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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La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 18

La Liga is starting to look like it will be Atletico Madrid’s to lose. Diego Simeone’s team are a point ahead over Real Madrid but have 3 games in hand over them. Real Madrid could only draw 0-0 against Osasuna in their latest game.

Barcelona are moving up the table and are now in 3rd place with 34 points. They have won 3 games in a row and Lionel Messi scored two goals at the weekend and looks back on form after a slow start to the campaign.

Early pacesetters Real Sociedad have slipped down to 5th place and they have won just once in their last five games. Let’s take a look to see which players earned the most fantasy points this past week in La Liga.

Goalkeeper: Juame- Valencia 7pts

It’s not been an easy season for Valencia but Juame in goal has been solid at times and at the weekend he kept a clean sheet, his third of the season, as Valencia beat Valladolid 1-0.

Defender: David Garcia- Osasuna 5pts

Osasuna faced one of their most difficult games of the season as they played Real Madrid and they came away with a 0-0 result. David Garcia was solid at the back and the player picked up 5 points and now has a total of 15 overall.

Defender: Raul Albiol- Villarreal 5pts

Raul Albiol was brilliant in defence and with all of his experience commanded his defenders well enough. Villarreal beat Celta Vigo 4-0 and Albiol would cost you 7m to add to your team.

Defender: Jose Gaya- Valencia 7pts

Jose Gaya not only kept a clean sheet at the weekend as Valencia beat Valladolid 1-0 but he also assisted in the only goal of the game to earn 7pts. It hasn’t been an easy season for the player who was on minus points but he now has 5 overall.

Defender: Oier Mate- Osasuna 5pts

Many expected Osasuna to lose to Real Madrid who are going for the title but the team held firm and the defenders had to be 100% focused and concentrated and got a point from the game as it ended 0-0. Oier Mate has now helped to keep 5 clean sheets this season for the club.

Midfielder: Daniel Parejo- Villarreal 8pts

Daniel Parejo had a memorable game as he assisted in the opening goal for Villarreal as they beat Celta Vigo away from home 4-0. Then he scored the 3rd goal. That was only his 2nd goal of the season and he has a total of 16 points, earning half of that in this game alone.

Midfielder: Carlos Soler- Valencia 5pts

Carlos Soler scored the only goal of the game as Valencia beat Valladolid 1-0. Soler’s value is 6m and he has contributed in 10 of Valencia’s goals so far, with six of them being his goals.

Midfielder: Moises Gomez- Villarreal 6pts

Moises Gomez scored his first goal of the season as Villarreal beat Celta Vigo 4-0. This win has helped the club up to 4th place, and their objective will be Champions League qualification for next season.

Midfielder: Alex- Cadiz 4pts

Alex earned 4 points and he opened the scoring for Cadiz as they beat Alaves 3-1. Alex now has 15 points and is the highest midfield points earner in the fantasy rankings for the club. That was his 1st goal of the season.

Striker: Antoine Griezmann- Barcelona 10pts

Barcelona are in form and Antoine Griezmann had a starring role to play as Barca beat Granada 4-0 away from home. The Frenchman scored the first goal, then set up Lionel Messi for the second before scoring the final goal. He now has scored 5 goals so far.

Striker: Youssef En-Nesyri- Sevilla 14pts

Sevilla are one of the best in form sides in La Liga and they beat Real Sociedad 3-2 in a very entertaining game. Youssef En-Nesyri scored a hat-trick to get all the goals for the home side. He has scored 8 goals so far and his value is worth 6.5m.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players from Week 15

Atletico Madrid remain the favourites to win the league title as they are 2 points clear of Real Madrid and have 2 games extra to play over them, indeed Diego Simeone’s team have only played 15 games so far.

Real Madrid look like the only team to challenge Atletico at this point in time and one has to wonder if the league is now a two horse race?

Barcelona are in 5th place but are 10 points behind Atletico but they have improved and are unbeaten in their last 5 games. With Real Madrid Barcelona have scored the most goals in the league with 30 so far.

Let’s look at the players that made the team of the week in La Liga, did you have any of them?

Goalkeeper: Marc ter Stegen- Barcelona 7pts

Marc ter Stegen had to be alert at the weekend as Barcelona only beat Huesca 1-0 and he had many stoppages to make as the home team had 4 good shots on target. The goalkeeper now has 22 points overall.

Defender: Anaitz Arbilla- Eibar 5pts

Anaitz Arbilla came on as a 2nd half substitite as Eibar beat Granada 2-0 and kept a clean sheet and he helped to maintain a good result and earned 5 points in the process. His value is 6.5m.

Defender: Jordi Alba- Barcelona 5pts

Jordi Alba helped to keep a clean sheet and earned 5 points as Barcelona beat Huesca 5-0 and Alba now has helped keep six clean sheets this season.

Defender: Raphael Varane- Real Madrid 5pts

Real Madrid beat Celta Vigo 2-0 and whilst Varane wasn’t involved in any goals his job is to keep a clean sheet which he helped to do. Varane has 30 points overall now and has helped to keep an impressive seven clean sheets so far this season.

Defender: Sergino Dest- Barcelona 5pts

Sergino Dest has been a success story for Barcelona so far this season and he has 17 points overall as he earned 5 at the weekend when he helped to keep a clean sheet, his 4th of the season as Barca beat Huesca 1-0.

Midfielder: Lucas- Real Madrid 8pts

Lucas had a superb game as Real Madrid won at the weekend and he scored the opening goal and set up the second. Lucas now has 20 points overall and his value is 6.5m.

Midfielder: Frenkie de Jong- Barcelona 6pts

Frenkie de Jong was the difference as Barcelona made heavy weather of Huesca winning 1-0 and de Jong got the only goal of the game, the midfielder now has 2 goals this season and has earned 20 points so far.

Midfielder: Marco Asensio- Real Madrid 7pts

Asensio had a great game as Real Madrid beat Celta Vigo 2-0. After assisting in the first goal he scored the second which ended up being Real’s winner and he now has contributed in 3 goals for Los Blancos.

Midfielder: Portu- Real Sociedad 6pts

Real Sociedad are losing the pace at the top of the league but Portu was able to earn 6 pts. He had to come off the field but at the time earned some points for a then clean sheet but the game finished 1-1. Overall Portu has done well this season and has 42 points.

Striker: Luis Suarez- Atletico Madrid 5pts

Luis Suarez had a good last game as Atletico beat Alaves 2-1 away from home. Suarez assited for the first goal and then became the hero grabbing the winner at the end. He lost some point as he was soon booked. Suarez has 9 goals this season.

Striker: Gerard Moreno- Villarreal 4pts

Gerard Moreno was the hero for Villarreal as they beat Levante 2-1 and Moreno grabbed the 2nd goal for the home side. Moreno has been brilliant this season and has 9 goals and his value is 8.5m, which looks like a bargain.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 14

Have Real Sociedad fallen? The club who were leading for so long have no wins in their six games and have dropped to 3rd place. Atletico Madrid lead with 29 points the same as the inform Real Madrid however Atletico has 2 games in hand over their city rivals.

Celta Vigo though are the team with the best form in the league which may come as a surprise. The club have earned 12 points from their last five games and have won 4 in a row. They have climbed up to 8th place as a result.

Barcelona have found form also and are in 5th place with 21 points and have gone their last three games undefeated. Lets’s take a look at who made the team of the week in the list below.

Goalkeeper: Rui Silva- Granada 7pts

Rui Silva kept his 5th clean sheet of the season and is valued at just 3m, and this came when Granada beat Real Betis 2-0 and he kept a clean sheet and his club have climbed up to sixth position.

Defender: Allan-Romeo Nyom- Getafe 6pts

Romeo-Nyom has kept 5 clean sheets and that may be seen as impressive for a club such as Getafe. Getafe beat Cadiz 2-0 away in a tough ground to win at to pick up their fourth win of the season.

Defender: Jeison Murillo- Celta Vigo 5pts

Jeison Murillo has not started the season well but picked up 5 points at the weekend and this could be a turning point for the player who is still on minus points overall and is valued at 3m.

Defender: Inigo Martinez- Athletic Bilbao 5pts

Inigo Martinez held firm at the back to keep his 3rd clean sheet of the campaign as Athletic Bilbao beat Huesca 2-0.

Defender: Djene- Getafe 5pts

Djene earned his 5 points after a mature and commanding display at the weekend. Getafe ended a 2 game losing run to beat Cadiz away from home and by 2 goals to 0.

Midfielder: Luka Modric- Real Madrid 4pts

Luka Modric now has 18 points after he earned 4 at the weekend as Real Madrid beat Eibar away from home 3-1.  Modric scored the 2nd goal to set Real on their way to victory and that is his 2nd goal of the season.

Midfielder: Roberto Torres-Osasuna 4pts

Osasuna were beaten at home 3-1 by Villarreal but this was a week of low scoring midfielders and Roberto Torres got Osasuna’s only goal of the game after scoring from the penalty spot. Torres has been in form lately though and his value is only 5m.

Midfielder: Lucas- Real Madrid 4pts

Lucas scored Real Madrid’s final goal as they beat Eibar 3-1 to climb to 2nd in the table. That was the midfielder’s first goal of the season and his value is 6.5m.

Midfielder: Yannick Carasco- Atletico Madrid 2pts

Yannick Carassco was a rock in midfield for Atletico as they got back to winning ways to beat Elche 3-1 at home. Carasco rounded off a very good game by assisting in Atletico’s 2nd goal of the game.

Striker: Karim Benzema- Real Madrid 8pts

Karim Benzema was brilliant yet again for Real Madrid as the veteran striker opened the scoring for the club against Eibar and then assisted in a further 2 goals. Benzema has 7 goals so far and has assisted in a further 5.

Striker: Luis Suarez- Atletico Madrid 8pts

It was another starring role for Luis Suarez who has been very good for his new club Atletico Madrid. They beat Elche 3-1 at the weekend and Suarez scored 2 goals including the opening one for his club. Suarez now has seven goals for the season so far.

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Julen Lopetegui wants to usher in a new era at Sevilla

Because of their Europa League successes Sevilla are one of the most successful clubs in Europe over the last decade. But there is a feeling that the club have become more of a cup specialist team and less of a league one, and Julen Lopetegui has come in over the past year to try and change that up.

Of course winning cups is a great thing and Sevilla have achieved so much in the modern game winning 5 trophies in the last decade and, according to the official UEFA rankings they are in 9th place. That’s not bad going at all and yet of course they are not seen in same lights as Real Madrid and Barcelona and not even Atletico Madrid.

The reason is that the club do not win league titles- their last one came n 1946 and they haven’t even finished in the runners-up position since 1957. There is also the case of the other European competition, the Champions League where Sevilla have had no significant history. Even Atletico have made it to finals including two recent ones. This year highlighted Sevilla’s miserable run in the Champions League when they were knocked out at the group stages and in one game lost 4-0 at home against Chelsea.

Lopetegui is doing a steady job with Sevilla and in his first season he was able to get them to 4th place with 70 points and therefore qualify for the Champions League. Overall he has a win rate of 57% which is impressive and has lost 14 games from 73 played.

This season the club are in sixth place and are seven points adrift. They have been up and down as they do not draw many games, just 1 so far. Whilst they need to find stability no one can accuse the club of not being entertaining. The problem currently is that no one is sure what Sevilla version will turn up week by week. On their day they are capable of beating any side in La Liga.

Lopetegui has kept the people he knows close to him and that figurehead is the clubs assistant coach Pablo Sanz who used to be a product of the old Academy at Barcelona. When Lopetegui was the coach of the national side Spain, Sanz was his assistant so they know each other very well. He was also the assistant at Real Madrid at Lopetegui’s short spell at Santiago Bernabeu back in 2018.

The objective for the club is to improve each season in the league, the last season saw the club finish 4th so the objective is to finish 3rd and a possible title challenge with 2-3 years although whether that is realistic or not is another story altogether.

However the club have always had some quality within their ranks and below we look at the best 3 players currently playing for the club this season based on fantasy rankings points.

Bono- Goalkeeper

Bono’s value is 6.5m and he currently has the most points of any Sevilla player with 19 so far. Bono’s job is of course to keep clean sheets and he has done so on 3 occasions so far. He is 5th in the goalkeeper rankings for La Liga overall.

Youssef En-Nesyri- Striker

Youssef En Nesyri has scored 3 goals so far but is yet to assist and has 12 points so far. He has only managed to start six games so has a 50% striker rate which is good and his value is 6.5m.

Sergio Escudero- Defender

Sergio Escudero has helped keep 2 clean sheets he has also scored a goal and his value is 6m and so far he has earned 12 points.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 13

Atletico Madrid finally lost their first game of the season and what a game to do it in as they lost in the Madrid derby to Real Madrid by 2-0. The club also lost 1st place to Real Sociedad who drew their third game in a row.

The league is very exciting now as just four points is the difference between 1st and 4th and Real Madrid are now in 3rd place after winning back to back games. Barcelona beat Levante 1-0 thanks to Lionel Messi but the 2019 champions are still in 8th place.

It was a weekend of few goals in La Liga though with just 19 scored.

Let’s take a look below at which 11 players make the team of match day 13.

Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois- Real Madrid 7pts

Courtois had be to very alert as Real Madrid played and beat city rivals Atletico Madrid 2-0. True Courtois wasn’t as busy as he would have expected to be but he did make a good save to deny Atletico in what was the biggest game in Spain of the weekend.

Defender: Quini- Granada 5pts

Quini helped Granada to keep a clean sheet as they beat Elche 1-0 away from home in a very tough and close contest. Quini has only come on from the bench twice this season but may get more nods after this performance and his value is 4m.

Defender: Sergio Ramos- Real Madrid 5pts

A very solid display from Sergio Ramos at the weekend who helped Real Madrid to a clean sheet over Atletico Madrid and has now helped to keep 4 this season, he has 22 points overall so far.

Defender: Jordi Alba- Barcelona 5pts

Barcelona were expected to thrash Levante especially being at home but that didn’t happen as they only won 1-0. However Levante had chances themselves which included 3 shots on target and Alba did very well at the back to keep the defence line well disciplined. Alba now has 19 points for the season.

Defender: Ferland Mendy- Real Madrid 5pts

Ferland Mendy is proving to be a good acquisition for Real Madrid and showed a lot of maturity in what would have been one of their toughest games of the season. Mendy helped keep a clean sheet and his value if you want to add him is 7m.

Midfielder: Carlos Soler- Valencia 6pts

Carlos Soler now has 29 points overall and earned another six at the weekend as Valencia drew 2-2 with Athletic Bilbao in an entertaining game which saw Soler score the opening goal for the hosts and then assist in the 2nd one.

Midfielder: Raul Garcia- Athletic Bilbao 3pts

Raul Garcia had an eventful game, he lost points as he received a yellow card but he also got Bilbao a point as he converted a penalty to make the game 2-2 against Valencia. For this week 3 points was enough to make the final cut.

Midfielder: Toni Kroos- Real Madrid 4pts

Toni Kroos should count himself special as his assist to set up Real Madrid’s first goal is a rare one to make against Atletico Madrid who had only conceded 2 goals prior to the Madrid derby. Kroos earned 4 points and his value is 7.5m.

Midfielder: Roberto Torres-Osasuna 4pts

Osasuna lost 3-2 against Real Valladolid in a very exciting game but Roberto Torres for Osasuna had a good match and he scored a goal also. Torres now has 12 points overall as he earned 4 points at the weekend and his value is 5m.

Striker: Fabian Orellana- Real Valladolid 4pts

Not many points were needed to make the list this week as Fabian Orellana got the points for scoring a penalty. It was an important one though as Real Valladolid ran out 3-2 winners at home against Osasuna. It was only Orellana’s 2nd goal of the season.

Striker: Lionel Messi- Barcelona 4pts

Lionel Messi usually gets more points than this to make the team but his 5th goal of the season was one of his most important. Barcelona were heading for a 0-0 draw against Levante with just 15 minutes of the game left to play and Messi scored from nothing, proving his talent once again.

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La Liga continues to be surprised by new comers Cadiz

Look at the Spanish league table and you may be very surprised to see who is currently in 5th place. It is Cadiz, and while people in Spain have most certainly heard of the club there are probably a fair few football fans around the world who haven’t. Still that may have changed when last weekend they beat Barcelona, and eyebrows have certainly be raised. What can Cadiz achieve this season?

In reality before the start of the new campaign just finishing 17th would have been seen as success for the club, after all for a club like Cadiz the main objective after being promoted from the Segunda has to be survival. But the club has really punched above their weight and produced some fantastic results along the way.

Presently they have won 5 games from 12 and lost 4, the win over Barcelona ended a 3 game run without victory. Clearly there is much to be done at the club who lack consistency, but nobody was expecting such a good and solid start from them.

Cadiz are back in La Liga and it has taken 14 years and perhaps there that is not a coincidence given that the club have had a busy 18 months behind the scenes. At the end of 2019 Manuel Vizcaino Fernandez was given the job of chairman a contract signed for the next six years. Then, just a few months later, an unnamed American investor bought a minority stake in the club, and while Cadiz will still operate on a limited budget it has still helped the club to move forward and grow.

Alvaro Cervera is the coach of Cadiz and he has spent the majority of his career in the lower leagues. But his average win rates have been above 50% and the 55 year old has been at Cadiz for the past four years. It is refreshing one could claim that Cerveza has been kept on when Cadiz finally got promotion to La Liga and with the way they have started his job isn’t under threat anytime soon.

The player that has stood out for the club so far is Fali in defence and he has 17 fantasy points. Fali has helped 5 clean sheets and he was signed from Barcelona’s B team. But one of the keys to Cadiz’s success has been veteran striker Alvaro Negredo most famous perhaps for his stint at Real Madrid a decade ago and of course he has also played for Manchester City. At 35 playing for Cadiz in the top flight has really worked out for Negredo and he has been involved in six goals so far, 3 goals and 3 assists.

Like Fali, Cala has also impressed at the back and also kept 5 clean sheets. He is 31 now and started his career at Sevilla. It has been this mix of veteran quality players and youth that has propelled Cadiz and made sure, at least for now, that their season will be about trying to stay in the top half of the table rather than in 17th place, and any fan of the club is going to accept that.

With 18 points so far for Cadiz which is four more than Barcelona albeit Cadiz have played 2 games more, means that the club are projected to finish the season with 57 points. That would mark an excellent return, let’s see if they can achieve it.

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All you wanted to know about Ronaldinho

Following a captivating and jaw-dropping display of skills and great technique the entire Santiago Bernabeu rises to award the man of the moment and the match’s best performer with a standing ovation.

The player in question is not a Real Madrid player, but rather a star who wears the shirt of fierce rival Barcelona. His name is Ronaldinho and the year is 2005. He is the only player, besides Maradona, to receive such a standing ovation from opposition fans on Santiago Bernabeu. Juventus star Alessandro Del Piero was also on the receiving end of a standing ovation from the crowd and that in the Champions League many years ago.

After the match, the Brazilian star was deeply moved: “I will never forget this because it is very rare for any footballer to be applauded in this way by the opposition fans.”

After that Barcelona and Ronaldinho went on to win two league titles in a row (2005/06 and 2006/07) in addition to a list of individual awards for the talented Brazilian. The next season was troublesome for the Brazilian and injuries prevented him showing his magic on the football pitch.

This is where the downfall of Ronaldinho started, after 5 years with Barcelona he went to join AC Milan and it all went downhill for him. The Brazilian magician could never again find his touch and was plagued by injuries and poor form.

For more information on the Brazilian legend, check out the wonderful piece by our friends at insidesport.com who did great work with what happened to Ronaldinho. Make sure to check it out, you will not regret it.

Why didn’t Manchester United’s Paul Pogba believe he was already at a huge club?

Early on Monday morning, on a weekend following another Manchester United comeback as they beat West Ham 3-1, Mino Raiola dropped the news: Paul Pogba wants to leave Manchester United.

It was news and it wasn’t news, because anyone who has followed football for the past few years could see that Pogba wanted out almost the moment he stepped back in at Old Trafford. Pogba isn’t the type of person who could play poker successfully, he can’t hide his body language and his despair almost an dis-attachment in his face was there for all to see for a long time.

It could well be the right time for Pogba to leave Manchester United and the Frenchman would have spent five seasons at the club by next summer. But it wasn’t the right time to announce it. Pogba’s agent Raiola said that the player wanted to leave the club in the summer, right before one of United’s biggest games of their season, their Champions League match against RB Leipzig. The club went on to lose that match 3-2, and the irony of course is that Pogba scored.

The timing though feels like a lack of respect for the club and its values, why did Pogba’s agent come out with the news then? Why not wait at least until the week after, after the Manchester derby. Would it have been that hard to do?

But another question must surface and that is why didn’t Pogba believe that Manchester United are a huge club? Why couldn’t he understand that it might not get any better than being at United? True United haven’t been the same since Sir Alex Ferguson retired but they have still maintained an air of quality, and players from around the world are still happy to sign for the club knowing that the Red Devils are one of the biggest clubs in the world.

Could it be that Pogba transferred from Juventus and saw the old lady and Serie A as simply better in every department? Could he believe that he was therefore taking a step down when he re-joined United? When you analyse his performances it does come across like this. Of course his obscene fee of £89m doesn’t help matters but at the same time the price tag isn’t Pogba’s fault. He probably wasn’t worth half of that but that is the nature of the football business.

In hindsight United would have done good business had they sold Pogba just after the 2018 World Cup where, with France he won. Pogba was electrifying in the knock-out stages with his pace and power. Indeed he produced in 2 weeks with France what he couldn’t do in five years with United. But at the World Cup Pogba seemed like a man possessed, like he had a mission, and he did. But with United had he kept to this theory he could have helped land United a title in his time at the club and gone down as a club legend.

The truth is that Pogba’s time at United will be more remembered as a simple footnote, which is a tragedy in itself given what quality the player has in his locker. The problem with Pogba is that it doesn’t matter where he goes next, the team will receive Pogba, the player that shows flashes of brilliance, the player that gives 100%, the player that raises his voice above others in the dressing room and gets the team hyped and ready for the game ahead, but all of this happens in 2 games per 10, and that is his problem in a nutshell.

Pogba’s future could be linked to PSG, a return to France and with a club who look guaranteed to win trophies could fit Pogba fine. Real Madrid have been linked with the midfielder for some time, but maybe they will take a rain check if they were to look at his overall form. Barcelona’s era is ending and they have a lack of funds so they won’t be a player. Other choices could see a return to Juventus or maybe somewhere like AC Milan who have improved and are currently in 1st position in Serie A.

Pogba is going to leave United at the end of the season this looks absolutely certain now. Fans knew it was going to happen, but it seems when it does Pogba may not get the goodbye he could have deserved and on reflection his transfer to United feels like a wasted moment for both parties.

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18-Team European League Coming Soon?

A new European League could soon be coming and that is something many people enjoying no deposit bonuses at online casinos will be happy to see.

European Premier League that could be here by 2022

Football has changed and evolved over the years including the introduction of the Premier League in 1992. However, recent developments in the game have looked to transform the structure even further with the top clubs in the UK and Europe trying to break away and form their own league. We look into this, and how fans currently enjoying no deposit bonuses should benefit.

Project Big Picture

After the recent issue regarding Project Big Picture and the controversy that developed from that, there now seems to be another idea that the big clubs in Europe want to develop. It appears that the leading English clubs are already in talks to form an 18-team European Premier League.

Project Big Picture included the ‘big six’ English Premier League clubs including Chelsea, Manchester United, and Liverpool. The idea was to reduce the number of teams in the league to free up fixture space. Some of the key elements that comprised the project included:

  • The Premier League reduced to 18 clubs

  • Only six of the longest serving clubs need to vote for any change

  • EFL Cup and Community Shield to be scrapped

However, once news of the secret meetings leaked and the extent of the plans were known, the Premier League and the remaining clubs voted against the project. However, this doesn’t mean that there may still be something in the pipeline that could yet change the status quo.

Lack of Fans at games moving to online No Deposit Casinos

Some people have speculated that the lack of fans at football grounds has sparked this move, partly because of lack of revenue, and also because there are no fans to protest at games. Since lockdown in March, it was clear that fans would not be allowed into matches for some time. Though this has upset many supporters, there has been an increase of no deposit casino bonus offers due to fans staying at home and betting on the games or playing slots. In fact, sites like NoDeposit Hunter and No Deposit UK have nice offers for new players that mirrors a rise in new player offers generally at online casinos.

The announcement by the Premier League of the Pay-Per-View games that would cost extra in addition to subscription games, has further outraged fans who believe they are being exploited.

Meanwhile, the English Premier League clubs are growing increasingly concerned about the lack of supporters at games. They claim that they are losing around £100 million every month, with the smaller clubs warning that they might not survive if the situation continues much longer.

European Premier League

According to Sky News financiers are currently setting up a £4.6 billion package that will be used to set up the new league. Top teams from France, Italy, Germany, and Spain would join UK top clubs as part of the founding members.

Clubs could start this new league as early as 2022, with the games played during the usual football season. The top teams in the league would go on to play a knock-out competition to decide the winners. It appears that several of the top teams in the Premier League including Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Manchester United, and Chelsea have been approached, though it may only be five teams from the UK that will make the final group. Other clubs that may also join are:

  • Paris Saint-Germain

  • Barcelona

  • Athletico Madrid

  • Juventus

  • Bayern Munich

Details are still undecided, but it seems there will be 16 or 18 teams in the European Premier League meaning around 30 games would be played in a round-robin style. This type of competition is more like the American-style league that they use in Major League Soccer (MLS). One reason for this could be that a number of big clubs in the UK have US-based owners.

It isn’t known whether UEFA, who currently runs the Champions League Competition, supports the new league. If not, then this could be a big problem, especially as the Champions League is to be overhauled in 2024.

Regardless of whether fans return to football grounds, there seems to be a consensus among the top clubs that a new European League will generate them a greater income than they currently earn. However, whether such a competition can start with COVID still battering many parts of Europe remains uncertain.