Defeat puts Argentina on brink of shock exit


Argentina’s desperate World Cup campaign continued as they followed up their 1-1 draw with minnows Iceland with an abject performance against Croatia that saw them humbled in a 3-0 thrashing at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.

Following a first half in which both sides failed to break the deadlock – the importance of the occasion clearly weighing heavily on the minds of both sets of players – Argentina saw themselves fall behind in this critical tie in horror-show circumstances.

Having fielded a seemingly regulation back pass, Chelsea’s Willy Caballero inexplicably handed his side’s opponents the initiative early on in the second half as his poorly executed chip over Ante Rebic afforded the striker the opportunity to volley home into Continue reading

Is the Messi show enough?


Argentina’s disappointing display against Iceland saw them fail to break down a side that, on paper, should have been easily dispatched.

A lot of criticism fell on the shoulders of their talismanic striker Lionel Messi, whose performance failed to live up to the high standards that he has set for himself -  his dismal afternoon culminating in a poor penalty that would have secured his country an important three points.

Having scored 34 goals for Barcelona in 2017/18 during a campaign saw him bag 161 points – the second highest tally in Europe behind Continue reading

Premier League predictions


Check out the Euro Fantasy League predictions for the weekend ahead as Premier League football returns following the international break!

Crystal Palace vs Liverpool – away win

This tie sees two teams at opposite ends of the table come together in Saturday’s early kick off.

Whilst Crystal Palace have presented a robust challenge for the likes of Spurs and Man United in recent weeks, the like of Salah (156 points) points and Firmino (95) should prove too much for the hosts.

Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Leicester City – home win

Brighton have made the Amex a tough place to visit over the past few months and this game won’t be a ‘gimme’ for the visitors.

Whilst Leicester have been in good form, and players like Vardy  (53 points) have the capacity to hurt anyone, we’re tipping a home win here.

Manchester United vs Swansea City – home win

The atmosphere surrounding United it one of ill-ease in recent months yet they remain second in the league.

The form of players like Jordan Ayew (25 points) have made the Swans a tough team to face but wins at Old Trafford are tough to come by and it seems probable they will leave empty handed.

Newcastle United vs Huddersfield Town – home win.

After a dour first half to the campaign, the arrival of Kenedy on loan from Chelsea has sparked Newcastle United into life since January.

Dwight Gayle (24 goals) has also grown in form recently and the output of this attacking duo could prove too much for the visiting Terriers.

Watford vs. AFC Bournemouth – draw

Two sides that have blown hot and cold this season, it will be interesting to see whether either side can use the game as a platform too truly push on into the back end of the campaign.

Whilst Jordon Ibe (29 points) and Callum Wilson (34 points) have both shown good form as of recent, it would not be surprising to see this one end all-square.

West Bromwich Albion vs. Burnley – away win

Burnley’s form may have taken a dip in recent weeks but the Baggies’ is nothing short of woeful.

The likes of Tarkowski (10 clean sheets) and Pope (11 clean sheets) have delivered a solid defensive platform from which their game is built and expect them to use this to secure victory on Saturday.

West Ham United vs. Southampton – draw

Two sides in dire straits, there is a chance that a Sparky bounce could inspire a Soton win, but a draw would be an unsurprising outcome.

On the other side of the pitch, the Hammers will be counting on the form of Marco Arnautovic (seven goals and three assists) to inspire victory for them.

Everton vs Manchester City – away win

Guardiola’s men inch closure to the title and a win at Goodison Park will see them get ever closure to a first Premier League victory under the Spaniard.

Sergio Aguero will be hoping he can be the star man for the Citizens, as he looks to build on his 21 goals and remain in the fight for the Golden Boot.

Arsenal vs Stoke City – home win

For all of Arsenal’s woes in 2017/18, their form at the Emirates has remained exceptional.

Expect the likes of new boys Aubameyang (12 points) and Mkhitaryan (46 points) to prove too much for a relegation threatened Stoke.

Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur – Away win

This game could prove pivotal in deciding which team qualifies for the next season’s Champions League campaign.

The Blues may have a home advantage but the balance is probably tipped in the favour of the visitors, who are led by an in form Heung-Min Son who sits on 12 goals for the campaign – they will be hoping he can fill the void for a Harry Kane (98 points) that may not be fit enough to return at the Bridge.

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Premier League predictions for the weekend ahead


Another week of Premier League action looms ahead of us with some valuable fixtures at both ends of the table, check out our predictions here!

Manchester United vs. Liverpool – home win

Still widely considered to be the biggest game in English football, this threatens to be a real cracker this weekend.

Whilst Mo Salah has been in incredible form this season – leading Liverpool’s line with 24 goals and 134 points – United have overcome some big sides at Old Trafford this season, a factor that probably makes them marginal favourites.

The exploits of David de Gea, who has conceded just 22 goals in 29 appearances could Continue reading

Premier League predictions for the weekend ahead

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There are some big matches ahead this weekend, with the fixture list bringing us a top of the table clash between Manchester City and Chelsea and a relegation scrap between Southampton and West Brom that could define the final standings when the season draws to a close. Check out our weekend Premier League predictions!

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Pressure Mounts on Pep


Pep Guardiola became the youngest manager ever to win the Champions League when he led Barcelona to triumph in season 2008-09. He won it again in 2010-11 with Barcelona, however, since then his best position in the competition has been the semi-finals with both Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

When he was appointed Manchester City manager in the summer, it was believed that he could take Manchester City further in the competition they have been lacking in, namely, the Champions League. City’s best performance in the tournament came last season when they were eliminated in the semi-final, going out to Real Madrid 1-0 on aggregate. Better things were hoped for this season but group results, whilst qualifying in second place behind Barcelona, their results were not overly impressive.

They failed to beat Celtic in both matches, bearing in mind this was a Celtic side who were thrashed 7-0 in the Camp Nou, and won only two matches, but their points total of nine was enough to secure 2nd in the group and a place in the knock-out stages.

When drawn against Monaco in the last 16, they surely thought they could progress and in a thrilling tie which finished 6-6, Manchester City were eliminated on the away-goals rule. Two goals from Aguero in the first leg gave them a 5-3 lead in one of the most open and exciting matches seen at the City of Manchester Stadium in a long time, and they would have been reasonably confident going into the second leg with a 2 goal lead. However, with Monaco opening the scoring in the second leg with just 8 minutes gone through Kylian Mbappe, the pressure was well and truly on. They managed to pull a goal back through Leroy Sane, however, they only held onto qualification for 8 minutes as Monaco scored to make it 3-1 on the night and send Manchester City crashing out.

Realistically, their only hope of silverware this season is now the FA Cup. City trail Chelsea by 10 points in the Premier League and this weekend they face Liverpool at home, a team they haven’t beaten in their last four attempts. A loss at the weekend would see them fall to 4th in the Premier League, and given that in his whole managerial career, Pep Guardiola has never finished outside the top two, the pressure is well and truly on.

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Are Man City a one man team?

Manchester City are indebted to striker Sergio Aguero for rescuing them from the brink of Champions League elimination against Bayern Munich on Tuesday night. The Argentinean international, 26, scored a hat-trick as the Sky Blues ran out 3-2 winners against 10-man Bayern at the Etihad. City were 2-1 down and likely to be out of the European competition until a late brace turned the game on its head.

In the post-match interviews, manager Manuel Pellegrini and club captain Vincent Kompany both labelled Aguero as a “special player” in the team who can dig them out of a hole, but should a starting eleven that has cost more than £190M be so heavily reliant on one man?

After the match, Pellegrini was quoted as saying: “I have always said that Sergio is one of the best players in the world. He played very well against Bayern Munich,” while Kompany said: “If you want to succeed at anything you need to a special player in a special form. Sergio is our special player and when he is in that form he makes things achievable.”

Aguero scored three goals from just three shots taken against the Bundesliga leaders, which has now seen Manchester City go from the brink of elimination to favourites for second-placed qualification. They need a result against AS Roma in Italy, all the while hoping Bayern Munich don’t lose their clash at home to CSKA Moscow.

But is it a worry that their future in Europe has come down to one man’s heroics once again? This season, the former Atletico Madrid striker has 12 league goals in as many games, and five in five in the Champions League. Manchester City haven’t lost when he’s scored in either competition this season, and Aguero’s influence in attack has been telling – with the 26-year-old having scored 12 of Manchester City’s last 19 goals in the league and Europe.

Manuel Pellegrini has relied so heavily on the long-serving striker, with City’s second-highest scoring being nine goals adrift, and the club-captain is fully aware how much they need Aguero right now. City have endured a poor defence of the Premier League this season, and had picked up just two points from four Champions League group games prior to their Bayern win.

With players such as Samir Nasri, Jesus Navas, Steven Jovetic and James Milner – who averaged £20M each for City – why is it only Aguero delivering on a regular basis?

This is a Manchester City team who have won two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one Capital One Cup and one Community Shield in the last three years.

It’s no coincidence Aguero was the man who scored the title-winning goal back in 2012 to end a 44-year wait for league honours, but is it right for City to be more dependant on him than ever?