Top Premier League Defenders in 2018/19 – Aymeric Laporte

Aymeric Laporte

Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte was the highest-scoring non-Liverpool defender in fantasy EPL last season.

The 25-year-old French centre-back joined Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City team in January 2018 for €65 million from LaLiga’s Athletic Bilbao.

Since then, he has gone on to be recognised as one of the best defenders in the English Premier League with his consistent performances at the heart of the City backline.

At just 6.5 million, Laporte was a bargain for EPL fantasy managers last season. After impressing so well, his price is likely to increase before the 2019/20 campaign gets underway. Continue reading

Top Premier League Goalkeepers in 2018/19: Hugo Lloris

skysports-hugo-lloris-tottenham_4534227(1)

Hugo Lloris completed his seventh season with Tottenham and even though it ended with no trophies there was no denying that his club had had a successful season. In the end Lloris helped Tottenham to a Champions League final, the clubs first final in their history and they also finished 4th in the Premier League and qualified for next years tournament as a result.

Lloris played 33 league games for Spurs and kept 12 clean sheets conceding 33 goals along the way. In the European Fantasy League rankings for the Premier League Lloris finished in 4th place with a total of 60 points. In the end he finished just 2 points behind Chelsea’s world record signing Kepa Arrizabalaga.

While Lloris can look back on the season as a good one it didn’t exactly start off well for him when he was arrested on suspicion of drink driving. He later pleaded guilty to the charge. Whilst this was a down point in Lloris’ season what was positive is that the Frenchman did not feel sorry for himself and quickly battled back to be in the team, missing only five games this season.

Because Tottenham conceded in their first two games of the season it meant that Llois started it with no points. He picked up his first points after the brilliant 3-0 win at Old Trafford against Manchester United. That game ended up being a catalyst for the team to continue their good form and Lloris kept another two clean sheets on a row as Spurs went on to beat Cardiff and West Ham. Llrois’ run ended in the next game when Tottenham were beaten 1-0 by champions Manchester City.

One of the best months for Lloris was in April when he did not concede a goal in the league that month and earned 21 points from 3 games played after Spurs claimed victories over Crystal Palace, Huddersfield and Brighton.

Lloris’ lowest point of the season came against eternal rivals Arsenal, it was a frantic day of football in the north London derby that saw Arsenal come out 4-2 winners. Conceding 4 goals is never good as a goalkeeper and on that day he ended up with -6 points. There was also the defeat against Wolves which ended 3-1 where Llrois ended up with -4 points.

With the season winding down and Tottenham clearly concentrating on the Champions League, so did their club form. Lloris finished his final three games this season earning no points and indeed finished with -2 over that period.

Had Tottenham finished a little stronger there is no doubt that Lloris would have beaten Kepa in the rankings.

Lloris looks set to keep his place at Tottenham for another season and if manager Mauricio Pochettino can identify the clubs problems with some shrewd summer signings this should be able to bolster the clubs fortunes once more and Lloris will be looking to put more clean sheets and more points on the board for next season.

How well do you know English football? Want to challenge the best Premier League Fantasy Managers? Play www.epl-fantasy.com now!

 

Man City mustn’t stand still in this summer’s transfer market

Manchester City have set a new precedent at the top of the English game over the past two seasons, registering a combined 198 points over the 2017/18 and 2018/19 campaigns, collecting two Premier League titles. No team has dominated the English top flight like they have of late.

It’s difficult to envisage how Pep Guardiola’s side can possibly improve on what they have achieved over the past two seasons. And yet there are still some deficiencies to be addressed this summer. In terms of personnel, they could afford to strengthen in some areas before the start of the new season.

guard(1)

There have been rumours. Atletico Madrid Rodri was deemed to be their number one target. Tanguy Ndombele has also been linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium this summer, although Tottenham Hotspur now seem to have skipped ahead of City in the race to sign the Lyon man.

Ben Chilwell has been mentioned, as has Aaron Wan-Bissaka as doubts around Man City’s current full back options persist. More recently, it has been reported that Joao Felix is edging closer to the Abu Dhabi-owned outfit, with City thought to be willing to loan the teenager back to Benfica for at least one season.

Despite all this speculation Man City have yet to make a single move this summer. The clock is already ticking with the Premier League’s transfer deadline two weeks before the rest of Europe’s. Some have started to suggest that City don’t need to make a signing or two before that deadline passes.

That would be a mistake, though. With Liverpool only getting better with every season under Jurgen Klopp Man City cannot afford to stand still this summer. The Etihad Stadium side have done that before as Premier League champions, both under Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini, and have been made to pay the price.

It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that history could repeat itself if City start the 2019/20 season with the same squad, especially if Liverpool spend big again this summer. What’s more, Guardiola is still to deliver on the objective he was hired on the basis of on the first place. City are still some way from being European champions.

The best teams always seek to improve on past results no matter how impressive they are. Man City’s results over the past two seasons could barely be more impressive, but that doesn’t mean that they will continue to be impressive indefinitely. City, as they have done in each of the past few years, must spend.

How well do you know English football? Want to challenge the best English Fantasy Managers? Play www.epl-fantasy.com now.

Top Premier League Goalkeepers in 2018/19: Kepa Arrizabalaga

kepa(1)

On reflection Kepa Arrizabalaga has had a very successful debut season with Chelsea. The Spaniard moved from Athletic Bilbao for a huge fee €80m which made him the most expensive goalkeeper of all time at age just 24.

But Kepa has repaid the faith shown in Chelsea. He starred in a season that saw the Blues win the Europa League- their first European silverware since 2013. He helped the club finish in 3rd place and gain automatic Champions League qualification, though the Europa League win achieved that anyway. Chelsea lost just 2 games at home and they also reached the Carabao Cup final matching Manchester City throughout 120 minutes of football the game ended 0-0 but they lost on penalties.

Kepa is an excellent shot stopper with a potentially fantastic career ahead of him but at the same time if we talk about the Carabao Cup final we have to mention his low point this season. In the final Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri called for the Kepa to be substituted- he want fresh hands in the form of Willy Caballero for the penalty shoot out. But Kepa refused to come off. In the end he was dropped for the next game in favour of Caballero and fined a week’s wages.

But there are many positives to take from Kepa’s first season. He started the season off by keeping a clean sheet as Chelsea beat Huddersfield 3-0 and earned 7 points in the process. Overall he kept a clean sheet 14 times. His best period was the New Year, where he kept 2 clean sheets in a row, earning 14 points in a row. If there is to be a few criticisms of him it’s that he did not remain consistent throughout the season. This is shown in his final points tally of 62. Alisson ranked the number 1 goalkeeper in European Fantasy League earned more than double that.

The biggest low point for Kepa was when Chelsea were crushed 6-0 by eventual champions Manchester City. Kepa finished that weekend losing 10 points.

But there is a lot of hope for a goalkeeper who is still learning at the very highest level and one that on his debut season still finished ranked 3rd in the Premier League. His value this season in the fantasy league was just 6m and that is sure to rise for the beginning of next season where he will of course remain a Chelsea player after signing a 7 year contract with the Blues.

Kepa has his wish next season to be in the Champions League and it will also be interesting to see if he can break his points tally for this season. He has also ousted Manchester United’s David de Gea from the Spanish squad as first choice goalkeeper, so the future looks great for the 24 year old.

How well do you know English football? Want to challenge the best Premier League Fantasy Managers? Play www.epl-fantasy.com now!

 

Liverpool is More Efficient than Manchester City

At the end of the English Premier League season,  Daily Mail has published a prime money prediction for 2018-2019. The sum was formed by using three sources: an equal share, which is distributed among all teams (79.4 million pounds each), bonus for a placing at the end of the season, and money from sold TV rights for matches involving the club. This is not an official source, and the final figures will be published this fall. But the table gives a rough understanding of how the television market is arranged in the English Premier League. Plus, you can estimate the mechanics of prize distribution.

For example, the system of distribution of income from TV rights is as follows. All clubs must receive 12.3 million pounds. And then the clubs get paid only if they’ve appeared on TV more than 10 times. Each match above this mark brings 1.2 million pounds. This season, the minimum amount was received by 4 clubs: Bournemouth, Southampton, Huddersfield, and Watford. All of them got 12.3 million pounds. The leader in terms of TV matches is Liverpool – their matches were broadcasted 29 times.

This brought Jurgen Klopp’s team 33.5 million pounds. Manchester City, by the way, is only the third in terms of televised matches (26). The second is Manchester United, which had 27 televised matches. Due to this, MC is only the second in terms of total prize money: 148.1 million pounds as compared to Liverpool’s 149.5 million pounds. By the way, last season, Manchester United also took the second place in terms of revenue once again because of the number of televised matches. A year ago, Man United took the first place, and MC took the second place.

However, there is yet another table by Daily Mail, which is a bit more interesting. They figured out the approximate amount of money for every point won during the season. They just took the average weekly salary that a club has to pay to its players and divided that number by the number of points a team won during the season. All the stages of the season were taken into account, but the last stage didn’t bring any changes. Wolverhampton became the leader in this table: they’ve spent £30,835 for every point that they’ve won during the season. Liverpool, for example, spent £50,133 for every point, and MC spent 61,153. As for the top 6 clubs of the season, the most economically profitable one is Tottenham, with £49,518 for every point that they’ve won during the season.

As for the final placements, the Huddersfield players were frankly overpaid: 82,533 pounds for each point they’ve won during the season. Here’s the fun part, the most unprofitable turned out to be Manchester United with £99,010 for every point that they’ve won during the season. That’s one and a half times more expensive than their neighbors pay to their players. Their players are twice as inefficient as the ones in Liverpool.

At the same time, this isn’t really anything new, as Manchester United were thinking about reducing the payrolls of their players for the past three years, but not at the expense of selling high-paid football players. And not by reducing wages. They decided to implement changes to the system of bonuses for every goal and assist. For example, Alexis Sanchez has a bonus of 75 thousand pounds for each goal, and each assistant brings him 25 thousand pounds. Paul Pogba earns a bit less: 50 thousand pounds for a goal and 20 for an assist.

It’s fun to watch Sanchez’s matches, he is a very good player. If you want to engage your partner or a friend into football – then Liverpool is a good team to cheer for; their performance in the last season was truly great. But if you don’t have a partner right now, then be sure to check out VavaDating.com, the best dating service on the internet.

They say it is because of these aspects of their contracts that Sanchez and Pogba had a few disagreements during the past season. A year ago, there was an interesting situation, during which there was a big disagreement between the two players – they had to choose a player who is going to shoot the penalty against Lester. Now it is obvious that, for each of them, it was a matter of a serious financial bonus. This whole system, as the British media say, is having a very negative effect on the atmosphere in the Manchester United’s dressing room. And it’s no wonder that both Pogba and Sanchez are considered to be the main candidates for leaving the club next summer.

 

Top Premier League Goalkeepers in 2018/19: Ederson

Manchester-City-star-Ederson-664165(1)

A huge part of Manchester City’s Premier League title win has to come down to goalkeeper Ederson, full name Ederson Moraes who was like a wall in goal. This was evidenced in the fact that he kept 20 clean sheets, just one less than Liverpool’s Alisson.

While Alisson could arguably be seen as the best goalkeeper in the Premier League this season what is so impressive about Ederson’s season is that he cost £35m to City, half of what Alisson cost and basically Ederson seemed to match Alisson game for game. It will be a headache of course for the Brazilian national team who have arguably their best 2 goalkeepers in their history- but at the same time!

In the Premier League Fantasy rankings Ederson finished in 2nd place for the goalkeepers and got 130 points, just six less than Alisson. His value was the same as Alisson’s at 10m.

Personally Ederson had a fantastic season with Manchester City not only winning an historic league title which was the first back to back win for the club but also picking up the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup which means that Ederson became the first ever goalkeeper in English history to win a domestic treble.

Ederson started the campaign off in fantastic style earning 7 points when City beat Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates. Against Huddersfield he was set to earn zero points but he actually created an assist for Sergio Aguero as City won 6-1 and so earned 2 points, and thus became the first ever City goalkeeper to complete an assist.

Ederson’s best points total was 7 which he wasn’t able to beat and would be rare to do so but he got 7 points on no less than 20 times which included earning that amount on 4 games in a row towards the end of the season when City were picking off opponents seemingly by the same score line of 1-0.

The Brazilian has had to fight off challengers from Joe Hart and then Claudio Bravo to keep his place as the number 1 goalkeeper for City and one of those reasons isn’t just because he is one of the best shot stoppers in the game. It is no secret that City manager Pep Guardiola loves keepers who will quickly distribute the ball forward if they come into contact with the ball and keep the game flowing in a natural attacking way, and Ederson is one of the best goalkeepers in the business at doing that.

How well do you know English football? Want to challenge the best Premier League Fantasy Managers? Play www.epl-fantasy.com now!

 

Top Premier League Goalkeepers in 2018/19: Alisson

Alisson-diving(1)

Though Liverpool did not win the league in the end it was by the narrowest of margins and while the whole team shined in their respective positions, a lot has to be owed to goalkeeper Alisson who kept the Reds in contention right up to the final 70 minutes of the league season.

Jurgen Klopp spent almost £67m on the Brazilian shot stopper which for a small time became the world record transfer fee for a goalkeeper. It was broken by Chelsea when they signed Kepa Arrizabalaga for £71m. However it was Alisson that emerged from the Premier League season as the best goalkeeper in England if not Europe.

Liverpool were attracted to the services of Alisson after they met his then side Roma in last seasons Champions League semi-finals. Ironically Liverpool put 7 goals past the Romans, but Klopp could see the wider picture which included Alisson keeping 22 clean sheets for Roma that season in Serie A.

Alisson’s competitive debut started off in style as he kept a clean sheet in Liverpool’s 4-0 rout of West Ham. Alisson would go on to play every league game of the campaign for Liverpool which was by far their most successful season since winning the league title in 1990.

As far as clean sheets were concerned Alisson did not concede in goal for Liverpool’s first three games of the season. Overall he helped keep 21 clean sheets for the Reds in a remarkable season that saw Liverpool reach 97 points and lose just 1 game and still not win the league. However his 21 clean sheets was the best record in the league with Manchester City’s Ederson coming in 2nd with 20.

Alisson did not pick up any players of the month awards but these are usually given to strikers and this was the case again this season when 8 of the 9 awards went to forwards. The only exception being Virgil van Dijk, Alisson’s Liverpool teammate.

With 22 goals conceded Liverpool shipped the least amount of goals in the league beating eventual champions Manchester City by one goal. And in the Champions League, Alisson has played every game so far, with the final coming up against Tottenham on Saturday. He was able to keep a further 2 clean sheets from 6 group games played. In the knock out stages he kept clean sheets in the home games v Bayern Munich, Porto and Barcelona.

For all leagues in European Fantasy Football goalkeepers Alisson is ranked as number 1 and earned 136 points over the season. He finished 6 points clear of Manchester City’s Ederson. His discipline was also very good with just 1 yellow card shown during the whole season. At this time Alisson is valued at 10m to bring into your team. It is inevitable that the Brazilian will be at Liverpool for many more years and he has proved this season that he is amongst the world’s finest goalkeepers.

How well do you know English football? Want to challenge the best Premier League Fantasy Managers? Play www.epl-fantasy.com now!

 

 

 

Is Leroy Sane’s time at Manchester City coming to an end?

Leroy Sane

Manchester City forward Leroy Sane is the latest to be wanted by German champions Bayern Munich as they look to build on their championship winning squad. The 23-year-old has garnered interest with the Bavarians looking to replace the departing Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben. Continue reading

Pep Guardiola’s time at Manchester City will not be complete without Champions League win

pep9(1)

There has been much praise towards Manchester City after their fantastic league win which they converted into a domestic treble at the weekend. Pep Guardiola’s side won the Premier League, the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup when they destroyed Watford 6-0. That was the joint equal highest score in a cup final since Bury won in 1903 and it is the first time ever that a domestic treble has been won in England.

This is all good news but super rich City and super slick Guardiola are missing one big trophy in the cabinet and that is the Champions League.

Manchester City have never won the competition even in the old style format of the European Cup, the nearest they have been is the semi-finals. It is a trophy that Guardiola as a manager has won two times before and yet both of those were with Barcelona and he hasn’t had his hands around the famous silver trophy since 2011 when Barcelona made light work of Manchester United.

Eight years is a long time in football and despite Guardiola’s successes at both Bayern Munich and City that trophy has eluded him for almost a decade. Guardiola will not want to leave the club without winning it, doing so considering all of the money that he has spent would feel as if something was missing.

If we compared how Chelsea and City have progressed after their big money takeovers, then it is Chelsea who have achieved more in a shorter space of time. Five years after Roman Abramovich took over the club and ploughed millions into the team Chelsea reached a Champions League final and in all it took the club 9 years to win it. City’s takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group commenced in 2008 and therefore the club have had a significant budget for 11 years and have not been able to reach the final of the Champions League.

Of course City are now stamping their authority on the Premier League just as their rivals Manchester United did for the past 20 years before, but football has become more than just winning your own league. Look at Barcelona, PSG and Juventus to see evident of that. Yes all happy teams and their achievements still fantastic but all are aiming for the bigger prize in their owners minds of Champions League glory. Guardiola recently admitted it himself, and it is clear that his legacy at City is going to be judged on it.

Pep Guardiola’s strive for greatness brings the best out of Raheem Sterling

“The boy who grew up in the shadow of the Wembley arch.” A tattoo on his left forearm depicts a young Raheem Sterling wearing his favourite No. 10 shirt, holding a football and looking at the famous Wembley arch. To the Englishman, this place has always been home. It’s only fitting that Sterling bagged a brace in his first FA Cup final for Manchester City. Continue reading