In Europe Manchester United are bullish and brilliant but in the Premier League they have lost direction

The difference seemingly can’t be measured when Manchester United play in Europe and then switch to domestic football. Here we have a club whose form this season in the Premier League has been amongst the best, but United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keep having their dips in form.

Every team of course has form problems and can go on an average to bad run, the problem with Manchester United is that it seems to hang around longer. The flipside to this is that they can pull out 5-6 game winning runs. But in this moment it feels as though the Red Devils have lost some direction in the Premier League.

Perhaps this is down too the fact that their city rivals Manchester City have shot away from the rest of the league and are now 14 points in the lead over United who are in 2nd place. It seems as if United have given up the chase and let’s face it they will not claw those points back now. However at the same time any United fan and anyone associated with the club would love to see them finish 2nd if being champions was always going to be too much for them to achieve this season.

The truth is, at this point, United will have a challenge on their hands to finish in the top four. Currently they are in 2nd and have 51 points and the gap to 5th where Liverpool currently are is 8 points. The Reds have a game in hand and those points could be reduced in midweek.

Manchester United have won just once in their last 5 games and have earned just 15 points from their last 30. With their standing that just isn’t good enough. Leicester could be poised to take 2nd place from United too and they have a chasing pack of West Ham, Chelsea, Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham to contend with. Jose Mourinho’s side do not look a threat at present being 12 points behind United but they have 2 games in hand and all could change rather quickly if teams find more consistency.

In drawing 0-0 with Crystal Palace, United also have gone their last 2 games without a goal and when one looks at their strike force including Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani one would expect better. After all Palace were not fighting for anything when the clubs met this week.

United fans will know this form isn’t just a blip, not under Solskjaer who has had a good 5 dips of form since becoming manager of the club, those dips have stretched out for two months at a time. And that form would have cost Solskjaer his job at many clubs especially a club like Chelsea which Frank Lampard found out just a few weeks ago.

So in the Europa League when United were pitted against Spanish side Real Sociedad it was thought that the club were going to struggle and could get knocked out of the competition. Sociedad had led La Liga this season for several weeks and had taken points from the bigger teams. In Portu Sociedad have their own Bruno Fernandes, a versatile attacking midfielder who also scores plenty of goals. Just last weekend his goal helped the club to take 2 points from Real Madrid away from home as that match finished 1-1. In short Sociedad are a very good side. And yet Manchester United in poor form beat Sociedad 4-0 and knocked them out of the Europa League.

It feels as if United have that fire in the belly and man for man one could say that United have the better team than Sociedad, but one would also have to agree that they thought this match up would have been very close and not settled with such a large score. In Europe in this cup competition under Solskjaer United seem to have found their footing, their place where everything clicks and they should be among the favourites to go on and win the competition.

The players seem more focused in Europe and there is a goal to reach, and perhaps domestically United understand that they need an extra push to stay in the top 4 but apart from that not much can be achieved now, but in Europe and also the FA Cup the fire in the belly remains.

United will play Milan in the quarter finals of the Europa League and should be content in the fact that this isn’t the Milan of 15 years ago. Milan are a good side of course but United over two legs, one would think, would have too much for the Italians.

But Solskjaer needs to be mindful this his side do not lose focus in the Premier League, it is a tough and competitive league that takes no prisoners. If you start to lag and stop winning you will be punished and United are not certain for a top four place. They would be foolish to put all of their eggs in one basket and go for the Europa, they need to maintain some desire to pick up points in the Premier League also.

The next few months will reveal the story more and Solskjaer will be well aware that his job despite an overall good season is far from safe.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players from Week 26

Manchester City have now won 20 games in a row in all competitions as they beat West Ham 2-1 at the weekend. City are 12 points clear from their rivals Manchester United as they could only draw 0-0 away to Chelsea. The Blues are still unbeaten under new manager Thomas Tuchel and West Ham stay in 4th place in their incredible quest for a Champions League spot.

Gareth Bale scored 2 goals in perhaps his best game for Tottenham since his loan switch from Real Madrid as the London club walloped Burnley 4-0. It was a welcome win for Jose Mourinho.

At the bottom things are getting more exciting as Fulham claimed a draw and they are just 3 points behind Newcastle and Brighton in what could end up being quite a relegation battle.

Let’s check out the 11 players who made the difference in the Premier League this past week.

Goalkeeper: David de Gea- Manchester United 7pts

A whole host of other goalkeepers kept clean sheets and were able to also earn seven points. But the nod goes to de Gea as Manchester United claimed a 0-0 result at Chelsea. The Blues have been brilliant under new manager Thomas Tuchel and they had six shots on target and de Gea really had to be at his best. He has kept 9 clean sheets so far.

Defender: Kyle Bartley- West Bromwich Albion 9pts

Kyle Bartley has had a poor campaign for West Bromwich Albion and his 9 incredible points at the weekend only take the defender up to +1 point. Never mind as Bartley had a weekend to remember as he scored what would turn out to be the winning goal as the Baggies beat Brighton 1-0. 
Defender: Cesar Azilpilicutea- Chelsea 5pts
The talented defender and veteran now at Chelsea made some brilliant decisions in a huge game with Manchester United to keep Chelsea’s unbeaten run under their new coach in tact. The defender has now helped to keep 9 clean sheets.
Defender: Davinson Sanchez- Tottenham 5pts
Davinson Sanchez had an assured game as Tottenham ran out 4-0 winners against Burnley, in what felt like a must win game for the London club. Sanchez earned 5 points for the clean sheet and he now has 2 for the side though he has played less games than the other defenders. His value is 6.5m.
Defender: Luke Shaw- Manchester United 5pts
Luke Shaw is having a solid season and again he showed his qualities as Manchester United were able to take a point from Chelsea away from home. Shaw has helped to keep 8 clean sheets for the Red Devils and is valued at just 6m, he has 32 points so far.
Midfielder: Gareth Bale-Tottenham 12pts
This is the version of Gareth Bale that Tottenham fans have perhaps been missing since he arrived back from Real Madrid. Bale scored 2 good goals as Tottenham crushed Burnley 4-0 and played well throughout. He had an aura about him and looked super confident and the club will hope he can keep this up. Bale has 20 points so far for the club.
Midfielder: Michail Antonio- West Ham 4pts
Michail Antonio has been one of West Ham’s best players this season and he scored his 7th goal of the season as Manchester City beat the Hammers 2-1. Though on the losing side scoring away to the champions-elect would have given him a good boost and his value is 7m.
Midfielder: Lucas Moura- Tottenham 6pts
Lucas Moura scored his 3rd goal of the season as Tottenham easily overcame Burnley by 4-0. Moura had a good game and was very assured in midfield and he now has 30 points.
Midfielder: Ruben Neves- Wolves 4pts
Ruben Neves scored the all important equaliser as Wolves came back from 1-0 down away to Newcastle. That was Neves 5th goal of the season and he is ranked 2nd best in Wolves’ fantasy midfield so far this season.
Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 4pts
Harry Kane was there again to notch in his 14th goal of the season as he was on fire and his team beat Burnley 4-0. Kane is having another terrific season and he will hope that his goals can fire Tottenham into a top 4 place. Kane’s value is 14.5m and he has 77 points so far and is 4th in the Premier League player rankings overall.
Striker: Nicolas Pepe- Arsenal 4pts
And from the other half of north London is Nicolas Pepe and Arsenal. Pepe has looked more impressive as the season goes on and he scored as the Gunners came back from 1-0 down to beat Leicester away from home 3-1. This could be a real turnaround for the club. Pepe now has five goals so far.
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Why this seasons Champions League has been tarnished

The Coronavirus pandemic has affected the world like something we could never have imagined and of course this means that football has suffered as a result too. Players being tested twice a week and no fans at grounds for almost a year bar in very rare instances it has been an odd time for the game we all love.

The biggest European competitions have been affected too, especially the Champions League. And this season the most elite club competition of them all feels like it has been tarnished, and simply feels very unfair.

Let’s explain.

The games affected have all involved English teams, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City. Some EU countries have said that persons from England cannot travel to Germany and Spain because of the new variant, which means in effect that the football clubs cannot travel to these countries to play their first legs.

This in itself is a real head scratcher given that players and coaches are tested twice a week and they will be the only personnel entering the countries. We are not talking about fans being present, so one has to wonder where the problem lies? Of course the other side of the argument would be, why would football players be given special access and not members of the public?

So for English clubs playing in Europe their first leg matches were directed to Budapest, Hungary. But this is wholly unfair on the likes of Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach. It is unfair because the 2nd legs will all take place in England at the respective clubs grounds. What happens in that instant is the most elite competition loses its integrity and gamesmanship- and no sport should be losing either of those.

Of course there will be arguments against and that at the end of the day it is not the clubs fault that England are allowing German and Spanish nationals into the country and it isn’t like this in the opposite direction. But it is unfair on the clubs.

Some will say that Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City will give up their home advantage anyway because the 12th man- the fans- will not be allowed to attend the games. But hang on one second. What about the extra travel time for the away sides having to arrange drives to the airport and planes, hotels etc. What about the familiarity of the home teams ground, players have a connection to that even without the fans. When Atletico visit Chelsea they are not in Madrid anymore.

It is odd to think that UEFA have not stepped in. If English based players cannot play in Germany and Spain then there is nothing wrong with playing in Budapest as a neutral venue. But why not also have the 2nd legs take place in the country too. Why change and have one team have an advantage by playing in their backyard so to speak, even if the advantage is decreased by a lack of fans, there is still some there.

Fans of the clubs will care little of course, and probably won’t see the argument either. But surely if you’re in love with the game and value fairness within it, this way of playing this seasons Champions League could feel like the soul just got ripped out of it.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players from Week 23

The Premier League title looks like it is returning to Manchester City after they beat the champions 4-1 at Anfield. It was a crushing victory and a huge statement and City have gone 5 points clear of Manchester United at the top and have a game in hand. Pep Guardiola’s side have gone 10 points clear of Liverpool, and their title hopes look over.

Chelsea have looked like a different team under new manager Thomas Tuchel and they have climbed to 5th place after winning 3 games in a row. Everton made an incredible comeback against Manchester United. At one point Everton were losing the game 2-0 but it ended 3-3.

Let’s take a look below at which players made the final 11 cut for this week

Goalkeeper: Damien Martinez- Aston Villa 7pts

Martinez kept yet another clean sheet his 11th of the season as Aston Villa beat Arsenal 1-0. It was a week that saw only 4 other goalkeepers in contention but Martinez made some fine saves and against a very difficult team.

Defender: Thiago Silva- Chelsea 5pts

Thiago Silva has been one of the Chelsea players who has really thrived under new manager Thomas Tuchel and Silva was solid in his performance. Chelsea beat Tottenham and Sheffield United this past week and the club have only conceded 1 goal in the 4 games that Tuchel has been in charge and even that was an own goal.

Defender: Aaron Cresswell- West Ham 5pts

Aaron Cresswell is having a fantastic season with West Ham. The player has really come of his own and is leading the defence superbly and that is key as to why the Hammers are doing so well this season. Cresswell has managed to keep 8 clean sheets so far.

Defender: Serge Aurier- Tottenham 5pts

Serge Aurier has had to prove himself once again under Jose Mourinho and it hasn’t always been easy. But Aurier was part of a defence that kept a clean sheet against West Bromwich Albion as Tottenham won a must win game 2-0 at the weekend.

Defender: Reece James- Chelsea 5pts

Reece James has maybe been an unsung hero at the back for Chelsea this season. But the player has amassed 26 points already and has helped the club to keep six clean sheets.

Midfielder: Ilkay Gundogan- Manchester City 6pts

Ilkay Gundogan was the key to unlocking Liverpool as Manchester City ran out 4-1 winners in one of the biggest games of the season. Gundogan had an eventful match as he missed an earlier penalty but then opened the scoring with a scorching goal and added a 2nd.

Midfielder: Mason Mount- Chelsea 6pts

It’s been a good week for Mason Mount who scored a vital goal for Chelsea to open up the scoring as they beat Sheffield United away from home 2-1. Chelsea have now moved into 5th and are suddenly Champions League qualification contenders.

Midfielder: Jorginho- Chelsea 10pts

Jorginho has had a fantastic few days, he is certainly the penalty king right now. Jorginho scored the only goal of the game to beat Tottenham 1-0 and then scored the winner against Sheffield United to win that game 2-1. He has collected 10 points over those games.

Midfielder: Abdoulaye Doucoure- Everton 6pts

Abdoulaye Doucoure earned 6 points as Everton came back from a losing game and drew 3-3 with Manchester United at Old Trafford in a very exciting spectacle. Doucoure was brilliant as he was the key man to bring the club back into the game making it 1-2 and then assisting for James to score the 2nd to equalise. He has 17 point so far.

Striker: Dominic Calvert-Lewin- Everton 4pts

There were plenty of strikers who managed to earn 4 points for their goals, however Calvert-Lewin’s felt more special. The scene was set as Manchester United were winning 3-2 with just moments left and Calvert-Lewin was able to prod the ball home from an Everton chance. The game finished 3-3, it was a draw but would have felt like victory for Carlo Ancelotti’s team

Striker: Phil Foden- Manchester City 6pts

Phil Foden was absolutely brilliant as he stepped up in the biggest game of the season and helped his side Manchester City beat Liverpool by an incredible 4-1. Foden assisted in the 2nd goal to put City back in the lead and then scored a goal himself. Foden now has 5 goals and his value is 7m.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players from Week 21

It’s been full steam ahead for the 2019 champions Manchester City who have emerged as the favourites to win the league title. City have won 26 points from their last 30 and at the weekend beat Sheffield United 1-0. City are 3 points clear at the top and have a game in hand.

Liverpool look back after their slump and have scored 6 goals in their last 2 games which were both away ones against Tottenham and West Ham. Tottenham’s league title hopes look dashed after losing back to back games and even the top 4 is in doubt now. Thomas Tuchel has started life with Chelsea with a draw against Wolves and a win over Burnley and Arsenal have gone seven league games unbeaten in their best period of form this season.

Let’s take a look below at the best 11 players of the Premier League over the past week, and you can check to see if any are in your side.

Goalkeeper: Damian Martinez- Aston Villa 7pts

Damian Martinez has been one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League this season and he earned another 7 points and his 10th clean sheet of the season as Aston Villa went to Southampton and won 1-0. The Saints had plenty of chances on goal and Martinez, as often this season, was there to protect his goal.

Defender: Cesar Azpilicueta- Chelsea 9pts

Not only did Cesar Azpilicueta keep a clean sheet as Chelsea beat Burnley 2-0 but he also scored one of the Blues’ goals. It was his 1st goal for the club this season and his value is 7m.

Defender: Trent Alexander-Arnold- Liverpool 6pts

Trent Alexander-Arnold was secure at the back for Liverpool to earn another six points as the champions beat West Ham away from home 3-1 and he now has 25 points overall this season.

Defender: Marcos Alonso- Chelsea 9pts

Marcos Alonso had the perfect game for him as he kept a clean sheet his first of the season since he has only started 4 league games and he also scored the winning goal for Chelsea as they beat Burnley 2-0 at the weekend.

Defender: Ruben Dias- Manchester City 5pts

Ruben Dias has been one of the best defenders in the league so far and he collected another 5 points as Manchester City beat Sheffield United 1-0. It was Dias’ 12th clean sheet of the season so far.

Midfielder: Mohamed Salah- Liverpool 8pts

You just can’t keep him down and Mohamed Salah is back! Salah scored 2 goals at the weekend as Liverpool beat West Ham 3-1 and his 2nd one was superb. Salah is now the leading goalscorer in the Premier League with 15 goals so far.

Midfielder: Sadio Mane- Liverpool 6pts

Sadio Mane’s season has been slowly getting better after a sluggish start and he is becoming a staple player for Liverpool again. His influence has been shown in the last 2 games where Liverpool have beaten Tottenham and West Ham by the same score line of 3-1 and he has been able to earn another six points.

Midfielder: Roberto Firmino- Liverpool 6pts

Roberto Firmino had to start from the bench against West Ham but the Brazilian still came off it to score a goal as Liverpool beat West Ham 3-1 at the weekend. Firmino has scored six goals so far this season.

Midfielder: Ross Barkley- Aston Villa 6pts

Ross Barkley was the difference yet again as Aston Villa secured a great 1-0 victory over Southampton and a very important one. Barkley got the only goal and he has 22 points overall now.

Striker: Patrick Bamford- Leeds United 8pts

Patrick Bamford turned it on at the weekend as Leeds stunned Leicester by beating them 3-1. Bamford assisted in Leeds opening goal, then scored the 2nd and then assisted again in the 3rd. He was probably the player of the weekend in the Premier League pound for pound.

Striker: Callum Wilson- Newcastle United 8pts

Newcastle were expected to lose at Everton but striker Callum Wilson refused to read that story and he scored 2 goals as Newcastle beat Everton away from home 2-0. Wilson has had an excellent season so far scoring 10 goals and assisting in another 4.

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Did Frank Lampard deserve to get sacked by Chelsea?

The big news in the Premier League over the last few days has been the sacking of club legend Frank Lampard. Lampard was sacked after Chelsea fell to 9th place and the Chelsea board could seemingly take no more.

Lampard lasted 18 months in the job and one has to wonder have Chelsea made the right choice in sacking him, or have they reacted too quickly? After all in his debut season with the club in the dug out he did manage to qualify for the Champions League as the Blues finished in 4th place. He also guided the team to the FA Cup final, although they eventually lost to Arsenal.

This season Chelsea were brilliant in the Champions League group stage and qualified with ease for the knock out rounds in February where they will play Atletico Madrid. In the FA Cup they have made it to the fifth round this past weekend as they beat Luton 3-1, this was incidentally Lampard’s last game in charge of the club.

But it’s the league where the problems mount up for Lampard’s Chelsea side. The club spent big on players last summer over £200m was spent bringing in the likes of Ben Chilwell, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech. Chilwell has been superb and fitted right into the club. Ziyech has looked quick but has also faced some injuries and Werner has looked lost, confused and puzzled. He has been a huge disappointment.

It has been reported that behind the scenes lies problems, players feel they are not being coached very well and Lampard isn’t up to the job. Of course it is one thing being a superb player for the club but quite another at managerial level. Perhaps the problem in this whole matter is that Lampard was not experienced enough to manage a club side like Chelsea?

One has to ask would Chelsea have appointed a manager who has only had 1 season with Championship side Derby County on his resume? Therein lies the answer as to why everything hasn’t turned out as Chelsea had hoped. It also goes to show that even though Lampard spent 14 seasons at Stamford Bridge and knows Chelsea inside and out, managing players who also may have had egos is a difficult task.

Chelsea do not give the best managers a chance if failure looks like it is creeping up, the likes of Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti have been sacked in the past, so Lampard’s number looked up a few weeks ago. Though how odd is football sometimes because it was only 8 weeks ago that the Blues had gone 2 months unbeaten in all competitions and were challenging for the title.

Ultimately Lampard wasn’t able to get the best out of his players, but Chelsea are to blame too for going in for an unexperienced manager, their though process only concerned with the fact that he used to play for the club. New players coming into the team don’t care about the past when they were still teenagers, only the now and the relationship simply didn’t work out.

After spending huge sums though one has to wonder what Chelsea thought would happen this season. A league title? surely not. As any team who has bought so many impact players knows, it always takes some time for the players to gel and click by that time any league chance has gone. Did Chelsea really believe that they would fly past Liverpool and Manchester City, if so that seems like wishful thinking.

At the flipside of that the club were not expecting to be 11 points behind either. Chelsea are 5 points from 4th place and that would have been taking into account too.

Sadly for Lampard Covid-19 and the impact it has made on football hasn’t been taking into account. Chelsea may have won more games at home with fans and the players may have reacted more positively. The pandemic has turned football on its head and we have seen some interesting results to go along with that. There have also been more away wins than any other season, that can’t just be a coincidence.

In an ideal football world Lampard would have been given more time, perhaps until the end of the year if not end of this season. However, if as expected, he had lost the dressing room then there is only one solution for that and that was his sacking. One has to wonder what the future now holds for Lampard? And who knows maybe the club legend will return back in the dugout after gaining years of experience coaching elsewhere.

As for Chelsea they have brought in Thomas Tuchel the ex PSG coach and who knows what will happen there. Tuchel is a good character and of course with PSG had to put up with plenty of egos. But he hasn’t been in this position for a long time where his team are not challenging for honours so it will be fascinating to see how he takes to the job.

Also Tuchel being German might be able to train Timo Werner better and install some confidence in him, let’s see if Werner becomes the striker we all thought he would be in the Premier League.

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Is Chelsea’s Timo Werner the biggest flop in the Premier League?

When Chelsea announced they had signed Timo Werner last summer eyebrows were raised and there were a few gasps. They were gasps of excitement such was the quality in Werner, a German international who scored goals on a frequent rate. His signing felt alongside Chelsea’s other high profile purchases the final piece in the jigsaw.

But 4 months on after the delayed start to the Premier League due to the Coronavirus pandemic there can be little doubt that Werner has underwhelmed.

He looks like a shadow of the player that scored 34 goals in all competitions for RB Leipzig and helped take the club to the semi-finals of last seasons Champions League. Last season was his personal best by a country mile and one would have thought that he would have simply have built on that.

True his manager Frank Lampard hasn’t always played Werner in his preferred central role as a striker and has experimented with his positions given that the club have a whole host of strikers up front including the young and talented Callum Hudson-Odoi. But coming from the Bundesliga one would have thought with his extra experience that Werner would have started the campaign better.

So far this season Werner has scored 4 league goals from 17 games and 9 in all competitions. He is on course to score about 10 league goals this season about half of what one would have expected from him.

Werner has assisted in another 4 goals in the league games and has therefore been involved in 8 of Chelsea’s goals this season. The Blues have scored 32 so far so Werner has been involved in 25% of the clubs total goals. That isn’t a terrible figure at all and yet there is a huge question mark over Werner this season.

Doubts remain because we were sold an idea that Chelsea were signing a world class player who was going to get even better and he hasn’t really turned up in the big games as yet, he hasn’t been the one to make the difference and he can go quiet.

So why isn’t Werner producing the goods? Part of the problem isn’t with him but with Lampard who prefers to play him more as a winger coming into play. This clearly isn’t working out and time and again we have seen Werner with some pace coming off the wing looking at his options and then being afraid to shoot. It does feel that Lampard is favouring the English duo of Tammy Abraham and Hudson-Odoi.

Werner is still only 24 and a new league and culture is a big thing. However world class players usually adapt much quicker. Though there have been examples of players taking their time, look at Dennis Bergkamp for example who had a poor start at Arsenal but now has his statue in front of the stadium and is regarded as one of Arsenal’s greatest ever players.

Werner’s best years are yet to come but he needs to impose himself on games more especially the bigger ones that count. Whilst question marks are out on just how good he is, there is no doubt that he has the potential to be one of the Premier League’s great players. For now he needs some time, but he will be itching to be put up front in a central role, the question remains will Lampard yield to his request and free up the German international?

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Best Premier League Players so far- 2020/21

With no Premier League football this past weekend, it took a rest for the FA Cup, no fantasy points were earned or lost. But have you wondered which players are actually performing the best so far this season in their desired roles?

Below we will take the best 2 players for each position and review their seasons so far. Do you have them in your team, or do you need them? Let’s take a look.

Goalkeeper:

1. Damien Martinez- Aston Villa 38pts

Nobody expected Damien Martinez to be amongst the best goalkeepers in the Premier League this season. But he has amassed an incredible 38 points and has kept the most clean sheets of any goal keeper with 8 so far. His cost is incredible too, he is just 1m and he has to be the bargain of the season so far.

2. Ederson Moraes- Manchester City 38pts

Together with Liverpool’s Alisson, Ederson has conceded the least number of goals with 12 so far for a goalkeeper that is playing full time. Ederson has proved to be one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League and has kept seven clean sheets so far. He has played one game less than Martinez so could equal his 8 clean sheets in his next game.

Defence:

1. Ben Chilwell- Chelsea 38pts

It’s impressive to think this is Ben Chilwell’s debut season with Chelsea and he is the clubs top defender and the top in the Premier League based on the fantasy rankings. The former Leicester player has helped to keep six clean sheets, scored 2 goals and assisted in a further 4 more.

2. Kurt Zouma- Chelsea 37pts

Chelsea have had their ups and downs this season but they have the 2 best performing defenders in the Premier League. Kurt Zouma is a staple fixture in the Blues side now and has helped to keep six clean sheets. Though he hasn’t made any assists as of yet he has scored 4 goals already this season and for a defender that is an impressive return. Zouma is valued at 6m.

Midfield:

1. Mohamed Salah- Liverpool 68pts

Mohamed Salah has been stunning once again as he tries to win back to back league titles with Liverpool. He already has 68 points and has scored 13 goals and assisted in a further 3. He’s also been involved in helping to back track and keep 4 clean sheets so far. Salah is obviously one of the best players in the Premier League- and his price is not cheap, he is valued at 14m.

2. Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 61pts

What would Manchester United do without Bruno Fernandes? He has hands down been United’s most consistent player since Cristiano Ronaldo played for the Red Devils. Fernandes seems to be involved in goals every week and could well go down as a legend with the club, and he’s only been their less than two seasons. Fernandes has scored 11 goals and assisted in another seven, and he has really helped to turn the fortunes around for the famous club.

Striker:

1. Harry Kane- Tottenham 61pts

In defence it’s an all Chelsea affair, but up front it’s all about Tottenham. Harry Kane has been on fire as Spurs attempt to win silverware this season. Kane has scored 10 goals and assisted in 11. That is a phenomenal return when you think he has been involved in 21 league goals and we are not even at the halfway stage of the season. Kane could well be having his best season yet.

2. Heung-Min Son- Tottenham 60pts

Heung-Min Son is just a point behind Harry Kane in the fantasy rankings. Both players have started 16 games this season and Son has scored 12 goals and had 5 assists. Son has been at the fore front of Spurs’ plans for the last 18 months but this season in particular he seems to have gone up another level and is one of the most deadliest strikers in Europe now.

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Premier League Game of the Week: Chelsea 1-3 Manchester City

Manchester City are back and against Chelsea they went back to 2019 producing some glittering football that made the club under Pep Guardiola the envy of so many other European teams.

City beat Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge and the result felt like a statement. With Liverpool losing 1-0 at Southampton the Premier League title has been blown wide open and if City win their 2 games in hand over the Reds they would go past them, this is in stark contrast six weeks ago when it looked like City were going through the motions- well they have improved and they started in sixth gear against a stunned Chelsea side.

In 16 first half minutes Chelsea were left shell shocked as Manchester City scored 3 goals. The opener came from Ilkay Gundogan after Phil Foden set him up Gundogan still had a lot to do on the edge of the box, a neat flick behind his body set him up to score a brilliant goal and put the visitors in the lead.

A few minutes later Phil Foden made it 2-0 with a simple tap in and Chelsea were in real trouble and had no fans to help them on. A blistering City counter attack set up the third goal with the ball eventually falling to Kevin De Bruyne surely the player of the match and he scored a rather simple goal in the end. For a game that was built up so much, it was in effect a closed contest by the first half.

It was also a first half that saw Chelsea have just 1 shot on target and even though the clubs shared possession City managed 4 shots on target. In the second half the game could have gone either way; City to add more goals, or City to take their feet off the pedals and the visitors slowed down their game.

It didn’t matter Chelsea played punch drunk and only managed 1 shot on target in the 2nd half even though they did pull a goal back. But there was virtually no threat or danger from the home side whose consolation goal didn’t come until injury time. Callum Hudson-Odoi scored the goal for Chelsea another tap in, and in all fairness this was a game of tap in goals.

Whilst the goal did nothing for Chelsea on a personal note Hudson-Odoi would have been happy to score after his recent injury lay off and he will be hoping that he can start firing in the goals again.

The defeat leaves Chelsea in 9th place with 26 points, and they are seven behind Liverpool and three points from a top 4 place. It isn’t the end of the line for the club, but at the same time they are going through poor form. The Premier League takes a week’s break now and Chelsea’s next game will be against Fulham away from home. On paper it looks like 3 points but that is a local derby and anything can happen in those games.

As for Manchester City they have won 3 games in a row now and look like a team with a purpose. Their next game is at home to Brighton and few will be going against Pep Guardiola’s team in that game.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players from Week 16

Liverpool are still in charge of the Premier League in 1st place but Manchester United have surprised everyone and they are 2nd on the same points as Liverpool with just goal difference separating the two clubs.

The inform teams are Everton, Manchester City and Arsenal look to have recovered from their disappointing start and have won their last 3 games in a row.

It’s a new year so let’s take a look at the team of the week in the Premier League.

Goalkeeper: Bernd Leno- Arsenal 7pts

Arsenal beat West Bromwich Albion 4-0 and Leno was very assured in goal to keep a clean sheet away from home. Despite a difficult season Leno has now kept 5 clean sheets for the season so far.

Defender: Toby Alderweireld- Tottenham 9pts

Toby Alderweireld had a very memorable last for Tottenham as they cruised past Leeds. Not only was he part of a defence that kept a clean sheet but he also scored the third goal which killed off the game.

Defender: Kieran Tierney- Arsenal 11pts

Kieran Tierney earned a huge 11 points for Arsenal which brings his total to 21 points for the season. Along with keeping a clean sheet he also scored the opening goal as Arsenal thrashed West Bromwich Albion and then assisted in another, for his best performance of the season.

Defender: Rob Holding- Arsenal 7pts

Rob Holding kept a clean sheet as Arsenal beat West Bromwich Albion 4-0 and also made the assist for the Gunners first goal of the game. Holding has helped to keep 5 clean sheets this season and is valued at 6.5m.

Defender: Jeffrey Schlupp- Crystal Palace 9pts

It was a great week for defenders in the league and Jeffrey Schlupp helped Crystal Palace to beat Sheffield United 2-0 and scored a goal, that was Schlupp’s 2nd goal of the campaign

Midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne- Manchester City 6pts

Kevin De Bruyne put in an important and superb display as Manchester City beat Chelsea away from home 3-1. De Bruyne scored and assisted in a goal. The midfielder now has 37 points overall and has been involved in 11 goals for City.

Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 4pts

Bruno Fernandes has now scored 11 goals this season and he got the winner via a penalty as Manchester United beat Aston Villa 2-1 in a crunch game at the weekend.

Midfielder: James Maddison -Leicester 4pts

Alongside Jamie Vardy, James Maddison has been such an important player for Leicester this season and he earned another 4 points as he scored his 5th goal of the season and now has 27 points overall for the Foxes. Leicester beat Newcastle 2-1 in their latest game.

Midfielder: Neal Maupay- Brighton 4pts

Neal Maupay has impressed over the past few weeks and he scored Brighton’s 2nd goal as the Seagulls came back from 3-1 down against Wolves to draw the game 3-3 in a thrilling spectacle.

Striker: Alexandre Lacazette- Arsenal 8pts

It has not been a vintage season so far for Arsenal’s strikers but Alexandre Lacazette was the hero at the weekend as he scored 2 goals in 4 second half minutes to win the game for the Gunners as they beat West Bromwich Albion 4-0. Lacazette has scored seven goals so far and has 26 points this season for the club.

Striker: Phil Foden- Manchester City 6pts

Phil Foden will be wondering why he doesn’t start every game because he is getting better and better and would be a regular for any other side. Phil Foden scored his third goal for the club and has 5 overall and his value is 7m, as he earned 6 points over the weekend when Manchester City beat Chelsea 3-1.

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