FA Cup Game of the Week: Manchester United 3-2 Liverpool

With the Premier League taking a break at the weekend for the FA Cup, we instead picked out an all Premier League fixture and it doesn’t get bigger than Liverpool and Manchester United.

The two teams recently played each other in the Premier League which made our game of the weekend. It was a tense nail biting affair which ended 0-0 and the points were shared. This cup game though lived up to the traditional English cup games, end to end football and plenty of chances. In the end there was 5 goals and it was exciting knowing that one of these huge teams who could win the FA Cup were about to go out. This is because the replay has been scratched out of the competition now. This match didn’t need one though.

Liverpool who had been under criticism for their lack of goals lately took the lead through Mohamed Salah would have been relived to have got back to scoring goals again. He took a good pass and scored as early as the 18th minute.

However just 8 minutes later Manchester United were on level terms as Mason Greenwood equalised. Marcus Rashford set him up with a pass that opened up a make shift Liverpool defence and it was 1-1. Game on.

The half ended all square but within 3 minutes of the restart Manchester United were 2-1 up through Rashford and it was a great goal. Greenwood who had scored their first returned the favour to set up Rashford who smashed the goal home with a low shot, if only the fans had been allowed to witness it in the stadium they would have been rather happy. Coming back from a goal down against your bitter enemy would have been sweet indeed.

Just past the hour mark in a very exciting game it was that man Salah again who made it 2-2 with a low shooting effort that went past all of the defenders. Even though Liverpool would go on to lose the game for Salah’s confidence to score 2 goals against the current Premier League leaders shouldn’t go unnoticed and he will be a shoe in one would think to score in Liverpool’s next league game.

The game would be won though by one of the best foreign transfers in the past decade. Bruno Fernandes was the hero and not for the first time since he’s arrived at Manchester United and scored a brilliant free kick in a game that, at times, felt Hollywood scripted.

Manchester United to go with their brilliant league form march on. As for Liverpool though they have no wins in their last five competitive games and this is worrying times for Jurgen Klopp and his team, who look like they could blow the league title too. Is it possible that after dominating so many competitions in the past 18 months that Liverpool win no silverware this season?

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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: Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United

The biggest fixture in England was played at the weekend and this match against two teams who have won 39 league titles between them was always going to generate all of the attention, the world over and not just in England. That it ended 0-0 shouldn’t deter from the hype around the game and what it currently means for the league title.

You couldn’t have had a better build up to Liverpool vs Manchester United. Liverpool who haven’t lost a home game in 2 years in the league and, who currently have the best home record this season up against the team who have the best away record this season.

No one could have expected it but Manchester United are unbeaten away and we are almost at the half way stage of the season. They are also top of the league and Liverpool could have bounced back to the top with a victory. In the end it felt as though both teams wanted to keep their fantastic records in check and it wasn’t the most exciting game to watch.

The real surprise for Liverpool was having two midfielders starting in defence. When we will ever see captain Jordan Henderson in central defence again? But somehow he looked assured and for the most part Manchester United were contained.

It was a game of two halves where Liverpool threatened in the first, controlling the pace of the game without really giving United much food for thought. But the way Liverpool were bossing the ball about it seemed like it would be a long afternoon for United.

In the 2nd half though that wasn’t the case and United started to find their groove through the brilliant Bruno Fernandes. His shot from a Luke Shaw assist made Alisson work hard in goal. Indeed Shaw had a terrific game and was all over the pitch and very inspired.

Paul Pogba had another chance after Fernandes but shot the ball at Alisson. This could have been quite a turning point in the Frenchman’s season, the player who scored the winner in Manchester United’s last game against Burnley could have been the hero again. Pogba has had a difficult season at the club and this could have gone some way to redeeming that.

Perhaps the game was telling that Liverpool had 14 attempts on goal but only 3 shots on target, indeed United had one shot on target more and not many teams over the past 2 years have had that at Anfield.

In the end it was a good result by Manchester United getting a point away from home and a disappointing one for Liverpool dropping another two at home. There must be some concern that Liverpool’s most dangerous strikers have gone quiet of late in Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

It should say everything about the game that the players who picked up the most points were the goalkeepers. Both Alisson and David de Gea picked up 7 points each for their clean sheets.

Liverpool can still win the league and they remain the danger but th drop off from last season is quite evident and one has to wonder if fatigue has caught up with Jurgen Klopp’s team?

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Premier League: Best 11 Players from Week 18

Manchester United remains in 1st position after they drew 0-0 with Liverpool in the big game at the weekend in the Premier League. The current champions have fallen down to 4th place but there is only a 3 point gap to first.

Manchester City’s impressive form has continued and they are in 2nd place and Leicester remain in the mix in 3rd place. There were also good wins for both Chelsea and Tottenham which keeps their distant title hopes alive.

Let’s take a look below to see which 11 players have made the team of the week in the formation of a 4-4-2.

Goalkeeper: David de Gea- Manchester United 7pts

This was a huge game for David de Gea as Manchester United went to Liverpool and got a 0-0 draw. The goalkeeper did well on several occasions to keep Liverpool out and that is his sixth clean sheet of the season.

Defender: John Stones- Manchester City 13pts

John Stones was the player of the week as he earned 13 points over the weekend. The defender scored not one but 2 goals as Manchester City beat Crystal Palace 4-0 and earned even more points by keeping a clean sheet. A perfect game for Stones.

Defender: Luke Shaw- Manchester United 5pts

Luke Shaw was everywhere in the vital game Manchester United played against Liverpool. He put in a superb and commanding role and Shaw earned 5 points and now has 13 in total. His value is 6m.

Defender: Ruben Dias- Manchester City 5pts

Ruben Dias is turning out to be one of the finds of this season and he kept his 9th clean sheet of the season as Manchester City beat Crystal Palace 4-0. Dias now has 42 points overall.

Defender: Andrew Robertson- Liverpool 5pts

Robertson had to remain alert as Liverpool kept their unbeaten record at home playing against the team now in 1st place in Manchester United. Robertson is Liverpool’s best defender in the fantasy points and has 34 overall and his value is 8.5m.

Midfielder: Raheem Sterling- Manchester City 6pts

Raheem Sterling scored his 5th goal of the season and his cracking goal helped Manchester City into 2nd place as they beat Crystal Palace 4-0 at home. Sterling now has 39 points overall and is City’s 2nd best midfielder in the fantasy rankings.

Midfielder: Neal Maupay- Brighton 6pts

Not many would have expected Brighton to keep a clean sheet and beat Leeds away from home but that’s what happened. Brighton won 1-0 and that was down to Neal Maupay’s goal. Maupay has seven goals so far and is valued at 3.5m.

Midfielder: Mason Mount- Chelsea 6pts

Despite Chelsea’s stars it was down to Mason Mount to grab the all important and only goal of the game as Chelsea beat Fulham away in the west London derby 1-0. With 24 points Mount has the most points of any Chelsea midfield in the fantasy rankings.

Midfielder: Ilkay Gundogan- Manchester City 6pts

Ilkay Gundogan is on form and scored a superb goal as City cruised to a 4-0 win over Crystal Palace and moved into 2nd place. They will be the favourites now to win the league. The midfielder has scored 4 goals this season.

Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 4pts

Tottenham beat Sheffield United 3-1 away from home and Harry Kane scored the 2nd goal which seemed to give Tottenham more control in the game. Kane has now scored 12 goals and has been involved in 11 assists in a remarkable season so far for him.

Striker: David McGoldrick- Sheffield United 4pts

As far as strikers were concerned this wasn’t the week for many to score points. Sheffield United lost at home 3-1 to Tottenham but David McGoldrick did give the Blades a little hope when he pulled the game back to 2-1 for a brief moment. In a tough season for the club McGoldrick has scored 5 goals.

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Man Utd: Three key battles to look out for ahead of the huge Liverpool fixture

Going into gameweek 19, one of the main fixtures to look out for, is Liverpool vs Manchester United on Sunday, two teams who have been head-to-head with one another since the early days of Premier League football. Both sides are now the top-two most successful clubs across England.

The match is expected to be a close battle and an interesting one, as Jurgen Klopp’s men currently have the best home form in the league and are incredibly yet to be defeated at Anfield so far this season. On the other hand, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side at the moment have the best record away from home in the league, as they have impressively achieved 22 points out of a possible 24 points.

As the fixture is between the two main teams who are first and second in the league, the match may not be filled with many goals or a large number of chances being created, with both sides typically wanting to limit any personal mistakes and aim to pounce on the opposition’s errors and faults.

Without further ado, here are the three key battles to look out for ahead of the match…

Marcus Rashford vs Trent Alexander-Arnold

With seven goals and five assists to his name in 17 league appearances, Marcus Rashford will be hoping to develop and take his consistency in the final third up a notch, as the Premier League viewers are strictly holding him to reach 15 to 20 league goals per season. When compared to his team-mates in the league, the 23-year-old has completed the most dribbles (42) and the third most key passes (21), proving how much the player has improved, especially under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Rashford will be in for an exciting and tight duel with international football colleague, Trent Alexander-Arnold, who is considered as one of the best right-backs in the Premier League and is an influential player for Liverpool on both sides of the pitch. Despite some unconvincing performances this campaign and the calf injury which kept him on the sidelines for a couple of weeks in November, Alexander-Arnold will be looking to turn his form around with a solid display against Rashford.

Sadio Mane vs Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Liverpool have been relying on the goals of Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino to get them to where they currently are, but it’s the intelligent movement and unselfish play from Sadio Mane, that allows the attack to be so smooth and purely effective. The Senegal international may not be at his best compared to how prolific he was in the last two seasons, however, his inside movement from the left flank, allows more time and space for Andrew Robertson, who can provide the much needed crosses into penalty box as he has made a name for himself as a key creator.

Mane will have to be closely marked and watched by Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who hasn’t proven to be one of the key players for Manchester United like he had done so in the previous campaign. Nevertheless, the right-back when compared to the rest of the team in terms of defensive statistics, has completed the most tackles (49), most crosses blocked (19) and second most interceptions (19).

Bruno Fernandes vs Thiago Alcantara

Although Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has changed the selection around in midfield, whether it’s a pivot of Fred and Scott McTominay or Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba, there will be no doubts over Bruno Fernandes starting for one single moment, who will be the leading the team through his creativity and decision-making. He has incredibly managed to score 11 goals and produce seven assists in 17 league appearances, as he continues to prove to be one of the best football players in the league.

Meanwhile, for Liverpool, Thiago Alcantara is expected to play in the number six position in midfield, where he will be looking to progress the ball from the deep areas in midfield up to the final third of the pitch. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich midfielder has missed many games so far this season through COVID-19 and a knee injury, but he is now back to full fitness and is starting to get back to his best, as the Spaniard will be aiming to play a crucial role for Jurgen Klopp’s men.

Best Premier League Players so far- 2020/21

With no Premier League football this past weekend, it took a rest for the FA Cup, no fantasy points were earned or lost. But have you wondered which players are actually performing the best so far this season in their desired roles?

Below we will take the best 2 players for each position and review their seasons so far. Do you have them in your team, or do you need them? Let’s take a look.

Goalkeeper:

1. Damien Martinez- Aston Villa 38pts

Nobody expected Damien Martinez to be amongst the best goalkeepers in the Premier League this season. But he has amassed an incredible 38 points and has kept the most clean sheets of any goal keeper with 8 so far. His cost is incredible too, he is just 1m and he has to be the bargain of the season so far.

2. Ederson Moraes- Manchester City 38pts

Together with Liverpool’s Alisson, Ederson has conceded the least number of goals with 12 so far for a goalkeeper that is playing full time. Ederson has proved to be one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League and has kept seven clean sheets so far. He has played one game less than Martinez so could equal his 8 clean sheets in his next game.

Defence:

1. Ben Chilwell- Chelsea 38pts

It’s impressive to think this is Ben Chilwell’s debut season with Chelsea and he is the clubs top defender and the top in the Premier League based on the fantasy rankings. The former Leicester player has helped to keep six clean sheets, scored 2 goals and assisted in a further 4 more.

2. Kurt Zouma- Chelsea 37pts

Chelsea have had their ups and downs this season but they have the 2 best performing defenders in the Premier League. Kurt Zouma is a staple fixture in the Blues side now and has helped to keep six clean sheets. Though he hasn’t made any assists as of yet he has scored 4 goals already this season and for a defender that is an impressive return. Zouma is valued at 6m.

Midfield:

1. Mohamed Salah- Liverpool 68pts

Mohamed Salah has been stunning once again as he tries to win back to back league titles with Liverpool. He already has 68 points and has scored 13 goals and assisted in a further 3. He’s also been involved in helping to back track and keep 4 clean sheets so far. Salah is obviously one of the best players in the Premier League- and his price is not cheap, he is valued at 14m.

2. Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 61pts

What would Manchester United do without Bruno Fernandes? He has hands down been United’s most consistent player since Cristiano Ronaldo played for the Red Devils. Fernandes seems to be involved in goals every week and could well go down as a legend with the club, and he’s only been their less than two seasons. Fernandes has scored 11 goals and assisted in another seven, and he has really helped to turn the fortunes around for the famous club.

Striker:

1. Harry Kane- Tottenham 61pts

In defence it’s an all Chelsea affair, but up front it’s all about Tottenham. Harry Kane has been on fire as Spurs attempt to win silverware this season. Kane has scored 10 goals and assisted in 11. That is a phenomenal return when you think he has been involved in 21 league goals and we are not even at the halfway stage of the season. Kane could well be having his best season yet.

2. Heung-Min Son- Tottenham 60pts

Heung-Min Son is just a point behind Harry Kane in the fantasy rankings. Both players have started 16 games this season and Son has scored 12 goals and had 5 assists. Son has been at the fore front of Spurs’ plans for the last 18 months but this season in particular he seems to have gone up another level and is one of the most deadliest strikers in Europe now.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players from Week 16

Liverpool are still in charge of the Premier League in 1st place but Manchester United have surprised everyone and they are 2nd on the same points as Liverpool with just goal difference separating the two clubs.

The inform teams are Everton, Manchester City and Arsenal look to have recovered from their disappointing start and have won their last 3 games in a row.

It’s a new year so let’s take a look at the team of the week in the Premier League.

Goalkeeper: Bernd Leno- Arsenal 7pts

Arsenal beat West Bromwich Albion 4-0 and Leno was very assured in goal to keep a clean sheet away from home. Despite a difficult season Leno has now kept 5 clean sheets for the season so far.

Defender: Toby Alderweireld- Tottenham 9pts

Toby Alderweireld had a very memorable last for Tottenham as they cruised past Leeds. Not only was he part of a defence that kept a clean sheet but he also scored the third goal which killed off the game.

Defender: Kieran Tierney- Arsenal 11pts

Kieran Tierney earned a huge 11 points for Arsenal which brings his total to 21 points for the season. Along with keeping a clean sheet he also scored the opening goal as Arsenal thrashed West Bromwich Albion and then assisted in another, for his best performance of the season.

Defender: Rob Holding- Arsenal 7pts

Rob Holding kept a clean sheet as Arsenal beat West Bromwich Albion 4-0 and also made the assist for the Gunners first goal of the game. Holding has helped to keep 5 clean sheets this season and is valued at 6.5m.

Defender: Jeffrey Schlupp- Crystal Palace 9pts

It was a great week for defenders in the league and Jeffrey Schlupp helped Crystal Palace to beat Sheffield United 2-0 and scored a goal, that was Schlupp’s 2nd goal of the campaign

Midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne- Manchester City 6pts

Kevin De Bruyne put in an important and superb display as Manchester City beat Chelsea away from home 3-1. De Bruyne scored and assisted in a goal. The midfielder now has 37 points overall and has been involved in 11 goals for City.

Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 4pts

Bruno Fernandes has now scored 11 goals this season and he got the winner via a penalty as Manchester United beat Aston Villa 2-1 in a crunch game at the weekend.

Midfielder: James Maddison -Leicester 4pts

Alongside Jamie Vardy, James Maddison has been such an important player for Leicester this season and he earned another 4 points as he scored his 5th goal of the season and now has 27 points overall for the Foxes. Leicester beat Newcastle 2-1 in their latest game.

Midfielder: Neal Maupay- Brighton 4pts

Neal Maupay has impressed over the past few weeks and he scored Brighton’s 2nd goal as the Seagulls came back from 3-1 down against Wolves to draw the game 3-3 in a thrilling spectacle.

Striker: Alexandre Lacazette- Arsenal 8pts

It has not been a vintage season so far for Arsenal’s strikers but Alexandre Lacazette was the hero at the weekend as he scored 2 goals in 4 second half minutes to win the game for the Gunners as they beat West Bromwich Albion 4-0. Lacazette has scored seven goals so far and has 26 points this season for the club.

Striker: Phil Foden- Manchester City 6pts

Phil Foden will be wondering why he doesn’t start every game because he is getting better and better and would be a regular for any other side. Phil Foden scored his third goal for the club and has 5 overall and his value is 7m, as he earned 6 points over the weekend when Manchester City beat Chelsea 3-1.

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Why the Premier League should shut down for 1 month because of the Coronavirus

There comes a time where we need to reflect in moments of danger and chaos and perhaps the Premier League needs to follow suit after a huge increase in Coronavirus cases this past week. Up to 18 players were diagnosed positive in the last few days and this follows on from over 30% of first team players who have had the virus, at what point do you stop playing?

The Coronavirus earlier in the year halted play in England for 3 months and yet really what has changed since then? True we have a better understanding of the virus and vaccines are now ready but they are being staggered out meaning that most of the country won’t actually have received the jab until much later next year.

Then we have the problem of a new variant. One does have to wonder why such a high profile sport like football hasn’t stopped at least for a month? Do club owners think it is alright for their players to get the virus? True we haven’t witnessed any serious illnesses from footballers or death which is a blessing, but scientists have talked at length of long covid and anyone can carry on to have symptoms and have damaged organs. Or are footballers simply immune to the dangers of the virus because they are fit and healthy?

In any regards it seems very careless to carry on. Of course any football fan wants football to carry on and having it stopped feels like the end of the world in some respects, but it is not just the players that have to be protected. For example what of the players families and friends, it just feels like the virus could spread even more.

West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce is correct to suggest that football for now needs to stop. He made a very good point of his age. Allardyce is 66 and in the danger zone if he were to get the virus and he pointed out that players may be able to brush it off but less so older people, and managers of course fall into that group. If players are getting the virus, surely managers will follow. Of course it has happened already, look at West Ham’s David Moyes. Thankfully his case was mild but that doesn’t mean to say the next one will be.

It is a very unfortunate situation and one could well believe that the Premier League are throwing caution to the wind. What will it take for the FA to say a break is needed? It would make sense with the increased cases and the fact that vaccines are now being rolled out having at least a months break and having players self isolate seems to be the correct thing to do.

We all love football, but some things are simply more important at this time.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players from Week 15

The games are coming in thick and fast in the Premier League which is the only domestic major league in Europe that continues throughout the holiday season.

There have been surprise draws like Liverpool dropping points against West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal finally won a game. Everton and Leicester are in good form. So let’s see which players made the final cut this past weekend.

Goalkeeper: Illan Meslier- Leeds 7pts

Leeds beat Burnley in a very close game that finished 1-0. Meslier was very busy having to stop six shots on target and keep very aware. He earned his 7 points and now has -5 points in total and will hope to move that into a positive soon.

Defender: Ruben Dias- Manchester City 5pts

Ruben Dias has really landed on his feet in his role as one of Manchester City’s best defenders. Dias has now helped to keep seven clean sheets and earned another 5 points at the weekend to put his total to 32 so far for this season.

Defender: Ola Aina- Fulham 5pts

Ola Aina isn’t a household name as he battles with Fulham this season but he kept his third clean sheet of the season as Fulham drew 0-0 with the in form Southampton. Aina now has 15 points and his value is 4.5m.

Defender: Ryan Bertrand- Southampton 5pts

Ryan Bertrand has earned 13 points so far and he was at the heart of a Saints defence who had to keep alert against an inform Fulham team with the game finishing 0-0.

Defender: Nathan Ake- Manchester City 5pts

New signing Nathan Ake only has seven points so far but has only started 5 games but he played very well in keeping the defence compact as Manchester City eased to a 2-0 win against Newcastle at the weekend.

Midfielder: Bertrand Traore- Aston Villa 6pts

Bertrand Traore is really in form these past few weeks and the Villa midfielder scored a goal as his club beat Crystal Palace 3-0 in a one sided game.

Midfielder: Ilkay Gundogan- Manchester City 6pts

Ilkay Gundogan scored his 2nd goal of the season and the opening one as Manchester City beat Newcastle 2-0 to move dangerously up the table after a slow start to the season.

Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 5pts

Fernandes keeps putting in great displays and he earned a further 5 points at the weekend as Manchester United drew 2-2 with Leicester in an absorbing top of the table clash. Fernandes scored his 10th goal of the season and has 53 points overall and he is the 2nd best ranked midfielder in the fantasy rankings.

Midfielder: Sadio Mane- Liverpool 4pts

Sadio Mane scored Liverpool’s opening goal and he now has six so far. Although the Reds could only draw 1-1 with West Bromwich Albion, Mane put in a solid display and seems to be getting better week by week.

Striker: Gylfi Sigurdsson- Everton 4pts

Sigurdsson scored a very important goal as Everton beat Sheffield United 1-0. It was only the players 2nd goal of the season, but meant all 3 points for the club at the weekend and took Everton into 2nd place.

Striker: Anwar El Ghazi- Aston Villa 4pts

El Ghazi is turning out to be the surprise striker in the Premier League this season and the player is in form. He now has 4 goals for the season and has an overall points total of 16. El Ghazi scored Villa’s final goal as they brushed aside Crystal Palace 3-0.

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Premier League Game of the Week: Crystal Palace 0-7 Liverpool

Isn’t it always the case that the league champions find a moment and a game to just remind all of the pretenders that they are still a force to be reckoned with. Forget Liverpool’s recent win over Tottenham, that was crucial and could well set the club on their way for back to back titles. This win at the weekend was a statement, and your rivals do not like statements.

There was a feeling that Crystal Palace were in store for a hammering when Liverpool took a very early lead through Takumi Minamino. It was only his 2nd start of the season for the Reds and he scored after just 3 minutes after being set up by Sadio Mane.

It should have come as no surprise then when Mane doubled the Reds lead just after the half hour mark. Mane has a knack of scoring goals past the Eagles and has done so on the past six occasions. A third goal was imminent and came just before half time, this time by Roberto Firmino, the hero in the Tottenham victory and the champions were well on their way to three points, the score at half time was 3-0.

Whilst Liverpool had bossed possession it was interesting to see that at half time both clubs had had 3 shots on target each and Alisson had been made to work and made some fine saves, it’s just that Liverpool were more clinical.

If the first half had been closer than the score had suggested then the 2nd half would be all Liverpool with another four goals to come and Palace did not even have 1 shot on target.

The goals started to reign in seven minutes after the whistle went and Jordan Henderson scored a rare one for the club. Firmino then added his 2nd of the game after 68 minutes, and it was 5-0. The game was over but someone seemed to be missing from the score sheet.

That someone was Mohamed Salah arguably the best goal scorer the Premier League has had in the past 18 months. But the Egyptian would not be denied and he scored not one but two goals within the last 10 minutes to seal a fantastic victory. He also went to the top of the goal scorer’s chart and now has 13 goals so far this season.

It was a fantastic win for Liverpool and they seem to be able to pull out these type of scores a few times a season. This match felt like the champions had awoken from a slow start by their standards and that will be the worry for their rivals.

It got even better for Liverpool when Tottenham went on to lose against Leicester and Liverpool have now pulled a 4 point gap at the top. The Reds will face West Bromwich Albion at home on Boxing Day and they will be expected to win that. Leicester face a tough game against Manchester United and Tottenham will be in a tricky match away to Wolves. if all goes right Liverpool could pull seven points clear going into the new year games.

Top 3 Performers for Liverpool so far in the fantasy rankings

1. Mohamed Salah 66pts

2. Roberto Firmino 33pts

3. Sadio Mane 30pts

Top 3 Performers for Crystal Palace so far in the fantasy rankings

1. Wilfried Zaha 32pts

2. Christian Benteke 10pts

3. Andros Townsend 10pts

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