What next for Manchester United and Odion Ighalo?

Transfer policy at Manchester United has been something of a sour point for many fans over recent years, although the winter transfer window did see the club redeem themselves somewhat.

The capture of Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes was well received by supporters, while the player has also made an instant impact with his impressive displays. Meanwhile, the loan arrival of Odion Ighalo did raise more than a few eyebrows initially, although his displays have shown that, if United decide to make the deal permanent, he will continue to repay their faith in his attacking abilities.

Perhaps the signing of Ighalo can provide the Old Trafford hierarchy with a clear example of what they should be looking for. Players who offer the right mix of genuine desire to pull on the famous red jersey, alongside the talent and skill to provide exactly what the manager requires of them. Players who understand what it means to represent Manchester United.

Today, many avid fans are turning to digital representations to keep them entertained, playing video games such as Football Manager and FIFA. Such games have sparked renewed interest in eSports, with online gaming sites and bookmakers such as ComeOn Casino offering odds on the digital versions of teams like Manchester United in action. So, while we might not get to see Ighalo in action for a while, fans can keep their eyes peeled for any digital Man U matches coming their way.

There’s certainly no doubt that Ighalo will have had his stats updated on FIFA20, along with his facial image in the game and his customary goal celebration, which hasn’t changed over the last decade.

Deeply religious, Ighalo has always regarded scoring goals as his opportunity to give thanks to God. That’s why he’s kept the same celebration of running to the corner flag, hands in the air and looking to the sky. No matter where this journeyman striker has scored his goals, this has been a constant and considering where he was just a decade ago, Ighalo will always feel grateful.

Interestingly, back in 2010 life was completely different for Ighalo. Ten years ago he was playing for Granada CF in the Segunda B, the third tier of Spanish football. During his five seasons with the club, while never the most prolific of strikers, Ighalo is still regarded as a legend amongst their fans. He had a knack for scoring some of their most important goals, including one that secured promotion back to LaLiga for the first time in 35 years.

During his time in LaLiga with Granada, it’s fair to say that Ighalo wasn’t utilised as well as he could have been, as various managers came and went. He never complained, kept working hard and always sported his trademark smile. Patience and perseverance were eventually rewarded with a switch to Watford, with Ighalo quickly finding his feet in English football.

One of the key players who helped Watford return to the Premier League, the goals kept flowing for Ighalo with the Hornets buzzing amongst the English elite. His form was attracting attention far and wide, including Manchester United according to rumours at the time. Nevertheless, the next leg of a journeyman career took Ighalo to China, where he continued to shine with Changchun Yatai and Shanghai Shenhua.

More out of necessity with Marcus Rashford injured and a lack of alternatives in the January transfer window of 2020, United eventually made their move for Ighalo. He didn’t need to be convinced, didn’t need to think about it, and he was prepared to accept whatever role that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had in mind. This was the opportunity of a lifetime and for the 30-year-old, possibly the last chance to realise his dream of playing for the Red Devils.

Ighalo hasn’t wasted his opportunity. While his Premier League appearances have been fleeting, typically appearing from the bench, his cup appearances have been spectacular. 2 goals in 1 FA Cup appearance, 2 goals and 1 assist in 3 Europa League appearances. The last outing for Ighalo in the continental competition also produced an absolutely stunning strike, which has left United fans drooling for more from their new attacking idol.

Amidst talk of negotiations for a permanent switch from Shanghai Shenhua, there’ll be no difficulties presented by Ighalo. All that remains is for United to agree terms with the Chinese club, with the Nigerian international certainly deserving of the opportunity to stay put at Old Trafford.

Doku Catching The Eye Of Liverpool And Other European Giants

This summer is likely to be dominated by the European Championships. Thus explaining the buzz from betting sites who have already started to prepare odds and offers for Euro 2020. Still, we already see transfer rumours begin to surface. One of the latest surrounds Jeremy Doku, a player who could well be in demand in the coming months.

Doku, 17, is enjoying what is very much his breakthrough season at Anderlecht, the club which produced the likes of Youri Tielemans and Romelu Lukaku. He’s made twenty-three appearances in the Jupiler Pro League in the 19/20 campaign, starting on fourteen occasions. With three goals and four assists to his name, he’s proving himself a capable performer at Belgium’s highest level already at such a young age.

The winger, who can play on the right or the left, put in a sensational performance last time out for Anderlecht in their 7-0 home victory against Zulte Waregem. Doku was directly involved in three out of the four goals Frank Vercauteren’s side scored, bagging two himself and providing one assist. If his last eleven Jupiler Pro League games are anything to go by, Doku appears to have established himself as a first-team regular, which will only allow him to showcase his ability to the likes of Liverpool and other European teams.

Liverpool are long term admirers of the Belgian U21 international, but they may have to stay patient due to Doku’s current contractual situation with Anderlecht. Doku penned a new deal with the club on February 21st, which sees him tied down now until the summer of 2022. However, there is also a suggestion that when Doku turns 18 on May 27th, a new long-term deal will be signed to secure his future with the Belgian outfit.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who is renowned for developing and trusting youth players, knows consistently evolving his squad will be the key to long term success. Takumi Minamino and Sepp van den Berg, who are 24 and 17 respectively, have joined the club in the 19.20 campaign, and the German has also shown he is keen to allow the younger players at the club to progress along the way.

Doku could be the perfect addition to the current Liverpool squad long term, primarily as the Borgerhout born winger is used to playing in a similar setup to the one Klopp employs with his teams. And, while Doku may remain at Anderlecht for several more seasons, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. His development will receive a boost, just as we saw with Youri Tielemans, who made a move at the right time and continues to impress with Leicester City.

So, for now, Liverpool and other European sides will have to be patient, and so will Doku. But, he’s undoubtedly one to watch for the future and a player who will make a move to one of the bigger clubs in Europe’s top leagues in the next couple of years.

Is suspending VAR ever going to be a realistic option for the Premier League?

When you sat back and thought about the 2019/20 Premier League season during your last summer holidays, you would’ve been at a loss to pinpoint the biggest talking point of the season. All things considered, that is quite remarkable given that Liverpool will most likely smash the 100 point mark, and be crowned champions after putting together the most impressive Premier League campaign ever witnessed.

In fact, Jurgen Klopp’s men should top the table by the biggest winning margin by any
side ever in the history of the Premier League. But, alas, that still won’t be at the
forefront of your mind as you sit on the Costa Smeralda.

Instead, as you sip on something cool whilst the azure waters of the Mediterranean lap
at your feet, you’ll be thinking about VAR and what a catastrophe it has been in its
debut season in the Premier League. Almost no one is happy with VAR at this stage,
and the calls for it to go are growing louder and louder, and are now almost coming
from every corner. Will the Premier League listen and finally suspend VAR?

What is the extent of VAR’s interference this season?

The latest count on VAR, and the goals or incidents that it has affected, comes in at 75
after the controversy in the game between Spurs and Manchester City, where the North
London club claimed victory after benefiting from the Video Assistant Referee. All in
all this season, 38 goals have been disallowed and 19 decisions made that led to goals.
Furthermore, 12 penalties have been awarded and four overturned, with 25 goals
ruled out for offside. Carrying on from there, VAR has seen fit to award five red cards
whilst overturning three.

Needless to say, after having a look at those figures, VAR has stolen the limelight throughout this season. Some decisions are less controversial than others, but some are quite ridiculous, namely Declan Rice’s handball in the build-up to Robert Snodgrass’ goal at Sheffield United, that denied the Hammers a share of the spoils late on at ramall Lane.

There is every chance, should West Ham get relegated, that they look back on that decision as one of the key moments behind their Premier League demise. This controversial situation looks a distinct possibility given that, as of early stages in February, Betway have priced Moyes’ men at 5/4 to go down.

Indeed, VAR is beginning to act as the hand of fate, with its decisions beginning to add
up, which will inevitably have a longer-lasting impact. But it’s not just the basement
clubs that are struggling.

Many have asked if Manchester City are indeed feeling the brunt of VAR. It should be
said that there is a tendency for supporters to feel like there is a conspiracy against
their clubs at the best of times but, when VAR intervenes and disallows goals, fans feel
like they officially have proof. In the cold light of day, and once the emotion dies down,
it’s clear to see that simply isn’t the case.

Does common sense actually go out the window?

The main problem with VAR is that supporters feel like it nit-picks too much, hence
why we all talk about the armpit offside now, after VAR ruled out a Firmino goal on the
barest of margins. So, in essence, what the fans are saying is that we want VAR but
don’t necessarily want it to scrutinize a possible situation too closely. It’s hard not to
shake your head after weighing up that logic.

Sure, VAR is frustrating, but to accuse it of being too accurate, well, anyone can see
how flawed an argument that is, given that its sole purpose is to use all means possible
to make the right decision. Could it be done slightly faster? Absolutely, but these things do take time. In any case, what you’ll probably find if the Premier League does decide to persevere with VAR, is that we were dealing with a raw version of it that had many teething issues.

Will the Premier League stick with VAR?

Everything says that they will so rather than put it on the scrapheap. They are
rumoured to be inviting the 20 Premier League clubs to sit down and debate what the
league is calling ‘radical changes.’ Having said that, the Premier League doesn’t strike
you as an organization that will sit idly by whilst VAR ruins the product that they have
built up over the past 27 years.

It’s unlikely that lead sponsors like the gaming giants EA Sports will stand by and not
make much a noise of this cacophony of disapproval gets any louder. The same can be
said for the soft drink titans Coca-Cola and their affiliation with the Premier League.
These big boys of industry, not to mention the league’s main sponsors, are not going to
let VAR turn people away from the beautiful game.

If the team at Stockley Park don’t streamline VAR in its current form, then you’d have
to say that it is in real danger of getting the boot after the playing of the 2020/21
season.

Top European clubs to have most players at Euro 2020

This will be a unique European tournament. For Euro 2020, there is no single host country, but 12 different cities around the continent playing host to matches.

Europe’s top clubs are naturally well represented at the Euros. This year’s tournament should be no exception, but which clubs are set to have the most international players involved at the finals?

Assuming all are fit and well to take part in Euro 2020, the following are our predictions:

Chelsea

English Premier League outfit Chelsea could lead the way at the Euro finals with the most representation at the tournament. A case can be made for 14 players from the Blues being involved.

Spain goalkeeper Kepa, France trio Olivier Giroud, N’Golo Kante and Kurt Zouma, Denmark and Germany defenders Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, Italy midfielder Jorginho, Croatia counterpart Mateo Kovacic, Belgium striker Michy Batshuayi, and as many as five England players, could all be at Euro 2020.

The likely inclusion of so many players from Stamford Bridge in national teams’ Euros squads is largely down to the nurturing of young talent done in West London since Chelsea legend Frank Lampard came in as manager last summer.

Bayern Munich

Bundesliga big boys Bayern Munich are always well-represented at major tournaments like the Euros and World Cup. Euro 2020 should be no exception with 13 predicted first team players set for summer duty.

Naturally, many of those are German. Manuel Neuer, Niklas Sule, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry are all in Die Mannschaft’s setup.

There are four France internationals at Bayern: Benjamin Pavard, Lucas Hernandez, Corentin Tolisso and Kingsley Coman. As World Cup holders, Les Bleus are among the favourites at 6/1 in the international football betting on Euro 2020 with bet365.

Completing the likely Euros involvement from Munich are Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara, Poland frontman Robert Lewandowski, Croatia winger Ivan Perisic and Austria’s versatile David Alaba.

Real Madrid

Another of Europe’s top clubs, Real Madrid, look sure to have around a dozen of their players involved at Euro 2020. Spain makes up the biggest proportion of those with four: defensive duo Dani Carvajal and Sergio Ramos, midfielder Isco and winger Marco Asensio.

France duo Ferland Mendy and Raphael Varane join Belgium duo Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard, who faces a race to be fit after a fractured ankle, as locks for inclusion.

Germany playmaker Toni Kroos, Wales star Gareth Bale and Croatia’s Luka Modric could be joined by Luka Jovic if Serbia reach the tournament finals.

Barcelona

El Clasico rivals Barcelona are another rich source of international footballers. Potentially on their way to Euro 2020 from Camp Nou are Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto for Spain.

France trio Antoine Griezmann, Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti, recent out of transfer window arrival Martin Braithwaite of Denmark and Portugal full-back Nelson Semedo are others set to go to the Euros.

The Catalonia based contingent is completed by Germany goalie Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic and Netherlands counterpart Frenkie de Jong. That makes 11 Barcelona players on course for Euro 2020.

Haaland ready to fire club and country to glory in 2020

By the end of the summer, Erling Braut Haaland’s stratospheric rise to the upper echelons of football could well be complete.

Because, by then, he could be a Champions League and German Bundesliga winner with Borussia Dortmund, and would have sampled his first major international tournament with Norway.

The young attacker bludgeoned eleven goals in his first seven appearances for Dortmund, and that incredible output has led fans of BVB to think that he could fire their team to glory on the domestic and continental front – they are into odds of 11/2 in the outright Bundesliga winner betting market.

 At the time of writing on February 25, Dortmund find themselves three points adrift of RB Leipzig in second and four shy of Bayern at the summit of the table.

However, they still have ample chances to close the gap, given that they host the current German champions on April 4th and then travel to the Red Bull franchise on May 9th.

BVB have won five of their last six Bundesliga games, scoring a ridiculous 24 goals in that spell, and such firepower means they will take some stopping from here-on-in.

The Champions League is looking rather promising too. Dortmund won the first leg of their Round of 16 tie with PSG – Haaland bagging a brace in his debut appearance in the competition for his new employer, and while the French side’s away goal complicates matters the Germans will be hopeful of netting an away strike or two of their won with their Norwegian sensation in the ranks.

BVB are still very much outsiders in the betting market at 25/1 to win the Champions League, but with one tentative foot in the quarter finals those odds will surely shorten soon enough.

Norsk Power

It’s been 20 years since Norway appeared in a major international tournament.

They were dumped out of Euro 2000 in the group stage back then, and will be desperate to make up for lost time this time around.

The Norwegians are just three games away from booking their spot at Euro 2020. They must first defeat Serbia in a two-legged tie, which they are favourites to do according to the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers odds, and then get the better of either Scotland or Israel in an all-or-nothing clash. Again, the betting market would favour Haaland & Co over either of those potential opponents.

The winner’s reward? A spot in Group D alongside tournament favourites England and World Cup finalists Croatia.

Haaland, at 19, is a curiously late starter in international football given that he was rattling in the goals for Red Bull Salzburg as far back as January 2019.

He has only made two appearances for his country, and at one point it looked as though he might choose England as his preferred international team – he was born in Leeds after all, and his father Alf Inge spent many years in English football playing for Nottingham Forest and Leeds United.

But in the end he opted to follow his Norwegian roots, and after representing them at youth level – scoring plenty of goals, naturally – Haaland made his senior debut in August 2019 as part of their Euro 2020 qualification campaign.

That was the start of a long international career you suspect, and while Norway aren’t giants of the international scene what a fillip it would be if they could take their place in Group D of the European Championships.

For Haaland, it might just cap the most unbelievable of trophy-laden seasons.

Salah, Aguero & Vardy battling to be Premier League top scorer

With around 25 games played, the battle for top scorer in the Premier League appears to be heating up. Sergio Aguero, Mohamed Salah, Danny Ings, Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have at least 14 goals each.

Aguero- despite missing a number of matches due to injury- already has 16 goals in just 14 league starts and 5 substitute appearances. Aguero celebrated with a hat-trick against Aston Villa in what was his first Premier League start in 2020.

It would not be wise to bet against the Argentina striker finishing as the top scorer for the 2019/20 season given he has made it a habit to find the back of the net on a regular basis. This season has seen him break a number of records while becoming the top foreign scorer in the history of the English Premier League in the process. He also has scored the most number of hat-tricks in the history of England’s top division.

Aguero’s records and achievements speak highly of his status as one of the game’s most lethal finisher. However, he is followed closely at 14 goals by Salah, Ings, Aubameyang and Rashford. Salah and Aubameyang are proven scorers as seen by their goal-scoring exploits in recent years. Still, there is one player who must be considered as a the main threat to the other 5 goalscorers mentioned above.

In fact, Vardy is the current leading scorer with 17 league goals. He needs a single goal to equal his tally from the entire 2018/19 season. Indeed, after looking at the most recent odds being tracked by SBD, the betting options are favoring none other than Vardy to win the Golden Boot, but this race is really tight and things can turn around real quick.

The fixtures ahead are not easy for either of the top two scorers: Vardy and Aguero. Vardy has not scored a single goal in his last 5 league games. In fact, he missed a penalty-kick against Burnley in recent weeks. On the other hand, Aguero has been on a great run with 7 goals in his last 5 league games.

Will it be Vardy or Aguero? That is probably the question many fans are asking. Can any of the other four players stop them? Perhaps Liverpool star Salah or Arsenal’s top scorer Aubameyang?

5 Youngsters ready to break into Juve’s first team

Recently, Juventus – commonly known as the ‘Old Lady’  – signed a number of new players. The defending Serie A champions are seen to have signed some of the best and brightest young talents in world football.

We aren’t talking about Ronaldo – but players who are yet to make their mark in professional football, definitely some great news for football fans today. Whether you love watching the game or betting on it on sites like Betway, seeing fresh talent does look great.

Here is a brief look at the five young players who are set to fight for a role with Juve’s first team beginning with the 2020/21 season:

Cristian Romero

The 21-year-old Genoa defender is considered as one of the players with the most potential in the team. Romero was part of the under-20 international Argentina team and has received high praise for his performances.

He has 2 goals and has given 1 assist in 27 appearances. He joined Juventus for just under €30m. Currently, he remains on loan with Genoa. Interestingly, Romero’s debut game was against Juventus where he directly competed against the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala. Romero’s consistent yet versatile defense will make him an invaluable addition to the team.

Dejan Kulusevski

This Swedish midfielder is all set to join Juventus this summer for a deal worth €35 possible rising to €44m. The 19-year-old has an impressive history of 4 goals and 17 assists from 16 matches. This formidable player was chosen as Serie A’s Player of the Month in December. Currently, the teenager is on loan with Parma from Atalanta and will soon move to Juventus till 2024. By all means, Kulusevski is one of the most exciting and promising additions to the Juventus squad. He is an all-rounder and will be a valuable asset to Juventus.

Luca Pellegrini

Pellegrini is one of the first summer signings made by Juventus this season. The 20-year-old Roman defender has reportedly signed for the club till 2023. The defender is well-known for his consistent performances. Pellegrini made his Champions League debut with the Giallorossi team and has played on loan with Cagliari. He completed the season as the youngest defender with an assist in Serie A.

Dany Mota Carvalho

The 21-year old forward from Luxembourg has signed a four-year contract with Juventus for €2m. Both Juventus and Napoli had expressed interest in this former Sassuolo striker. Carvalho was a part of the Union Titus Pétange club and the Serie B club Virtus Entella. Carvalho’s technique and skills are well-worth noting and he has scored seven times in 19 appearances this season.

Leonardo Loria

Standing tall at 195 cm, goalkeeper Loria has been a part of the Juve’s Primavera side since 2015. Wojciech Szczęsny, Juve’s current starting goalkeeper, can expect some good competition from this 20-year-old. Loria has also been part of the Italian national team at the Under-20 level.

Jadon Sancho: Best Young Player in 2020

Football is a popular sport across Europe, attracting millions of fans. The passion and love for the sport is not only in Europe but also across the world. Thanks to the new and raw emerging talent, more fans have a reason to watch football games.

All the upcoming and young wonder-kids with raw and exciting talent make the game fun to watch. As a fan, you probably have a favorite young player who you think has the potential to be a world-class star such as Ronaldo or Messi. However, you should know that other promising talents have the capacity to develop and be successful in other positions in the field.

So, who is the best young player in 2020?

The Young Player of the Year

The are several young players who are fit to be considered among the best in football. A favorite pick for many would be Jadon Sancho. He was the shining player in the 2018/19 season in Germany and has started the 2019/20 season with the same zeal. His consistency is the reason why he goes as a top pick for the young player of 2020.

Jadon Sancho statistics

Jadon has been one of the most exciting talents to watch in Europe last season and this one as well. I cannot recall the number of times I have heard friends had to seek help from essay help online free websites with their assignments to get time to watch him play. It is exciting to see him in the pitch when playing for Dortmund and the “Three Lions”.

At only 19 years of age, Sancho has managed to get more than 25 assists since the 2017/18 season at Borussia Dortmund. This season, he already has 9 goals and 9 assists under his name in 15 matches, with the season far from being over. Gauging from his performances last season, he seems to be getting better by the day.

Last season, he managed 14 assists and 12 goals in 34 matches. He is likely to do even better this season.

Jadon’s early life

As a student, there are many easy ways to succeed in school, among them free essay help platforms available online. These websites offer custom help with essays to students in high school. However, there are no shortcuts in football. Sancho had to put the much-needed effort to get to the level he is now at.

Born and raised in the Kennington suburb of London, Sancho had to decide to focus on football and not the vices that were around him. He had to play football on the street since it was his passion. He would spend his time after school playing football on the streets with his mates.

At the age of 7, young Sancho joined the Watford academy where his talent attracted big clubs like Chelsea and Arsenal. However, Sancho would eventually leave Watford at the age of 14 and join Manchester City. There, he was able to learn how to adapt to a professional style of playing that suited him the most.

Sancho’s professional career

In 2017, Jadon Sancho was faced with another major decision about his career. Due to lack of game time in Manchester City, he decided to leave England and try his luck in Dortmund; a decision he cherishes and does not regret till today. He was given the number 7 jersey which was worn by some of the best strikers and wingers in the history of the club.

To him, this was all the confidence boost he needed to step up to the big stage and conquer. He made his first senior debut for Dortmund in October 2017 as a substitute. Soon enough, he became a sensational player to watch for the team, cementing his place in the starting XI. He even made the German league’s team of the year in the 2018/19 season.

International career

The talented Sancho wouldn’t go unnoticed by England manager Gareth Southgate. He received his first senior call-up on October 4th, 2018 after an impressive start to his season. He made his international debut on October 12th, 2018.

His most memorable moment while playing for England was when he scored a brace on September 10th, 2019 against Kosovo.

Transfer speculation

For such a young and promising talent, there is a lot of interest from other clubs around Europe. For this reason, Dortmund have slapped a hefty price tag on him to try and put off interest from other clubs.

A number of top clubs have been linked with the player including Manchester United and Chelsea. Real Madrid and Manchester City are also said to be interested in signing the young star.

Honorable Mentions

Apart from the sensational Sancho, other youngsters have taken the football world by storm there are a number of worthy names to be considered.

Some top honorable mentions include names such as Mason Greenwood (Manchester United), Ansu Fati (Barcelona), Erling Haaland (also Dortmund) and a few others.

Final Thoughts

It is hard not to recall the number of times some of my friends had to rely on essay help online platforms for school work and to give them more time to attend a football match. For many, football is more than just a sport. Therefore, it is not difficult to entrust an essay helper with paper assignments which can in turn create enough spare time to watch games.

A look back at the decade’s most memorable moments

The 2010s were both an exciting and turbulent period for football. With more than a handful of career-defining goals and several big scandals, nobody could say it was boring.

Although there are plenty of options to choose from, these are the moments that will ensure the past decade is remembered for a long time.

The FIFA Corruption Scandal

It was the summer of 2015 when things became more than a little uncomfortable for FIFA officials. In the summer of 2015, after a thorough investigation from the FBI, the US Department of Justice was forced to indict several top executives on charges of corruption.

While this came as a great shock to many, what happened in December that year would shake the world of football even harder. Two FIFA vice presidents were arrested in a hotel in Zurich, and then a further sixteen officials were charged with partaking in criminal schemes, including ones involved more than $200m in bribes related to the bidding process for two upcoming World Cup tournaments.

While the scandal saw the end of two very powerful men’s careers, it’s essential to see this not as a tragedy but as justice being served.

Iniesta Wins the World Cup for Spain

Back in 2010, we saw the first-ever World Cup to take place in Africa. The final match was an aggressive and sometimes nasty game, with the referee handing out a record-breaking 12 yellow cards. But it wasn’t the rough and aggressive style of play that was the most remarkable thing – it was Andres Iniesta’s final goal that will be remembered.

Late in the game, after Dutch defender John Heitinga was sent off, Iniesta scored a beautiful goal and celebrated by lifting his shirt to reveal a tribute to Dani Jarque, the former team defender, who tragically died far too young in 2009. This touching tribute and beautiful bit of football paved the way for years of dominance by the Spaniards, who also won the European cup in both 2008 and 2012.

Ronaldo Scores a Poker

If somebody mentions poker, you tend to think of the card game, but it has a meaning in football too. If a player scores four goals in a single game, then they’ve scored a poker. While there are quite a few football players who put their skills of quick thinking to good use both at the poker table and on mobile poker sites, there are far fewer who can boast a poker in their football career.

One player who we can confidently say he’s incredibly skilled, both at the table and on the pitch, is poker star and football hero, Cristiano Ronaldo. In a Euro 2020 qualifier, when Portugal beat Lithuania 5-1, Ronaldo scored 4 of them.

The Battle of Manchester

The Premier League final in 2012 indeed divided a city. The dramatic climax to the season saw Manchester City play Queens Park Rangers. To win the league title, they just needed to beat them.

The game was a hard-fought one, with City fans crossing their fingers for a goal and United fans praying for the end of the game to come. It looked like Queens Park Rangers had the game in the bag. With the clock ticking over into
injury time, City were losing 2-1. However, a 92nd minute equalizer gave Manchester City hope, before an absolute screamer of a goal from Sergio Aguero saw City win the game and thus the title for the first time in 44 years.

With Man City second, how will the Premier League season end?

The winter transfer window might be open, but no premier league team looks distracted. Liverpool looks unstoppable. Man City recently toppled Leicester to go second in the league and Watford seems determined to avoid relegation by all means. But how will the season finish?

For starters, this is not a premonition of how the ongoing season will finish. It’s a prediction. And like other football predictions, some teams may end up surprising everyone. Based on the Premier League standings after 22 matches, here’s how we can expect the table to stand come May 17th when the season winds up.

Premier League Winners: Liverpool

If anyone doubts Liverpool’s prospects of lifting the PL trophy this season, watch the team play. They look like men possessed no matter who they face. Defensively, the Reds haven’t been giving up many goals lately, at least not since they blew out Everton 5-2 mid-December.

The midfield plays seamlessly whether they are helping the team defend or create chances for the iconic front three of Mane, Salah and Firminho. Speaking of attack, Liverpool have one of the best attacking trios in Europe.

However, the team’s success comes down to their cohesiveness, hard work and determination as a whole. And thanks to all the factors mentioned above, the Reds could break at least nine Premier League records this season. Here are some of them:

 Most home wins— 20 games, held by Man City
 Most consecutive wins—18 games, held by Man City
 Unbeaten record—49 games, held by Arsenal
 Most wins in a season—32 games, held by Man City
 Most points in a season—100 points, owned by Man City

Top Four

Man City now sit second in the table after thrashing Aston Villa 6-1. Aguero scored a hat-trick to overtake Frenchman Thierry Henry’s tally of 175 goals. He’s now the highest overseas goal scorer in the history of the Premier League. His hat-trick also bagged him another record—the most Premier League hat-tricks at 12.

Aguero aside, Pep Guardiola’s men look to have regained their form after a few upsets along the way. They might not win every other match henceforth but with Leicester’s form on the decline, they are the favourites to finish second.

There are a few contenders for the third and fourth positions, though. If the Foxes continue slipping and lose regularly, they could finish outside of the top four. They are six points above Chelsea and eleven points above Man United.

However they only need to lose three to four games, and they could end up in a fight for the fifth position with Sheffield and Wolves. Don’t bet on it to happen yet. If there’s one team capable of turning things around and doing the impossible, it’s the Foxes.

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Mid-Table Fights

This season’s mid-table looks different with Arsenal, Everton and Tottenham all having woeful forms. Arsenal, for example, has won as many games as it has lost: six. Everton looks to be under resurgence with Carlo Ancelotti in charge.

Tottenham’s hopes of fighting for a top-four position with Jose Mourinho in charge appear to have diminished. Manchester aren’t better off at fifth position, but they are back to winning ways. Wolves look good when they play, but they have rarely shown a determination to rise above mid-table mediocrity.

Despite that, Premier League fantasy managers love them. Adama Traore, Ruben Neves, Raul Jimenez, Diogo Jota and Matt Doherty are some of the most owned players in the football simulation game.

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Surprise Positions

Let’s face. Sheffield United have been over-performing this season. Who would have thought a team freshly promoted could be doing so well? Of course, Leicester holds the record for over-delivering after they won the PL to the shock of the world in 2016.

Southampton is another team capable of ranking tenth or better after overcoming their poor run of form last year. Crucially, the Saints didn’t let their record 9-0 defeat to Leicester last October shred their hopes of overcoming relegation woes.

Instead, they used the defeat as motivation to chase a better record. And considering they are only six points below fifth-placed Man United, they could finish tenth or better. Of course, all teams above them have what it takes to finish in the top ten. But Southampton shouldn’t be underrated.

Relegation Bound

A few weeks ago, most people believed Watford, Norwich and Aston Villa had sealed their fate and would head back to the championship next season. Things have since changed. Watford have now won four of their last five matches, slightly elevating them above relegation danger.

Aston Villa, Bournemouth and Norwich are presently seated in the relegation zone. Based on Watford’s next set of fixtures, Watford they should be hopeful. For clarity, the Hornets face Tottenham, Everton, Man United, Liverpool, Crystal Palace and Leicester before April.

Unfortunately, neither Bournemouth nor Aston Villa have better fixtures, which should give Watford hopes of surviving relegation this season. On the other end, nothing seems to be working for Norwich City. They haven’t won a game since they defeated Man City in September. And based on their present forms, nothing will save them from relegation.