Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 4 Picks

Leicester City, Liverpool and Everton are the last remaining teams with a 100% winning record as we head into the fourth round of Premier League fixtures, whilst Fulham, Sheffield United and Burnley all remain pointless.

In some of the most-anticipated games of the weekend, Leeds United host Manchester City on Saturday and Jose Mourinho returns to Old Trafford as his Tottenham Hotspur face Manchester United.

Here are our recommended picks for your fantasy team this weekend:

Goalkeeper: Alisson (Liverpool)
Clean sheets have been at a premium to start the 2020-21 Premier League season and Liverpool have kept just one in their first three. However, a trip to Aston Villa on Sunday should be a good opportunity for Alisson to double that tally.

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Premier League Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 2

Heung-min Son scored four as Tottenham Hotspur thrashed Southampton 5-2 and Dominic Calvert-Lewin grabbed a hat-trick as Everton beat 10 man West Bromwich Albion by the same score.

Clean sheets were hard to come by in the Premier League last weekend, with only Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea and Aston Villa keeping one.

Here’s a look at the players who made a real difference in the fantasy football last weekend:

Goalkeeper: Emi Martinez (Aston Villa) – 7pts
Aston Villa’s new signing introduced himself to the fans by saving a penalty and keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 win over Sheffield United on his debut. Emi Martinez was one of only three goalkeepers to keep a clean sheet on matchday 2.

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James, Allan, Doucoure – Everton predicted XI vs Spurs

Everton fans head into the 2020-21 Premier League season with a little more optimism than usual.

The Merseyside club have splashed out more than £50 million to bring Allan, James Rodriguez and Abdoulaye Doucoure to the club this week.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side will now be looking to challenge for the European places this season after a disappointing end to the last campaign which saw them finish 12th.

The Toffees begin their campaign on Sunday away to Tottenham Hotspur, who themselves underachieved last season.

A number of players can be expected to make their debut this weekend and here’s how I see Ancelotti’s side starting the match:

Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford
Jordan Pickford put in a number of below par performances last season but doesn’t have much in the way of competition for the number one role at Goodison Park. The England international could certainly do with a better campaign this time around though, now with Dean Henderson competing for the a starting role at Euro 2021.

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Were Everton wrong to turn down Barcelona’s €100m bid for Richarlison?

This week Barcelona made a surprise bid for Everton striker Richarlison and reportedly offered the club €100m euros. It is thought that Everton immediately rejected the offer, but were the Premier League side wrong to do so?

Barcelona have been panicking of late after the news that striker Luis Suarez will miss four months of the season which will effectively rule him out for the rest of it. The Catalan giants have been looking to secure a striker, but finding a good one is always traditionally hard in the January transfer window. Not many people would have thought the club would be asking Everton for one of their players, but according to many reports that is exactly what they did.

Everton want to build with what they have and it is obvious that manager Carlo Ancelotti was having none of it, and the thought of selling Richarlison was rejected. There is no clear news about what happened behind the scenes, would the Everton board have sold the Brazilian if they didn’t have such a strong headed manager like Ancelotti in charge? If as expected Ancelotti was against the sale and yet Everton had gone through with it that could have started a snowball effect with the Italian manager which could have led for many problems for the club.

However Barcelona’s bid did seem like a fair one. Everton bought Richarlison for £40m 18 months ago and they would have doubled their profit on the player. Whilst Richarlison has shown promise he has failed to be consistent enough. True the club started to struggle under Marco Silva this season but Richarlison wasn’t able to lead the team as they nosedived near to the bottom three.

In 57 league games Richarlison has scored 21 goals, that isn’t by any means terrible but neither is it good for a player that another team are willing to spend so much on. This season he has scored 8 goals from 22 games. Dominic Calvert-Lewin who is the same age as Richarlison has played the same games and scored 10, and really looks to have grown as a player since Ancelotti came in.

It’s a tough one for Everton then. Because Richarlson let’s face it on his day is the clubs best player, a piece of star dust that can turn the game. But at the same time Barcelona offered a lot of money. There are really many ways of looking it. Imagine if Everton were in the bottom three or 17th and needed his goals, then it would make sense to reject the offer. But Everton are 7 points clear of the relegation zone and they will almost certainly be safe this season. The club need the extra funds too after posting a year end loss of £110m.

But the club also need to be run properly, and had they sold him they would be a man down for the rest of the season, they wouldn’t have found a decent replacement with just a couple of days left.

Does this mean that Richarlison could leave in the summer though? You could forgive him for having his head turned at the thought that Barcelona wanted him, and if the club still feel the same way at the end of the season then Everton will have a huge battle on their hands to keep him.

Perhaps the best solution has already been made. Keep him until the summer and if there is interest and the money is good don’t let this one run and run if the player wants to leave, make it happen and invest wisely.

So Everton could have taken the money now and sold him, but you can see the clubs point of view, and perhaps they have, for now, made the right decision.

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Everton finally playing with passion under Duncan Ferguson

Sure it’s only been one game but whose hearts didn’t melt at the sight of Duncan Ferguson, Everton’s caretaker manager running down the touchline and embracing not one but two ball boys as he saw his side score against Chelsea?

True Chelsea fans would have hated the spectacle as Everton went on to win the game 3-1 but anyone who simply loves the passion of the game which is seemingly buried deep under a mountain of business and investment but rose like a phoenix at Goodison Park must have loved what they saw.

The victory over Chelsea was Everton’s first in over a month and took the club out of the relegation zone and into 14th place. This was a match that at least on paper looked like it would be another loss for the club who have suffered greatly this season. Marco Silva was finally and inevitably sacked after a series of poor results ending in a 5-2 defeat to city rivals Liverpool. Enough was enough for the board, but with no manager yet ready to come step in the club had to turn to caretaker Duncan Ferguson to oversee the clubs fortunes for the next few weeks at least.

Ferguson’s appointment was great news for long standing fans. He is a club legend with Everton. But also he is an old school warrior so to speak. True he got himself in lots of trouble both on the pitch and off but he will always remain a club legend with fans, so to have him in charge of the club is, in a sense, a dream come true.

Of course one must remain with caution, Ferguson doesn’t have any first team experience and in the long term you would expect that to come back and haunt Everton. But for now there is sheer jubilation and it is clear that the players stepped up for Ferguson against a very good Chelsea side. Ferguson ticked every box in the dressing room and also believed to put Dominic Calvert-Lewin up front on his own with Richarlison sitting behind him as attacking midfielder. Whilst Silva was also prone to play Calvert-Lewin up front, he would also drop the player to the bench for no reason and his tactics seemed to be one of panic and shuffle.

Already some have suggested that Ferguson should be getting the job full time. This is a surprising thing to say after just one game. But what is refreshing is having someone in charge of a club that genuinely loves being there and sees it more than just a stepping stone and another job. Ferguson is part of Everton and Everton is part of Ferguson. How long the relationship will last is anyone’s idea, but right now having the Scotsman in charge feels like an early Christmas present for the fans.

How well do you know English football? Want to challenge the best English Fantasy Managers? Play www.epl-fantasy.com now.

 

EPL Game of the Weekend – Newcastle vs Everton

perezNewcastle fans have had something of a rough time of things this season – they have seen their side struggle to finish off the opposition, struggle to pick up the wins and all the while without the safety of knowing that their popular manager will be at the club for a great deal longer. With rumours surrounding the future of Rafa Benitez refusing to go away, the players have, at times, seemed unable to muster what was needed to get the job done. The quality in the squad can not be disregarded, but this has not always lent itself to fluent performances. As a result, when the Toon Army saw their heroes fall two goals down at home to Everton on Saturday, they could have been forgiven for expecting the worst.

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Is Richarlison the answer to Everton’s striker problem?

Richarlison

As Marco Silva progressed through his press conference on Friday, a predictable question arose. The focus was on Richarlison could be the answer to Everton’s striker problem.

Of all the problems that the Portuguese boss is looking to fix at Goodison Park this season, their goalscoring issues are chief among them. Particularly the issue they currently have with their strikers. To say Everton’s centre-forward options have been lacking would be understating the problem.

Cenk Tosun is yet to score this season and is lacking in confidence. Oumar Niasse is full of running but lacks quality. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is a promising youngster but lacks a cutting edge. Continue reading

Everton’s bubble has well and truly burst

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One thing that can’t be levelled at Everton’s owners is the lack of backing for their most recent managers.

Ronald Koeman’s reign may have been ill-fated, but he was given funds in the transfer market to secure his targets.

Ditto Marca Silva.

Richarlison (£35m), Yerry Mina (£27m), Lucas Digne (£18m) and loan fees totalling almost £10m for Kurt Zouma and Andre Gomes, bring the Toffees’ spend to somewhere in the region of £90m. Continue reading

Striker issue continues to haunt Everton

 

Marco Silva

Sitting in Sky Sports studio a week ago, former Everton manager David Moyes made an interesting claim. It was the Scot’s belief that his Everton team had been a striker away from being Premier League title contenders.

Five years, three managers and major investment later and the striker problem is one that continues to haunt the Toffees. After selling Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United a year ago, the Blues are still lacking when it comes to strikers.

The Belgian international was a player who received a mixed reception at Goodison Park. While many questioned his hold up play or first touch they could not deny he knew how to put the ball in the back of the net. Continue reading

Best Strikers in the Premier League – Week 15

everton-rooney

The Premier League train continued rolling in to the festive period with the latest round of matches, as we saw Big Sam Allardyce take charge of Everton for the first time, Man United beating Arsenal in north London and Man City leaving it late against West Ham. With that said, let’s see which strikers did the best job for their club over the past weekend.

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