Top Premier League Goalkeepers in 2018/19: Kasper Schmeichel

 

Kasper Schmeichel may have one of the most famous ex goalkeepers as a father but he has shown in his fantastic performances that he is his own man, and in some ways stepped out of the shadow of having a famous father within the game.

This season for Schmeichel was his 8th for Leicester and he has become the figurehead of the team, winning an incredible Premier League title in 2016 which will never be forgotten.

Schmeichel finished the season as the 6th best ranked goalkeeper and ended the campaign within the fantasy league football rankings with 27 points. Schmeichel would have cost you 7m and he ended up keeping 10 clean sheets this season. The Foxes conceded 48 goals under his guard and he played in every game of the season, all 38. He was shown the yellow card 3 times which is one of the worst records for a goalkeeper in the Premier League from this past season.

So let’s analyse Schmeichel’s season and see where it went right and where it went wrong.

He started the season off with -2 points after Leicester lost their opening game of the season 2-1 at Manchester United. However in the very next game he was able to earn his first points of the season after Leicester beat Wolves 2-0, the clean sheet earned him 7 points. He then went the next 4 games earning no points indeed it wasn’t a good moment for the Dane as he actually earned -9 points which really affected his ranking.

Schmeichel’s best period of the season was started at the beginning of November and lasted a month where he earned points in 3 of those four games totalling 21. The problem of course is that he only ended up with a season total of 27 and this was down to the fact that his side kept conceding goals and also he picked up a few yellow cards.

His worst single game of the season was when Leicester took on Bournemouth and lost 4-2, he earned -7 points for that game and later in the season repeated the trick earning -7 points again when Leicester fell to Crystal Palace 4-1.

He finished the season quite strong keeping clean sheets in 2 from his last 3 games. The game he didn’t manage that was against Manchester City when the match only finished 1-0 and City of course were going for the league title. But he did impressively keep a clean sheet in Leicester’s 3-0 win over Arsenal and then in the final game of the season the Foxes drew 0-0 with Chelsea.

Schmeichel appeared to feel better in his role when Brendan Rodgers took over the team from Celtic in the second half of the season, and Rodgers will be hoping that Schmeichel will have a much better season overall coming up, everything points to the fact that he will.

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Leicester and Rodgers to push for Premier League top six next season?

Leicester City

As a club, Leicester City has had more anguish to deal with this season than most.

Back in late October, the club’s 60-year-old Thai owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, along with four others, including the pilot, died when his helicopter crashed to the ground shortly after takeoff from the King Power Stadium.

Srivaddhanaprabha had just watched his team draw 1-1 at home to West Ham United before then attempting to make his usual helicopter trip back to his home in London.

A grey cloud covered the club over the following weeks with the playing staff all attending their previous owner’s funeral in Bangkok. Continue reading

EPL Weekend Picks – Week 33

HiguainThere is quite a bit of Premier League football to see this week, with games every day bar Thursday. For the purposes of this week’s list we will be looking more at the matches taking place between Friday 5th and Monday 8th, so Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s fixtures won’t be considered too heavily here. Friday sees Southampton hosting Liverpool in what should be an entertaining game, while Saturday’s best match sees Newcastle welcoming Crystal Palace to Tyneside. On Sunday, Arsenal travel to the blue half of Merseyside to do battle with Everton, and Chelsea host West Ham on Monday. With that in mind, let’s adopt a 4-3-3 formation this time around and look into our crystal balls to see which players could be worth your consideration.

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EPL Best XI – Sterling stars again

Raheem Sterling

The 11th weekend of the 2018-19 Premier League season saw Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea maintain their unbeaten starts, while Manchester United came from behind to beat Bournemouth. Let’s take a look at the top EFL Fantasy points scorers from the weekend’s games…

GK: Kasper Schmeichel, Leicester – seven points
Kasper Schmeichel kept a clean sheet during an emotional 1-0 victory for Leicester at Cardiff. The Dane’s seven-point reward sees him move on to four points for the season.

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EPL Weekend Picks – Round 6

Leroy Sane

Players from Manchester City, Wolves and Crystal Palace were among the high-scorers from Round 5, while Chelsea’s Eden Hazard topped the points chart following his hat-trick against Cardiff. Let’s take a look at some players you should consider in your EPL Fantasy team this weekend.

GK – Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester)
Admittedly, this is a risky selection. Kasper Schmeichel is on -4 points after five games and he conceded four goals last week. However, Leicester play Huddersfield – the Premier League’s lowest scorers – next before matches against Newcastle and Everton. At 7.00m, he’s worth considering.

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Best Goalkeeper of the Week – Alisson Becker (Brazil)

becker

With the group stages of the Russia 2018 World Cup now firmly in the history books and the round of 16 having begun in earnest, let’s take a look at which goalkeeper has been the best over the past few days. There have been some notable performances of course – Jordan Pickford‘s outing for England against Belgium brought some harsh criticism despite the fact that Belgium’s goal, scored by former Sunderland team-mate Adnan Januzaj, was a belter. Otherwise the Everton stopper had a solid game as usual. Kasper Schmeichel had a great game for Denmark even though the former European champions crashed out at the hands of Croatia, and Hyun-Woo Cho deserves credit as South Korea kept a clean sheet against world champions Germany to send them home.

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Lucky Denmark must change approach to beat Australia following Peru win

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If there is one thing that can be taken from Denmark’s victory over Peru on Saturday, it is that every game the South Americans play at their first World Cup in 36 years will be an exciting watch. They came into the tournament predicted to be everyone’s second favourite team; given the energy and attacking intent they showed, it is easy to see why. Continue reading

Denmark vs Peru Preview: Christian Eriksen can lead them to victory

ChristianEriksenapplauds_3213228

Everybody knows who the favourites for this summer’s World Cup are, and it is hard to see one of them not going on to win it in Moscow next month. Germany are chasing a second successive crown and a record-equalling fifth in all, while Brazil are aiming for a sixth World Cup win. Spain, despite their managerial situation, are expected to challenge again; France have a squad brimming with youth and quality, so it could be their year.

Some teams have world class players leading them, but cannot back them up with sufficient quality elsewhere on the pitch to go far into the tournament. Euro ‘92 winners Denmark have previous in springing surprises, but as the World Cup goes with form more often than not, they are not expected to make too many waves in Russia. Arguably France’s biggest test in Group C, the Danes will hope Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen can shine, starting against South American qualifiers Peru at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk on Saturday.

Eriksen is not the only threat for Denmark, but he is the man who makes an organised, hard-working team tick. At a tough moment in the playoffs against the Republic of Ireland, after a 0-0 draw in the first leg at home, he stepped up and took responsibility by scoring a hat-trick in a 5-1 win in Dublin to book his side’s place this summer. The Spurs man is linked with a move to Real Madrid and Barcelona, which is a sure-fire mark of quality; he will give Denmark a chance in all three group games, particularly their first, which is viewed as crucial in the battle to join France in the last 16. Peru are at the World Cup for the first time since 1982 and have been boosted by the availability of their record goalscorer, Paulo Guerrero, who had his suspension for drug-taking lifted so he could take part this summer. He, like Eriksen, is a talismanic figure, but he must prove his fitness quickly if he is to make the impact he is capable of.

For Denmark, failing to get out of the group willl be seen as a failure; they have the spine of a talented side, with a strong defence protecting Kasper Schmeichel, Leicester City’s goalkeeper and son of the legendary Peter. Andreas Christensen, who broke into the Chelsea side under Antonio Conte last season, will partner captain Simon Kjaer at the back. Up front, former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner, who has an impressive record at international level despite being seen as a figure of comedy for much of his career, is not in the squad; Kasper Dolberg could be their breakout star after a superb rise at Ajax, while Feyenoord striker Nicolai Jorgensen, linked with a move to Newcsalte United in January, is another option for manager Age Hareide. Red Bull Leipzig striker Yussuf Paulsen has scored just four goals in 28 appearances for Denmark, but he can give the side a focal point; so many attackining options can lead them to a crucial early victory.

But, whatever happens, Eriksen will be at the heart of it. At Tottenham, he is one of a number of key players in their system, which relies on high pressure and intensity, under Mauricio Pochettino, but he is the centrepiece of this Denmark team, the man who sets the tempo and dictates the game. It will be tough for them to break down Peru; they are organised and keep things tight in defence, scoring 26 goals and conceding 27 in qualification. Denmark can win this game in midfield; one of the biggest assets Eriksen brings to the team is his work-rate, and alongside Ajax’s Lasse Schone, he can dominate the centre of the park. Defensive strength, creativity and goalscoring prowess aren’t an issue, but they do lack pace, which means Celta Vigo winger Pione Sisto, who came to prominance in the under-21 European Championships back in 2015, has a crucial part to play in the side.

It will be important for Denmark to win both of their games, against Peru and Australia, before facing France on matchday three. That way, their progression to the next round will be all but guaranteed; Les Bleus are overwhelming favourites to win this group, but they cannot underestimate Denmark because of the strength they have across the pitch.

Hareide’s men can’t look too far ahead, though; a professional job should see them beat an inconsistent Peru. They won eight and lost eight of their games in qualification, and although it is impressive that they edged out Copa America winners Chile, there are definite weaknesses that can be exposed, mainly in the centre of the park. If Christian Eriksen gets on the ball and plays like he can, he can lead his side to a big three points to kick off their World Cup journey.

How well do you know European and world football? Want to challenge the best Fantasy Managers? Play www.fantasy-worldcup.com now!

Are Leicester Out Of The Relegation Mire?

We’ve all seen it happen before; team in danger of relegation, manager fired, team goes on a run that sees them stay up. In fact, we even have managers that specialize in this great escape. But rarely have we seen a club go through so many changes in fortune as Leicester have done in the last two years.

This is a club that was staring down the barrel of relegation in April 2015 before going on a run that saw them take 19 points out 24 available in the last eight matches of the season. Their top flight status secured, all looked peachy at the King Power Stadium until that video in Thailand saw then manager Nigel Pearson’s son dismissed along with two other players. Pearson’s relationship with the owners never recovered, and he was soon replaced by Claudio Ranieri, and we all know what happened next.

For ten glorious months, Vardy et al. reminded us what the modern game was missing. It was a spectacular season that we might never see the like of again. Leicester had found their manager, and he had found his team. It’s an overused phrase, but this really was a match made in heaven.

Then it all went wrong.

This season Leicester have only shown glimpses of the form that won them the league, and it begs the question; What is going on? Did the footballing Gods decree that enough was enough and put Leicester firmly back in their place? Or was it that the players simply stopped listening to their manager?

Whatever the reason, the entire squad, with the exception of Kasper Schmeichel, seemed to forget how to play football. Unfortunately, the buck stops with the manager, and no matter how callous it may have seemed, the owners had no choice. It was either demote half the squad to the reserves or fire Ranieri, and while it wouldn’t have been easy, it now looks like they made the right choice.

Nine points and nine goals in the three Premier League games since Shakespeare took over the reins from Ranieri tells its own story. This is a team that couldn’t hit a barn door for much of the season but are now scoring for fun. They even scored a couple against Sevilla to set up a Champions League quarter-final with Atletico Madrid while they were at it.

Say what you will about the reasons for Ranieri’s sacking, the fact is that Leicester are a different team now that the Italian has left the club. While no one in their right footballing mind believes that Shakespeare has introduced a new and innovative training regimen that has lifted the club out of the mire, Leicester are looking pretty good to stay up. BetStars currently has them at 25/1 for the drop which is a big change from the 5/2 they were not so long ago. In fact, these are the same odds you would have got at the start of the season.

Are they out of the mire? Not yet. They’re still ten points short of the magical 40 which should ensure their survival and who knows, perhaps they’ll forget how to score again, but it seems unlikely.

To the objective observer, there has never been a more clear-cut case of player power at its worst. Whatever went on with Ranieri, the players weren’t playing for him and in doing so put the club at risk of relegation. And now that they have their new manager, they’re back to winning ways, let’s just hope for the fans that it stays that way.