Premier League: Best 11 Players of Week 30

Chelsea losing 5-2 at home to West Bromwich Albion, let that sink in because it may have to do over the course of several weeks. This season in the Premier League has thrown out some very surprising results, and it is as if the league was giving a welcomed if not delayed response to the arrival Thomas Tuchel. The defeat was Tuchel’s first in charge of the Blues and it has come at a dreadful time for them.

Liverpool beat Arsenal 3-0 and perhaps Jurgen Klopp’s side are over their dismal form and they are just 2 points from the top 4 now. Both Manchester teams won with Manchester City beating Leicester and they are 14 points clear. Manchester United consolidated 2nd place and they will surely finish in the top 4 now and are 11 points clear of 5th.

Let’s look at the players who made a difference over this past weekend.

Goalkeeper: Alisson- Liverpool 7pts

Alisson will have been very happy to keep a clean sheet away to a quality side like Arsenal as Liverpool looked solid again to win the match 3-0. That was Alisson’s 7th clean sheet of the season so far and he had to make a few good saves early on as well and stayed very focused throughout the game.

Defender: Benjamin Mendy- Manchester City 9pts

It was the perfect weekend for Benjamin Mendy who kept a clean sheet as league leaders Manchester City impressively beat Leicester 2-0 away from home. The icing on the cake was that Mendy scored a goal- the opening goal just before the hour mark which set up the eventual win. That was Mendy’s 2nd goal of the season and his value is worth 6.5m.

Defender: Trent Alexander- Arnold- Liverpool 7pts

Liverpool beat Arsenal 3-0 at the Emirates for a fantastic win for the champions. Alexander-Arnold now has 8 clean sheets to his name for this season he also assisted in the clubs first goal of the game bringing his total to 36 points.

Defender: Ruben Dias- Manchester City 5pts

Another solid performance from one of the most impressive defenders in the Premier League this season. Dias was commanding and very confident on the ball even away to Leicester who are in 3rd place in the league. Dias now has 78 points so far and his value is 7.5m.

Defender: Andrew Robertson- Liverpool 5pts

Andrew Robertson looked back to his self assured best holding the back line particularly well and frustrating Arsenal as Liverpool ran out 3-0 winners. Robertson earned 5 points in the process for his clean sheet and now has a total of 43 points.

Midfielder: Mohamed Salah- Liverpool 6pts

Salah looked back and sharp especially in the 2nd half of the Arsenal goal and the player scored his 18th goal of the season as he put the Gunners to the sword. He looks set to finish the season strongly.

Midfielder: Diogo Jota- Liverpool 9pts

An absolutely brilliant weekend for Diogo Jota saw the Liverpool player come back from an injury lay off to start scoring the goals again and he scored 2 for Liverpool as they beat rivals Arsenal 3-0. Jota now has 8 goals for the Reds and considering his injuries this season he has had a very good campaign in his debut season for the Reds.

Midfielder: Nathan Redmond- Southampton 6pts

Nathan Redmond was involved in one of the best games of the weekend as Southampton came back against Burnley from two goals down to beat them 3-2. Redmond assisted in Danny Ings 2nd goal for the Saints and then grabbed the winner.

Midfielder: Jack Harrison- Leeds United 4pts

Jack Harrison scored a good goal to open the scoring for Leeds as they beat Sheffield United 2-1 at the weekend. That was Harrison’s seventh goal of the season and he now has 54 points.

Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 8pts

Harry Kane has had a fantastic season and the Tottenham striker was on hand to score 2 goals as they drew 2-2 with Newcastle at the weekend. Ultimately it was a disappointing result for Tottenham given that they were leading 2-1 but personally for Kane those 2 goals means he has 19 goals. Kane is the top scorer now in the Premier League.

Striker: Callum Robertson- West Bromwich Albion 8pts

In an incredible game not just for Callum Robertson but for 19th placed West Bromwich Albion who beat Chelsea- unbeaten under Thomas Tuchel 5-2 at Stamford Bridge. Robertson scored 2 goals and now has 4 goals for the season. His value is 5m.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players of Week 28

There were wins for the top 3 sides as Manchester City and Leicester scored 8 goals between them, though the top 3 remained the same and City look set to be crowned the new champions.

West Ham lost and Tottenham also lost in the north London derby and that was a big blow to both sides chances of finishing in the top 4. Chelsea remain unbeaten under Thomas Tuchel. Finally just 3 points is the difference between Fulham in 18th place and Brighton in 16th.

Let’s take a look at the best performing players in the Premier League this week.

Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy- Chelsea 7pts

Chelsea kept their unbeaten record because of one man and that was Edouard Mendy who has been superb for the Blues this season. He has kept 14 clean sheets as Chelsea drew at Leeds 0-0 and made some vital saves.

Defender: John Stones- Manchester City 9pts

John Stones is having his best season in a Manchester City shirt and he earned a whopping 9 points at the weekend as he scored a goal and kept a clean sheet. City beat Fulham 3-0 away from home and Stones now has 80 points in total and is rated as City’s best defender.

Defender: Joao Cancelo- Manchester City 7pts

It was another assured performance by Cancelo as City beat Fulham 3-0. The defender actually assisted in the opening goal to set up another defender in Stones.

Defender: Harry Maguire- Manchester United 5pts

Harry Maguire is getting better as the season goes on and he was rock solid against West Ham as he team look good to finish in 2nd place. United beat West Ham 1-0 and that was Maguire’s 12th clean sheet of the season.

Defender: Ben Chilwell- Chelsea 5pts

Ben Chilwell has been one of Chelsea’s best defenders and the club were held to a 0-0 result at Leeds. Leeds played attack and had plenty of chances and Chilwell really stood out for the Blues as they try to finish in the top 4.

Midfielder: Marc Albrighton- Leicester 4pts

Marc Albrighton has improved as the season has gone on and he now has 26 points overall. Albrighton assisted in one goal as Leicester smashed Sheffield United 5-0.

Midfielder: Wilfred Ndidi- Leicester 4pts

Wilfred Ndid had a starring role as Leicester smashed Sheffield United and ran out 5-0 winners at the weekend. Ndidi assisted in Leicester’s fourth goal and that is his 3rd of the season.

Midfielder: Martin Odegaard- Arsenal 4pts

The new signing Martin Odegaard got his goalscoring for Arsenal off to a cracking start as the player scored in the north London derby as Arsenal beat Tottenham 2-1.

Midfielder: Luka Milivojevic- Crystal Palace 6pts

Luka Milivojevic scored the only goal of the game through a penalty as Crystal Palace picked up 3 huge points by beating West Bromwich Albion 1-0. That was the midfielder’s first goal of the season.

Striker: Kelechi Iheanacho- Leicester 14pts

Iheanacho has been one of the best in form players in the Premier League and he keeps on scoring goals. At the weekend he scored a brace as Leicester beat Sheffield United 5-0 and he now has six goals so far for the season.

Striker: Chris Wood- Burnley 4pts

Chris Wood has been hit by some injuries by he scored a very important goal at the weekend as Burnley beat Everton away from home 2-1. Wood now has six goals so far for the season and a total of 24 points overall.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players of Week 27

Manchester City finally lost a game and to all of the teams who could have been against they wouldn’t want to lose to their arch rivals Manchester United but that’s exactly what happened as United ran out 2-0 winners. It doesn’t change the league standing much and City are 11 points in front of their rivals. Nevertheless it was a great result for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side and they now look a shoe in for a top 4 place.

Liverpool lost their 6th game at home in a row in what is now a stunning downfall for the current champions. They have dropped to 8th place as Fulham beat them 1-0.

Let’s take a look at the players who made the grade this week in the fantasy football team for the Premier League, the formation being used is 4-4-2.

Goalkeeper: Alphonse Areola- Fulham 7pts

Fulham didn’t just beat Liverpool at Anfield they also kept a clean sheet as they won the game 1-0. Areola had to make some good saves and keep focused throughout and that was the keeper’s 9th clean sheet so far and he has a total of 39 points.

Defender: Matt Doherty- Tottenham 6pts

Matt Doherty put in a strong performance for Tottenham as his confidence grows as they easily beat Crystal Palace 4-1. On top of his performance the player also assisted for the clubs 3rd goal and set his side well onto victory. Doherty’s value is 6m.

Defender: Luke Shaw- Manchester United 8pts

Luke Shaw had a weekend to remember as Manchester United beat their rivals in the famed derby 2-0. Not only did United win but they won at the Etihad and also Shaw scored the 2nd goal to win the game. It was Shaw’s first goal of the season and what a time to get it. The defender now has 45 points so far.

Defender: Ola Aina- Fulham 5pts

Especially in the second half of the season Ola Aina for Fulham has come on, if he isn’t scoring goals which he can do from the back four he is doing his prime job of defending. The player was under considerable pressure against Liverpool but put in a sterling job to shut the champions out. Aina has 41 points and has helped to keep 8 clean sheets so far.

Defender: Michael Keane- Everton 5pts

Michael Keane has been one of Everton’s best defenders and helped to keep his 7th clean sheet of the season as Everton beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 in their last game. Keane has been in good form this year and has 32 points so far.

Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 6pts

Bruno Fernandes is so pivotal to Manchester United and he proved once again how important he is by scoring a very early penalty as Manchester United beat Manchester City 2-0 away from home. That was Fernandes’ 16th goal of the season so far.

Midfielder: Gareth Bale- Tottenham 9pts

Gareth Bale is on fire right now and following his fantastic performance against Burnley, Bale turned it on again to score another 2 goals as Tottenham beat Crystal Palace 4-1 at home. Bale now has 5 goals and has amassed 29 points.

Midfielder: Mason Mount- Chelsea 6pts

Mason Mount keeps scoring important goals for Chelsea and he has been one of the Blues’ most important players so far in this campaign. Mount has scored 5 goals and has 48 points in one of his best seasons as a professional.

Midfielder: James Ward-Prowse- Southampton 6pts

James Ward-Prowse started the season very positively but in recent months had taken a step back and of course a few weeks out due to injury didn’t help. But he stepped up to open the scoring with a penalty as Southampton recorded a 2-0 win over Sheffield United.

Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 12pts

It was another stunning weekend for England’s number 1 striker Harry Kane. Kane scored 2 goals and also assisted in another. Kane has now scored an incredible 16 goals but also assisted in a further 13 and he has 89 points. That makes Kane the best player in all of the fantasy leagues competitions so far.

Striker: Kelechi Iheanacho- Leicester 4pts

Kelechi Iheanacho scored his 3rd goal of the season to help Leicester come back against Brighton and eventually win the game 2-1. The forward isn’t normally a regular but has been given the chance because of injuries and has scored a few goals lately. He currently has 10 points overall but could get more opportunities and his value is 6m.

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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 Game of the Week: Leicester 1-3 Leeds United

One could have expected Leicester to have roared on in their surprise quest for a 2nd Premier League title in 5 years, after all the Foxes have done so well this season and came into this game having won 12 of their 20 so far. But Leeds United are the team that keep on asking questions after the school bell has sounded. The team that keep pressing when you feel lethargic and the team that are here to stay in the Premier League.

Former Leeds great Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink noted a month ago that he felt his former side would be relegated this season and one has to wonder how wrong can a player turned media pundit have been? Yes you may argue that hindsight is a wonderful thing, though when he claimed this Leeds had 23 points and we were not even at the half way stage of the season- unless Leeds were about to record the mother of all collapses there was next to no chance that Marcelo Bielsa’s team were going down this season. One almost feels that Leeds heard the words of their former player and are partly playing on a level just to prove him wrong.

That was the case in keeping as Leeds surprised Leicester at King Power Stadium by coming away with a 3-1 victory. By far the man of the match was the ultra talented Patrick Bamford. He scored one and assisted in the other two.

But it would be the home side who would take the lead through the impressive Harvey Barnes his precision shot was set up by James Maddison and Leicester looked well on their way to victory. However in the 15th minute and only three minutes after the Foxes took the lead Leeds were level. A great counter attacking move was finished off sweetly by Stuart Dallas who scored his 4th goal of the season. Indeed the equaliser had many similarities to Leicester’s opener.

The half ended 1-1 at no one could complain we had seen a fast paced and equal game and the score seemed to fit the duel we were watching.

Both sides came close in the 2nd half but the third goal of the game had to wait until the 70th minute. Raphinha set the ball up but this was all Bamford’s doing and he scored a peach of a goal, perhaps the best of the weekend to put Leeds into the lead. It didn’t feel like a surprise to see Marcelo Bielsa’s side take the lead but before the game Leicester were the favourites.

Perhaps the Foxes were missing Jamie Vardy and Ndidi two huge players for the club of course and Vardy had to miss the game because of his recent hernia operation although he hopes to be back this weekend.

As time ran out so did Leicester’s ideas and they were caught on the break- Leeds are one of the best sides in the Premier League for quick counter attacking- and Jack Harrison made it 3-1 after being set up by Bamford.

It was a fantastic win for Leeds who are now in 12th place with 29 points. They are at home to Everton next in midweek. As for Leicester they are still 4th and have 39 points and have a 4 point safety cushion to 5th. But manager Brendan Rodgers will be counting down the days until Vardy returns. Leicester’s next game is against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

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Why high flying Wolves could be relegated this season

One of the surprise packages in the Premier League over the past couple of seasons has been Wolverhampton Wanderers better known as simply Wolves. Under manager Nuno Espirito Santo the club hasn’t won any trophies but they have realised personal dreams.

This has included finishing in the top half of the table regularly and even qualifying for the Europa League and doing well in that competition. Last season Wolves really outdid themselves and got as far as the quarter finals before being narrowly knocked out by Spanish side Sevilla.

In the Premier League Wolves have finished 7th in their last two campaigns and have been solid in the league beating teams that finish above them. In short Wolves under Santo have become a team that other clubs even the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City do not look forward to playing. That is the respect that the club have garnered over the last few seasons.

Even in this campaign Wolves had started well and whilst nobody was expecting them to challenge for the league title another top seven finish did seem on. And then December came. But in reality one could go back to last summer when Wolves sold the excellent Diogo Jota. Not only did they sell Jota for just £40m (he was arguably worth between £60-65m) they also sold him to another Premier League rival in Liverpool. It made little sense.

In the Jota deal there was only one winner and it wasn’t Wolves. Of course Jota’s career has been halted at Liverpool through injury, that is just plain bad luck but before his injury he was proving his worth and why Jurgen Klopp wanted him so bad.

Then came a terrible blow in the winter months when Raul Jimenez Wolves’ prolific striker suffered a head injury after a clash of heads with Arsenal defender David Luiz. Luiz only missed a couple of games but Jimenez has been out for 2 months and it has really hurt Wolves. Jimenez scored 27 goals in all competitions for Wolves last season and had scored 4 goals in the league from 10 games before his injury.

Daniel Podence has taken advantage of Jota’s sale and Jimenez’s absence by stepping up and scoring goals and he has been a bright spark for the club although can also be prone to injuries and Pedro Neto is another player who is trying hard for the club.

But there has to be some concern now because Wolves haven’t won a game in the Premier League since December 15th, 2020 when they beat Chelsea 2-1 at home. That was an impressive result and seemed to underline that the club had some back bone to them, much like Leicester for example. But Wolves wouldn’t be able to tie any of the Leicester players boots right now to steal an infamous English saying.

Wolves have earned just 8 points from their last 30 and 2 points from their last 15 and in recent form the club would be 2nd from bottom in the league.

Now fans will be worrying if the club are free falling? It has happened before of course in any league and Wolves have lost their last 2 games in row against Everton and more surprisingly struggling team West Bromwich Albion. They conceded 3 goals at home to West Brom, a side who had previously scored just 12 goals from 18 games. Wolves’ defence seems to be going through a lack of confidence and they have conceded 8 goals in their last 3 games.

Wolves have dropped to 14th and one must be wondering is there any good news on the horizon? Well presently despite Wolves’ poor form the club do have a 10 point safety net from the bottom three. Also one would have to believe that with the players they have and despite the injuries that the club have had to endure that they will hit a sweet spot.

That doesn’t mean European football for next season though however the club may just except finishing 10th this season after this scare.

Manager Santos will be worried though because it could be argued that the club haven’t suffered like this over this extended period since Santos has taken charge. He will understand that one win will kick start his team again.

At the weekend Wolves will play a tricky match against Chelsea, however the Blues are suffering much like their opponents for a lack of confidence and belief in themselves, that game should be interesting.

Wolves should have enough in the tank, but no club as they say is too good to go down and if Wolves don’t start to pick up in their next 3 games a relegation fight could be on the cards. What a season it has been because just 8 weeks ago we couldn’t have seen this story coming from Wolves.

The question will be asked who will save Wolves if results do not go their way in the coming weeks and one light at the end of the tunnel could be the return of Raul Jimenez. No date has been fixed for the talented strikers return but just his presence will certainly lift the dressing room, and a huge lift is what Wolves need right now.

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Premier League Game of the Week: Leicester 2-2 Manchester United

For entertainment you can go to Las Vegas but at the weekend the King Power Stadium would run the city of sin very close. Leicester and Manchester United shared the points and the goals in a game blessed by attacking football which eventually ended 2-2.

For Manchester United their incredible away start to the season ended where they had won their previous six games in a row. United had taken the lead twice in the game only to be pegged back. But on the face of it getting a draw away to Leicester shouldn’t be seen as a bad result but United would have left the game thinking that they had just lose 2 points and gained one.

It was a game borne out of brilliant skill and a swashbuckling never say die attitude and it felt like a very English game of football. There were only 10 goal attempts overall, 5 for each side, so we have seen better games in that respect this season but this was still an intriguing duel that you couldn’t keep your eyes off of.

A cross into the area started the scoring, and a quite brilliant assist from Bruno Fernandes getting his toe to the ball which caught out Leicester’s defenders and pinged it to an unmarked Marcus Rashford set the striker up for an easy opportunity that he wasn’t going to miss and United led the game.

Manchester United’s lead would only last eight minutes though as Harvey Barnes expose De Gea in goal and lashed a beautiful shot thundering into the net from the edge of the area.

In the second half Antony Martial’s goal was ruled offside by VAR and then everything changed once Edinson Cavani was introduced in the 75th minute. It took the attacker just four minutes to set up United’s 2nd goal after his assist to Fernandes who scored his 10th goal of the season. But soon after it was 2-2 as Jamie Vardy came to the rescue and scored a rather simple goal that De Gea and United’s defence must have been concerned about.

In the end whilst United held the technical skill cards Leicester had the back bone not to give up and a draw seemed like a fair result.

These two teams, for some will be the pretenders to Liverpool’s title this season but both have shown they have a lot of quality and are able to put points and wins together. It would be no surprise this season if both clubs finished in the top 4.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players from Week 12

Nothing much changed at the top of the Premier League as the best performing teams dropped points. Tottenham and Liverpool could only draw their respective games and Chelsea lost their first match in 3 months as they lost 1-0 at Everton.

There were wins for West Ham, Southampton and Leicester and those three clubs put pressure on the top 3. The much hyped Manchester derby was quite a dire affair that ended 0-0 and the pressure has grown on Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta who saw his club lose their 4th game at home in a row, Arsenal are in 15th position.

Let’s take a look below at the best performing players over the weekend.

Goalkeeper: Nick Pope- Burnley 7pts

Nick Pope gets the vote ahead of other goalkeepers that kept a clean sheet as Burnley were never expected to get a win and a clean sheet at Arsenal. Pope made some good saves and had to be alert as Burnley were under a lot of pressure and Arsenal had six shots on target. Pope now has 14 points overall.

Defender: Jan Bednarek- Southampton 7pts

Jan Bednarek earned 7 points at the weekend as Southampton beat Sheffield United 3-0. Not only did Bednarek keep a clean sheet, which is his 5th of the season but he also assisted in the Saints first goal which set their victory up.

Defender: Jannick Vestergaard-Southampton 5pts

Jannick Vestergaard is having a great season for Southampton and he commanded the defence and back four with a veterans touch. He made some good interceptions and was always seconds ahead as Southampton beat Sheffield United 3-0. The defender’s value is 6m.

Defender: Michael Keane-Everton 5pts

It’s never easy shutting out Chelsea and Michael Keane was part of an Everton defence that showed resilience against the Blues who had not tasted defeat in 3 months. Keane was inch perfect and his timing was spot on. He now has 10 points for the season which is the most of any Everton defender and he can be added to your team for 6.5m.

Defender: Yerry Mina- Everton 5pts

Yerry Mina is looking more solid as a player under Carlo Ancelotti and he had an eventful game getting into the thick of things as Everton saw out a 1-0 victory over Chelsea. Mina has helped to keep 2 clean sheets at the back for Everton so far this season.

Midfielder: James Maddison- Leicester 10pts

James Maddison not only helped out in defence with his run backs but he also scored 2 goals, Leicester’s 1st and 3rd as they beat Brighton 3-0 at home. Maddison has really showed his quality again this season and the midfielder has scored 3 goals and been involved in 4 so far for the Foxes.

Midfielder: Stuart Armstrong- Southampton 6pts

Stuart Armstrong now has 22 points overall and capped another splendid weekend as Southampton beat Sheffield United 3-0. Armstrong scored the 2nd goal which set up the club for all three points and they have started the season very strong as they look to finish in a European position.

Midfielder: Nathan Redmond- Southampton 6pts

Nathan Redmond was commanding in midfield and he scored his first goal of the season as his club overpowered Sheffield United 3-0. Redmond now has 12 points overall and is valued at 7m.

Midfielder: Mateusz Klich- Leeds United 4pts

Leeds lost against West Ham 2-1 on Friday but Mateusz Klich is proving to be one of the Leeds’ best players this season. He scored the penalty for Leeds goal and put in a very good and energetic performance. The midfielder now has 23 points and is valued at 6.5m.

Striker: Jamie Vardy-Leicester 8pts

Jamie Vardy is here once again and the striker assisted in goals and scored one at the weekend as Leicester beat Brighton 3-0 and he earned 8 points in the process. This season is turning out to be a good one for both him and club and Vardy now has 10 goals to his name.

Striker: Dwight Gayle- Newcastle 4pts

There were a few strikers who made it to 4 points but Dwight Gayle saved his club with just 8 minutes to go and won the game for them as Newcastle beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1. Gayle was also returning from injury and what a way to get back on track. Gayle’s value is just 5m.

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Why Southampton could be the next Leicester under Hasenhuttl

One team of the last decade that has really made huge improvements on a limited budget has been Premier League side Southampton.

It’s interesting to go back 10 years and note that Southampton were playing in League One, the third tier of English football and have progressively recovered to become a staple side in the top flight. Since 2012 they have been a regular fixture in the Premier League and one senses that the club went through 3 stages; the first one was celebrating if they were to finish 17th, poor season, but survival. The second to become a mid table team and the third to challenge for honours and European places. This current season could be the one to define the club.

The Saints as they are known by their nickname have hired some very good managers. They were the ones that brought Mauricio Pochettino to England when they hired him from Espanyol and he guided the club to 8th place before joining Tottenham. They have also hired Ronald Koeman in that time who pulled off some terrific results. Koeman guided the club to seventh then 6th place finishes each time qualifying for the Europa League- no mean feat for a club who six years prior were playing in League One.

It was only in 2017 that Chinese company Lander Sports Investment decided to buy a stake in the club and now the overall stake owner is Gaio Jisheng, and he has invested a lot of funds within the club to bring in real quality. But with the team struggling to keep solid managers that had a proven track record they needed to nail down someone else that would commit more seasons to them. It seems that in Ralph Hasenhutl they have found their man.

Hasenhuttl came from RB Lepizig and spent the majority of his playing career in Austria though towards the end of his playing time he also played in Germany.

Hasenhuttl joined the Saints in the middle of the 2018/19 season where the club were residing in 18th place with Mark Hughes freshly sacked and he was able to guide the club to 16th and safety. Small steps but steps that were needed. At this time it felt like Southampton were going backwards from the beginning of the decade because they were not able to keep hold of quality managers and also were selling players. Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane who both went to Liverpool being prime examples.

In his next season the Saints finished 11th and 18 points from the relegation zone and finished the season so strong that he was awarded the manager of the month. In this current season the club are one of the best in form sides in the league and are in 4th place just 2 points shy of the top spot.

There are a few players, stand out ones, that have really contributed to Southampton’s start. Danny Ings really burst on the scene last season for the club scoring 22 goals meaning he finished joint 2nd in the top goalscorers list for the Premier League. He has started this season off well too netting 4 goals in just 5 games. After selling van Dijk and Mane to Liverpool it only seems fair that in the end Southampton would get some quality back, and Ings was brought in from the Reds initially on loan and then a permanent transfer.

Jannick Vestergaard at the back has been another astute signing. The centre back has made mistakes but he has also remained solid after his transfer from Borussia Monchengladbach 2 years ago and has worked closely under Hasenhutl. He also pops up for the odd goal too and has already made himself quite a name this season.

There is a lot of quality in this Southampton side to the point that on any given week when everything clicks they can absolutely beat any team in the league. And their figure point is James Ward-Prowse, the current captain of the club.

Ward-Prowse has been with Southampton since the beginning of the 2010s when they were playing in the Championship, he is the Jamie Vardy of Southampton, a one man club for so long, though in Ward-Prowse’s case he really is a one man club. They will likely build a statue of him when he leaves, and fans will be hoping that the 26 year old will stay at the club for many more years yet.

His form has been brilliant and of course that could well attract some of the bigger players in the game. He is the pivotal reason Southampton have started the season so well and when he is on form the club as a whole are.

Could Southampton go a huge step forward then and win the league? It doesn’t seem likely but then again look at Leicester and what they achieved with a decent manager and a few good players.

Of course the objective this season for Southampton isn’t so much to win the league but to be a force within it and try and finish in their highest ever position. At this current time without doubt they are one of the best this season and that in itself is an incredible feat given this time last year they were reeling from a 9-0 home defeat by one…. Leicester City, in which many comparisons can be made.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players of Matchday 8

The Premier League’s top team keeps changing and throughout the weekend we saw Liverpool replaced by Southampton and then Leicester and the 2016 champions will be over the moon to be in front going into the November international break.

Liverpool could only draw 1-1 at Manchester City as Leicester beat Wolves. Everton continue to nosedive and lost their 3rd game in a row, this time at the hands of Manchester United where Edinson Cavani scored his first goal for the club. Aston Villa have bounced back in remarkable style by beating Arsenal 3-0 away from home, whilst Chelsea have made in roads into the top 5 as they battered Sheffield United 4-1.

Which players came out smelling of roses and made the final 11? Let’s take a look below.

Goalkeeper: Damien Martinez- Aston Villa 7pts

Damien Martinez has made the team of the weekend before and the Aston Villa keeper made it 4 clean sheets this season as Villa stunned Arsenal away from home and won the game 3-0. Arsenal were poor but Martinez still had a few crucial saves to make.

Defender: Matt Doherty- Tottenham 7pts

Matt Doherty earned 7 points at the weekend as Tottenham battled to a 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion. Doherty helped to keep a clean sheet and also assisted in Harry Kane’s winning goal for a perfect weekend for the player who now has 10 points overall and is rated the best defender at Tottenham currently in the fantasy football rankings.

Defender: Eric Dier- Tottenham 5pts

Eric Dier played a solid game, one of his best so far this season with Tottenham as he helped to keep a clean sheet as they beat Slaven Bilic’s West Brom 1-0. This is the 2nd game that Dier has been involved in helping Spurs to keep a clean sheet.

Defender: Tryone Mings- Aston Villa 5pts

Tyrone Mings is back in the team of the weekend after Aston Villa pulled off a great result beating Arsenal 3-0. Mings was great at the back and held the ball up well and of course helped to keep a clean sheet for Dean Smith’s side.

Defender: Christian Fuchs- Leicester 5pts

Christian Fuchs helped to keep Leicester’s 2nd clean sheet of the season as they battled to a 1-0 win over Wolves. Wolves remained a danger and had 7 attempts on goal but a defence led by Fuchs kept the visitors at bay.

Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 9pts

Bruno Fernandes has been on top of his game this season and last and his two goals in just 7 first half minutes brought back United to life to go 2-1 up against Everton. He then set up Edinson Cavani to score his debut goal and kill the game off at 3-1 to earn 9 points for the weekend. Fernandes now has 24 points overall and is valued at 8.5m.

Midfielder: Stuart Armstrong- Southampton 6pts

Stuart Armstrong now has 16 points after earning a further six at the weekend as his 2nd goal wrapped up the game for the inform Southampton as they eased to a win 2-0 win at home against Newcastle.

Midfielder: Ross Barkley- Aston Villa 4pts

Ross Barkley seems like a new player at Aston Villa and it was his assist that set up Villa for the win and their 2nd goal of 3. Barkley now has 14 points in total so far this season.

Midfielder: Jack Grealish- Aston Villa 4pts

Jack Grealish has 33 points in total for Aston Villa and is far and away the clubs best player in the fantasy rankings. Grealish was on hand to assist in the clubs 3rd goal as Villa stunned Arsenal and beat them 3-0.

Striker: Gabriel Jesus- Manchester City 4pts

Manchester City have really missed the services of Gabriel Jesus when he was injured but he’s back now and he scored the all important equaliser as City fell behind to Liverpool. The crunch game ended 1-1 and Jesus scored a glorious solo goal with class written all over it.

Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 4pts

It looked as if Tottenham’s game with West Bromwich Albion was going to end 0-0, that would have been a surprise but Harry Kane popped up to score the winner with just two minutes remaining. He now has 7 goals this season and is valued at 14.5m.

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