Liverpool go 11 points clear as Premier League title becomes a reality

When Liverpool beat Manchester City to go 9 points clear of the champions many pundits and fans said that was it, Liverpool would be champions this season. But the club have enjoyed a dream weekend where they have now extended that lead to 11 points and surely no team is catching them up now?

On Saturday Liverpool made heavy weather of Brighton at Anfield. Whilst they ran into a 2-0 lead, Brighton pulled one back towards the end and there was some genuinely tense moments before the game could be settled. When the final whistle went there was a massive roar in the Kop end because Manchester City had played earlier and could only draw 2-2.

One has to question City’s hunger, passion, willingness and desire this season. They are one of the best teams in Europe of course, but one senses because of how they won the league last season and have back to back wins, Pep Guardiola’s team are now concentrating more on the Champions League. For sure that is the trophy that Guardiola wants and wouldn’t want to leave a 2nd club in a row, the first being Bayern Munich without the Champions League.

It is easy to scoff at the fact that City lack passion etc. In fact they have it in bundles, but they just don’t have it as much as Liverpool do. Has a club ever wanted the Premier League title so bad? And of course they haven’t won the top tier league in England since 1990.

With City dropping points it was up to Frank Lampard’s Chelsea to go 2nd and decrease that gap over Liverpool, but they failed spectacularly. Chelsea, who have been one of the best in form teams in the league lost 1-0 at home to  West Ham in one of the biggest surprises so far in the Premier League season. It was only Chelsea’s 2nd loss at home this season and in fact the club have had a week to forget after drawing 2-2 away to Valencia in the Champions League, thus still not sealing their qualification.

Leicester are next up and they play later today at home to Everton. With the brilliant form that the Foxes have shown they will be favourites to win that game, but after seeing some surprises on Saturday who knows what will happen and of course Everton need the win or manager Marco Silva could be sacked.

If Leicester do win they would go 2nd in the league and climb onto 32 points and would cut Liverpool’s lead to 32. Whilst the Foxes have been superb could we realistically see them being the team to step up and challenge Liverpool? Well they did win the league in 2016. Today will ask more questions of Brendan Rodgers super side.

For now Liverpool look well on their way to winning the league and winning it with ease. Can anyone stop them?

Play the newest EPL fantasy game here https://epl-fantasy.com

 

Will Pep Guardiola leave Manchester City at the end of the season?

At the end of this season, Pep Guardiola will have spent four years in Manchester. He’s never coached a team for longer than three years and so many have questioned as to whether he will remain at Manchester City beyond the end of the season.

The Spaniard has already stated he will see out his contract with the Premier League club, but there’s still that small possibility that he could leave the reigning champions, despite unfinished business.

He came to Manchester to win the Champions League. He’s yet to do that, with two consecutive Champions League quarter-final exits, against runners-up on both occasions – Liverpool in 2018 and Tottenham Hotspur in 2019. If he wins the Champions League this reason, then perhaps he doesn’t have a reason to stay.

With interest coming from former club Bayern Munich following their dismissal of Niko Kovac after a thrashing defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt, rumours of a Guardiola return to the Allianz Arena have been strong.

Guardiola says he was “incredibly happy” at Bayern Munich but insists he will honour his Manchester City contract. However, we know that these things change on a day-to-day basis in football.

When asked about a potential return to Bayern Munich, Guardiola responded: “When these things appear, is it the media or the club? We don’t know. It could be one guy [starting a rumour] and then people take it.

“I like the people from Bayern a lot. I was incredibly happy there, but they know I’m a guy that respects what I sign.

“In football, when you are not getting results you can be sacked but in this case if the club [Manchester City] wants me, I want to stay here.

“It doesn’t matter if Bayern want me or not in the future. My love for the city, the club and the people I met there is incredible.

“It is the same in Barcelona because it is my hometown, but the same happened here. I have more things to do.”

The chances of Manchester City sacking Guardiola at the end of the season even if he misses out on the Premier League and Champions League is extremely slim. Therefore, the chances of him leaving the Etihad this summer is also slim. But you can never say never in football.

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has already expressed his interest in his former coach with Mauricio Pochetinno, Erik ten Hag and Thomas Tuchel also coaches that have been named with the vacant position. And with Bayern in no rush to name a successor to Kovac with interim Hansi Flick doing an adequate job, Bayern may prove a tempting proposition for Guardiola come the summer if he does part ways with Manchester City.

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

The best 11 performing players in the Premier League 2019/20 so far

The 2019/20 Premier League season is 3 months so what better time after a quarter a third of the season gone that we look at the top performing players for each position based on European Fantasy football points. This is a great way to get your fantasy team back on track and to figure out who is performing and who isn’t. This is a team dominated by Manchester City and Leicester players with a few surprises in between.

Goalkeeper: Kasper Schmeichel

Dad Peter would be very proud of his sons start to the Premier League campaign with Leicester. Schmeichel is heads and tails above other goalkeepers and has 33 points already. He has kept 5 clean sheets which is the equal best so far.

Defender: Ben Chilwell

We stay with Leicester, and the best defender with the most points is Ben Chilwell. He has 33 and has had a solid start to the season, assisting in 3 goals, scoring himself and keeping five clean sheets. He earned another valuable 5 points at the weekend too as Leicester beat Arsenal 2-0.

Defender: Edna Stevens

Not many people would have put Edna Stevens down to be one of the best performing defenders this season. But Stevens has got off to a brilliant start with his club Sheffield United.  He has been part of a back four that has kept five clean sheets plus he has assisted in a goal.

Defender: Jonathan Evans

Maybe Evans isn’t talked about much, but the Leicester defender is having a very good season. He has 23 points so far and picked up another 4 at the weekend. He has set up one goal and helped keep 5 clean sheets. If you are looking to do some online football betting and have an interest in researching more then you should check out LSM which can offer you a suitable tool to engage in football betting.

Defender: Andrew Robertson

Liverpool’s Andrew Roberson has been one of the best defenders in the league in the past 18 months and he is proving that again as Liverpool are in 1st place. He has only kept 2 clean sheets, but has set up 4 goals and scored one already.

Midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne

Manchester City’s deadly attacking midfielder has accumulated the most points in his position and has 38 so far. From 10 starts he has scored 3 goals and assisted in another 8 for a great record after such a short period of time.

Midfielder: Raheem Sterling

Staying with Manchester City is attacking midfielder Raheem Sterling who has bagged 7 goals so far and assisted in one goal. He currently has 36 points and is just two behind his teammate.

Midfielder: Sadio Mane

Sadio Mane is simply ever consistent and a thorn in many peoples sides. The Liverpool winger has already scored 7 goals and has two assists. He has 35 points and it would only take one good week to see him fly into 1st position.

Midfielder: Bernardo Silva

So 3 of the four best midfielders are from one club Manchester City which says a lot about the champions quality. Silva has started 8 games but has scored 5 times already, assisted in a further two goals and when he has played City have kept five clean sheets, that’s pretty good going from the Spaniard.

Forward: Jamie Vardy

The Leicester forward has been wonderfully consistent since being with the Foxes, but this season the 32 year old is on course to have his best of his career, at least stats wise. Vardy has racked up 49 points in fantasy football, easily the best in the league and has scored 11 times and assisted in two further goals. He is pure gold right now for the club

Forward: Tammy Abraham

The Chelsea forward has been a revelation this season under Frank Lampard and has started the season like a world class forward. He has 44 points and has scored 10 goals and assisted in two others. He is already the surprise player of the new Premier League season.

Play the newest EPL fantasy game here https://epl-fantasy.com

 

 

 

 

 

Pep Guardiola fumes as Manchester City lose ground in title race

Manchester City missed the chance to close the gap to Premier League leaders Liverpool at Anfield after the video assistant referee once again providing the narrative for such an important fixture.

Liverpool took the lead through Fabinho after just six minutes when the Brazilian’s 25-yard strike nestled its way past Claudio Bravo. It wasn’t until VAR checked for a handball against Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold in the build-up. After consultation, the goal was given, to Pep Guardiola’s distain. Continue reading

6 memorable Premier League matches between Liverpool and Manchester City

Liverpool 3-2 Manchester City (September 2000)

In terms of determining the destination of the Premier League title, it can now be said that Liverpool vs Manchester City is the biggest game in English football. It was not always thus, however, but the two teams still played out an entertaining encounter in 2000 despite neither being anywhere near that season’s championship tussle.

Continue reading

Pep Guardiola happy with patient attacking display against Southampton

Manchester City are just manage to keep Liverpool in their sights after Kyle Walker’s late winner against Southampton on Saturday, meaning the reigning champions are just six points behind Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

Unlike last season, City are being made to work for their wins this season while manager Pep Guardiola praised their patience and attacking intensity after training to an early James Ward-Prouse goal. Continue reading

Can Leicester win another Premier League title?

No one associated with football will ever forget the Premier League season of 2015/16 when Leicester City at odds of 5000/1 won the Premier League. It was the biggest shock to grace the league since becoming the Premier League in the 1992/93 season. That season the usual suspects were supposed to be winning it, namely Chelsea who were the current champions and the ever present Manchester City. Tottenham also had their say, but it was Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester side who deservedly won it and in stunning fashion.

When the Foxes won the league, one suspected that was it, some players would leave, some would stay, some would write biographies and so on. But Leicester’s moment in the gleaming success of the football elite would be over. They had had their time, what a time it was of course, and see you later, perhaps in another 100 years time. But 3 years on from that success the team are shaping up to have another successful league campaign.

This time it is under former Liverpool and Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, who himself came very close to winning the league with Liverpool in the 2013/14 season. The Reds had an infamous 5 point lead with just three games left to play that season. Rodgers has been around and proved to be a very capable manager and since taking over at Leicester in March has turned the clubs fortunes around, more importantly he has made the players believe once again that the club were champions very recently and should be proud of that fact.

Rodgers record since taking over reads like this; He has a 54.5% win rate and from 22 games managed he has earned the club 41 points. On average then that means that in 38 games he would have pulled in around 70 points. That is probably Champions League football.

But here’s the thing, can Leicester win the league again and really put everyone on their backsides? The answer is most probably no, because they have the mighty two teams to challenge who are also in front of them in the shape of Liverpool and Manchester City. Liverpool are 8 points in front and City the current champions are 2 points in front of them. But then again all it takes is for Liverpool to have a bad run and Leicester simply to keep consistency. It would still be very difficult, but the Foxes do have a great chance to return to the Champions League, if they finish in the top four surely that is rubber stamping what has been a fantastic era for the club.

Their recent 9-0 thrashing of Southampton will be rightly remembered for some time and it will be fascinating to see how far the club can go and how many points they can accumulate at least from now up until the Christmas period. If anything it is brilliant to see the club right up there, determined not to simply fade away on the horizon after their fantastic league win. Rodgers is proving to be a very special manager indeed.

Play the newest EPL fantasy game here https://epl-fantasy.com

Are Manchester City vulnerable?

Manchester City suffered their second Premier League defeat of the season after a brace from Adama Traore in the final 10 minutes put the reigning champions eight points behind leaders Liverpool. Dropping five points from their opening four home games, it’s only the second time City have failed to find the in 45 league games. Injuries have certainly caught up with Pep Guardiola’s side, and it’s making them look vulnerable.  Continue reading

Phil Foden must demand more game time from Pep Guardiola

Phil Foden was given the grand total of one minute of game time at the end of Manchester City’s Champions League group stage game against Dinamo Zagreb, but that’s all he required to make an impression, finding the net to cap a comfortable, if uninspiring, win on Tuesday night.

The 19-year-old must have felt a burning sense of vindication. Foden has found himself on the peripheries of the City first team so far this season, making just one substitute cameo in eight Premier League games. In fact, his only start this season came in the Carabao Cup win over Preston North End.

After the Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb, Guardiola was keen to apologise to Foden for not giving him more time on the pitch. “He deserves to play. I want to give him minutes. Every time I don’t play him, I am in front of him saying I’m sorry,” said the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss.

“But it’s Kevin de Bruyne there, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, David Silva, Ilkay Gundogan, I’m so sorry. I know the best way to grow up is to play minutes, but he’s so young. I don’t know how many players that age play have played more minutes in the recent past, the minutes he has played the last season with us, but he’s going to be an incredible player for us in the future. We trust in him a lot. But it is what it is.”

But Guardiola needs to stop apologising to Foden and start giving him the game time he deserves. This is a player who has been billed as a one in a generation talent. A player Guardiola has gushed about time and time again. But the Catalan’s team selections paint a very different picture.

It’s time for Foden to start demanding first team football or start plotting a route out of the Etihad Stadium. Now 19 years old, the midfielder must start developing week-on-week. Guardiola has previously said that he wants Foden to be more vocal, to find his voice. Well, now is the time for the teenager to knock on the manager’s door.

There is no denying Foden’s talent and there is some weight in the theory that he is in the best possible place for his development. He is a City academy product and Guardiola has a track record in bringing through players of his type. But that theory falls down if he’s only being given next to no game time.

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

West Ham- the surprise team of the Premier League so far

Not many pundits or fans would have predicted that West Ham would be in 4th position in the Premier League after 7 games but that is exactly where they are, and they still have room for improvement.

It started off so badly in the league for the Hammers, who were literally hammered at home by champions Manchester City 5-0. Sometimes you have to hold your hands up against the champions and a loss is a loss. But it was the manner in which West Ham gave up and complete with a toothless performance which led many to think that Manuel Pellegrini’s team could struggle this season, not so.

That loss has been the only one so far for the Irons who have gone on to win 3 and draw 3. They have now gone 6 games unbeaten, with the best of the bunch result arguably being against Manchester United where the club won 2-0.

The winning feels great but any fan will tell you they have seen much better, even in recent seasons and there is a sense that the Hammers aren’t playing great football, but are getting the positive results.

This is all fantastic news for a club that usually have to step back into the shadows when it comes to the big London teams of Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham. But as it stands West Ham are proving their worth.

A lot of credit needs to go down to manager Manuel Pellegrini, who has taken his time with a squad that have faced many long term injuries last season. One such player was Andriy Yarmolenko who missed almost the entire season. Well he has already bagged a few goals this term and is turning into somewhat of a cult hero. Good times are here at West Ham, and perhaps they deserve it after all of the problems they have been through.

The club play Crystal Palace at home next weekend and then Everton away followed by Sheffield United at home. One could expect at least 6 points from those games.

There are still the question marks, like for example how can a team who dream of finishing high up and then to play in Europe justify losing to Oxford United 4-0 and get knocked out of the Carabao Cup. True Pellegrini did make 9 changes but even so, there was plenty of quality on the field.

It was a huge loss, and maybe the only way to chase those demons is to watch again in a few years. Finally Pellegrini seems to have the team he wants and he is implementing perfectly. The game should be a classic.