Top Premier League Defenders in 2018/19 – Kyle Walker

Kyle Walker

Manchester City defender Kyle Walker picked up another Premier League winner’s medal when his side held off the challenge of Liverpool to win the title by one point back in May.

Walker was also the fourth-highest scoring defender in EPL fantasy football for the season with 89 points from his 33 appearances (30 starts).

Aymeric Laporte was the only City defender ahead of Walker. Laporte earned 100 points in 2018/19.

Liverpool’s trio of Virgil van Dijk (119 points), Andrew Robertson (118) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (102) were first, second, and third respectively. Continue reading

Top Premier League Defenders in 2018/19 – Aymeric Laporte

Aymeric Laporte

Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte was the highest-scoring non-Liverpool defender in fantasy EPL last season.

The 25-year-old French centre-back joined Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City team in January 2018 for €65 million from LaLiga’s Athletic Bilbao.

Since then, he has gone on to be recognised as one of the best defenders in the English Premier League with his consistent performances at the heart of the City backline.

At just 6.5 million, Laporte was a bargain for EPL fantasy managers last season. After impressing so well, his price is likely to increase before the 2019/20 campaign gets underway. Continue reading

EPL Weekend Picks – Round 13

David Silva

The 13th week of the 2018-19 Premier League season sees Manchester City travel to West Ham, while Tottenham host Chelsea in one of the biggest games of the campaign so far. Let’s take a look at 11 players who you should consider for your EPL Fantasy team this weekend…

GK – Rui Patricio (Wolves)
Wolves play two of the Premier League’s lowest-scoring sides — Huddersfield and Cardiff — over the next week, so Rui Patricio is well worth considering. The Portuguese goalkeeper has 18 points so far this season.

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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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Pass master Laporte now an integral part of Guardiola’s Manchester City

Much has been written about Virgil van Dijk’s impact at Liverpool since his move from Southampton in the January transfer window. The Dutchman’s mid-season arrival at Anfield coincided with a vast improvement in Jurgen Klopp’s side defensive record; pre-Van Dijk’s debut they conceded an average of 1.22 goals per Premier League game, compared to just 0.64 per match in the 14 top-fight encounters the £75m centre-back featured in before the end of the 2017/18 campaign. Continue reading

Leroy Sane: the Erratic Genius

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Football has emerged as an extremely lucrative career path over the years with the steady commercialisation of the game. Some of the best footballers ever- Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez, Franck Ribery, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luka Modric hailed from poverty-stricken families before steadily rising up the ladder, enthralling the world with their brilliance. Such examples have been cited as an immense source of motivation by emerging footballers like Gabriel Jesus who confessed to drawing inspiration from superstar Ronaldinho’s meteoric growth over the years.

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Is Fernandinho in the mould of Patrick Vieira?

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870529256Every football fan worth his salt will be well aware of the significant development that Arsene Wenger’s Invincibles played a key role towards heralding in modern day football. While modern-day football fans were quick to criticise the Frenchman for even the smallest of things during the last few years of his tenure, the game owes much of its current sheen to the exhilarating gameplay which Wenger encouraged despite resistance from the traditionalists.

In the 2003-04 season, Arsenal gave the footballing world a true glimpse into a team which was built on the back of a solid foundation with the defenders more than capable of snuffing out any attack and attackers who could conjure moments of brilliance singlehandedly. The side went on to finish unbeaten in the league throughout the season, emerging as the first outfit to threaten Manchester United’s hegemony.

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Athletic Bilbao expecting exits after poor campaign

AthleticBilbao-Lekue

With so much focus on Barcelona’s incredible push for an unbeaten season, and the drop out of La Liga for some established names in Spain, there have been a few stories that have slipped through the gaps.

One of those is the dreadful 2017-18 campaign for Athletic Bilbao, who were dragged into the relegation battle in the final few weeks of the season.

The Basque side have never been relegated from La Liga, following its inaugural 1939-40 season, and the lowest they have ever finished is 17th in 2006-07.

They came close to that again this season, ending up in 16th place.

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Laporte gaining vital minutes for Man City

Laporte

Aymeric Laporte’s quality laden performance vs. Swansea City at the weekend served as another important step in his integration and adaptation to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

Operating as City’s left sided central defender, the Spaniard, who was bought in for an astounding £57.1 million in January from Athletic, hardly put a foot wrong throughout the 5-0 rout. Continue reading

Aymeric Laporte: Expensive, but worth the risk?

Aymeric Laporte

All reports indicate Premier League leaders Manchester City are on the brink of breaking their own transfer record to recruit Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte. The 23-year-old has amassed over 200 appearances for the Basque giants in La Liga but has yet to win a senior international cap. The transfer will make him the world’s second most expensive defender – behind only Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk – and has naturally generated a great level of interest, but who is Laporte and why are City prepared to spend so much money on his capture?

The move must firstly be put into context of Pep Guardiola’s side’s transfer policy across the past 18 months, with a recruitment drive focused upon strengthening the club’s defence. The Catalan tactician inherited a defence which needed total overhaul, with Nicolas Otamendi and Vincent Kompany – himself with a limited shelf-life – identified as the only players of requisite quality. Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy, Pablo Zabaleta, Martin Demichelis and Aleksandar Kolarov were all allowed to depart on free transfers, with Eliaquim Mangala loaned out in the hope of an eventual permanent departure. Continue reading