Fantasy Football News

West Ham have one foot in safety from relegation after a win over Chelsea and draw against Newcastle

For a while there West Ham looked destined to be relegated. There was no shape, discipline or attacking method. Everyone was looking at David Moyes as if to say ‘what now’?

Strange then how just 2 games can change the perspective. The first was against Chelsea where the Hammers were the obvious underdogs and yet not only did they beat the Blues they also put 3 goals past them in a fantastic 3-2 victory.

This match was followed up by a trip to Newcastle, a team under Steve Bruce who were still unbeaten since the restart of the league. The game finished 2-2, the battle was there for all to see. True the Londoners had taken the lead twice and been pegged back as many times but a point away to Newcastle is always a good point.

Those two matches stopped the rot and that was the most important thing for the club who suddenly had a self belief. Led by the inform Michail Antonio his goals have really counted. One could also suggest that Chelsea did the Hammers a favour, it was simply the right fixture at the right time, as West Ham always up their game when they are playing their London rivals.

Relegation can still happen but it feels much more distant now. The club have pulled 4 points clear from both Aston Villa and Bournemouth, only a few weeks ago the only thing saving West Ham from the drop was goal difference.

West Ham now have 31 points and this week they will play Burnley at home. They will be the favourites to win that and if they do they would have taken a huge step for survival this season.

The Hammers remaining games after that is an away trip to Norwich. It’s very possible that by the time they play the Canaries they will have been relegated. This could make the game easier for Moyes’ team. They will then be at home to Watford another game which many would fancy them to win.

Their last two games are against Manchester United away from home and then Aston Villa. It seems like the only tricky tie left for the Hammers will be their trip to Old Trafford as it is very possible that United will be needing a win to qualify for a top 4 spot and thus playing in the Champions League next season.

Even the Hammers final game which is against Aston Villa could be a dead rubber anyway, as the way Villa are playing they are looking like they could be down by then.

West Ham are making a superb recovery just at the right time, and for now all Hammers fans can breathe a sigh of relief.

How well do you know English football? Want to challenge the best English Fantasy Managers? Play www.epl-fantasy.com now.

Manchester United are currently the best side in the Premier League, this is why

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in charge of Manchester United he makes it very hard for critics to get on his back. One of those reasons of course is that he is so friendly, the guy smiles even after a bad game, just imagine Sir Alex Ferguson doing the same.

But the main reason it is so hard to tear Manchester United apart is that they are not a bad team, or at least not as bad as many would have you think. True Solskjaer has had his downs with the club and some of their form over two periods have merited a few whispers of ‘you’re getting the sack in the morning’. And just when you think everything is going wrong, he motivates the players, gets the best out of them and they start winning games, but by winning that is scoring plenty of goals and going on good 1-2 month runs. United are currently doing that right now.

It could well be that the Red Devils fail to qualify for the Champions League for next season, though they are currently giving that a very good shot. But on form they are the best side in the Premier League- we should expect Solskjaer to be picking up manager of the month anytime soon.

Along with Newcastle they are the only team not to have lost since the league restarted, not many could have predicted that. And United would be in 1st place on form collecting 13 points from 15. They are scoring goals too, 11 in their last 3 games and have just come off of the back of beating Bournemouth 5-2. Whisper it but everything is feeling like Ferguson/United.

But why is this, what has changed at United? Because if they were playing this good earlier in the season they would be where Chelsea are now and possibly challenging for 2nd position.

Here are three key players that have upped their game:

Mason Greenwood

Greenwood has displaced Daniel James and he is scoring goals, setting up play and his pace is fantastic. He is a real find, just look at his solo goal a few days ago against Brighton. Solskjaer had this to say about him: “You can see clearly that he’s maturing and improving. He’s only 18 still so we will see more from him. I’ve said it throughout the year that as long as we can get him faced up in and around the box he’ll create chances for us. But in this game his hold-up play and his link up play and general movement was fantastic as well.” The scary part is that he is only 18. Could be a future legend with the club.

Fred

What a turnaround it has been for Fred in midfield. Last season and at the beginning of this one he was playing so bad that memes were being made of him and cruelly he was becoming a laughing stock. Maybe though all Fred needed was the right manager to guide him and he has been very very good especially this year.

Bruno Fernandes 

Potentially Bruno Fernandes could be Manchester United’s best buy since Cristiano Ronaldo. He has been superb for the club, a new signing and already carrying the team. A born leader and he should be setting the stage alight for many years to come. In just 9 league games for United he has scored 6 goals. It is obvious he will be a regular fixture.

How well do you know English football? Want to challenge the best English Fantasy Managers? Play www.epl-fantasy.com now.

Two defeats in a row mean that Lazio have blown the Serie A title

For 20 years Lazio have been in search of the Serie A title and they will most likely have to wait until year 21. The Roman outfit emerged this season as the unlikely title contenders, but in the final straight it looks like they have blown their chance.

In truth everyone expected Juventus to win their 9th title in a row, but Inter Milan looking their best since the Jose Mourinho years in 2010 took up the challenge for the majority of the season often trading 1st place with the old lady. And then in the 2nd act came Lazio, who not only overtook Inter with ease but gave Juventus something to think about too.

But life moves quickly in football and Lazio’s latest form has suffered. At this stage of the game you can’t lose 3 games in your last five and that includes losing their last two in a row. AC Milan beat them convincingly a few days ago 3-0 and that was at the Stadio Olimpico just to rub it in. They followed that up by losing to Leece 2-1 who were in the relegation zone at the time, but that win has now taken them out of it. Leece’s seventh win of the campaign could not have been sweeter as they were trailing 1-0.

So as it stood Lazio were now trailing Juventus by 7pts, so later that night when Juventus went 2-0 up against AC Milan, everyone was believing that the league was done and dusted. Not quite for Milan staged one of the best comebacks of the season scoring 4 second half goals to win the game 4-2.

Now on one hand that was good news for Lazio but on the other it was a huge opportunity lost. Had they won against Leece the gap would be just 4 points with everything to play for. Sure there are 21 points on the board to play with, but being over two wins in front Juventus are in the driving seat and it feels unlikely Lazio will have the quality and speed to take them over.

This could be unfortunate for Ciro Immobile who has been outstanding for the club. He is the leading scorer in Serie A this season with 29 goals and could become only the 11th player to break the 30 goal marker which will surely just be a matter of time. He currently has 126 points in the fantasy rankings which not only makes him the best player in Serie A but based on the points, the best in Euro Fantasy League rankings overall.

Can Immobile still fire Lazio to glory? He can but they will need a few more surprise defeats from Juventus before that happens.

How well do you know Italian football? Want to challenge the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? Play www.fantasyseriea.com now!

AC Milan 4-2 Juventus: The positives for the Rossoneri – confidence at an all-time high

AC Milan somehow managed to beat Juventus earlier this evening, despite fighting against a two-goal deficit at the start of the second half. Certainly, it will go down as one of the best comebacks in the Rossoneri’s history, as let alone beating the Bianconeri isn’t something you do every day. 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Franck Kessie and Rafael Leao scored three goals in the span of five (!) minutes to complete the turnaround for Milan. After Cristiano Ronaldo doubled the lead in the 53rd minute, not many expected this outcome and you can only praise the Rossoneri for their mentality and willingness not to give up.  Continue reading

Juventus Top Perfomers – Round 31 vs Milan

Juventus fumbled away the Milan clash just as they had managed to built a comfortable lead out of the blue in the second half, as a five-minute black-out allowed the opponents to stage a glorious comeback and prevented the Bianconeri from further pulling away in the standings.

Danilo: even though he left a lot of meat on the bone when attacking in the first half, as he had a lot of room at his disposal, at least he was not at fault in any of the four goals in a collapse for the ages by the rearguard. Leonardo Bonucci inadvertently kick-started it with a hand-ball, as an Old Lady defender again drew the short end of the stick on a VAR review. But then he and Daniele Rugani were way too soft, lax and statuesque on the other two quick goals, where they were completely bamboozled by the opponents. Alex Sandro completed the awful night by gift-wrapping the final goal with an easily interceptable horizontal pass in front of the box. Wojciech Szczesny should have done more as the shots that went in did not look particularly powerful or uncatchable. Continue reading

La Liga players we haven’t been praising enough

Sure, Lionel Messi remains magnificent and Karim Benzema has been brilliant, yet beyond the two dominant giants of Spanish football and at the other 18 clubs, there are a host of players who often go under the radar. Such players are often pivotal for their teams, whether it is scoring goals or creating them, spraying the ball around in midfield or making crucial tackles at the back, and standing tall between the posts.

We take a look below at four players who should be getting more attention on top of being talked about more thanks to their excellent contribution during the 2019/20 season in the Spanish top division.

Gerard Moreno – Forward, Villarreal

28-year-old Gerard Moreno is well on course to register the best scoring top-flight campaign of his career to date. His recent goal against Valencia was a joy to behold, assisted by an exquisite first touch pass from Santi Cazorla.

Although the latest La Liga betting odds have Moreno at 500/1 to finish as top scorer, behind seemingly nailed-on Pichichi Trophy favorite Messi at 1/40, the Villarreal forward has netted just seven goals less than the Argentine superstar.

As the highest scoring Spaniard in La Liga with 15 goals to his name after 33 games, Moreno’s form would suggest more games for the Spanish national team before too long, having scored 3 goals in 3 outings with La Roja.

Yangel Herrera – Midfielder, Granada

Granada have enjoyed a superb return to La Liga this season under manager Diego Martinez. Martinez is candidate for manager of the year, underlining his focus on teamwork and togetherness to get results. As one of their key components, Yangel Herrera has been tireless in midfield.


The 22-year-old Venezuelan international is Granada’s highest rated player according to whoscored.com statistics, having demonstrated an enviable level of consistency throughout the season, making him a priceless asset for his team. Crucial interceptions and tackles, key passes and a few great goals; he’s everywhere.

On loan from Manchester City until the end of the campaign, Herrera recently expressed a desire to remain at Granada beyond the end of this season. Whether that’s for another season on loan or permanently, the fans would be delighted if he stays.

Sergio Reguilon – Defender, Sevilla

Let’s be honest, dislodging Marcelo from his left-back slot at Real Madrid was never going to be easy for Sergio Reguilon, which means the loan move to Sevilla was always going to be a great opportunity. One that hasn’t been wasted as a fine showcase of his ability.

Sergio Reguilón has expressed his desire to return to Real Madrid to fight for his place. However, with Ferland Mendy and Marcelo already in the squad, the left-back may well be surplus to requirements and his plan B would be a return to Sevilla for another season. Former Spain and short-lived Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui knew exactly what he was getting, making 23-year-old Reguilon one of his first signings upon taking the helm at Sevilla this season. The hugely talented full-back has repaid that faith in abundance, given the freedom to express himself.

Solid and reliable at the back, with a great sense of positioning and agile on the overlap, Reguilon has been key to Sevilla’s push to stay in La Liga’s top four. They would like to keep him, although a return to Real Madrid seems almost certain.

Unai Simon – Goalkeeper, Athletic Club

No sooner had they sold Kepa Arrizabalaga to Chelsea for a whopping £71.6 million transfer fee, the fabled Basque youth system of Athletic Club rolled out another fine homegrown talent in Unai Simon. What’s more, there’s also belief at the club that he’ll be the better goalkeeper.

While everyone runs out of superlatives for Jan Oblak and his performances with Atletico Madrid, by comparison, the goalkeeping displays of 23-year-old Unai Simon in La Liga have rarely received as much praise. Nevertheless, the agility and shot-stopping form of Simon with Athletic this season has actually been just as impressive, if not more so.

Having conceded just 28 goals this term, he looks set to be one of the best goalies in La Liga and if they can keep him, Athletic will have a fine goalkeeper for many years to come.

Serie A Predictions – Round 31

Lecce-Lazio: the Giallorossi suffered the sixth consecutive loss versus Sassuolo, again giving up a bunch of goals, which should be enough to allow the reeling Biancocelesti, relatively speaking, to bounce back and take one home: 1-3.

Milan-Juventus: the Rossoneri played great against Lazio and have prevailed three times in the past four games, obviously botching the easiest on the slate. The Bianconeri won their seventh in a row against Torino, but they will have to deal with some key absences and have had some tumbles on the road this season: 1-1. Continue reading

Serie A Probable Lineups – Round 31

Lecce-Lazio

Lecce: 4-3-1-2 Gabriel; Donati, Paz, Lucioni, Calderoni; Barak, Petriccione, Mancosu; Saponara; Falco, Babacar.

Potential lineup changes: Majer for Saponara, Rispoli for Falco, Farias for Babacar.

Likely bench options: Farias, Shakhov, Vera.

Questionable: Majer (thigh), Deiola (knee), Dell’Orco (groin).

Ruled Out: Lapadula (ankle), Rossettini (illness), Meccariello.

Suspended: Tachtsidis.

Continue reading

Serie A Injury and Supension Report – Round 31

Atalanta: José Palomino is suspended.

Bologna: Roberto Soriano was red-carded in the last game and has been suspended for two matches. Gary Medel was a late scratch for the last game due to back spasm, but he is in the squad list. Ibrahima Mbaye and Andreas Skov Olsen (thigh) recovered enough to be called up. Andrea Poli and Federico Santander are nursing thigh strains.

Brescia: Andrea Cistana (lower leg surgery), Jhon Chancellor (thigh) and Dimitri Bisoli (patellar tendon) remain sidelined, Emanuele Ndoj and Enrico Alfonso are questionable.  Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 31

LECCE-LAZIO

Lecce: another losing effort caused by the nth defensive collapse, but the Giallorossi looked a tiny bit better offensively versus Sassuolo, as Diego Farias returned to the XI and was livelier than Filippo Falco and Riccardo Saponara and Khouma Babacar did a little bit more than usual. The goals came on corner kick and then through the usual penalty kick by Marco Mancosu and it is pretty crazy how many fouls they manage to draw in the box. Antonin Barak has yet to recapture is best form after an injury, but he remains their most appealing non-Mancosu midfielder.

Suggested picks: Mancosu, Farias, Babacar. Continue reading