 

Fulham 0-1 Chelsea: Mount settles west London derby

Chelsea left it late to overcome Fulham at Craven Cottage, Mason Mount scoring with 12 minutes remaining to end the Blues' run of three straight away Premier League defeats. 

The scoreline perhaps should not come as a surprise, given Chelsea have won 131 Premier League games by that margin - the most common winning score for a single team in the competition's history. 

The result also marked Chelsea's fourth away clean sheet of the season - a feat they managed just once last season. 

It could have been a different outcome had Antonee Robinson not seen red shortly before half-time for a wild lunge on Cesar Azpilicueta. That dismissal was Fulham's third in the Premier League this season - no side has had more so far this term. 

Defeat for Scott Parker's side means they are winless in their last 19 top-flight London derby matches since a 2-1 win over West Ham in January 2014.

Leicester City 2-0 Southampton: Maddison and Barnes on target for flying Foxes

Leicester moved up to second in the Premier League after earning their first home league win against Southampton since April 2016, ending a run of four without a win against the Saints at the King Power Stadium. 

They were set on their way by James Maddison, who has now scored in consecutive top-flight games for the Foxes for the first time since October 2019, matching his goal tally at the King Power Stadium from each of the previous two campaigns.

Harvey Barnes' 10th goal of the season sealed all three points, the winger equalling his best ever goals return in a single campaign. 

Southampton, meanwhile, have now failed to score in four of their last five Premier League games, as many as they had in their previous 34 in the competition.

The Saints' first 12 Premier League games this season saw 41 goals scored (F24 A17), at an average of 3.4 per game, while their last six games have seen just six goals scored (F2 A4).

Wolves 2-3 West Brom: Pereira brace gives Allardyce lift off

Sam Allardyce got off the mark with his first win as West Brom boss to revive his side's survival hopes against out-of-form Wolves.

The veteran manager, previously without a win in five matches in all competitions since taking over, is now without defeat in six Premier League games against Wolves - his best unbeaten return against any side in the division.

Matheus Pereira gave West Brom the lead from the penalty spot early on - the ninth league game in a row Wolves have conceded first - before Fabio Silva and Willy Boly turned the game in the home side's favour.

In doing so, Boly became the first Wolves player to concede a penalty, assist and score a goal in the same Premier League game since Adlene Guedioura in May 2011 - also against West Brom at Molineux.

Semi Ajayi levelled the game up with his ninth headed goal since the start of 2018-19 - no defender in England's top four tiers has scored more, level with Virgil van Dijk and Aaron Pierre - and Pereira scored the winner with another spot-kick.

Wolves, who last lost successive home league games against West Brom between 1929 and 1931, are without a clean sheet in 12 Premier League matches - the longest ongoing run among sides in the division.

Leeds 0-1 Brighton: Maupay haunts Bielsa's men again

Brighton ended a nine-game winless run in the Premier League with a narrow victory at Leeds thanks to Neal Maupay's close-range finish after 17 minutes.

Maupay rounded off a slick team move for his 10th away goal for Albion in the competition, making him just the second player to reach that tally for the Seagulls after Glenn Murray (11).

It was the striker's fourth goal in five league appearances against Leeds and ensured a first ever away top-flight victory in this fixture for his side at the fourth attempt.

Leeds, whose two shots on target was their second fewest in a home match under Marcelo Bielsa, have lost their first three games in a calendar year for the first time since 2014.

West Ham 1-0 Burnley: Antonio hits milestone goal in narrow win

Michail Antonio made the difference as Burnley fired another blank, the versatile forward becoming the fourth West Ham player to reach the 40-goal mark for the club after Paolo Di Canio (47), Mark Noble (46) and Carlton Cole (41).

All 40 of those goals have been scored inside the penalty area - only Tim Cahill (56), Javier Hernandez (53), Gabriel Jesus (43) and John Terry (41) have netted more with 100 per cent coming inside the box.

No team has failed to score in more different Premier League games than Burnley this season (10), while no team has netted in more different games than West Ham (15).

It was also a third successive clean sheet in the league for David Moyes' men for the first time since September 2019 as they picked up an eighth win of the campaign in their 18th game, a tally it took them 32 games to reach last time around.

Lyon have confirmed that Moussa Dembele has joined Atletico Madrid on loan with a view to a permanent move and the Ligue 1 leaders have signed Islam Slimani from Leicester City on a free transfer. 

The former France Under-21 international has joined the LaLiga leaders for a fee of €1.5million until the end of the season, when Atletico will have the option to buy him outright for an initial €33.5m.

Atletico are said to have concentrated all efforts on Dembele after having a bid rejected for Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik, with Diego Costa's mutual contract termination at the end of December leaving space for another striker.

Dembele has long been linked with some of Europe's biggest clubs and will supplement Atletico's already formidable attacking options that include Luis Suarez and Joao Felix.

Algeria striker Slimani arrived at Lyon on Wednesday on an 18-month contract to bolster their forward line as they battle for the Ligue 1 title.

Dembele came through the ranks at Fulham after leaving Paris Saint-Germain as a teenager, and his form there secured him a move to Celtic.

He scored 26 league goals across two seasons in Scotland and won six trophies, before leaving for Lyon in a reported €22m deal in 2018.

He hit double figures for goals in each of his first two Ligue 1 campaigns, while his 24 in 46 across all competitions in 2019-20 made him comfortably their leading goalscorer with nine more than Memphis Depay, though the Dutchman missed a chunk of the season through injury.

However, 2020-21 has been a tough one for Dembele, who scored just once in 16 league games for Lyon, with Depay, Karl Toko Ekambi and Tino Kadewere proving more dependable for Rudi Garcia.

While Dembele's shooting accuracy has only seen a slight dip this term from 52 per cent to 47.6, his conversion rate has slumped dramatically.

In the 2019-20 Ligue 1 season, the striker converted 32 per cent of his shots attempted (excluding blocks), a figure only Mauro Icardi (37.5), Wissam Ben Yedder (35.3) and Kasper Dolberg (34.4) could better among players to record at least 30 shots.

 

He has already missed more Opta-defined 'big chances' (eight) than he did across the entirety the previous top-flight campaign (five) as well, averaging just over one per 90 minutes – his worst across a season for Lyon was 0.7 each game in 2018-19.

Southampton made Premier League history on Monday, as they became the first team to beat all seven winners of the competition in the season after they lifted the crown.

Ralph Hasenhuttl's men defeated Liverpool 1-0 at St Mary's, prevailing in the fixture for the first time since 2016 thanks to Danny Ings' second-minute lob against his former club.

Southampton have now beaten Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City, Chelsea and Arsenal in the campaign following a title triumph.

Here is a look back at the matches that make up that run.

Blackburn Rovers

Southampton sold Alan Shearer to Blackburn in 1992, and three years later the England striker led Rovers to their first and only Premier League title. In the following season, Blackburn finished seventh, while Southampton avoided relegation on goal difference.

They claimed three crucial points in that survival battle on April 6, 1996, with Matt Le Tissier's 80th-minute penalty sealing a 1-0 win over Blackburn at The Dell.

Manchester United

Southampton sensationally beat defending champions United 6-3 on October 26, 1996, with Eyal Berkovic and Egil Ostenstad both scoring braces as the mercurial Le Tissier starred once more

They also beat a title-defending United side in 1997-98, 2000-01 and 2003-04.

Arsenal

The Gunners were top dogs in 2001-02, but came unstuck at St Mary's in November the following season, with James Beattie scoring twice and Kolo Toure's own goal settling the game 3-2 in Southampton's favour.

Manchester City

Early in Mauricio Pochettino's tenure, Southampton defeated defending champions City at St Mary's 3-1 in February 2013.

Their win included a quite sensational own goal from Gareth Barry, who steered a fine, inadvertent finish into the bottom-right corner of City's net to cap off the victory. They beat City last season, winning 1-0 in July, though Liverpool already had already deposed Pep Guardiola's side by that point.

Chelsea

Southampton were relegated to when Chelsea won their first Premier League title under Jose Mourinho, losing both of their games to the Blues on the way down.

However, they beat Chelsea in October 2015, with Steven Davis, Sadio Mane and Graziano Pele doing the damage in a 3-1 win as Mourinho's second spell in charge at Stamford Bridge hurtled towards a premature conclusion.

Leicester City

The Foxes charged to a remarkable Premier League success in 2015-16, but they were thrashed 3-0 at St Mary's in January 2017.

James Ward-Prowse, Jay Rodriguez and Dusan Tadic were on target in what was Southampton's biggest home win in the Premier League since a 4-1 victory against Crystal Palace on the final day of the previous season.

Liverpool

History was made as, despite Liverpool having 16 attempts – albeit with only one on target – Southampton held on to claim a hard-fought, well-deserved win.

The result left Hasenhuttl in tears at full time and also lifted Saints to within four points of the Premier League leaders.

A familiar pairing helped Tottenham return to winning ways in the Premier League this weekend. 

Harry Kane and Son Heung-min were both on target as Jose Mourinho's side ended a four-match winless streak in the competition with a comfortable 3-0 triumph over Leeds United. 

Their rapport has been one of the defining stories of the season but, away from north London, several other games produced some interesting statistics.

With the help of Opta data, we take a look at some of the quirkiest stats from the weekend's action, with Leicester City's win at Newcastle United a source of a couple of fascinating facts.

 

Kane and Son combine again

Harry Kane and Son Heung-min's almost telepathic understanding was on show again in Tottenham's defeat of Leeds.

The South Korea international swept in Kane's pass to become the 18th Spurs player to score 100 goals for the club in all competitions on what was his 253rd appearance.

Kane has now assisted nine goals for Son in the Premier League, while the South Korean has laid on four for the England captain in the 2020-21 season – no two players have linked up more in a single season in the competition.

They have plenty of time left to leapfrog Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton, who combined 13 times during Blackburn Rovers' 1994-95 title-winning season. 

Evergreen Vardy keeps on going

Jamie Vardy might be 33 but the Leicester striker is showing no signs of slowing down. 

His assist for James Maddison's opener in the 2-1 win over Newcastle at the weekend means he has been directly involved in 98 Premier League goals since turning 30 (80 goals and 18 assists). 

He leapfrogged Paolo Di Canio to move joint-sixth with Manchester United icon Ryan Giggs in the all-time list for most Premier League goal involvements aged 30-plus. 

He is now within touching distance of Gianfranco Zola (101) and Shearer (102), with Ian Wright in third with 110 involvements. 

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is second with 118, while Teddy Sheringham leads the way with 127 (77 goals and 50 assists).

Tierney waves tartan flag for Gunners

Arsenal do not have a rich lineage of Scottish players during the Premier League era, but left-back Kieran Tierney is doing his best to change that.

The former Celtic man became the first Scottish player to score an away Premier League goal for the Gunners in their thumping of West Brom and the first to do so in the top flight since Charlie Nicholas in March 1986. 

The 23-year-old cut inside from the left flank and curled a brilliant finish beyond Sam Johnstone to open the scoring, before then going on to tee up Alexandre Lacazette's second goal in the rout of Sam Allardyce's woeful Baggies.

Tierney – who has been tipped as a future Arsenal captain by boss Mikel Arteta – only needs one more goal to join Paul Dickov (three) as the Gunners' top-scoring Scottish player in the Premier League.

Carroll ends lengthy wait for Magpies goal

Newcastle tasted defeat against the Foxes but they could at least toast a return to the scoresheet after an almighty break for Andy Carroll. 

Only Wayne Rooney has had a longer gap between Premier League goals for the same club than Carroll, who netted for the first time of his second Magpies spell.

Carroll's goal was his first for Newcastle since he re-joined the club in 2019-20. The former Liverpool and West Ham forward had last netted for the Magpies on Boxing Day 2010, in a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City.

With a gap of 10 years and eight days between his strikes for Newcastle, Carroll is behind only Rooney for the largest stretch of time between two goals for the same club in the Premier League.

Rooney scored on the opening day of the 2017-18 season for Everton, 13 years and 121 days after his last goal for the Toffees in the 2003-04 season.

Only Wayne Rooney has had a longer gap between Premier League goals for the same club than Andy Carroll, who netted for the first time of his second Newcastle United spell in a 2-1 loss to Leicester City.

Carroll, who turns 32 on Wednesday, made his ninth top-flight appearance of the season on Sunday, coming on as a 79th-minute substitute with Steve Bruce's side 2-0 down to goals from James Maddison and Youri Tielemans.

He scored within three minutes, thumping in a well-timed volley to haul Newcastle back into the contest, though the Foxes ultimately held firm to secure their seventh away win of the season.

Leicester are the 19th different top-flight side to win at least seven of their first nine away games of a season – none of the previous 18 have finished outside of the top four.

Carroll's goal was his first for Newcastle since he re-joined the club in 2019-20.

The former Liverpool and West Ham forward had last netted for the Magpies on Boxing Day 2010, in a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City.

Coincidentally, his only two league goals for Liverpool in 2010-11 – following a reported £35million move – also came against City.

With a gap of 10 years and eight days between his strikes for Newcastle, Carroll is behind only Rooney for the longest length of time between two goals for the same club in the Premier League.

Rooney scored on the opening day of the 2017-18 season for Everton, 13 years and 121 days after his last goal for the Toffees in the 2003-04 season.

There is no let-up in the Premier League's hectic schedule this weekend as leaders Liverpool look to hold off the threat of Manchester United, who are lurking with intent in second place.

Jurgen Klopp's side face a tough test away at Southampton, who will be led by former Reds striker Danny Ings.

The Saints' main man is joined by Wilfried Zaha and Harvey Barnes in our Opta-powered Premier League fantasy picks for what promises to be another enthralling matchweek.


NICK POPE

Burnley have won three of their previous five Premier League games, with goalkeeper Pope central to their success.

Since the beginning of November, the England international has the competition's highest save percentage at 91 per cent.

No goalkeeper has kept more clean sheets than his five in that period, either. Good luck finding a way past him, Fulham.

JOHN STONES

Stones' Manchester City career looked to be over ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, but the England man has enjoyed a renaissance of late.

The 26-year-old has started six games for the club in the Premier League this season – four of which came in December – with City keeping clean sheets in five of those appearances and conceding just one goal in the other.

That compares to just two clean sheets and 11 goals conceded when he has not played. Up next for City and Stones? A visit to Chelsea.

BEN CHILWELL

Trying to get the better of Stones will be Chelsea left-back Chilwell, who has arguably been the most successful of Frank Lamaprd's signings ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.

No defender has been involved in more goals (two scored, four assisted) than the former Leicester City left-back, with only Liverpool's Andy Robertson registering more assists (five).

Only two defenders have scored more goals: Southampton's Jannik Vestergaard and Chilwell's Chelsea team-mate Kurt Zouma.

GYLFI SIGURDSSON 

Like Stones, Sigurdsson has been brought in from the cold in recent weeks by Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti.

He is up against one of his favourite opponents next so expect the Iceland international to get some points on the board.

Sigurdsson has been involved in more Premier League goals against West Ham for Everton than any other opponent (two goals, two assists), scoring or assisting in each of his four appearances for the Toffees against the Hammers.

WILFRIED ZAHA

It has not been a stellar start to the season for Crystal Palace, who face rock-bottom Sheffield United on Saturday, but their talismanic forward has been in fine form.

Zaha has scored eight goals in 14 Premier League appearances this season, twice as many as in the 2019-20 campaign (four in 38 appearances).

Indeed, Zaha is looking to reach double figures in a top-flight campaign for only the second time in his career, also doing so in 2018-19 (10 goals in 34 games).

HARVEY BARNES

Leicester winger Barnes has been attracting admiring glances from some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs this season and it is not hard to see why.

The 23-year-old, who takes on Newcastle United next, has scored eight goals in 21 appearances in all competitions in 2020-21, one more than he did in 42 games last term.

Only in 2018-19 (10) has the midfielder netted more goals in all competitions across a single campaign.

DANNY INGS

Ings faces off against former club Liverpool on Monday looking to continue his superb form over the past two years.

Since Ralph Hasenhuttl took charge of Southampton in December 2018, Ings has been directly involved in 38 goals in the Premier League (31 scored, seven assisted).

That is 16 more than James Ward-Prowse, who has the next most at the club with 22 goal involvements in the same period.

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