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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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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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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Man Utd: Three key battles to look out for ahead of the huge Liverpool fixture

Going into gameweek 19, one of the main fixtures to look out for, is Liverpool vs Manchester United on Sunday, two teams who have been head-to-head with one another since the early days of Premier League football. Both sides are now the top-two most successful clubs across England.

The match is expected to be a close battle and an interesting one, as Jurgen Klopp’s men currently have the best home form in the league and are incredibly yet to be defeated at Anfield so far this season. On the other hand, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side at the moment have the best record away from home in the league, as they have impressively achieved 22 points out of a possible 24 points.

As the fixture is between the two main teams who are first and second in the league, the match may not be filled with many goals or a large number of chances being created, with both sides typically wanting to limit any personal mistakes and aim to pounce on the opposition’s errors and faults.

Without further ado, here are the three key battles to look out for ahead of the match…

Marcus Rashford vs Trent Alexander-Arnold

With seven goals and five assists to his name in 17 league appearances, Marcus Rashford will be hoping to develop and take his consistency in the final third up a notch, as the Premier League viewers are strictly holding him to reach 15 to 20 league goals per season. When compared to his team-mates in the league, the 23-year-old has completed the most dribbles (42) and the third most key passes (21), proving how much the player has improved, especially under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Rashford will be in for an exciting and tight duel with international football colleague, Trent Alexander-Arnold, who is considered as one of the best right-backs in the Premier League and is an influential player for Liverpool on both sides of the pitch. Despite some unconvincing performances this campaign and the calf injury which kept him on the sidelines for a couple of weeks in November, Alexander-Arnold will be looking to turn his form around with a solid display against Rashford.

Sadio Mane vs Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Liverpool have been relying on the goals of Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino to get them to where they currently are, but it’s the intelligent movement and unselfish play from Sadio Mane, that allows the attack to be so smooth and purely effective. The Senegal international may not be at his best compared to how prolific he was in the last two seasons, however, his inside movement from the left flank, allows more time and space for Andrew Robertson, who can provide the much needed crosses into penalty box as he has made a name for himself as a key creator.

Mane will have to be closely marked and watched by Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who hasn’t proven to be one of the key players for Manchester United like he had done so in the previous campaign. Nevertheless, the right-back when compared to the rest of the team in terms of defensive statistics, has completed the most tackles (49), most crosses blocked (19) and second most interceptions (19).

Bruno Fernandes vs Thiago Alcantara

Although Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has changed the selection around in midfield, whether it’s a pivot of Fred and Scott McTominay or Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba, there will be no doubts over Bruno Fernandes starting for one single moment, who will be the leading the team through his creativity and decision-making. He has incredibly managed to score 11 goals and produce seven assists in 17 league appearances, as he continues to prove to be one of the best football players in the league.

Meanwhile, for Liverpool, Thiago Alcantara is expected to play in the number six position in midfield, where he will be looking to progress the ball from the deep areas in midfield up to the final third of the pitch. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich midfielder has missed many games so far this season through COVID-19 and a knee injury, but he is now back to full fitness and is starting to get back to his best, as the Spaniard will be aiming to play a crucial role for Jurgen Klopp’s men.

Is Emile Smith-Rowe the answer to Arsenal’s creating & scoring problems?

Although Emile Smith-Rowe will have been inevitably disappointed to have only been named amongst the substitutes ahead of Arsenal’s third-round FA Cup clash with Newcastle, the versatile 20-year old proved to be the Gunners’ match-winner and firmly stated his case to become a regular starter in the top flight.

Outside of the Europa League, the attacking midfielder had barely featured in 2020; however, Mikel Arteta has given him the chance to impress in recent weeks, and this has coincided with a significant upturn in form. The North London outfit have endured a poor start to the season, and as a result, they have drifted out to 5/1 in the latest Premier League betting odds; however, they picked up three consecutive victories across the festive period and now finally appear to have turned a corner.

Smith-Rowe’s performance against the Magpies will surely have strengthened his position, and although reinforcements are expected to arrive during the January transfer window, the former Huddersfield loanee will be hoping that he’s done enough to put himself firmly in the picture. Despite having clocked up just 231 top-flight minutes this season, he’s already claimed two assists and stole the show against Chelsea on Boxing Day.

The majority of Arsenal’s squad have underperformed this season, with the likes of Willian and Nicolas Pepe having been subject to criticism for their laboured displays. However, Smith-Rowe’s energy and determination have delighted supporters, and with fellow academy graduate Bukayo Saka having also impressed in recent weeks, Arteta’s faith in home-grown talent finally appears to be paying dividends. Although Joe Willock has not been afforded the same opportunities so far, the midfielder’s dynamic displays in the Europa League could see him follow in their footsteps during the second half of the season.

Smith-Rowe plays between the lines and is able to regularly find space in the opposition’s half. His movement and ability to give his marker the slip make him incredibly tough to play against, and his presence has helped give Arsenal an edge in the final third. Prior to their Boxing Day success at the Emirates, the Gunners had notched just 12 times in the top flight; however, with eight goals plundered in their last three outings, Arteta finally appears to have found a workable solution to his side’s attacking woes.

Although he is yet to get on the score-sheet himself, his performances have seemingly helped to reinvigorate striker Alexandre Lacazette. The playmaker’s precision and ability to link up with teammates has enabled the Frenchman to rediscover his shooting boots, and he has found the back of the net in each of Smith-Rowe’s three Premier League appearances so far.

It is still incredibly early days, and although he has received rave reviews on social media, the young attacking midfielder must continue to work hard in order to continue his progress this season. Arsenal have been linked with a number of midfielders, and although the squad is likely to be bolstered in coming weeks, Smith-Rowe’s all-action performances should see him continue his tenure in the starting XI. He has given the club an extra edge in the final third, and it appears as though Arteta may have stumbled upon a potential solution to his side’s profligacy in front of goal.

Is Chelsea’s Timo Werner the biggest flop in the Premier League?

When Chelsea announced they had signed Timo Werner last summer eyebrows were raised and there were a few gasps. They were gasps of excitement such was the quality in Werner, a German international who scored goals on a frequent rate. His signing felt alongside Chelsea’s other high profile purchases the final piece in the jigsaw.

But 4 months on after the delayed start to the Premier League due to the Coronavirus pandemic there can be little doubt that Werner has underwhelmed.

He looks like a shadow of the player that scored 34 goals in all competitions for RB Leipzig and helped take the club to the semi-finals of last seasons Champions League. Last season was his personal best by a country mile and one would have thought that he would have simply have built on that.

True his manager Frank Lampard hasn’t always played Werner in his preferred central role as a striker and has experimented with his positions given that the club have a whole host of strikers up front including the young and talented Callum Hudson-Odoi. But coming from the Bundesliga one would have thought with his extra experience that Werner would have started the campaign better.

So far this season Werner has scored 4 league goals from 17 games and 9 in all competitions. He is on course to score about 10 league goals this season about half of what one would have expected from him.

Werner has assisted in another 4 goals in the league games and has therefore been involved in 8 of Chelsea’s goals this season. The Blues have scored 32 so far so Werner has been involved in 25% of the clubs total goals. That isn’t a terrible figure at all and yet there is a huge question mark over Werner this season.

Doubts remain because we were sold an idea that Chelsea were signing a world class player who was going to get even better and he hasn’t really turned up in the big games as yet, he hasn’t been the one to make the difference and he can go quiet.

So why isn’t Werner producing the goods? Part of the problem isn’t with him but with Lampard who prefers to play him more as a winger coming into play. This clearly isn’t working out and time and again we have seen Werner with some pace coming off the wing looking at his options and then being afraid to shoot. It does feel that Lampard is favouring the English duo of Tammy Abraham and Hudson-Odoi.

Werner is still only 24 and a new league and culture is a big thing. However world class players usually adapt much quicker. Though there have been examples of players taking their time, look at Dennis Bergkamp for example who had a poor start at Arsenal but now has his statue in front of the stadium and is regarded as one of Arsenal’s greatest ever players.

Werner’s best years are yet to come but he needs to impose himself on games more especially the bigger ones that count. Whilst question marks are out on just how good he is, there is no doubt that he has the potential to be one of the Premier League’s great players. For now he needs some time, but he will be itching to be put up front in a central role, the question remains will Lampard yield to his request and free up the German international?

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FA Cup Game of the Round: Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle United

The FA Cup took over from the Premier League for the last week as the 3rd round kicked off and that meant that Premier League clubs could partake. There were not many all Premier League clashes to take place but the one that did stand out was Arsenal v Newcastle United.

Even though both teams did make some changes, many players who ply their trade every week in the Premier League still played. Arsenal won the game 2-0 after an epic battle and the result would have given the Gunners a major confidence boost. Including their good league form Arsenal have now won the last 4 competitive games in a row.

Arsenal were the favourites going into the match and being at home only underlined that status and the Gunners who started with a strong team including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up front started better than the Magpies.

Indeed the first half was dominated by the Gunners who found seven good chances and 3 shots on target. Steve Bruce’s team were under pressure from the first whistle and managed zero shots on target in the first 45 minutes which summed up their game and tactics.

Newcastle woke up in the second half and created more chances but this continued to be Arsenal’s to lose and they really should have scored within the 90 minutes. With the game locked at 0-0 we went into extra time as the new rules state no replays at least for this season- however it is something we should expect to be the norm from now.

The game plan looked simple enough for Newcastle who had been the inferior team but had held on to a 0-0, they were going for the penalty shoot-out and riding their luck. And everything was going to plan for the visitors until the 19th minute of extra time when Arsenal finally broke the dead lock.

Of all the players to give the Gunners the lead it came down to youngster Emile Smith-Rowe who scored after being set up by Alexandre Lacazette. Lacazette has been in super form for Mikel Arteta’s side of late.

The goal came so late it seemed to demolish any plans Newcastle had of a penalty shoot-out and the final nail in the coffin was provided by Aubameyang 3 mins from the end. The striker who has been desperately lacking form latched on to an assist from Kieran Tierney to grab the winning goal and hopefully for him to reinstall some much needed confidence.

The win seemed more important for Arsenal who need to keep up their winning momentum and good form. As for Newcastle they need to get back to winning ways but they still look too good to get involved in a relegation battle. In this season and the way it has been going not having to play the extra cup games could benefit Newcastle and so they can fully concentrate on trying to finish as high as they can in the Premier League.

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Best Premier League Players so far- 2020/21

With no Premier League football this past weekend, it took a rest for the FA Cup, no fantasy points were earned or lost. But have you wondered which players are actually performing the best so far this season in their desired roles?

Below we will take the best 2 players for each position and review their seasons so far. Do you have them in your team, or do you need them? Let’s take a look.

Goalkeeper:

1. Damien Martinez- Aston Villa 38pts

Nobody expected Damien Martinez to be amongst the best goalkeepers in the Premier League this season. But he has amassed an incredible 38 points and has kept the most clean sheets of any goal keeper with 8 so far. His cost is incredible too, he is just 1m and he has to be the bargain of the season so far.

2. Ederson Moraes- Manchester City 38pts

Together with Liverpool’s Alisson, Ederson has conceded the least number of goals with 12 so far for a goalkeeper that is playing full time. Ederson has proved to be one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League and has kept seven clean sheets so far. He has played one game less than Martinez so could equal his 8 clean sheets in his next game.

Defence:

1. Ben Chilwell- Chelsea 38pts

It’s impressive to think this is Ben Chilwell’s debut season with Chelsea and he is the clubs top defender and the top in the Premier League based on the fantasy rankings. The former Leicester player has helped to keep six clean sheets, scored 2 goals and assisted in a further 4 more.

2. Kurt Zouma- Chelsea 37pts

Chelsea have had their ups and downs this season but they have the 2 best performing defenders in the Premier League. Kurt Zouma is a staple fixture in the Blues side now and has helped to keep six clean sheets. Though he hasn’t made any assists as of yet he has scored 4 goals already this season and for a defender that is an impressive return. Zouma is valued at 6m.

Midfield:

1. Mohamed Salah- Liverpool 68pts

Mohamed Salah has been stunning once again as he tries to win back to back league titles with Liverpool. He already has 68 points and has scored 13 goals and assisted in a further 3. He’s also been involved in helping to back track and keep 4 clean sheets so far. Salah is obviously one of the best players in the Premier League- and his price is not cheap, he is valued at 14m.

2. Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 61pts

What would Manchester United do without Bruno Fernandes? He has hands down been United’s most consistent player since Cristiano Ronaldo played for the Red Devils. Fernandes seems to be involved in goals every week and could well go down as a legend with the club, and he’s only been their less than two seasons. Fernandes has scored 11 goals and assisted in another seven, and he has really helped to turn the fortunes around for the famous club.

Striker:

1. Harry Kane- Tottenham 61pts

In defence it’s an all Chelsea affair, but up front it’s all about Tottenham. Harry Kane has been on fire as Spurs attempt to win silverware this season. Kane has scored 10 goals and assisted in 11. That is a phenomenal return when you think he has been involved in 21 league goals and we are not even at the halfway stage of the season. Kane could well be having his best season yet.

2. Heung-Min Son- Tottenham 60pts

Heung-Min Son is just a point behind Harry Kane in the fantasy rankings. Both players have started 16 games this season and Son has scored 12 goals and had 5 assists. Son has been at the fore front of Spurs’ plans for the last 18 months but this season in particular he seems to have gone up another level and is one of the most deadliest strikers in Europe now.

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Premier League Game of the Week: Chelsea 1-3 Manchester City

Manchester City are back and against Chelsea they went back to 2019 producing some glittering football that made the club under Pep Guardiola the envy of so many other European teams.

City beat Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge and the result felt like a statement. With Liverpool losing 1-0 at Southampton the Premier League title has been blown wide open and if City win their 2 games in hand over the Reds they would go past them, this is in stark contrast six weeks ago when it looked like City were going through the motions- well they have improved and they started in sixth gear against a stunned Chelsea side.

In 16 first half minutes Chelsea were left shell shocked as Manchester City scored 3 goals. The opener came from Ilkay Gundogan after Phil Foden set him up Gundogan still had a lot to do on the edge of the box, a neat flick behind his body set him up to score a brilliant goal and put the visitors in the lead.

A few minutes later Phil Foden made it 2-0 with a simple tap in and Chelsea were in real trouble and had no fans to help them on. A blistering City counter attack set up the third goal with the ball eventually falling to Kevin De Bruyne surely the player of the match and he scored a rather simple goal in the end. For a game that was built up so much, it was in effect a closed contest by the first half.

It was also a first half that saw Chelsea have just 1 shot on target and even though the clubs shared possession City managed 4 shots on target. In the second half the game could have gone either way; City to add more goals, or City to take their feet off the pedals and the visitors slowed down their game.

It didn’t matter Chelsea played punch drunk and only managed 1 shot on target in the 2nd half even though they did pull a goal back. But there was virtually no threat or danger from the home side whose consolation goal didn’t come until injury time. Callum Hudson-Odoi scored the goal for Chelsea another tap in, and in all fairness this was a game of tap in goals.

Whilst the goal did nothing for Chelsea on a personal note Hudson-Odoi would have been happy to score after his recent injury lay off and he will be hoping that he can start firing in the goals again.

The defeat leaves Chelsea in 9th place with 26 points, and they are seven behind Liverpool and three points from a top 4 place. It isn’t the end of the line for the club, but at the same time they are going through poor form. The Premier League takes a week’s break now and Chelsea’s next game will be against Fulham away from home. On paper it looks like 3 points but that is a local derby and anything can happen in those games.

As for Manchester City they have won 3 games in a row now and look like a team with a purpose. Their next game is at home to Brighton and few will be going against Pep Guardiola’s team in that game.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players from Week 16

Liverpool are still in charge of the Premier League in 1st place but Manchester United have surprised everyone and they are 2nd on the same points as Liverpool with just goal difference separating the two clubs.

The inform teams are Everton, Manchester City and Arsenal look to have recovered from their disappointing start and have won their last 3 games in a row.

It’s a new year so let’s take a look at the team of the week in the Premier League.

Goalkeeper: Bernd Leno- Arsenal 7pts

Arsenal beat West Bromwich Albion 4-0 and Leno was very assured in goal to keep a clean sheet away from home. Despite a difficult season Leno has now kept 5 clean sheets for the season so far.

Defender: Toby Alderweireld- Tottenham 9pts

Toby Alderweireld had a very memorable last for Tottenham as they cruised past Leeds. Not only was he part of a defence that kept a clean sheet but he also scored the third goal which killed off the game.

Defender: Kieran Tierney- Arsenal 11pts

Kieran Tierney earned a huge 11 points for Arsenal which brings his total to 21 points for the season. Along with keeping a clean sheet he also scored the opening goal as Arsenal thrashed West Bromwich Albion and then assisted in another, for his best performance of the season.

Defender: Rob Holding- Arsenal 7pts

Rob Holding kept a clean sheet as Arsenal beat West Bromwich Albion 4-0 and also made the assist for the Gunners first goal of the game. Holding has helped to keep 5 clean sheets this season and is valued at 6.5m.

Defender: Jeffrey Schlupp- Crystal Palace 9pts

It was a great week for defenders in the league and Jeffrey Schlupp helped Crystal Palace to beat Sheffield United 2-0 and scored a goal, that was Schlupp’s 2nd goal of the campaign

Midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne- Manchester City 6pts

Kevin De Bruyne put in an important and superb display as Manchester City beat Chelsea away from home 3-1. De Bruyne scored and assisted in a goal. The midfielder now has 37 points overall and has been involved in 11 goals for City.

Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 4pts

Bruno Fernandes has now scored 11 goals this season and he got the winner via a penalty as Manchester United beat Aston Villa 2-1 in a crunch game at the weekend.

Midfielder: James Maddison -Leicester 4pts

Alongside Jamie Vardy, James Maddison has been such an important player for Leicester this season and he earned another 4 points as he scored his 5th goal of the season and now has 27 points overall for the Foxes. Leicester beat Newcastle 2-1 in their latest game.

Midfielder: Neal Maupay- Brighton 4pts

Neal Maupay has impressed over the past few weeks and he scored Brighton’s 2nd goal as the Seagulls came back from 3-1 down against Wolves to draw the game 3-3 in a thrilling spectacle.

Striker: Alexandre Lacazette- Arsenal 8pts

It has not been a vintage season so far for Arsenal’s strikers but Alexandre Lacazette was the hero at the weekend as he scored 2 goals in 4 second half minutes to win the game for the Gunners as they beat West Bromwich Albion 4-0. Lacazette has scored seven goals so far and has 26 points this season for the club.

Striker: Phil Foden- Manchester City 6pts

Phil Foden will be wondering why he doesn’t start every game because he is getting better and better and would be a regular for any other side. Phil Foden scored his third goal for the club and has 5 overall and his value is 7m, as he earned 6 points over the weekend when Manchester City beat Chelsea 3-1.

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