Top Premier League Defenders in 2018/19 – Kyle Walker

Kyle Walker

Manchester City defender Kyle Walker picked up another Premier League winner’s medal when his side held off the challenge of Liverpool to win the title by one point back in May.

Walker was also the fourth-highest scoring defender in EPL fantasy football for the season with 89 points from his 33 appearances (30 starts).

Aymeric Laporte was the only City defender ahead of Walker. Laporte earned 100 points in 2018/19.

Liverpool’s trio of Virgil van Dijk (119 points), Andrew Robertson (118) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (102) were first, second, and third respectively. Continue reading

EPL Best XI – Week 35

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With the Premier League season continuing whittling itself down to what seems destined to be a thrilling conclusion, nothing more was decided during this past weekend’s action. The battle to avoid being the last side to be relegated from the top flight this season remains far from over, while various intricate races / challenges at the top of the table appear nowhere nearer to being resolved. Liverpool remain two points ahead of Man City at the top of the league with City having a game in hand, Everton impressed many by beating Man Utd 4-0 at Goodison Park and Crystal Palace pulled off a great 3-2 win over Arsenal at the Emirates. With all that said, let us now adopt a 4-3-3 formation and take a peek at which players performed the best this weekend.

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EPL Weekend Picks – Week 35

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With just a few games left in the Premier League campaign, things are starting to take shape and will continue to do so with this weekend’s round of matches. There is no Friday night fixture this week, but instead we have a big card of games on Saturday with three coming on Sunday and one on Monday evening, with games every day next week except for Thursday as matches in hand are played. Man City taking on Tottenham in Saturday’s lunchtime kickoff looks to be the biggest game of the weekend, but there are plenty of games in store to keep us guessing. Bournemouth host relegated Fulham hoping to build on their impressive 5-0 win at Brighton last weekend, while Newcastle host Southampton in Saturday’s late game. Let’s go for a 4-3-3 here!

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Manchester City: International duty watch

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Just as Manchester City regained control over Liverpool in the race for the Premier League title, international football kicked in. Let’s face it, we all love it at such a vital stage in the season. A total of 13 players from Pep Guardiola’s first team have been called up to their respective nations with Euro 2016 qualifiers, friendlies, Africa Cup of National qualifiers and U21 in full swing. Continue reading

EPL Weekend Picks – Round 6

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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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EPL Best XI – Hat-trick hero Hazard

Eden Hazard

The fifth weekend of the 2018-19 Premier League season saw Chelsea and Liverpool maintain their winning starts, while Manchester United picked up their second victory in a row with a 2-1 win over Watford. Let’s take a look at which players stood out to make the EPL Best XI of the Weekend.

GK: Wayne Hennessey, Crystal Palace – seven points
After being deducted two points in each of his last three games, Wayne Hennessey got back on track this weekend by keeping a clean sheet in Crystal Palace’s hard-fought 1-0 win away at Huddersfield.

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Kyle Walker could be England’s World Cup weak link

There can be no denying the profound impact Pep Guardiola has had on the career of Kyle Walker. Signed from Spurs last summer, Walker has become a key figure of Manchester City’s Premier League-winning side over the past 12 months or so and not entirely in the way that was predicted.

Walker is still, by trade, a full back. But Guardiola, such is his nature, has brought more out of the 28-year-old’s game. Walker is now adept at playing in more central positions, often occupying the place on the right side of the three-man defence Man City used at times last season.

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This is where Walker is most likely to play for England at the World Cup this summer. Gareth Southgate has recently adopted a back three with wing backs and this is where Walker’s newfound versatility will come in handy. However, he could also be England’s weak link in Russia.

Of course, in terms of quality Walker is far from England’s weak link. He is a Premier League champion and the best right-sided defender the Three Lions currently have. But he is not a natural centre back, despite what he has learned from Guardiola this season, and in that there could be a weakness for opposition sides to expose.

Kieran Trippier will likely play as the wing back on the right side, although Trent Alexander-Arnold might still snatch that position given the form he has found over the latter part of the season. But between that right wing back and Walker, there will be space to exploit. Walker’s natural urge to attack might also leave gaps between him and his central defensive teammates, most likely to be Harry Maguire and John Stones.

If Romelu Lukaku is shrewd, he’ll have already clocked this and will be planning to drift between Walker and his defensive teammates when Belgium face England on June 28 in Kaliningrad. Against teams like Panama and Tunisia, Southgate’s grand plan will probably work, but against teams of a higher calibre this is where it could be undone.

Of course, this is the risk one takes with a back three. There will be space for opposition sides to exploit in behind the wing backs, and if the centre backs come across to cover then space will be found in the centre. This is the compromise you make by opting for such a shape and system.

It’s possible that Southgate could use Walker as a wing back and turn to a natural centre back to play as a member of the back three alongside Maguire and Stones. But Walker has shown enough at club level over the course of last season to suggest the pros to using him as a right-sided centre back might outweigh the cons. The pressure is on for him to demonstrate this at the World Cup this summer.

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

Top EPL Goalkeepers in 2017/18 – Ederson Moraes (Man City)

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When Man City claimed their third Premier League title earlier this month, accolades poured in for arguably one of the finest seasons ever enjoyed by a Premier League club. Records galore went tumbling, and Pep Guardiola finally silenced the critics who initially poured scorn on his arrival in England, claiming with glee that the Premier League is clearly the hardest league in Europe because Pep hadn’t won it at the first attempt. What the nation was witnessing, however, was a slow build into the image the Spaniard had envisioned for the club – and it all came together like a box set finale this season as City lifted the trophy in the most comfortable fashion in Premier League history.

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Liverpool star Joe Gomez out of Champions League Final and World Cup

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Some bad news coming out of the Liverpool and England camps today as defender Joe Gomez has been ruled out of the Reds’ Champions League final clash with Real Madrid, as well as the World Cup in Russia this summer. Gomez underwent surgery after picking up an ankle injury while on Three Lions duty against the Netherlands back in March, and while he did return to action for Liverpool since suffering the injury he took to Twitter to confirm that his season for both club and country is now over after having the procedure. It is a real blow for the 23-year-old former Charlton Athletic star, who would have been hoping to add to his three England caps when Gareth Southgate takes his squad on the plane ahead of their first match against Tunisia on 18th June.

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Euro Fantasy League Podcast – Episode 11 – Kyle Walker’s Valentine’s Day, and Paulinho Sets La Liga Record

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Welcome back to the Euro Fantasy League Podcast! The lads discuss Paulinho’s Barcelona spell, big up Kyle Walker’s Valentine’s Day conduct and discuss wages in football.

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