Fantasy Football News

Brilliant Barca beaten by route one Real

It was a Clasico that lived up to its top billing in a torrential rainstorm that can only be described as biblical.

The Alfredo di Stefano stadium was the venue for a Real Madrid v Barcelona match for the first time ever and the hosts would go on to triumph against their eternal rivals for the second time this season.

As is normally the case with these matches, it didn’t pass without incident.

Referee, Gil Manzano, a late substitute for Mateu Lahoz who was injured in midweek, needs to look long and hard at some of the decisions made, particularly in the first half. Continue reading

Parma 1-3 AC Milan: Top three performers as Rossoneri secure three crucial points

Milan were heading towards a comfortable win earlier this evening, with a 2-0 lead in the bag, but then Zlatan Ibrahimovic got sent off and Parma pulled one back. In the end, after what was a very nervy period, the Rossoneri secured the win thanks to a goal from Rafael Leao in stoppage time. 

Stefano Pioli’s men looked a lot better than the performance against Sampdoria and had a 2-0 lead already in half-time. Ante Rebic opened the scoring with a great effort and Franck Kessie doubled the lead just before the break, scoring his 10th league goal of the season. It looked very comfortable, in other words.  Continue reading

Parma vs. AC Milan: Serie A Round 30 – Team news, stats and prediction

Milan didn’t get the best of starts to their season finally as they got just one point from the clash against Sampdoria last weekend. Therefore, it will be very important for them to bounce back with a win against Parma tomorrow, which really is a must if you look at the season the respective sides have had. 

Stefano Pioli’s men looked very lacklustre last time out and were saved by Jens Petter Hauge, who came off the bench and beautifully scored the equaliser. Based on the majority of the game, in fact, the Rossoneri barely deserved one point and it’s interesting to think they were just about denied the win by the woodwork.  Continue reading

How have Bayern Munich performed in the Champions League against English teams?

As one of Europe’s biggest clubs and the current holders of the Champions League, it’s no real surprise that Bayern Munich have had their fair share of games against English clubs in what is Europe’s premier club competition.

Here’s how they’ve fared in those ties. One of the most infamous clashes that Bayern have had with an English club in recent years has to be their four games over a period of a few years against Arsenal in Champions League Round of 16. In one of those ties, Arsenal actually beat Bayern in the home league by two goals to nil thanks to an effort from Olivier Giroud as well as a last-gap goal from Mesut Ozil.

Despite that high point, things haven’t gone well for Arsenal since then, which is
reflected by the Premier League odds online as they aren’t one of the favourites to finish in the top six.

Considering where the Gunners used to be by way of their consecutive qualification for the Champions League under Arsene Wenger despite calls from rival fans that Arsenal were boring as a result, it has been a rather notable fall from grace. A catalyst for such has to be the thrashing that Bayern gave the Gunners in 2017 when the Germans beat the red side of London 10-2 over the Round of 16 stage, winning 5-1 in both legs; this was despite the fact Arsenal took the lead in the home leg through Theo Walcott before Bayern scored five in the last thirty-five minutes of the game.

Bayern have faced an English club in a Champions League final, although they did rather famously lose to a Chelsea side featuring the likes of Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard. The final has gone down in history as one of the more intense and interesting of recent years, going right down to the wire with late goals from Thomas Muller and Didier Drogba sending the game into extra time and eventually into a penalty shootout. It would also be the Ivorian who converted the all-important fifth penalty that gave Chelsea the win.

However, their own victory was short-lived as during the competitions it allowed them to
gain to, namely the Club World Cup and the UEFA Super Cup, Chelsea lost both of those ties, against Corinthians in the Club World Cup and Atletico Madrid in the Super Cup.

Intriguingly, Bayern have tasted Champions League success on English soil, beating a
Borussia Dortmund side then managed by Jurgen Klopp in a 2-1 win at the home of English football.

It’s definitely fair to say that much like any club involved in European football, Bayern’s
results have been rather mixed on the continental stage. However, considering that they did win the 2020 edition of the tournament, there doesn’t look to be many clubs in Europe better than Bayern, although they have a tough task on their hands if they want to hold on to the trophy.

Cracks in Chelsea’s foundations reappear after shocking West Brom defeat

Chelsea fans around the globe would have been having terrible flashbacks on Saturday afternoon as relegation threatened West Brom ran the Blues ragged at Stamford Bridge. To say it was an embarrassing afternoon in west London would be an understatement.

With Thiago Silva sent for an early shower after two yellow cards inside the first 30 minutes, Sam Allardyce’s side went on to thrash Thomas Tuchel’s 10 men. Matheus Pereira’s double fired the visitors into a 2-1 lead before the break, whilst a brace from Callum Robinson and a strike from Mbaye Diagne followed in the second half.

Perhaps under the reign of Lampard, the result would have been hard to fathom but still somewhat believable. Yet since Tuchel’s arrival in January, nobody would have seen the result coming by any stretch of the imagination. It’s certainly a wake-up call for the Blues, who were on a 14-game unbeaten streak.

Worryingly, however, some of the cracks that the German boss seemed to immediately paper over when he replaced Lampard at the helm reappeared, both on the pitch and in the aftermath.

Tuchel had made Chelsea defensively solid, a trait they lacked under Lampard. Yet they were torn apart by the Baggies, who had only scored 20 times in 29 league outings prior to their trip to Stamford Bridge. Of course, the red card shown to Silva played its part. However, attacking midfielder Hakim Ziyech was sacrificed for centre-back Andreas Christensen to help Chelsea at the back almost immediately after the sending off.

One of the major tasks that faced the former Paris Saint-Germain boss when he arrived at the club was to get Timo Werner firing. But he has scored just one goal under Tuchel, and that was against Newcastle back in mid-February. Getting Kai Havertz back on form is also proving to be a difficult task.

Off the pitch, there are clearly rifts as well. Tammy Abraham hasn’t featured for the Blues since their 1-1 draw away to Southampton on February 20th. An apparent injury has played its part in that. However, Abraham has returned to training, but still can’t make it into Tuchel’s matchday squads, which has led to rumours of a potential falling out between the new gaffer and the 23-year-old.

That aside, news broke from The Telegraph on Sunday that Antonio Rüdiger, who was cast out by Lampard before being brought back into the fold by Tuchel, had been involved in a training ground bust-up with out-of-favour goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Tuchel confirmed that things ‘got heated’ between the pair after a reported late tackle on the goalkeeper from the centre-back and it is believed that Rüdiger was dismissed from the session due to his actions. After bringing the dressing room closer following similar situations under Lampard, this was the last thing Chelsea fans would have wanted to read in the Sunday papers as the race for a top four spot heats up.

In his first 14 games in charge, Tuchel turned around Chelsea’s season and made them much more favourable in the Premier League winner odds. However, he must now ensure that his side can bounce back from this and prove that the defeat against West Brom was a one-off freak result. The last thing he will want to do is miss out on the lucrative Champions League spots.

Calcio Predictions – Round 30

Spezia-Crotone: the Aquilotti are coming off a bitter loss versus Lazio and have won just once in the past seven contests. However, most of their stumbles have come on the road, while at home they have picked up two wins and two draws in the last four matches. Crotone were plucky in the last three outings against Lazio, Bologna and Napoli, but they were still defeated. They have been upended in 10 of the last 11: 3-2.

Parma-Milan: the Ducali have not turned the corner but they have been defeated just twice in the last seven matches, by Inter and Genoa. They picked up one W and shared the spoils four times in such spell, lastly versus Benevento. The Rossoneri keep having troubles at home as they were held to a tie by Sampdoria, but they have been impressive on the road, winning almost every time: 1-2. Continue reading

Serie A Injury and Suspension Report – Round 30

Atalanta: Matteo Pessina contracted COVID. Luis Muriel is dealing with some minor back issues but should be fine. Hans Hateboer is rehabbing after foot surgery.

Missing: Pessina, Hateboer. 

Benevento: Gaetano Letizia and Iago Falque returned last week, so they do not have any absentees.

Bologna: Lukas Skorupski has shaken off Coronavirus. Takehiro Tomiyasu is nursing some muscle fatigue, while Ibrahima Mbaye is past the same problem. Gary Medel will miss a month with another calf strain. Federico Santander (ACL tear) and Aaron Hickey (shoulder surgery) are out for the year.

Returning: Skorupski, Mbaye; Missing: Tomiyasu, Medel, Santander, Hickey. 
Continue reading

Serie A Probable Lineups – Round 30

SPEZIA-CROTONE

Spezia (4-3-3): Zoet; Ferrer, Erlic, Ismajli, Bastoni; Sena, Ricci, Maggiore; Verde, Nzola, Gyasi.

Potential lineup changes: Chabot for Ismajli, Pobega for Sena, Piccoli for Nzola.

Likely bench options: Farias, Piccoli, Pobega.

Ruled Out: Saponara (foot sprain), Estevez, Ramos, Kaprikas (COVID), Dell’Orco (muscle fatigue).

Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 30 – Late Games

VERONA-LAZIO

Verona: Antonin Barak returned to the stat-sheet after four matches in the Cagliari game, scoring his seventh goal of the years (plus two assists), while Kevin Lasagna rounded out the score late. The Italian striker, who recorded his fourth goal, always has some chances but is not the clutchest player. Miguel Veloso posted his second assist of the campaign, Daniel Bessa his first. Mattia Zaccagni (6 goals, 5 assists) continues to be quiet as he has not picked up offensive bonuses since late January. They always rely a lot on their flank game: Darko Lazovic (2/4) has been their most productive player there lately, but Marco Davide Faraoni (2/6) and Federico Dimarco (4/3) are not too shabby either.  Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 30 – Early Games

SPEZIA-CROTONE

Spezia: the Aquilotti tend to get an uncanny amount of goals from their subs and Daniele Verde delivered in stunning fashion against Lazio. The peppy winger has been in good form over the last two months. Coach Vincenzo Italiano is keeping everybody involved so, while getting more minutes helps, it is not a major discriminating factor. The only one that plays all the time is Emmanuel Gyasi, who picked up an assist in the past match, moving to five in the season, plus six goals. Roberto Piccoli (4 goals) has outplayed their early-season revelation M’Bala Nzola in recent games, but the two will keep divvying up the minutes. Giulio Maggiore (2 goals, one assist) has been their more offensive-minded midfielder as of late, while Tommaso Pobega had some big flashes at the beginning of the campaign. It could be a ripe match-up for their attackers given Crotone’s terrible defense. Continue reading