Five Players to sign in January for Fantasy League Success

It’s that time of year again. The Christmas leftovers are all gone, the decorations are back under the stairs for another year and lots of us are feeling our willpower beginning to weaken in the face of Dry January.

So what we need most of all is some kind of distraction to take our minds off the weather and the general gloom that brings in the start of the New Year. So what better to do than start fine tuning our fantasy football squad in preparation for the rest of the season?

It could be that your team’s already riding high in which case you may not need this advice. But if you really want to move up to a higher level then we’ve picked five players who could bring success whether you’re a relative fantasy football novice or a seasoned pro.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

When the captain of the Gabonese team signed for Arsenal just within last January’s transfer window it was for a record-breaking £56 million. Now, a year later, he’s certainly proved to be a good buy as he heads the list of Premier league scorers with a total of 14 goals to his name, many of them snatched from inside the box. With 10 goals scored last season no-one’s betting that he won’t double that total for this one.

Leroy Sané

For a 23 year old the winger and attacking midfielder Leroy Sané shows incredible maturity for his age and he has already gained experience in Germany as well as for Manchester City. His early days for the latter were beset with reported breathing difficulties but he seems to have put all that behind him now. As well as regularly assisting goals he also knows just when to score them with his 72nd winner against league challengers Liverpool being a case in point.

Eden Hazard

With Chelsea enjoying a very good season, secure near the top of the table, much of that has to be down to Hazard. Now in his sixth season at Stamford Bridge he’s part of the furniture, and what a valuable part too. Not only is he well up with the League’s leading goal scorers, he also tops the list of assists too with 10 to his name after 22 matches played.

Richarlison

The Brazilian stated his professional career in 2015 with Fluminense but a series of outstanding performances saw Watford’s Marco Silva snapping him up for £11.2 million.

A year later, Silva brought him into the Everton set-up where he’s continued to thrive, albeit with the occasional lapse of discipline. As an out and out forward, he’s never far from the action and there’s every reason to suppose that he’ll be adding to his 9 goal tally so far the season.

Alisson

No matter how many goals your fantasy league team may be scoring, it can all be undone without a safe pair of hands between the posts. And few are safer than the Brazilian Alisson. When Klopp paid the thick end of £70 million for him there were a few raised eyebrows but the number of clean sheets Liverpool have seen since his arrival is testament to his value. He won’t be cheap for you either, but he’ll almost certainly be worth it.

Of course, you may have your own favourites to add to your squad to see you through the rest o  the season so don’t take our selection as definitive. Just try to create as balanced a squad as possible and remember, past performance is never any guarantee of future performance. So you have been warned!

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was wrong to run on the pitch but should he be punished?

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Liverpool and Everton’s fierce Merseyside derby was going to end 0-0 and then in the 96th minute Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford made the error of the season to gift the Reds a goal and they won 1-0. At that point Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager ran onto the pitch and broke FA rules, but should he be punished?

We need to look as always from both views of the argument. What Klopp did was wrong and disrespectful, that there can be no doubt. Liverpool didn’t score a magnificent last minute goal, it all stemmed from an error by Pickford where if he was given the choice another 99 times he would have used his common sense as one of the best goalkeepers in Europe and let the ball go out of play. Klopp celebrating like he did just seemed out of place and wrong.

And yet he celebrated not to rub Pickford’s nose in it but for three things: 1) a last minute winner, 2) a win in a derby game, 3) Liverpool still keeping in touch with Manchester City. Had the game as expected ended 0-0 Liverpool would have found themselves 4 points adrift to Pep Guardiola’s team.

Klopp is a lovable figure and unless you were an Everton fan let’s face it the sight of him running onto the pitch like a fan and then embracing goalkeeper Alisson was funny. But still Klopp seemed to lose control of himself. This was an important game true, but it wasn’t a cup final or a game that decided the league.

Marco Silva, the Everton manager was clearly not happy with what had happened and the fires have been stoked more with Klopp claiming that he apologised to Silva. Yet Silva has denied this, so the plot thickens.

As for Klopp, the FA will inevitably open up a case against the German, again should he be punished? The answer needs to come in two parts because Klopp is facing a fine and touchline ban. One should presume that romanticism still exists in football despite the money poured into it which has bridged a gap between the players and fans. In that way Klopp should not be punished with a touchline ban and put his team at a slight if psychological disadvantage for their next Premier League game.

But Klopp should be fined, nothing too serious, but he has to pay for breaking the rules as anyone else would do too. And it might make sense for him to apologise for the second or in Silva’s case the first time again to Everton.

EPL Best XI – Liverpool players dominate

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The 12th weekend of the 2018-19 Premier League season saw Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea maintain their unbeaten starts, while struggling Cardiff and Newcastle picked up their second victories of the campaign. Let’s take a look at the top EFL Fantasy points scorers from the weekend’s games…

GK: Alisson, Liverpool – seven points
Liverpool ran out 2-0 winners against Fulham on Sunday, meaning Alisson kept yet another clean sheet. He now has 49 points for the season, making him the Reds’ highest scorer.

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EPL Weekend Picks – Round 12

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The 12th week of the 2018-19 Premier League season sees Manchester City take on Manchester United, while Liverpool host Fulham and Chelsea welcome Everton to Stamford Bridge. Let’s take a look at 11 players who you should consider for your EPL Fantasy team this weekend…

GK – Alisson (Liverpool)
Alisson is an expensive addition at 10.00m but he’s worth every last million. The Liverpool goalkeeper has 42 points this season and he’s likely to add to that tally against Fulham on Sunday.

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EPL Weekend Picks – Round 10

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The 10th week of the 2018-19 Premier League season sees Liverpool face Cardiff, Arsenal travel to Crystal Palace and Tottenham host Manchester City. Let’s take a look at some of the players who you should consider adding to your EPL Fantasy team before the weekend.

GK – Alisson (Liverpool)
With six clean sheets from nine matches, Alisson’s points total of 42 has only been bettered this season by Manchester City’s Ederson. The Liverpool goalkeeper, valued at 10.00m, is likely to add to his tally against Cardiff on Saturday.

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What is Liverpool’s priority this season- The Premier League or the Champions League?

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It was moments after the Champions League final loss against Real Madrid back in May when Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had a look in his eyes, a look that said ‘why does this keep happening? It was yet another cup final defeat and Klopp’s second loss in a Champions League final after he coached Borussia Dortmund when they were defeated by Bayern Munich back in 2013.

He set out this summer to end his barren spell at Liverpool which has yielded no trophies in his three seasons at the club. Sure Liverpool have played fantastically well and have a very strong team. Some results will live in the memory forever especially the thrashing of Manchester City in the quarter finals of the Champions League and yet no one will be taking Klopp’s reign at Liverpool seriously unless he starts winning trophies.

To add to the quality already at the club he spent close to £200m bringing in Brazil international goalkeeper Alisson and Fabinho for Monaco to name two. The feeling from then on is that Liverpool now have their best team and hence best chance to win the English top division for 29 years. It’s been such a long time since they won it that they have never won the league as it has been known as the Premier League which was rebranded for the start of the 1992/93 season.

With Liverpool winning their first 5 games of the season and beating PSG in the Champions League there has been talk if the club can go on and win both trophies this season? That is quite some talk given how early we are into it. Some have suggested that Manchester City will have their eye off the ball in the league as they focus on winning their first ever Champions League, something that was made more awkward for them after losing their opening game in the competition to Lyon at home.

For Liverpool this is a competition they have won before. Four times in the old European Cup and once very magically in 2005 when they came back against AC Milan after being 3 goals down. They have also starred in 3 Champions League finals overall. Whilst they would dearly love to erase their defeat this year one has to wonder if it’s the Premier League that will take more importance this season?

Let’s be honest and it is the Premier League that Liverpool fans really want. It is a league where they used to be so dominant in the 70s and 80s and they have had to watch as rivals Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City have swept up numerous ones over the past 3 decades. It hurts and whilst Champions League glory would obviously be welcomed, with this team that might be able to wait until Liverpool can finally win the league they have been dreaming about.

For sure it would be a great way for Klopp to break his duck with the club.

Loris Karius pays ultimate price as Liverpool goalkeeper is loaned out to Besiktas

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There may have been hugs after the Champions League final and words of support from teammates and Jurgen Klopp the Liverpool manager, but Loris Karius has paid the price for his two errors against Real Madrid and joined Turkish side Besiktas.

The deal will see the 25 year old move to Turkey for a 2 year loan period and there might also be an extension to that deal with a chance to buy. What is clear is that Liverpool have said goodbye to their keeper, 3 months after the Champions League final where the German was clearly at fault for two huge errors in Madrid’s goals. Those mistakes proved too costly as Real Madrid went on to win their 3rd straight Champions League final in a 3-1 win. The errors were so amateur that a few days later Karius was checked over in America for concussion after a clash with Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos.

Liverpool were quick to put out a statement that indeed Karius did receive mild concussion that night and that was the reason he made the mistakes. But one could wonder if this statement and the latest loan deal isn’t at odds with one another. Anyhow this is the latest move by Liverpool in their aggressive attempts to forget about last season and try and land manager Klopp his first trophy since taking over the club three seasons ago.

Karius was replaced by Brazil’s Alisson for a then world record transfer fee of £69m for a goalkeeper. Chelsea beat that by a few million days after when they signed Kepa from Athletic Bilbao. But the statement of intent has been clear and has seen Klopp spend nearly £200m in the summer far and away the most in the Premier League.

For Karius he was all smiles as he completed his medical and with Besiktas he will be hoping to regain some much needed confidence. The team got a positive result in their first leg Europa League play off last week and look like favourites now to qualify for the competition proper. This move despite how it has come about looks like a good call for Karius who can try to rebuild his career rather than being Liverpool’s number 3 goalkeeper, that is how far he had gone down the pecking order in 90 days.

Karius was just one game short of making 50 appearances for the Reds and his new team could meet Liverpool this season. It would mean Liverpool finishing 3rd in their Champions League group, dropping down to the Europa League which Besiktas still need to qualify for and possibly meeting in the knock out games. Far fetched for sure, but stranger things have happened in football.

Serie A Weekly News Recap

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It was a quieter week on the transfer market front, but a ginormous deal still went down as Roma sold Alisson to Liverpool. Milan will participate to Europa League as they won the appeal in front of the CAS. Parma and Chievo are still awaiting judgement on the trials that have put their Serie A stay in danger.

SPAL made a considerable investment to bring in Andrea Petagna from Atalanta, who would cost €15M if they avoided relegation, therefore triggering the obligation to buy. They had signed a similar striker in Marco Borriello last year, but that did not pay off. Continue reading

Brazil bow out following defeat to Belgium

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Five-times World Cup champions Brazil bowed out of the World Cup last week after a mediocre campaign was finally brought to an end by Roberto Martinez’s Belgium side in Kazan.

In a crunch match in which Brazil would have to show their mettle and championship-winning credentials if they were to continue into the latter stages of the competition, the side found themselves behind early on when Nacer Chadli’s corner struck Fernandinho’s arm, beating an unsuspecting Alisson.

Brazil had conceded just one goal in their past four games in Russia and their opponents took advantage of the malaise that followed the surprise goal – creating a Continue reading