Premier League: Best 11 Players of Week 9

Tottenham are the new league leaders after they beat Manchester City 2-0 at home in a huge game for Jose Mourinho’s team. It was the 4th win in a row for Spurs and they lead on goal difference from Liverpool who overcame Leicester 3-0.

Chelsea are in 3rd place and just 2 points behind Tottenham as they remained undefeated for their 10th game in a row in all competitions and got a 2-0 victory over Newcastle. Everton won for the first time in four games against Fulham and Manchester United have crept up to 10th place after they got a narrow 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion. It is a concern to see Manchester City so far down in 13th place though.

After another exciting weekend in the Premier League did any of your players make the team of week 9? Let’s take a look.

Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris- Tottenham 7pts

Given that Tottenham were playing Manchester City this was always going to be a busy time for Hugo Lloris and he made some good saves and communicated well with his defence to keep a clean sheet as Tottenham beat City 2-0.

Defender: Andrew Robertson-Liverpool 7pts

Andrew Robertson assisted in Liverpool’s 2nd goal for Jota and then helped to keep a clean sheet as Liverpool won a very important game against Leicester beating them 3-0. Robertson now has 3 assists already for the season.

Defender: Angelo Ogbanna- West Ham 5pts

West Ham have been putting together some impressive results lately and they kept another clean sheet at the weekend by beating Sheffield United 1-0. Angelo Ogbanna had a great game at the back and he has helped to keep four clean sheets this season.

Defender: Eric Dier- Tottenham 5pts

Huge game for Tottenham and Eric Dier shone through with a commanding display at the back as Tottenham beat Manchester City 2-0. Dier earned another 5 points in the process and he is currently the highest ranked defender in the team in the fantasy points.

Defender: Hector Bellerin- Arsenal 5pts

Hector Bellerin arguably put in his best performance of the season in defence as Arsenal head on to a 0-0 draw away to Leeds. Arsenal were under a lot of pressure and Bellerin kept focused throughout the match.

Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 6pts

Bruno Fernandes keeps being the difference when Manchester United do win games and his cool head to convert the penalty won a narrow game 1-0. Fernandes has scored six goals already this season and has 30 points in the United midfield, 22 more than the 2nd placed player.

Midfielder: Diogo Jota- Liverpool 6pts

Diojo Jota was arguably the best summer transfer in the Premier League, his switch from Wolves to Liverpool has added another layer for the champions. Jota was on hand to score Liverpool’s 2nd goal as they beat Leicester in a crunch encounter 3-0.

Midfielder: Roberto Firmino- Liverpool 6pts

Roberto Firmino rose to the occasion and had more chances in the game than usual possibly owing to the fact that Mohamed Salah was unable to play. Firmino put himself in more attacking options and his hard work paid off as he scored Liverpool’s 3rd goal as they eased to a 3-0 win over Leicester.

Midfielder: Giovani Lo Celso- Tottenham 6pts

Giovani Lo Celso was the unlikely hero as the ex Real Betis player scored Tottenham’s winning goal against Manchester City. That was Lo Celso’s first goal of the season and his value is 7m.

Striker: Dominic Calvert-Lewin- Everton 8pts

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is having the best season of his career so far and scored 2 goals as Everton beat Fulham 3-2. It was an important victory for the club who had lost their previous three games in a row. Calvert-Lewin took his goals well, scoring his first after just 42 seconds and has scored 10 goals this season already.

Striker: Sebastian Haller- West Ham 4pts

Sebastian Haller was the hero for West Ham as he scored the only goal of the game as the Hammers overcame Sheffield United 1-0 away from home. Haller has scored 2 goals in the league and his value is 7.5m.

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Everton 1-3 Man Utd: The Red Devils pick up the crucial victory away at Goodison Park

Ahead of gameweek eight, one of the key fixtures of the weekend was between Everton and Manchester United, with the former looking to get back to winning ways and for the latter, a lot of rumours were being reported of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s job being on the line should he lose another league fixture.

The hosts were dominating possession and were getting into good areas in the opposition’s half, however, they were unable to be effective and productive in the final third as they created no big chances and had only one shot on target. On the other hand, the visitors were composed defensively and were ruthless on the counter attack, something they have proven to be time and time again.

Looking at the match as a whole, Everton had much more time on the ball than Manchester United, especially in the second half, but did not have the intelligence or the much needed hunger to go and grab a late equaliser. United were able to get the job done and pick up the three crucial points thanks to the performances of Bruno Fernandes, Fred and Harry Maguire, who were top notch from start to beginning and were not showing any signs of weaknesses or poor individual moments.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men took the lead in the 19th minute of the game through Bernard, whose shot on goal went through the legs of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and had beaten David De Gea at the front post. It was a really poor goal to concede from a United point of view, considering that the build up to the goal was a long ball from Jordan Pickford, followed by Dominic Calvert Lewin winning the aerial duel against Victor Lindelof, leading the ball to enter the path of Bernard, before he went on to score.

Everton’s lead was cancelled out in a matter of minutes, as United began to play the ball around at a high tempo and were moving effectively on and off the ball. In the 25th minute, Luke Shaw’s perfect cross from the left flank was met by the head of Bruno Fernandes, who headed the ball into the far corner of the net, leaving Pickford with absolutely no chance to prevent the goal from happening.

United continued to pile on the pressure and went on to testing the defensive qualities of Everton, which proved to be inconsistent and unorganised, as Bruno Fernandes was able to get his second goal of the game with a cross that had missed the head of Marcus Rashford, hitting the inside of the far post and going into the back of net. And just like that, the Red Devils had turnaround the score line and were able to have the game under the belt as they reached the half time break.

In the second half, there was not much action or key moments for either sides as both teams had failed to get into the final third of the pitch consistently. United were content with their pragmatic approach and were satisfied with Everton have majority of the possession, with James Rodriguez not being able to be the game changer and the Toffees clearly missing the presence of Richarlison.

Solskjaer’s men went on to sealing the definite victory in the final moments of the game, as Manchester United were able to break on the counter through Bruno Fernandes, who had Edinson Cavani on the left and Marcus Rashford on the right, the Portuguese international passed the ball into the feet of the former, who went on to scoring his first ever Premier League goal.

In the end, Manchester United’s victory allows them to move up to 13th place and for Everton, they drop down to seventh place following the wins for the likes of Chelsea, Spurs and Southampton.

Here are the three things we learnt from United’s latest league fixture…

Bruno Fernandes continues to produce the important goods

Although his performances have not continued from the high level he produced towards the end of the 2019/20 season, Bruno Fernandes is still producing the important goods in the final third of the pitch through his goals and assists. When it comes to a player like the 26-year-old, he’s a high risk player, in terms of the passes and chances he tries to create, which tends to lead to a high reward.

Bruno Fernandes is currently on five goals and three goals in seven league appearances, and with the current form he is on, it should not be a total surprise to see him reach in double figures at least, for goals and assists, before the season comes to an end. With many people doubting him and strongly suggesting he relies on free-kicks and penalties, he has silenced the critics by scoring two goals and producing an assist which was not from a dead ball phase or from the penalty spot.

The Red Devils’ form away from home has been quite incredible

For sure, Manchester United’s form at Old Trafford has been diabolical and embarrassing, especially for a football club that should be challenging for the league title and be finishing in the top four convincingly. However, their form away from home has been top notch, where they have picked up nine points out of a potential nine, scoring on 10 occasions and conceding just the four times.

The Red Devils’ previous issues had happened to be the performances and the results they were achieving away from home, but this has now experienced a turnaround, as the side have shown to be dangerous on the counter-attack with the intelligence, movement and pace they have from the main attackers. All that is left now, is for the team to start performing dominantly and picking up consistent victories at Old Trafford, in order to allow them to finish high up the table as possible.

Manchester United’s issues defensively are still seen as a problem

Not much will be mentioned about United’s ongoing defensive issues as they had comfortably beaten Everton away from home, but the questions have to be raised on how easily Everton were able to score their goal. Given the backline lacking the aggression and showing many weaknesses, it’s one of the reasons to why Solskjaer had to play a midfield pivot of Fred and Scott McTominay, who are both holding midfielders and are able to allow Bruno Fernandes to play with freedom.

With Luke Shaw going off with a hamstring injury, the side may have some issues at left-back and it is unsure of what Alex Telles is capable of doing in the Premier League. On the other hand, the return of the international break could be seen as a blessing in disguise, which will allow both Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford to recover from the minor knocks they had suffered from the game and it will also allow Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to review the side’s defensive issues and how to overcome them.

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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Are Liverpool right to be angry with Jordan Pickford and Richarlison after fiery Everton clash?

Liverpool were furious after their derby clash with Everton at the weekend as the Toffeemen seemed to dish it out on Liverpool’s players as the two teams drew 2-2. But should Liverpool hold resentment for what happened and are they justified? If so should Everton be reprimanded and face any FA action?

It all started when a high ball was contested by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk who had come surging forward looking for the loose ball. Pickford went into van Dijk who went down in pain and tried to continue but couldn’t. There were screams for a penalty since the incident happened in the area but that was rendered obsolete given that van Dijk had been offside. But should Pickford have been punished for his challenge?

Though thoughtless and controversial Pickford was looking up at the high ball and not at Van Dijk and that is why despite the outcome it would have been harsh to have sent off Pickford which would have been the initial reaction- but the officials decided to do nothing and again that feels wrong. There didn’t seem to be any intent but to have let off Pickford completely didn’t make any sense. The player should have been booked and talked too. After all it was a reckless challenge. Even after the game the FA did want to review the incident but couldn’t because their own rules state that if the referee didn’t bring it up during the game then there is nothing that can be done.

Sadly for Van Dijk he has damaged his knee and cruciate ligaments and could miss the rest of the season which would be a huge blow to Liverpool. Though the best case scenario is that the player could be back as early as February. Still what  a miss for the champions.

Whilst the Pickford incident grabbed all of the headlines perhaps it should have been Richarlison’s tackle on Liverpool’s new signing Thiago Alcantara later in the game that did. It was a badly mistimed moment from the Brazilian which saw his studs slam straight into Thiago’s shin and could have meant the end of the ex Bayern Munich players season. It was that bad. Gladly justice was served on this occasion and Richarlison was shown a straight red card, he will miss the next 3 games which will be a blow for Everton and he has let his team mates down.

The good news for Thiago is that he has escaped serious injury, and officially has a knock and will be assessed for the clubs up coming games, for him he somehow escaped serious injury.

But the fall out of what has happened looks like it will linger for much of the season. Whilst both clubs do have a rivalry it seems to be much more intense this season given how well Everton have started the season, and after this game they remain top of the league. It also seems that the blue half of Merseyside are not exactly happy that Liverpool are finally champions after having to wait 30 years and herein lies Everton’s response; to start this season as well as they can, and it certainly is the clubs best start to a season in a generation.

There is a determination for the club to make an impact and they are fed up of being in Liverpool’s shadow and seeing the red half of the city not only win the league but also last year’s Champions League. Enough is enough, and we saw that Everton are trying their best to compete with Liverpool on the field. How many times for example would we have seen the club crumble when going a goal behind and so early on against their neighbours? And Everton came back twice to do that.

The downside to Everton though is their aggression. Of course derby games have always had that added spice and passion but there is also a line that shouldn’t be broken. No players should be missing of the season because adrenalin is running high and because of that Liverpool do have a point in being angry with Everton and the fires do seem to have been stoked.

Liverpool will not remain quiet about what has happened at the weekend and that is fair enough. But football isn’t just a physical game but a psychological one and the Reds wil keep up their fury until the teams meet again later in the season. By going all out that they were the victims in the first game they may end up getting the sympathy vote in the second if Everton step out of line.

As it stands Everton got away it when you also include that Liverpool appeared to have scored a winning goal and yet it was ruled offside. That just rubbed the salt into Liverpool’s wounds some more.

Roll on when the clubs meet again, it should be very interesting indeed.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 5

Everton are still top after they drew 2-2 against rivals Liverpool in a fiery derby match that saw Everton reduced to 10 men and a good goal ruled out for Liverpool. Aston Villa continue their 100% start to the season and West Ham stunned Tottenham by coming back from 3 goals down to draw 3-3 in a very exciting weekend for the Premier League once again.

Did any of your players make the best 11 of the weekend? Let’s see below.

Goalkeeper: Damian Martinez – Aston Villa 7pts

As has been the case this season defending hasn’t been the strongest element in the league so far and that means more goals. However Damien Martinez pulled off a clean sheet and it was an impressive one with Aston Villa going to Leicester and winning 1-0.

Defender: Tyrone Mings- Aston Villa 5pts

Tyrone Mings makes the final 11 cut for the second time in a row. Mings was rock solid in defence as Leicester could not score at the King Power Stadium for the 2nd game in a row. Mings is racking up the points now and if he isn’t in your team may be worth looking into getting.

Defender: Matt Targett- Aston Villa 5pts

Matt Targett was assured and collected 5pts at the weekend and he now has a total of 12. Villa have started the season in stunning fashion and Targett can be brought into your team for an absolute bargain of only 3m.

Defender: Kyle Walker- Manchester City 5pts

Manchester City really needed a win and a clean sheet after a bumpy start to the season and they did well to beat Arsenal 1-0. Kyle Walker put in an assured display and made some very good interceptions and earned 5pts at the weekend.

Defender:  Ruben Dias- Manchester City 4pts

Ruben Dias was just as good as Walker in the defence of Manchester City, though he did lose a point because he was booked in a game that got more tense as it went on. The result, a win over Arsenal will have been a huge lift to Manchester City though.

Midfielder: Raheem Sterling- Manchester City 6pts

Raheem Sterling scored the all important goal that was enough for his side to beat Arsenal 1-0 at the Etihad. Sterling now has scored 2 goals so far this season and has 12 points to his name.

Midfielder: Ross Barkley- Aston Villa 6pts

Ross Barkley looks like a new player since moving from Chelsea to Aston Villa. He followed up his goal against Liverpool, by scoring the last minute winning goal for Villa as they beat a very tough Leicester side away from home.

Midfielder: William Zaha- Crystal Palace 4pts

Where would Crystal Palace be without the quality of Wilfried Zaha? He keeps scoring the goals and has started well for the Eagles. He earned 4pts as Palace drew 1-1 with Brighton. His goal at the weekend was his 4th of the season so far.

Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 4pts

Bruno Fernandes had another eventful game for Manchester United as they overcame Newcastle 4-1. Fernandes had a goal ruled out by VAR, he then missed a penalty, then scored a goal and then set up United’s 4th goal. At least he is the centre of the party and it is very clear that the club need the Portuguese player to remain fit this season.

Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 10pts

Every week Harry Kane seems to make the best 11 cut and yet again he was on fire at the weekend. Kane scored another 2 goals and now has 5 for the season and he has already assisted in a further 7, in a stunning start. The only disappointment for him will be that Tottenham let a 3 goal lead slip with just 8 minutes of the game left as their opponents West Ham came back to draw 3-3.

Striker: Timo Werner- Chelsea 10pts

Timo Werner was under a lot of pressure to perform for Chelsea as he still hadn’t scored yet but the German international rectified that at the weekend when he scored a brace as Chelsea drew 3-3 with Southampton. Like Kane Werner will be annoyed with the final result but personally this was a great weekend for the 24 year old.

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Can Everton win the Premier League?

Can Everton win the 2020-21 Premier League? Stranger things have happened.

Leicester City shocked the world with their surprise success in 2015-16. Jose Mourinho put his name on the map by winning the Champions League with FC Porto in 2003-04.

Roberto Di Matteo stepped in as Chelsea boss and surprised us all by not only reaching the 2011-12 Champions League final but upsetting Bayern Munich on their own turf to lift the prestigious trophy.

That same year Montpellier won the Ligue 1 crown, one of the biggest surprises in French football.

What do all of the above have in common? The season ended with the European Championships. What is scheduled to take place next summer? Euro 2021.

OK, history isn’t going to help determine this season’s Premier League winners, but some of the early bizarre results says this unique season could really leave us with a surprise winner at the end of the campaign.

Need I remind you of Aston Villa’s incredible 7-2 win against Liverpool this past weekend and Leicester City going to Manchester City to pick up a 5-2 win the week before.

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Premier League Best 11 Players of the Week: Matchday 4

Is this the Premier League or Play station? Who knows anymore what we do know is that if you have an attacking line up in your fantasy team you would have earned many points. Whilst these are sad times for goalkeepers and defenders it is impossible not to get caught up in the excitement of how many goals are being scored.

It was another weekend that saw over 40 goals scored and plenty of shocks. The champions Liverpool have already lost their first game of the season. That feels like a surprise as it was against Aston Villa. What will be a shock is the result, as they lost 7-2. 2. A quite stunning result.

Tottenham are a good side but did anyone really expect them to beat Manchester United away from home by 6-1? And Everton who have not won the league since 1987 are now 3 points clear at the top. What an incredible start to the season, now let’s see which players made the final 11 cut.

Goalkeeper: Lukasz Fabianski- West Ham 7pts

For the second week in a row Fabianski is the goal keeper of the weekend. He was assured and superb in goal as he kept another clean sheet as West Ham stunned the then league leaders Leicester by winning 3-0.

Defender: Aaron Cresswell- West Ham 9pts

A superb game by Aaron Cresswell saw him as part of a defence that kept a clean sheet. But the player also assisted in not one but two goals and had a perfect weekend. He is valued at 7m and has 12 pts overall.

Defender: Ben Chilwell- Chelsea 11pts

Chelsea spent £50m on Ben Chilwell in the summer and he is already paying dividends. He was part of a defence that kept a clean sheet as Frank Lampard’s side hammered Crystal Palace 4-0. And to put the icing on the cake he scored the opening goal and assisted in another.

Defender: Kurt Zouma- Chelsea 9pts

Kurt Zouma was overdue a good game for the Blues and he kept a clean sheet as they beat Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace side 4-0. Zouma also scored the Blues second goal in a rampant display at Stamford Bridge. Can Zouma make this season count?

Defender: Tyrone Mings- Aston Villa 7pts

Tyrone Mings had a strong game as Aston Villa stunned Liverpool 7-2. Mings now has 14 pts already and is a real bargain to add to your team and is only 4.5m.

Midfielder: Jack Grealish- Aston Villa 20pts

Maybe this was Jack Grealish’s greatest game in football so far. He assisted in 2 goals and then scored 2 goals as Aston Villa pulled off one of the greatest shocks and great performances in Premier League history as they destroyed champions Liverpool 7-2 at Villa Park. A stunning result, Grealish now has 22 pts overall and is valued at 3.5m.

Midfielder: James Rodriguez- Everton 10pts

James Rodriguez looks like incredible business for Everton and the Colombian scored another 2 goals at the weekend as Everton beat Brighton 4-2. James now has 18 points overall and has been involved in 5 goals so far his value to add to your team is 9.5m.

Midfielder: Jorginho- Chelsea 10pts

Jorginho scored 2 goals- both penalties as Chelsea ran out 4-0 winners against Crystal Palace. It was the midfielder’s best game for the club in some time and this could make him step up this season to become the player everyone knows he can be, he played very well and covered the pitch with maturity.

Midfielder: Mohamed Salah- Liverpool 8pts

Even though his team Liverpool were destroyed in one of the stunning results in the modern era Salah still managed to score 2 goals. He will quickly forget about them of course in a nightmare day for the Reds but personally Salah keeps scoring goals and that will bode well for the season ahead.

Striker: Heung-Min Son- Tottenham 10pts

Two more goals for Heung-Min Son as they smashed Manchester United 6-1 at Old Trafford and he also assisted. Son now has 6 goals this season equal to Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Son is having up until now the best season of his career.

Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 10pts

Together with Son, Harry Kane is part of one of the deadliest if not most deadliest strike partnerships in the Premier League. Kane scored another two goals and assisted in Son’s first. It has been an incredible start for the English international who can be snapped up for 14.5m.

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EPL Predictions Gameweek 4

Leicester City, Liverpool and Everton head into gameweek four of the 2020-21 Premier League season as the last remaining teams with a 100% winning start.

The Toffees host Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, whilst Leicester kickoff Sunday’s action at lunchtime by welcoming West Ham United to the King Power Stadium. Liverpool conclude the weekend, away to Aston Villa.

Here’s a look ahead to the weekend’s games:

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace
The Premier League weekend starts with a London derby as Chelsea look to improve on their 3-3 draw at West Bromwich Albion, whilst Crystal Palace are looking to bounce back from their first defeat of the season. A home win isn’t a foregone conclusion by any means but you’d have to favour the hosts. Mason Mount got among the goals last weekend and is always a good choice for your fantasy team.

Everton vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Carlo Ancelotti’s side have made an excellent start to the new campaign as they look to make it four wins from four when they welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to Goodison Park on Saturday. Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored a hat-trick last weekend and then again in the EFL Cup midweek. The striker can’t be left out of your fantasy team with the form he’s in.

Leeds United vs Manchester City
Patrick Bamford scored a late winner at Sheffield United on Sunday whilst Manchester City were humiliated 2-5 at home by Leicester City. Pep Guardiola’s side have added a new centre-back in Ruben Dias since but face a tough test to get back to winning ways in this one. Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling should be safe additions to your team though.

Newcastle United vs Burnley
Saturday’s action concludes at St James’ Park as Newcastle United welcome Burnley. Neither side have been impressive nor prolific in front of goal this season. As a result I can see this being a tight one and maybe even our first 0-0 of the new season. With that in mind, a Burnley defender like Kevin Long would be a cheap addition to your fantasy team.

Leicester City vs West Ham United
Leicester City are widely-expected to continue their winning start to the season when they face West Ham United this weekend. Jamie Vardy is fresh off a hat-trick at the Etihad Stadium that he cannot be overlooked from your team.

Southampton vs West Bromwich Albion
Danny Ings scored as Southampton recorded their first win of the season last time out. The England international can be expected to score again this weekend too as the Premier League’s leakiest defence visit St Mary’s.

Arsenal vs Sheffield United
Arsenal were well beaten at Liverpool on Monday night and will be looking to get back to winning ways when they host Sheffield United on Sunday. The Blades are yet to score a single goal this season. If you’re confident of a Gunners clean sheet, you can always add Bernd Leno or David Luiz to your fantasy team, whilst Hector Bellerin is the most likely to get an assist among the defenders.

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Fulham
Nuno’s Wolverhampton Wanderers were hammered 0-4 at West Ham last Sunday as they continued their slow start to the new season. Fulham offer them a good chance to get back to winning ways this weekend. The Cottagers haven’r protected their goal very well in their return to the top flight so Daniel Podence could be worth inclusion.

Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur
Two sides who have already made an unpredictable and inconsistent start to the new season. Jose Mourinho’s side have been handed a blow with the loss of Son Heung-min to injury whilst Harry Kane hasn’t been too prolific so far this season. A difficult one to predict but expect goals.

Aston Villa vs Liverpool
Aston Villa have yet to concede a goal this season in beating the bottom two. Dean Smith’s side welcome the defending champions to Villa Park on Sunday night. Sadio Mane has a great record versus the Villans so makes our recommended team for the weekend.

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The new handball rule is outrageous and ruining football

The new handball rule has been affecting Premier League games of late as no one seems to know what is going on.

Goals have been disallowed and penalties have been given, too many it seems. There has been 5 already given adjudged for a player to have handled the ball, and we are in the first month of the league. Last season there was 19 the whole season. The rules have without a doubt changed what is happening on the pitch- but for the wrong reasons.

There were plenty of controversial moments just this weekend. The game that sticks out is Tottenham v Newcastle. The home side were pretty much dominant for the whole game, creating plenty of chances, although deep into injury time the score was only 1-0. That was until Andy Carroll headed the ball towards Eric Dier’s arm, Dier was looking away at the time, and whilst Newcastle appealed for a penalty, the referee waved it in. For him it wasn’t a penalty, and he had made what looked like to be the correct decision.

Yet a few minutes later, the game was recalled back because VAR had got involved. Once the referee went to the on screen monitor and checked again, he changed his mind. The question is did he change his mind because he was told rules are rules or did he change his mind because he genuinely thought he had got ti wrong? Newcastle got the penalty and scored- it was their first shot on target the whole game. They had been poor and deserved nothing from the game but because of the new rule which states even if a player handballs by mistake off of another attacker a penalty should be awarded.

There were other incidents too. Everton won the game at Crystal Palace due to the same incident at Tottenham. Yes there was handball but it was very clear that it wasn’t intentional. And then why was nothing said when Kai Havertz handled the ball in Chelsea’s run up goal which gave them a 3-3 draw at West Bromwich Albion?

It makes very little sense, if on one hand the rules stay and there not good for the game, then at least make them consistent. But that has always been the problem, and whilst the rules are mostly to blame so is VAR. Had VAR not got involved in the Tottenham game and respected the referee’s decision Tottenham would have won the game. And there are plenty of sides to the argument. For example if Tottenham were 2-0 up and the penalty was given, would this even be a story?

The IFAB who approve the rules need to take a long hard look at themselves. They and VAR should never be the star of the show, just like before VAR, the referee should be respected but never seen, it’s an art. Since when did we suddenly forget the job the referee does?

If this continues it seems clear that the referee’s job will be obsolete soon. No officials are complaining as of yet but as time goes on who wants to keep being overruled in the biggest decisions?

Last night there was a panic meeting where a back tracking IFAB admitted that referees and VAR could use leeway in how they judge their decisions for penalties from now on. Wrong decision, the new rule should have been abolished there and then, watch this space because the recent meeting will change nothing, in fact it will bring even more controversy.

One final harrowing thought is on cheating. We know that even the best professional players in the heat of the moment can cheat, mostly to wind up a player to get them sent off or dive for a penalty, we don’t like talking about it, but it does happen.

How long will it be until skilled players going for a header, choose to head towards a defender’s hand and not the goal, knowing that they can get a penalty from a useless situation? It is worth thinking about.

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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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