La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 20

We’ve officially passed the half way stage of the Spanish football season for 2020/21 and Atletico Madrid look like the favourites to win the league title. Diego Simeone’s side are 7 points in front of 2nd placed Real Madrid and have a game in hand over them, surely it is there’s to lose now?

Barcelona have found good form and won their last 4 games in a row and have climbed to 3rd place as a result. Down at the bottom it could be the Segunda Division awaiting Huesca. They drew at the weekend but are bottom of the league and six points from safety.

Let’s take a look at the best 11 players in a 4-4-2 formation that made the team of the week in La Liga.

Goalkeeper: Bono- Sevilla 7pts

Bono is the 5th best keeper in La Liga this season with the fantasy points and he earned another seven at the weekend to take his total too 35. It was his sixth clean sheet in this campaign and Bono made some very good saves as Sevilla beat Cadiz 3-0.

Defender: Samuel Umtiti- Barcelona 5pts

It has not been a vintage season for Samuel Umtiti so far but he put in a solid display at the back for Barcelona as they impressively kept a clean sheet away from home when they beat Elche 2-0. Umtiti’s value is 6m.

Defender: Estupinan- Villarreal 5pts

Estupinan has helped to keep four clean sheets for Villarreal and at the weekend the club drew 0-0 away to Huesca. It wasn’t a great result for the yellow submarines but a point away from home is always valuable and the player really stood out among the other defenders for his side.

Defender: Jordi Alba- Barcelona 5pts

Jordi Alba has had a slow start to the campaign but is now picking up points and he put in some great tackles and had wonderful vision just to keep Elche quiet. Even if Barcelona were the favourites to win the game which they did 2-0 he still had a job to do to help and keep a clean sheet and that was Alba’s 8th clean sheet of the season.

Defender: Sergi Gomez- Sevilla 5pts

Sergi Gomez has only started 5 games this season and only has 5 points overall as a result. But Gomez did well when he had the time on the ball as Sevilla were able to overcome Cadiz 3-0 and keep their 4th place in the league standings.

Midfielder: Frenkie de Jong- Barcelona 8pts

Frenkie de Jong had one of those games that Barcelona really needed from him. The Dutch player opened the scoring against Elche and then closed out a narrow game by assisting in the 2nd goal as Barcelona ran out 4-0 winners, de Jong has scored 3 goals and assisted in three this season.

Midfielder: Joaquin Sanchez- Real Betis 6pts

Joaquin Sanchez helped  Real Betis claim a 2-2 draw against Real Sociedad and he did it in style. Real Betis were losing 2-0 and Sanchez came on with just over ten minutes remaining of the game and assisted in a goal to pull the score back. He then scored at the end to claim the draw which for Betis felt like a win, an incredible game for Sanchez.

Midfielder: Eden Hazard- Real Madrid 6pts

Eden Hazard has had long spells of injury at Real Madrid so it was great for him that he did enough to make the team of the week. The Belgian assisted in the clubs 2nd goal and then scored the 3rd one as Real Madrid ran out 4-1 winners over Alaves.

Midfielder: Marcos Llorente- Atletico Madrid 4pts

Marcos Llorente has been one of Atletico’s best players this season and he earned another 4 points at the weekend as the league leaders overcame Valencia beating them 3-1.Llorent was a presence throughout and helped in a goal towards the end for a comfortable win for Simeone’s team.

Striker: Youssef En-Nesyri- Sevilla 14pts

Youssef En-Nesyri has been one of the biggest improvements this season in the league and he earned a huge 14 points at the weekend for Sevilla. It was an amazing game for the forward who scored a fantastic hat-trick and even had a 4th goal ruled out by VAR. The forward now has 12 goals this season.

Striker: Luis Suarez- Atletico Madrid 12pts

Luis Suarez has found a new lease of life at Atletico Madrid and continues to do what he does best and score goals. Suarez helped the club beat Valencia in their latest game as he scored his 12th goal of the season and overall he has been involved in 14 goals.

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Who have been the best players from Manchester United and Manchester City this season?

With just 1 Premier League game this past weekend because of the FA Cup in England we will take a look at the top two teams as the Premier League stands. What a season it has been so far as both Manchester teams occupy 1st and 2nd place. It is like the beginning of the 2010s again when City became a genuine rival to United.

In truth whilst Manchester City were expected to challenge for Liverpool’s title this season Manchester United were not. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was actually under pressure to keep his job in October when United lost 6-1 at home to Tottenham but that’s history now as United lead the table with 40 points. City are in 2nd on 38 but have a game extra to play. United have pulled out a six point gap to Liverpool with the same games played.

We take a look then at the top 3 performing players for each side, the ones who have made the ultimate difference this season. You can check out the players stats on the links provided and see if you have any of the players below in your team.

Manchester United: Top 3 performing fantasy football players

1. Bruno Fernandes 64pts

What a player Bruno Fernandes has been. Surely he is Manchester United’s best signing since Cristiano Ronaldo? Fernandes has scored important goals for the club and really stood up when it has mattered. Already this season he has bagged 11 goals and assisted in a further seven. And he has been a steal at just 8.5m. If United win the league this season make no mistake most of it will be down to this Portuguese superstar.

2. Marcus Rashford 35pts

Marcus Rashford has big boots to fill being one of the strikers at Manchester United. This season he has earned 35 points so far and has scored seven goals and assisted in another five. Rashford always seems to pop up at the right moments. It’s true that he needs more consistency to his game but he is so young and will get even better as the seasons go on.

3. Scott McTominay 22pts

Manchester United’s 3rd best player so far might be a surprise in Scott McTominay. Former manager Jose Mourinho heaped praise on him and the midfielder seems in his element this season which is arguably his best in a United shirt. He’s scored 2 goals and helped back track and keep six clean sheets so far. He could be doing with more assists and as we reach the half way stage of the season he only has 1 to his name. But he’s another youngster who will gain even more experience and become more complete.

Manchester City: Top 3 performing fantasy football players

1. Ederson Moraes  59pts

For Manchester City this season it is all about defence rather than attack. Haven’t you noticed that the club are not scoring many goals for their standard? Thus it is no surprise to see Ederson as the clubs best player in goal this season. No goalkeeper in the Premier League has kept more clean sheets so far this season as City’s keeper who has 10 so far. His value is 9m which is a great return considering he has 59 points already.

2. John Stones 48pts

Could this be John Stones most complete season of his career? He can defend, set up goals and score them and has really taken advantage of the situation at City with injuries and departures building up to state his case with manager Pep Guardiola. Stones has helped to keep 8 clean sheets and scored twice in the league so far. But it is his overall command of the game which has impressed this season and he looks utterly confident in the back four set up.

3. Ruben Dias 47pts

Ruben Dias has been of Manchester City’s best signings under Pep Guardiola, how they needed a player like him to come in and play like he has been at the club for several seasons. Dias has 47 points already and has helped to keep 10 clean sheets for the club. He has partnered up well with Stones at the back to underline that City whilst being a danger up front have had to adapt and focus on defence this season if they want to recapture back their league title.

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Roma fall 9 pts behind after derby defeat against Lazio and exit Coppa Italia

Of all the defeats Roma can take in a Serie A season the one that will always hurt the most is the defeat in the derby and at the weekend Paulo Fonseca’s team were no match for Lazio.

Lazio ran out 3-0 winners and while the final result looked more like gloss against a game that was closer no one could deny that Lazio were the more attacking side and deserved their win.

A terrible defensive error by Roma’s Ibanez allowed Lazio a glorious chance which Ciro Immobile snapped up to put the designated home side in the lead. That was Immobile’s 12 league goal of the season as he tries to catch up to Cristiano Ronaldo and is only 3 goals away from that target.

By the 23rd minute Lazio were 2-0 up courtesy of Luis Alberto. It was a strange goal as Manuel Lazzari came bursting into the area on the right hand side and he thought he had been fouled for a penalty, the referee waved on. However Lazzari quickly got up and passed the ball to an unmarked Alberto who slotted home well.

The best goal was saved for last in the 2nd half when Alberto placed the ball into the lower bottom right corner from just outside the area and his expression after the goal said it all, he knew it was a special goal and also a special derby performance from his club on such an important occasion.

The result means that Roma have fallen 9 points behind Milan in the race for the title and the Giallorossi are in 4th place on the same points as Napoli with 34 but they in turn are 6 points behind 2nd placed Inter. Despite losing their 4th game of the season Roma are still in a Champions League place but we are not even at the halfway stage of the season yet.

Coach Fonseca was obviously disappointed and a little dejected by the defeat against Lazio. Fonseca said: “We can’t change what happened, but we can start thinking that what happened should not happen again. The team must understand that we can only change the future by changing our attitude in the game. As I said I’m above all disappointed for our fans.”

Roma crash out of Coppa Italia against Spezia

Paulo Fonseca talked Spezia up and said they would be a dangerous side and he was correct. Spezia knocked out Roma after extra time winning 4-2. It was a game full of incident and for Spezia fans and the neutral it was one full of excitement too.

It looked all over for Roma after Spezia took an early two goal lead but the home side were able to pull a goal back just before half time through Lorenzo Pellegrini’s penalty. When Henrikh Mikahitaryan made it 2-2 late on in the 2nd half it seemed as though Roma were easing themselves back into the game and would go on and win it either in normal time or extra time, but Spezia would get the final say.

Roma imploded in extra time and had not one but 2 players sent off within 30 seconds of each other. Gianluca Mancini was given a his 2nd booking after a tripping and then frustration built up and Pau Lopez followed him for an early bath. Although the game was still 2-2 it became stretched and Spezia made playing against 9 men count and scored 2 goals soon after to kill the match. This was a very disappointing result for the club.

Tension mounts after sacking of Gianluca Gomber

Not only did Roma lose in the Coppa Italia to Spezia but they would have in fact been kicked out of the competition even if they had won the game. This was because the club made six substitute choices instead of the required 5 allowed.

The blame did not go to Paulo Fonseca as ‘team manager’ Gianluca Gomber was in charge of the count of subs being made. Unlike for example in England where only 3 subs are allowed, although five in the cup, in Italy and other major leagues 5 are allowed in all the games.

Gomber made the fatal error and was sacked by the club on Wednesday morning, the day after the game. But it doesn’t end there as Roma’s players are furious with the decision. Gomber was part of the behind the scenes team and the players had a close and good relationship with him. The players have made it known that they want Gomber reinstated and that anyone can make a mistake. Watch this space!

Could Fonseca be sacked too?

The big news breaking this week is that Roma coach Paulo Fonseca could be sacked. It is understood that the club were expecting to be much closer at the top of the league but 9 points seems like a mountain and now they have been knocked out of the cup Fonseca could go.

It has been rumoured that Max Allegri and Maurizio Sarri have emerged as the favourites to take over the club and that Fonseca’s job is under real threat. One would expect that if Roma fail to impress at the weekend where again they will face their cup conquerors Spezia he could be walking.

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Why high flying Wolves could be relegated this season

One of the surprise packages in the Premier League over the past couple of seasons has been Wolverhampton Wanderers better known as simply Wolves. Under manager Nuno Espirito Santo the club hasn’t won any trophies but they have realised personal dreams.

This has included finishing in the top half of the table regularly and even qualifying for the Europa League and doing well in that competition. Last season Wolves really outdid themselves and got as far as the quarter finals before being narrowly knocked out by Spanish side Sevilla.

In the Premier League Wolves have finished 7th in their last two campaigns and have been solid in the league beating teams that finish above them. In short Wolves under Santo have become a team that other clubs even the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City do not look forward to playing. That is the respect that the club have garnered over the last few seasons.

Even in this campaign Wolves had started well and whilst nobody was expecting them to challenge for the league title another top seven finish did seem on. And then December came. But in reality one could go back to last summer when Wolves sold the excellent Diogo Jota. Not only did they sell Jota for just £40m (he was arguably worth between £60-65m) they also sold him to another Premier League rival in Liverpool. It made little sense.

In the Jota deal there was only one winner and it wasn’t Wolves. Of course Jota’s career has been halted at Liverpool through injury, that is just plain bad luck but before his injury he was proving his worth and why Jurgen Klopp wanted him so bad.

Then came a terrible blow in the winter months when Raul Jimenez Wolves’ prolific striker suffered a head injury after a clash of heads with Arsenal defender David Luiz. Luiz only missed a couple of games but Jimenez has been out for 2 months and it has really hurt Wolves. Jimenez scored 27 goals in all competitions for Wolves last season and had scored 4 goals in the league from 10 games before his injury.

Daniel Podence has taken advantage of Jota’s sale and Jimenez’s absence by stepping up and scoring goals and he has been a bright spark for the club although can also be prone to injuries and Pedro Neto is another player who is trying hard for the club.

But there has to be some concern now because Wolves haven’t won a game in the Premier League since December 15th, 2020 when they beat Chelsea 2-1 at home. That was an impressive result and seemed to underline that the club had some back bone to them, much like Leicester for example. But Wolves wouldn’t be able to tie any of the Leicester players boots right now to steal an infamous English saying.

Wolves have earned just 8 points from their last 30 and 2 points from their last 15 and in recent form the club would be 2nd from bottom in the league.

Now fans will be worrying if the club are free falling? It has happened before of course in any league and Wolves have lost their last 2 games in row against Everton and more surprisingly struggling team West Bromwich Albion. They conceded 3 goals at home to West Brom, a side who had previously scored just 12 goals from 18 games. Wolves’ defence seems to be going through a lack of confidence and they have conceded 8 goals in their last 3 games.

Wolves have dropped to 14th and one must be wondering is there any good news on the horizon? Well presently despite Wolves’ poor form the club do have a 10 point safety net from the bottom three. Also one would have to believe that with the players they have and despite the injuries that the club have had to endure that they will hit a sweet spot.

That doesn’t mean European football for next season though however the club may just except finishing 10th this season after this scare.

Manager Santos will be worried though because it could be argued that the club haven’t suffered like this over this extended period since Santos has taken charge. He will understand that one win will kick start his team again.

At the weekend Wolves will play a tricky match against Chelsea, however the Blues are suffering much like their opponents for a lack of confidence and belief in themselves, that game should be interesting.

Wolves should have enough in the tank, but no club as they say is too good to go down and if Wolves don’t start to pick up in their next 3 games a relegation fight could be on the cards. What a season it has been because just 8 weeks ago we couldn’t have seen this story coming from Wolves.

The question will be asked who will save Wolves if results do not go their way in the coming weeks and one light at the end of the tunnel could be the return of Raul Jimenez. No date has been fixed for the talented strikers return but just his presence will certainly lift the dressing room, and a huge lift is what Wolves need right now.

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Inter make a statement by beating Juventus to pile pressure on Milan

Matchday 18 felt like the moment that this seasons Serie A title race turned into a two horse one and there is even more likelihood that a team from Milan will be crowned the winners.

Milan beat Cagliari but all of the plaudits were saved for Inter who beat Juventus in a huge match at San Siro. It felt like a turning point because one could not fathom the problems that would have been borne out of a Juventus victory for Inter. Firstly they would now be six points behind Milan have dropped to 4th and Juventus would be 2nd on 36 points.

But that wasn’t the case and Inter stepped up when they needed too. It was an interesting game though given that neither Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez featured in the goals or even the assists.

The game got off to an incredible start when Cristiano Ronaldo thought he had opened the scoring in the 11th minute but his goal was ruled out for offside. And then 60 seconds later Inter took the lead. Nicolo Barella who has been in good form lately crossed the ball and Arturo Vidal who has taken some bad press recently found some space to head in the cross past Gianluigi Buffon the veteran goalkeeper to put Inter in the lead.

It was a shell shock moment for Juventus given that they thought they had taken the lead only to now be trailing in the game.

Juventus looked for the equaliser and played some intelligent football in the first half and most of the possession. But Inter were happy to sap up some pressure and had 10 goal attempts in the 1st half alone with half of those shots on target.

Much like the first half the second period started with incident and Inter were celebrating being 2-0 up within seven minutes of the restart. This time Barella went from provider to goal scorer his 2nd of the season but most important. Barella’s brilliant shot flew into the net after a cross by Alessandro Bastoni his 2nd assist of the season and Inter were in party mode.

The second half soon petered out and there were only 3 shots on targets between the two sides with Inter having just one, but that was the goal.

Inter coach Antonio Conte was obviously very happy with the win, he said: “We prepared well and it’s satisfying to see that we were right about the things we thought could hurt Juventus. The lads followed the plan perfectly and I am very happy for them, because these are games that must give you self-belief, let you understand you are on the right path. We already saw fruits of this process last season, we are continuing to see them this term. Juventus were an important reference point, a side that dominated Serie A for nine years, having done exceptional work both on the field and as a club.”

A whole host of players for Inter earned 7 points in the fantasy rankings including Nicolo Barella who was named official man of the match. Barella did lose some points as he was booked late on.

Inter’s next game will be on January 22nd when they take on Udinese away from home. Udinese are in 15th place and have lost 9 games this season and that includes losing their last 2 at home. It will be another interesting game for Inter who will be expected to win. If Milan lose at home to Atalanta then Inter will go top of the league.

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Premier League Game of the Week: Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United

The biggest fixture in England was played at the weekend and this match against two teams who have won 39 league titles between them was always going to generate all of the attention, the world over and not just in England. That it ended 0-0 shouldn’t deter from the hype around the game and what it currently means for the league title.

You couldn’t have had a better build up to Liverpool vs Manchester United. Liverpool who haven’t lost a home game in 2 years in the league and, who currently have the best home record this season up against the team who have the best away record this season.

No one could have expected it but Manchester United are unbeaten away and we are almost at the half way stage of the season. They are also top of the league and Liverpool could have bounced back to the top with a victory. In the end it felt as though both teams wanted to keep their fantastic records in check and it wasn’t the most exciting game to watch.

The real surprise for Liverpool was having two midfielders starting in defence. When we will ever see captain Jordan Henderson in central defence again? But somehow he looked assured and for the most part Manchester United were contained.

It was a game of two halves where Liverpool threatened in the first, controlling the pace of the game without really giving United much food for thought. But the way Liverpool were bossing the ball about it seemed like it would be a long afternoon for United.

In the 2nd half though that wasn’t the case and United started to find their groove through the brilliant Bruno Fernandes. His shot from a Luke Shaw assist made Alisson work hard in goal. Indeed Shaw had a terrific game and was all over the pitch and very inspired.

Paul Pogba had another chance after Fernandes but shot the ball at Alisson. This could have been quite a turning point in the Frenchman’s season, the player who scored the winner in Manchester United’s last game against Burnley could have been the hero again. Pogba has had a difficult season at the club and this could have gone some way to redeeming that.

Perhaps the game was telling that Liverpool had 14 attempts on goal but only 3 shots on target, indeed United had one shot on target more and not many teams over the past 2 years have had that at Anfield.

In the end it was a good result by Manchester United getting a point away from home and a disappointing one for Liverpool dropping another two at home. There must be some concern that Liverpool’s most dangerous strikers have gone quiet of late in Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

It should say everything about the game that the players who picked up the most points were the goalkeepers. Both Alisson and David de Gea picked up 7 points each for their clean sheets.

Liverpool can still win the league and they remain the danger but th drop off from last season is quite evident and one has to wonder if fatigue has caught up with Jurgen Klopp’s team?

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Best La Liga Players so far 2020/21

La Liga took a break this past week and they will play instead in midweek, so this gives us a chance to reflect on the players that have been lightning up the league season.

Two players will be picked from each position and we will look at how they have contributed so far be it with clean sheets, assists or goals. Based on their fantasy points they will make this elite list and you can check to see if any of your players make the best La Liga players of this season so far.

Goalkeeper

1. Jan Oblak- Atletico Madrid 75pts

Jan Oblak has been far and away the best goal keeper in Spain and is probably the best in Europe right now. Oblak is 29 points ahead of Remiro and his team are 1st in La Liga. Oblak has kept 11 clean sheets from 16 starts and his value is 11m.

2. Remiro- Real Sociedad 45pts

Real Sociedad started the season in fantastic form and Remiro was key to this. He has earned 45 points so far and has kept 8 clean sheets the same as Thibaut Courtois for Real Madrid.

Defender

1. Kieran Trippier- Atletico Madrid 59pts

An Englishman is currently the best defender in Spain and Kieran Trippier deserves more good press than perhaps he is getting in his home country. Trippier has been able to adapt and fit right into this Atletico Madrid team. He hasn’t scored yet this season in the league but that isn’t his job, he has assisted in 5 goals though and has helped to keep 10 clean sheets.

2. Mario Hermoso- Atletico Madrid 52pts

Mario Hermoso along with Trippier has been outstanding in defence for Atletico. It is incredible to think that after 16 games the club has only conceded 6 goals especially when some teams can concede that in one game. Hermoso has scored 1 goal, assisted in 1 and like Trippier he has helped to keep 10 clean sheets.

Midfielder

1. Marcos Llorente- Atletico Madrid 50pts

Yet another Atletico Madrid player makes it to the best players of the season so far, that is 4 out of the 8 players chosen playing for one club. Llorente has been incredible in midfield and contributed in 9 goals this season, 6 goals and 3 assists. He isn’t afraid to back track too and has been as solid as a rock.

2. Portu- Real Sociedad 42pts

At least for the first 3 months of the season you would be hard pressed to find a better and more inform midfielder than Portu. Every week his name seemed to pop up with a goal or an assist and it was no wonder that Sociedad were early pacesetters. Portu has scored 5 goals so far and assisted in another three and his current value is 8.5m.

Striker

1. Iago Aspas- Celta Vigo 45pts

The strikers are dominated by two 33 year olds. One is expected to be here the other less so. Iago Aspas has scored 9 goals for Celta Vigo and assisted in another six. Now here’s the amazing fact Celta Vigo have scored 22 goals in the league and Aspas has been involved in 15 of them, that works out at 70% of the goals coming from Aspas, not a bad return. His value is 8.5m.

2. Lionel Messi- Barcelona 43pts

A list of best players in Spain wouldn’t feel complete without Lionel Messi and he would be making lists like this every year for the past 13 years at least. By his standards it has been a quiet start and at times Barcelona have struggled with form. Still Messi has earned 43 points and scored 11 goals and assisted in another 2.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players from Week 18

Manchester United remains in 1st position after they drew 0-0 with Liverpool in the big game at the weekend in the Premier League. The current champions have fallen down to 4th place but there is only a 3 point gap to first.

Manchester City’s impressive form has continued and they are in 2nd place and Leicester remain in the mix in 3rd place. There were also good wins for both Chelsea and Tottenham which keeps their distant title hopes alive.

Let’s take a look below to see which 11 players have made the team of the week in the formation of a 4-4-2.

Goalkeeper: David de Gea- Manchester United 7pts

This was a huge game for David de Gea as Manchester United went to Liverpool and got a 0-0 draw. The goalkeeper did well on several occasions to keep Liverpool out and that is his sixth clean sheet of the season.

Defender: John Stones- Manchester City 13pts

John Stones was the player of the week as he earned 13 points over the weekend. The defender scored not one but 2 goals as Manchester City beat Crystal Palace 4-0 and earned even more points by keeping a clean sheet. A perfect game for Stones.

Defender: Luke Shaw- Manchester United 5pts

Luke Shaw was everywhere in the vital game Manchester United played against Liverpool. He put in a superb and commanding role and Shaw earned 5 points and now has 13 in total. His value is 6m.

Defender: Ruben Dias- Manchester City 5pts

Ruben Dias is turning out to be one of the finds of this season and he kept his 9th clean sheet of the season as Manchester City beat Crystal Palace 4-0. Dias now has 42 points overall.

Defender: Andrew Robertson- Liverpool 5pts

Robertson had to remain alert as Liverpool kept their unbeaten record at home playing against the team now in 1st place in Manchester United. Robertson is Liverpool’s best defender in the fantasy points and has 34 overall and his value is 8.5m.

Midfielder: Raheem Sterling- Manchester City 6pts

Raheem Sterling scored his 5th goal of the season and his cracking goal helped Manchester City into 2nd place as they beat Crystal Palace 4-0 at home. Sterling now has 39 points overall and is City’s 2nd best midfielder in the fantasy rankings.

Midfielder: Neal Maupay- Brighton 6pts

Not many would have expected Brighton to keep a clean sheet and beat Leeds away from home but that’s what happened. Brighton won 1-0 and that was down to Neal Maupay’s goal. Maupay has seven goals so far and is valued at 3.5m.

Midfielder: Mason Mount- Chelsea 6pts

Despite Chelsea’s stars it was down to Mason Mount to grab the all important and only goal of the game as Chelsea beat Fulham away in the west London derby 1-0. With 24 points Mount has the most points of any Chelsea midfield in the fantasy rankings.

Midfielder: Ilkay Gundogan- Manchester City 6pts

Ilkay Gundogan is on form and scored a superb goal as City cruised to a 4-0 win over Crystal Palace and moved into 2nd place. They will be the favourites now to win the league. The midfielder has scored 4 goals this season.

Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 4pts

Tottenham beat Sheffield United 3-1 away from home and Harry Kane scored the 2nd goal which seemed to give Tottenham more control in the game. Kane has now scored 12 goals and has been involved in 11 assists in a remarkable season so far for him.

Striker: David McGoldrick- Sheffield United 4pts

As far as strikers were concerned this wasn’t the week for many to score points. Sheffield United lost at home 3-1 to Tottenham but David McGoldrick did give the Blades a little hope when he pulled the game back to 2-1 for a brief moment. In a tough season for the club McGoldrick has scored 5 goals.

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Granada hoping for European qualification for next season

When we think of La Liga we tend to dive in and look for Barcelona, Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid, and those clubs have warranted why we do that. The big 3 will be dominating for some time one suspects. But this season there have been some surprise packages from Real Sociedad to Villarreal. Another club that has caught the eye is Granada.

Granada are currently in 7th position and have 27 points and they are only 3 points away from a European finish which would be incredibly beneficial for the club. Last season Granada finished seventh and this is quite remarkable because in the previous season they were playing their football in the Segunda Division. A lot has changed for the club in such a short time.

A lot of Granada’s good fortune comes down to current coach Diego Martinez who joined the club in 2018 when they were in Spain’s second tier and he has not only guided the club back to La Liga but also last season they qualified for the Europa League.

Martinez has plenty of good experience too coaching Sevilla’s B teams during the 2010s and helping out as an assistant to Sevilla during their successful spell in the Europa League during the 2010s, and he is only 40 years old.

Martinez has come in with fresh ideas and has been hailed as a possible future great coach, right now he is doing wonders for Granada who when promoted may have been content with finishing in midtable and just surviving but for the second season in a row they remain a force to be reckoned with.

This season Granada have qualified from their Europa League group and next month they will play their 2 legged round of 32 match against Italians Napoli.

Domestically the goals have been shared around and Jorge Molina and veteran Roberto Soldado have scored the most with 3 goals each. The player with the most points in the fantasy rankings is striker Darwin Machis and Molina who have 12 points each. Machis is valued at 5.5m and while he has been struggling with goals scoring just twice so far he has assisted in a further three goals.

Perhaps this season the club could aim a little higher too with more consistency given that they are only 5 points short of a Champions League place and that really would be historic for the club.

Granada are a team who have proven that a good work ethic can have a team expected to be fighting in the middle of the table actually pushing for Europe and deserving to be there too.

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Roma go 4 games unbeaten as they prepare for the derby against Lazio

Such is the latest standard in Serie A that even though Roma have won 10 points from their last four games they would only be sixth based on form. But the Giallorossi have bigger fish to fry than just statistics as they aim to win the title for the first time in 2 decades.

A Serie A title is on the cards for Paulo Fonseca’s team who enter match day 18 in third place and just six points behind league leaders Milan.

Recent results have been brilliant and their 3 game winning run was only stopped by Inter at the weekend as the two clubs drew 2-2. However it would be Roma leaving the Stadio Olimpico as the happier side given that they were losing the game with just four minutes to go.

Gianluca Manciniian who had been booked earlier in the game for using his elbow went from villain to hero as he scored a lovely headed goal which reminded any football fan of Italian football of how Paolo Rossi used to score. Mancini scored in the 86th minute to save a defeat and it’s now been almost a month since Roma lost a game in the league.

In the midweek game before the Inter match Roma played Crotone away from home and eased to a 3-1 victory. The Giallorossi had taken a 2-0 lead through a brace by Borja Mayoral and Henrikh Mkhitaryan who had lost his touch in goal in the last few weeks scored the third.

Can Roma win the league title for the first time since 2001?

Roma have only won the Scudetto 3 times in their history and whilst they won’t be the favourites to win this season the clubs consistency has got fans talking and getting excited. Presently they just need to get past both Milan teams who are in 1st and 2nd place. But there is the looming threat of the sleeping giant, Juventus who have started the season slow but are now gaining momentum and they are only a point behind Roma. The bookmakers have Roma at odds of 17.00 (16/1) to win the league. The current favourites are Inter at 2.50 (6/4) and they are followed by the 9 time in a row champions Juventus who are 3.00 (2/1).

Lazio v Roma

The Derby della Capitale will take place on Friday evening when Roma meet Lazio and it will be a significant one. If Roma win they will stay in 3rd place but will have the same points as Inter with 37 and will have moved 4 points clear of Juventus. It might not look like giant steps but it will be positive.

Lazio are in 8th place and a win would take them just 3 points shy of Roma and dent their fierce rivals title hopes and European ones. Here is how the last 5 matches when Lazio have been at home have ended in the derby.

September 1st, 2019-    Lazio 1-1 Roma

March 2nd, 2019 -         Lazio 3-0 Roma

April 15th, 2018-            Lazio 0-0 Roma

December 4th, 2016-     Lazio 0-2 Roma

April 3rd, 2016-              Lazio 1-4 Roma

Lazio wins: 1, Roma wins: 2, Draws: 2

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