Premier League: Best 11 Players from Week 10

The three top clubs, Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea all drew and there is just 2 points between them. Wolves are back in the mix with  a terrific 2-1 win away to Arsenal and the Gunners have fallen to 14th.

Manchester City who have had a slow start to the campaign by their standards thumped Burnley 5-0 and they are now 10th. Manchester United also recorded a brilliant comeback against Southampton and are now in the top 8.

It was another exciting weekend of football where we witnessed 19 goals from 8 games, but did any of your players make the team of the week, let’s have a look.

Goalkeeper: Illan Meslier- Leeds United 7pts

Illan Mesier kept a clean sheet even though Everton had seven good shots on target as Leeds beat Everton away from home 1-0. It was a tough afternoon for the goalkeeper who had to keep 100% alert. It was Meslier’s 4th clean sheet of the season so far.

Defender: Kyle Walker- Manchester City 7pts

Manchester City romped home to a 5-0 win over Burnley and that means that on top of getting a great win Kyle Walker in defence kept his 3rd clean sheet of the season. Walker also assisted in the clubs 2nd goal to wrap up a brilliant match for him.

Defender: Benjamin Mendy- Manchester City 9pts

Benjamin Mendy was the stand out performer in defence for the 2019 champions, keeping a clean sheet as City thrashed Burnley 5-0 and scoring the clubs third goal effectively killing the game off at that point.

Defender: Robin Koch- Leeds United 5pts

Robin Koch put in a stellar performance at the back to give Leeds a rare away win and a good one as it was against Everton. Koch had to make some brilliant interventions and decisions during a tense victory for Leeds and kept a clean sheet in the process.

Defender: Thiago Silva- Chelsea 5pts

Thiago Silva played one of his most assured games for Chelsea in the back four since his move from PSG in the summer. His quality and experience held his defence line firm as Chelsea drew 0-0 against Tottenham the current league leaders.

Midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne- Manchester City 6pts

Kevin De Bruyne has had better seasons but when everything clicks he is still one of the best midfielders in the world. At the weekend it wasn’t about goals for De Bruyne but about assists and he set up 2 of Citys five goals.

Midfielder: Riyad Mahrez- Manchester City 16pts

Riyad Mahrez always seems to do well against Burnley but he did exceptionally well at the weekend as City ran out 5-0 winners and Mahrez grabbed an incredible 16 fantasy points to boot. Mahrez scored a hat trick and now has four goals for this season overall.

Midfielder: James Ward-Prowse- Southampton 5pts

Though his team Southampton let a 2 goal lead slip against Manchester United to lose the game James Ward-Prowse had another eventual weekend. He assisted in the clubs first goal and scored the second, though he did some points as he was also booked during the match.

Midfielder: Daniel Podence- Wolves 4pts

And step up Daniel Podencenewcast who has really come to light for Wolves this season when they have neeed a goal. Podence scored what would turn out to be the winner as Wolves stunned Arsenal at the Emirates to win the game 2-1.

Striker: Edinson Cavani- Manchester United 10pts

Edinson Cavani had scored for Manchester United before of course but perhaps this was the weekend when the player truly arrived. Cavani scored 2 goals and also assisted in United’s opener as they came back from 2-0 down to beat Southampton 3-2.

Striker: Callum Wilson- Newcastle United 6pts

On Friday Callum Wilson was the hero for Newcastle as they pulled off an excellent away win beating Crystal Palace 2-0. Wilson assisted in one goal and scored the other and the striker now has seven goals overall.

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The Best 11 Players in the Premier League 2020/21 so far

With the Premier League taking an extended break because of the international fixtures this is an opportunity to look at your fantasy football team and see who is doing the best and grabbing those all important points in the early stages of the Premier League campaign.

In a 4-4-2 formation we will look at the players who are performing the very best so far.

Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy- Chelsea 21pts

The injury to Kepa has given Edouard Mendy a life line at Chelsea and he has reacted in the best way possible with a terrific start to the campaign. Mendy has 21 points so far the most of any goalkeeper in the Premier League and has kept 3 clean sheets so far.

Defender: Ben Chilwell- Chelsea 24pts

Considering this is his first season with the Blues Ben Chilwell has been more than terrific and has stood out as one of Chelsea’s most important players so far this season. He has helped the club to 3 clean sheets so far but isn’t afraid to get involved in the action and has scored 2 goals and assisted in a further 2. His value is 6.5m.

Defender: Kurt Zouma- Chelsea 24pts

Kurt Zouma could well be having his best season as a player. At one point it felt that he could lose his place within the Chelsea team, so to come back and start the season the way he has has been impressive. Whilst forming a great partnership with Chilwell he has also scored 3 goals, again impressive for a defender.

Defender: Jannick Vestergaard- Southampton 24pts

Southampton have been a major surprise team in the Premier League this season and currently have the best form. Jannick Vestergaard has helped the Saints in keeping 4 clean sheets is valued at 6m and has also scored 2 goals already for the club this season.

Defender: Tyrone Mings- Aston Villa 22pts

Tyrone Mings has really turned his form around since last season. He has been the best overall defender at Aston Villa keeping 4 clean sheets and has also been tidy up front scoring goals too. He can be bought for just 4.5m.

Midfielder: Mohamed Salah- Liverpool 36pts

Like the last few seasons it’s been a terrific season so far for Mohamed Salah who again continues to light up the Premier League. Whilst it hasn’t been the greatest start for Liverpool they are still well within the mix and Salah has contributed by scoring 8 goals already.

Midfielder: Jack Grealish- Aston Villa 33pts

There is no doubt about it Jack Grealish is having his best season as a football player. He has been involved in 9 Aston Villa goals scoring 4 and assisting in 5 as the club have started well for this season and his value is incredible at just 3.5m.

Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 24pts

Bruno Fernandes is arguably Manchester United’s best signing in a decade, since Cristiano Ronado. He has scored 5 goals and made 3 assists in what has been a troubling start for the club, but Fernandes has been one of the best players in the Premier League.

Midfielder: Wilfried Zaha- Crystal Palace 24pts

Could this be Wilfried Zaha’s best season yet and a turning point in his career? Often a player who is touted at moving from Palace to one of the big six clubs in England he is certainly proving his credentials this season. Zaha has been Crystal Palace’s most effective player and has scored 5 goals and assisted in another two. His value is 8.5m.

Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 44pts

Harry Kane has been outstanding and Tottenham have been solid climbing into the top 2 clubs in the league. Kane already has 44 points and has scored 7 goals and assisted in another 8, he has been involved incredibly in 80% of Tottenham’s league goals this season. There is a reason then that his value is up at 14.5m.

Striker: Heung- Min Son- Tottenham 38pts

The fact that the two best striker positions in the league go to Tottenham players tells you everything you need to know about how the club have started the season. Heung-Min Son has scored one goal more than Kane with 8 and has assisted in another 2 goals. On his day there isn’t a better striker currently playing in Europe. Kane and Son must be amongst the most deadliest strike pair in European football.

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Premier League Game of the Week: Chelsea 4-1 Sheffield United

Chelsea made it 9 games in all competitions without defeat as they demolished Sheffield United 4-1 at the weekend.

It was a huge win for Frank Lampard’s side who have now moved up to 5th place in the table with 15 points and are only three behind the current league leaders Leicester.

This was always going to be an important season for Chelsea where the pressure would be mounted on Lampard who was given a ‘pass’ in his debut season with the club. That pass was still justified as Lampard steered the club into Champions League qualification, but finishing 4th in the season without any trophies usually doesn’t cut it at the Blues anymore. Given funds to spend this summer, Chelsea will be expecting more and the early signs are looking good, for example with 20 goals scored already Chelsea have netted the most goals for a Premier League club.

As for the game you talk about pressure on Lampard but spare a thought for Sheffield United’s Chris Wilder. His side were a constant thorn in some of the big teams last season and pulled off some magnificent results along the way to finishing 9th with 54 points. But the Blades entered this game in the bottom three and had lost six times already with no wins.

The surprise of the match then was when the away side opened the scoring. David McGoldrick scored his 2nd goal of the campaign and from Chelsea’s perspective it looked incredibly hard to keep out. The ball was crossed in and an initial shot went wayward but fell to McGoldrick like a ball in a pinball machine and he slotted home before anyone could really react.

What happened next was the reaction that Chelsea showed which spoke volumes- they believed the goal was lucky and they played calm and assured football almost as if they knew if they stuck with their game plan they would get themselves back into it. Lampard had opted for an attacking 4-3-3 and that meant Tammy Abraham, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech were pushed up front. And 14 minutes after United had taken the lead it was 1-1 through Abraham who had connected onto a Mateo Kovacic pass.

Chelsea took the lead 11 minutes later through the impressive Ben Chilwell who has really fit straight into the side after his move from Leicester in the summer. Chilwell was the last man on the post to turn it in after a terrific pass from Ziyech. The half ended with Chelsea in front by 2-1 and the London club had 5 shots on target and almost 70% of possession.

As the 2nd half went on Chelsea dominated and the game never looked like going 2-2, this was confirmed in the 77th minute when another Ziyech assist set up Thiago Silva who glanced in his header to score his first goal for Chelsea, and it was a goal that effectively wrapped up the game at 3-1.

But Chelsea were not finished and just three minutes later they added a fourth through Timo Werner who smashed home an easy chance. The German international has started to show his qualities lately and that was his 4th goal of the league campaign.

 

The Blues had 11 goal attempts in the second half alone and one of their stand out players at the weekend was Ziyech and Lampard was full of praise for their new Moroccan signing. “He gives us a different style in terms of the left foot off the right side. It’s not something we’ve had much of in recent years. The ability to find the last pass or the last cross, to break teams down with a low block. We saw that today, we clearly saw that today.”

Chelsea’s leading pair of players in the fantasy rankings are Ben Chilwell and Kurt Zouma who have 24 points each.

Sheffield United are having a woeful season and that defeat has left the club at the bottom of the league. As for Chelsea though the sky looks like the limit. After spending big in the summer it seems that the team have really clicked now, and after the international break they will play Newcastle away from home where they will be going for their 10th unbeaten game in all competitions.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 7

Champions Liverpool are back in 1st place after their rivals Everton lost their 2nd game in a row. Tottenham have been in good form lately and have moved up to 2nd and Gareth Bale scored the winner for them in an emotional game for the celebrated Welshman.

Arsenal recorded a rare victory at Old Trafford and Manchester United are in 15th place and struggling. Presently the best form team in the Premier League is Southampton who have notched up 13 points from their last 15.

Let’s take a look at the in form players, did any of your players make the final cut at the weekend?

Goalkeeper: Bernd Leno- Arsenal 7pts

Arsenal recorded their first league win at Old Trafford in over 10 years and goalkeeper Bernd Leno was able to help keep a clean sheet even if Manchester United didn’t have too many chances on goal. A huge away win for the Gunners.

Defender: Kurt Zouma- Chelsea 9pts

Chelsea’s form is picking up and Kurt Zouma led a defence that kept a clean sheet in 3-0 win over hapless Burnley. Zouma scored the 2nd goal which in truth killed the game off as Chelsea eased to a victory soon after. Zouma has been outstanding for the club so far this season and has a total of 24 points already.

Defender: Kyle Walker- Manchester City 9pts

A perfect game for Kyle Walker who in defence kept a clean sheet as Manchester City beat Sheffield United 1-0 away from home. And that winning goal came from Walker himself.

Defender: Rayan Ait Nouri- Wolves 9pts

Rayan Ait Nouri was the unlikely player for Wolves who opened the scoring as the club beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at home. Ait Nouri also maintained the back line well and helped to earn extra points by keeping a clean sheet. He is valued at 5.5m.

Defender: Thiago Silva – Chelsea 5pts

With Chelsea conceding a few goals at the start of the campaign it is important to see this version of the club who have now gone their last 2 games with no goals conceded. A part of that reason is down to veteran Thiago Silva who, after missing the beginning of the season, is fitting well into his role with the Blues.

Midfielder: James Ward-Prowse- Southampton 9ts

James Ward-Prowse in on fire and the midfielder has made it into the best 11 team for the 2nd week in a row. He did get booked which lost him points, but he hit back by scoring 2 goals as Southampton won a thriller at Villa park beating Aston Villa 4-3.

Midfielder: Hakim Ziyech- Chelsea 8pts

Frank Lampard had been talking Hakim Ziyech up before this game and the player did not let him down as he scored his first goal for the club with the opening goal as Chelsea beat Burnley 3-0 away from home. Ziyech then assisted for Chelsea’s last goal in a man of the match winning performance from the former Ajax man.

Midfielder: Jack Grealish- Aston Villa 6pts

Aston Villa have lost 2 games in a row and they were defeated 4-3 against Southampton at the weekend. But Jack Grealish gave it his all. At 4-0 down he set up Tyrone Mings to pull one back and then scored in injury time as Villa tried to make an incredible comeback but time simply ran out. Still Grealish earned more points.

Midfielder: Daniel Podence- Wolves 6pts

Daniel Podence is valued at 7.5m and has 16pts so far this season and six of those points were earned at the weekend as he grabbed Wolves’ 2nd goal of the game and his first of the season as his club overcame Crystal Palace by winning 2-0.

Striker: Callum Wilson- Newcastle 7pts

Callum Wilson was too hot to handle for Everton as Newcastle beat them 2-1. Wilson has scored six goals this season already and he scored a brace at the weekend. He did lose points as he was booked early on.

Striker: Danny Ings- Southampton 4pts

Quite a few strikers finished the weekend with 4 points but Danny Ings gets the nod after working so hard as the Saints, the best in form side in the league went to Aston Villa and won 4-3, they were 4-0 up at one point. Ings got on the score sheet too and scored the 4th goal which would turn out to be the winning goal.

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What’s happening to the Premier League after Project Big Picture, the Super League and pay per view?

As far as public relations go it hasn’t been a great month for the English Premier League. From meetings involving only the elite clubs or the so called big six, to a super league and now pay per view TV fans and clubs will rightly be questioning just what is going on with the most popular league in the world?

Project Big Picture was halted in its tracks earlier this month but as most observers have commented it isn’t dead in the water and will most probably resurface with different negotiations. But something else has now surfaced from those initial meetings with the big six clubs which is that the other 14 Premier League clubs were not notified of the first meeting. Simply being kept in the dark, which is odd in that in this day and age that is a hard thing to do, and so it proved. There is also a feeling of us and them and that cannot be good for the league even if it is good for the big six.

And who are the big six? Liverpool historically are and certainly in the last 18 months have reinforced that fact by winning .the Champions League and the league title, but it took them 30 years to win the latter. Manchester City would have been laughed out of the big six room 8 years ago, but wealth has landed them a meeting, and true they have won plenty of league titles now to be included. Chelsea’s strengths seem more fitted to the 2000s than the past decade and indeed in the present day but there are enough kids donning their shirts and the club still has the power to buy some of Europe’s best players.

Manchester United are with Liverpool the biggest club in England, so it feels like a no brainer to include them, but they have also been a shadow of their great sides for the past seven years. And then we have the curious cases of both Arsenal and Tottenham. History is putting them in that room because Arsenal have not won a league title for 16 years and next year Tottenham will be celebrating 50 years without a league title. Whilst a club like Everton for example may not be in favour wouldn’t the Merseyside team have a good shout of being in the room compared to Tottenham?

There is also talk of a European Super League. Money is king in football and the clubs taking part will become mega rich, winners of the competition could walk away with over £100m. In essence a super league would feel like the present day Champions League except there is one sticking point, there will be no relegation or promotion. Whilst one could expect the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona to participate,what value do the other teams have, except for being really good in this present time to qualify?

With no promotion though it means that teams in Europe who do not make the elite cut will always feel second rate and will always end up with second rate players. There will be no hope although domestic leagues could become more competitive as teams out of the top 5 would strive to upset the ‘balance of the elite’. Also going back to England, they have initially been quoted 5 clubs for the Super League. So which big six club misses out? Questions questions. A Super League wouldn’t mean the end of the Champions League though but a re branding where the top teams simply would not take part. But UEFA will be frustrated and sadden if this goes ahead, as they will lose sponsor power and an undermining of their elite competition- but how can they react?

There is an agreement in place until the 2024 edition of the Champions League so one would think that a Super League couldn’t start until 2025, but this is football and anything can happen.

Finally the pay per view nonsense has to stop, and this isn’t in favour of the fans. In England Sky and BT have never shown every Premier League game live and the PPV is only about showing those extra games that wouldn’t normally be shown live to fans for an extra fee. There seems little wrong with it, although the price does seem unfair. At £14.95 per game that seems quite steep to just watch one match on television. One hopes that the price will be lowered but die hard fans are not helping that fact given that PPV viewing figures are showing that 40,000 are watching each game- so for the clubs this is a huge success. The aim was always to have roughly the same viewing figures as the attendance in grounds.

A future worry for PPV would be if clubs get greedy with television and decide that the biggest games will no longer be free. After already paying a subscription to a service this would feel like a hard slap in the face. Could we for example have a PPV situation where Manchester City and Liverpool are playing each other in a title crunch game?

Given that even the Champions League final isn’t shown on terrestrial TV anymore nothing can be ruled out of a game which has sadly turned to opportunism and greed bang in the middle of a pandemic.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 6

Everton finally lost as they went down 2-0 to Southampton but the Toffeemen still remain 1st in the league on goal difference over Liverpool who seem to have improved. Manchester City dropped 2 points against West Ham and Manchester United and Chelsea shared the spoils in a drab game. But which players made the final 11 cut of the weekend? And how many more points have you been able to earn this weekend? lets take a look.

Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy- Chelsea 7pts

With the last minute injury to Chelsea regular Kepa Edouard Mendy had to step in and what a game he had in front of him away to Manchester United. But he remained solid and calm and made some good saves as Chelsea drew 0-0 and he really deserved his 7pts in the end.

Defender: Jannick Vestergaard- Southampton 5pts

Southampton became the first club to not only beat Everton this season but also keep a clean sheet against them. And Jannick Vestergaard was resilient in defence. And held the back line well.

Defender: Ben Chilwell- Chelsea 5pts

Chelsea went to Old Trafford and pulled off a 0-0 result and whilst Kurt Zouma did well in defence we should mention Ben Chilwell who is still in his first moments with Chelsea and yet at the weekend it felt like he had been playing with the club for several years.

Defender: Timothy Castagne- Leicester 5pts

Castgane put in another great performance as Leicester beat Arsenal for the first time in London since 1973. Arsenal had over 10 attempts at goal and the back four held firm. Castagne now has 13 points in total for the season and overall has started well for the Foxes.

Defender: Robin Koch- Leeds United 5pts

Robin Koch has already had an up and down season but Leeds inflicted the first defeat on Aston Villa’s season by going to Villa Park and winning 3-0. Koch therefore had a great match helping his side to win and keeping a clean sheet. This is the first time this season that Villa have been held to no goals.

Midfielder: Wilfried Zaha- Crystal Palace 6pts

Zaha just keeps impressing this season and had another great game for Crystal Palace who beat Fulham 2-1 away from home. Zaha got on the score sheet again and now has 5 goals already this season, fancy buying him? He is 8.5m.

Midfielder: Helder Costa -Leeds United 4pts

Helder Costa was inventive in midfield and lightning quick the whole game as Leeds beat Aston Villa 3-0, he also assisted in a goal and had a superb game all round.

Midfielder: Michail Antonio- West Ham 4pts

West Ham upset a lot of pundits as they held Manchester City to a 1-1 draw and it was that man Antonio who got on the score sheet once again, a very underrated player, could well be having his best season of his career.

Midfielder: James Ward-Prowse- Southampton 6pts

Southampton beat Everton 2-0 and James Ward-Prowse opened the scoring that started Everton’s downfall who were always going to be second best here. Ward-Prowse will be now hoping that this game can be a step into the right direction where he can get better and more consistent this season.

Striker: Patrick Bamford- Leeds United 14pts

Patrick Bamford was a super striker in the Championship, and now he has shown his qualities in the Premier League. Bamford scored a hat trick against Aston Villa which in itself was superb given that Villa were unbeaten going into that game. Bamford could be the real pick of this new season and the player has already scored 6 goals this season.

Striker: Jamie Vardy – Leicester 4pts

You just can’t rule the big man out can you? Jamie Vardy was actually not 100% for the game v Arsenal and didn’t come on until late in the 2nd half when the game was poised at 0-0. And then with 10 minutes to go he struck his 5th goal past Arsenal in four games. He’s like a fine wine and just keeps getting better with age.

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Man Utd 0-0 Chelsea: The Red Devils fail to overcome the Blues at Old Trafford

Going into gameweek six, one of the crucial fixtures of the weekend was between Manchester United and Chelsea on Saturday evening, where both teams intended on collecting the vital victory to move closer to the top four positions. Given the shocking start to the campaign, not many Premier League fans were expecting Everton and Aston Villa to be in the top four spots, whilst the well-known clubs such as Man City, Man Utd and Spurs sit in the middle of the league table.

Looking at the match as a whole, both sides were unconvincing in the middle of the park and could not complete a string of passes, which led to very minimal chances being created and not many passes into the final third. Not only that, but with Frank Lampard’s 3-4-1-2 setup and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s unappealing line-up selection, it meant that there would not be many goals in the game.

In terms of the key statistics of the game, neither team had the key edge of dominating the possession of the ball, so it was equally shared out by both sides. Chelsea and Manchester United failed to create a single big chance through the game, which would be more down to how reserved and limited they wanted to play, ensuring that they did not concede to any chances or many goals.

To sum up the first half showing from the two clubs, the main positive was that the half-time break had arrived and hopefully one of the sides would step up on the intensity and urge to attack in the second half. However, that was not the case until the 58th minute for the host team and the 71st minute for the visitors, where a double change was required to help the team to create and score.

In the end, neither of the teams were able to make a breakthrough and were able succeed on coming out as the winners, leading to a point being shared out by Manchester United and Chelsea. The Blues walk away from Old Trafford with a positive point, on the other hand, the Red Devils would be in total discontent, as they are yet to win a single league game at home so far this season.

With no further ado, here are the three things we learnt from United’s latest league fixture…

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s line-up selection raised a few questions

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fielded the same eleven players that had defeated Newcastle last weekend against Chelsea, which raised a number of questions from the Old Trafford faithful as the line-up did not provide enough satisfaction in order to pick up the much needed three points. With the likes of Alex Telles, Donny van de Beek and Paul Pogba not being selected in the starting XI, majority of the Manchester United supporters had felt that the coach had setup with quite a pragmatic approach.

On the other hand, with a lot of key fixtures coming up, against Leipzig, Arsenal, Istanbul Basaksehir, Everton and West Brom over the next few weeks, it may seem like a sensible move from Solskjaer to rotate around and to ensure the squad do not suffer from fatigue or injury issues. With that in mind, the 47-year-old coach has to understand that he has to go into every game with the intention of wining and achieving consistent victories, with the objective being clear from the starting line-up.

Daniel James should no longer be starting on a regular basis 

With Anthony Martial still suspended for the league fixtures and Edinson Cavani being slowly integrated into the team, Daniel James continues to remain in the starting line-up, someone who is not able to offer much to the side besides his burst of pace and work rate off the ball. Other than that, he lacks the intelligence in the final third and the end product in terms of goals and assists.

Against Chelsea, the Welsh winger hardly made an impact out on the left wing, where he was completely isolated by both Cesar Azpilicueta and Reece James. Although he came into the club as a squad player, Solskjaer has used him as a regular starter following his bright and impressive start to the 2019/20 campaign, which led to him achieving three goals and six assists in 33 league appearances. Now, he should be seen as a bench player for the league games and nothing further.

Manchester United’s home form is becoming a huge concern

Despite United’s impressive victory in the midweek, away to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League group stage, they have had many difficulties with winning the games at Old Trafford in the Premier League. So far this season, the side have faced the likes of Crystal Palace, Spurs and now Chelsea, where they have picked up one point out of nine, scoring two goals and conceding nine.

The Red Devils are proving to be deadly and effective on the counter-attack, however, the team and the manager will need ways to break down the opposition and create constant chances, or they will fail to pick up victories on a regular basis at home. And if that happens to be the case, Manchester United’s chances of finishing in the top four by the end of the campaign, will be very limited.

Project Big Picture set to fail as coup on Premier League has come at the wrong time

The Premier League were taken by surprise, let’s face it we all were when the announcement of ‘Project Big Picture’ came to light a few days ago.

In a nutshell the project wants to hand more power to the big six clubs through revenue and also three historic clubs which would include Everton and West Ham. Money would be distributed to EFL clubs, that’s the good of the deal for most. But a new rule would see the Premier League follow the Bundesliga and reduce the league from 20 clubs to 18. That would mean just 34 league games a season. Also the team that finish in 16th place would not be relegated until they played a play-off with a Championship team.

The new rules do not stop there. The Community Shield would be abolished as would the league cup. Many secondary league cups have in fact been taken off the football calendar due to fixture congestion, and whilst this could be a good thing, other clubs will argue that there would only be two chances of silverware up for grabs. With the league title out of reach for the majority of clubs that would only leave the FA Cup.

Alas that doesn’t mean less football though as Project Big Picture would arrange a summer tournament for Premier League clubs, another competition after just winning the league and wrapping it up would feel on the face of it tiresome.

Project Big Picture would also mean that the other 9 clubs in the league would simply be forgotten and we wouldn’t have a level playing field. This project make no mistake is all about power.

Frantic meetings have taken place and one such one will take place this week where it is expected that the majority of clubs will reject the idea- much to the Premier League’s relief.

Of course the bait being used by Project Big Picture is to effectively save clubs in lower leagues. Many clubs including six in the Championship, England’s second tier have said that they will fold due to the Coronavirus pandemic unless they are given money. The project would save the clubs, it has been reported than an initial £250m would be released for clubs in trouble.

But whilst there might be some advantages to the proposals some do see it as quite controversial. For example why change such a winning model as the Premier League? Also is this honestly the right time for such change given the crisis the world is going through right now? At the same time some will argue that change is needed within football. But one cannot escape the thought that the big six clubs are ultimately thinking of themselves in the long run, and this could well be damaging for football in England.

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Chelsea back on track but is star striker Timo Werner struggling?

After Chelsea destroyed a very good Crystal Palace side 4-0 the Blues look back to form and focused after a shaky start. The victory has put Chelsea into 7th place and they are now just two points behind the top four. It was a game that means the club have gone unbeaten for the last two.

The 4-0 score line was obviously one sided and Chelsea deserved their win but without looking at the scorers list you could have been forgiven that at least one of the goals had come from star striker Timo Werner, but sadly that wasn’t the case. One has to bring up the question is Germany’s number 1 choice struggling in the Premier League?

True it is very early days and some strikers do take time to adapt. Chelsea have brought in so many different faces that as a team the club are expected to take time to gel together, but football is a business and sport that doesn’t allow too much time. The league is a month old and Werner has hardly made an impact.

Werner has scored in the Carabao Cup but in the Premier League he is yet to register a goal. Is that cause for concern? Many would say no, but the player himself just like any other striker will be worried that he hasn’t got that first goal. Strikers live for goals and it is what gives them confidence to get more and play better.No Chelsea fan wants to be reminded of the likes of two great strikers who failed at the club in Andriy Shevchenko and Fernando Torres. And that is the key here just because you are a world class striker doesn’t mean every club and every league can fit into your game.

Werner has 1 assist for a goal in the four games that he has played and most damning could be if you have the German in your fantasy team as he has zero points so far.

The critics have been kind and Werner has received no negatives despite going a month without a goal in the league. This is because he is a new signing and he will be allowed time. But if we are in November and he still hasn’t registered the pressure will start to build. At the same time Werner has proven in the last few years that he is a top striker and the betting would be that he will end up having a successful season with Chelsea.

For now the money spent on the player has not been justified and manager Frank Lampard may have to switch his system which has seen Werner play a slightly deeper role to a more advanced one if he wants to see the goals. Only time will tell.

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EPL Predictions Gameweek 1

The 2020-21 English Premier League season kicks off in London on Saturday lunchtime as Fulham play host to Arsenal.

Eight matches in all will take place on the opening weekend, concluding with Brighton & Hove Albion hosting Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.

With Manchester United and Manchester City competing in the latter stages of European competition last month the two clubs have been given the opening weekend off, to explain the shorter schedule.

Here’s a look at each of the weekend’s games:

Fulham vs Arsenal

Arsenal have won the FA Cup and Community Shield in Mikel Arteta’s first couple of months in charge and should fancy their chances of picking up three points in their season opener too. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would be the obvious selection for your fantasy team given the forward has scored 22 goals in each of the past two seasons, whilst Dani Ceballos (3.50m) and Damian Martinez (1.0m) offer good value for money in this game.

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