MATCHDAY: Troubled Leicester hosts Forest; Udinese at Verona
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Monday:
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers knows the “heat is on” ahead of the visit of 19th-place Nottingham Forest in the Premier League. Winless in the top flight this season, Leicester is the only team below Forest. Rodgers, a former Liverpool and Celtic manager, is aware of the growing anxiety at the King Power Stadium but says he relishes the challenge. “I’m really looking forward to it because I know the heat is on,” Rodgers said. “Everyone is looking at us and that’s what you want, you want to go and perform.” Rodgers backed Danny Ward following the goalkeeper’s rocky start after he replaced Kasper Schmeichel. Forest will assess Morgan Gibbs-White (foot) and Scott McKenna (knee) ahead of the game.
Udinese will be looking to continue its fantastic start to the season when it visits Hellas Verona in Serie A. Udinese goes into the match on a run of five straight wins and having not lost since a defeat to defending champion AC Milan on the opening day of the season. That streak has left it four points behind the top two with a game in hand. Verona has lost four of its first seven matches, including the previous two, and is mired in the bottom three.
Rayo Vallecano is aiming for its second straight Spanish league win at home against last-place Elche. A victory would leave the Madrid club near the middle of the table. Elche is the only winless team in the league so far, having lost four consecutive games. In its three away games — all defeats — it was outscored 10-0. To make things worse, the visitors will likely be without Javier Pastore, Fidel Chaves and Omar Mascarell because of injuries, while Gonzalo Verdú is suspended.
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