Revealed: The Likely date that the Premier League will return on

The Coronavirus has turned the world upside down with many lockdowns all over the world as people are hit the hardest, and are not quite sure what the immediate future holds. For football fans the lockdown has seemed strange, we aren’t used to have no football. Even when the season ends, pre-season friendlies and tournaments or major summer competitions take the place. Literally we have football 365 days a year.

Obviously lives and the safety of people matter more than sport, but there will always be the burning question for sports fans and football ones, when will it all return?

Whilst we can’t 100% tell the future we can certainly look at countries that were hit with the virus before England and take from this an example. The virus started in Wuhan, China and it isn’t important when the first cases were recorded which is believed to have been as early as December, but when the area went into lockdown. The lockdown happened on January 23rd and naturally everything was cancelled and the lockdown went on for 2 months.

In England the lockdown happened roughly two months after Wuhan with the natural delay. The UK government said that they believe the lockdown should be applied for at least two months last week,and that would be in line with Wuhan who are just about getting back to having a normal way of life.

If we take into account the 2 months that would mean that the lockdown in England should be lifted around May 25th. There will have to be an easing period, but we could expect traffic flowing again and people returning to work within 10 days to 2 weeks of the lockdown being lifted. As for football the country’s far and away biggest sport we can expect at least another week on top of the lockdown being lifted.

With that being said the Premier League could well return to action on June 13th which is a Saturday. Of course there would still need to be caution and we could expect at least the first three games to be played behind closed doors. In that time Liverpool could well win the league, and the sad reality is that they could do so with no fans.

As for finishing the season, there was two months left, but with some games being played in midweek it would be possible, one would think, to have the season finished by the beginning of August. The next season would then only have to be delayed by a month and could start in mid September, possibly after the first round of Champions Leagues are played.

Of course many talks will have to take place, namely for players’ contracts so many are on course to expire on June 30th, and that would all have to be agreed. Getting players back out on the pitch too will be needed but one would expect that the virus will not be a threat by then.

It’s an interesting idea, but with thought having the league returning in mid June could well happen, just looking at how the world has been dealing with the virus.

Let’s hope the virus can be vanquished quickly and we can return to normality and start watching our favourite sports once more.

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From Mbappe to Aguero the top 10 best strikers in the world right now

As we have a pause in the league we have complied the top 10 best strikers in the world at this time. With leagues hopefully set to resume in a few weeks time and with about 10 games left to play not so much should change in our assessments of who has been the best strikers in world football at this time.

We have complied links to some of these players and when the leagues do start back up you may want to add some of them into your team. You will be surprised as some are still affordable and on a good budget.

To note the list is made up of strikers goals to games ratios and not how many goals they have scored so far, as that would be unfair as some players have not played the same amount of games.

10. Wissam Ben Yedder- Monaco 18 goals

Monaco have struggled over the past few seasons selling too many good players and taking the cash. So it surprised everyone when they splashed out 40 million euros on Ben Yedder and bought him from Sevilla. Maybe it was a surprise that Sevilla let him go. Ben Yedder is a classic centre forward who scores goals. He has 18 so far and has made all the difference to Monaco, who are now chasing a European finish.

9. Jamie Vardy- Leicester  19 goals

When Jamie Vardy finally leaves Leicester they will build a statue of him. He has stuck with the club through the glory and desperate times. This season though has been superb and the club have surprised everyone climbing to 3rd place and keeping it. They are on course to qualify for the Champions League and Vardy’s 19 goals have surely helped them. He is currently the top goalscorer in the Premier League.

8. Sergio Aguero- Manchester City 16 goals

Aguero gets older but does so like a fine wine and scores goals. What he does so well is get the important ones too. It hasn’t been a great campaign for City who are 25 points behind Liverpool, but Aguero has battled on. Some say this could be his last season with the club, he will leave as a club legend, no doubt.

7. Timo Werner- RB Leipzig 21 goals

Timo Werner has scored 21 goals in just 25 games as his club continue to surprise, doing well in the Bundesliga and making the later stages of the Champions League. He looks to be the next big German striker who is going to score plenty of goals in the major competitions as is only 24. A goal scoring machine.

6. Lionel Messi- Barcelona 19 goals

Messi ‘only’ has 19 goals so far for Barcelona this season, but he is still easily the top goalscorer in the league, and his games to goals ratio is still one of the best in Europe. Even at 33 he is showing no signs of letting up and his goals have meant that Barcelona are in 1st position at this moment over their eternal rivals Real Madrid and going for yet another league win.

5. Neymar- PSG 13 goals

True Neymar only has 13 goals this season but then again because of two injury lay offs he has only played 15 games. That’s when it hits you how consistent the player is. Since coming back into the team in December PSG have looked like world beaters, so not only does he score goals but he clearly influences his team mates. Still one of the worlds best.

4. Kylian Mbappe -PSG 18 goals

Mbappe has scored 18 goals from just 20 games and continues to be one of the very best strikers in the world. He is still so young and has plenty ahead of him. He has been so consistent for PSG and is genuinely one of the deadliest strikers on his day in world football.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo- Juventus 21 goals

Last season Ronaldo scored 21 goals from 31 league games. This season he has the same amount of goals from just 22 games. Ronaldo did not go to Italy to just see out his playing days and has been more than terrific at Juventus. Perhaps his time there will be defined if he can bring European glory to the club, but as a goalscorer he cannot be judged. Everywhere he goes the goals follow.

2. Ciro Immobile- Lazio 27 goals

Ciro Immobile has had an incredible season, so has his club Lazio who are looking for their first league title in 20 years. They might get it and if they do then a lot of it could well be done to Immobile’s goals. It is clear that he will get on the 30 goal marker which is quite rare in Italian football and has simply been a superb striker this season.

1. Robert Lewandowski- Bayern Munich 25 goals

One of the most intelligent strikers in world football. This season Lewandowski has scored 2 more goals than he has played (23). Bayern Munich look on course to win the league in Germany and are amongst the favourites to win the Champions League. He scores plenty of goals, and scores beautiful ones too. Keep your eye off him for a second and suffer the consequences. A stunning striker.

 

 

 

Facts are facts Manchester City have been poor this season

Manchester City lost to rivals Manchester United 2-0 yesterday in the infamous Manchester derby as they came up short once again this season.

For Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the Manchester United manager has seen his side knocked out of the Carabao Cup against City, although they did win the second leg, but he has now done the league double over Pep Guardiola and the current champions.

For bragging rights between the two teams, that will reside in the red half of Manchester and whilst Solskjaer and United will be praised for their upturn in performance and form can the same be said for City?

City’s season really seemed to collapse around November when everyone was admitting and seeing that Liverpool were going to win the league, the Reds after the disappointment of last season had more hunger, passion and commitment, the gulf between them and any other club but including even City was huge, there was always going to be just one winner, and everyone knew it even if some tried to pretend that the title race was still on, it really wasn’t.

What came to light was quick and that was after conquering the league and winning it two times in a row Guardiola set in motion the objective for the team to win the Champions League, which would be the clubs first ever win, and with time running out on his contract Guardiola knows it could be this season or never. It’s why City went to the Bernabeu and put in such a professional performance to come out of the game leading 2-1 going into the 2nd leg at home. City had just beaten a team who had won the competition four times in the last decade including three in a row, this was a huge statement. Could you think of an equal huge statement City have made in the Premier League this season?

Liverpool have blown everyone away domestically and let’s not pretend that even if City were much stronger Liverpool would be winning the league. But seeing a gap of 25 points, which could be 22 if City win their game in hand is simply embarrassing. City as champions, with the money they have spent on players, their infrastructure and having one of the best managers in the world should not be almost a quarter of 100 points behind Liverpool, and we’re not even at the end of the season.

Of course City are in 2nd place where they will most likely finish and have just won the Carabao Cup, for almost any other team this is a huge success and would be amongst their best ever seasons. When you’re City winning the 2nd domestic cup and being so far behind in the league isn’t going to cut it, no matter how harsh that sounds, it simply isn’t.

City have gone backwards this season, and even if they won every game from now on they would finish with 87 points, last season it was 98 and the season before it was 100. Indeed City are on a par to finish with the same points as they did (78) in Guardiola’s first season with the club. This all confirms that the Citizens have gone 1 step forward this season but two back.

City have lost 7 games this season and that’s more than they lost in the previous two seasons combined. There is no question that this season up until now has been disappointing for the club. You can finish 2nd and lose, but this has been a major step down for them. It is obvious that only seeing the sight of the Champions League trophy gleaming back towards them when they lift it aloft will be the only redemption for the club this season.

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Man Utd 2-0 Man City: The Reds complete the league double over the Citizens as they continue to push for a top four finish

After dropping points away to Everton in their last league game, Manchester United’s intention were the three points only in their next fixture, which was against no one else but their local rivals in Manchester City at Old Trafford. They went on to achieve the victory with conviction, as the team managed to do the league double over the Citizens for the first time since the 2009/10 season.

Due to Chelsea and Sheffield United winning their respective games whilst Leicester City face Aston Villa on Monday night, it was a must win game for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his men, who were quite confident going into the game as Pep Guardiola’s key man in Kevin De Bruyne was unavailable to play because of a shoulder injury. And without the Belgian international, Man City were still able to dominate possession, but did not have the cutting edge of quality to create the key chances.

The visitors, as expected, were in full control of the game from the first second of the game to the final whistle, as they went on to achieve 73% possession of the ball and just under 150 passes in the attack third compared to United’s 50 successful passes in the final third. However, it was the hosts that made the key moments count, as the crucial goals from Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay were more than enough for the side to pick up much needed victory to go back into fifth-place.

At the end of the day, the noisy neighbours simply did not have much to play for in the league and did not bring their A Game to a fixture they have dominated on so many occasions over the past three to five seasons. On the other hand, the Red Devils had the motivation of the manager and most importantly the whole of Old Trafford behind them, to proceed onto winning the game.

Here are the three things we learnt from United’s latest league game…

The back-three/five setup is proving to be the perfect plan for the Red Devils

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not had a regular system or style of play in place that has been consistently successful and effective at the same time. However, the back-three/five setup fits the current squad of players like a glove, as it allows the team to totally nullify the opposition’s attack before going onto producing a few attacks of their own. The perfect example was honestly from today’s game, as City had managed to create one chance and complete just seven shots throughout the whole game.

And when United had their time and space on the ball, they were able to counter attack through the likes of Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes and Daniel James, who were offering the perfect mixture of creativity, movement and burst of pace on and off the ball. Meanwhile in midfield, Fred and Nemanja Matic did more than enough to cover the middle of the pitch, two individuals who have the aggression and intelligence to protect the backline whilst help the team to push high up the pitch.

Solskjaer’s record against the top-six teams continues to grow and flourish

For sure, after doing the league double over Chelsea and now over Man City, the talks about Solskjaer’s incredible record in the big games will continue to increase, as he has played the top-six teams on 12 occasions in all competition so far this season, having won seven times, drawn twice and lost three times. This is actually quite a positive record for a young manager who does not have the greatest of squads and is still missing the key individuals in Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba.

As long as he is able to do the double over Jose Mourinho’s Spurs next week as well as pick up maximum points in the remaining league games, to help the side qualify for next year’s Champions League football, he may end up managing the club for another couple of years, despite the recent rumours of Max Allegri or Mauricio Pochettino taking over as manager. And if he does end up doing the unthinkable, the board will have no choice but to back him up in the summer, which could lead to a potential charge for the league title along with possible success in the domestic competition.

The complete performance from the likes of Bruno, Martial and Wan-Bissaka

The whole United starting line-up played intelligently and superbly from start till end, even the likes of Eric Bailly, Scott McTominay and Odion Ighalo had put on quite the perfect cameo from the bench towards the last 15 to 20 minutes of the game. However, the key individuals that stood out the most were none other than Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Anthony Martial and Bruno Fernandes, three important players that are pure specialists in their expertise and are truly indispensable from the first XI.

Wan-Bissaka, who has been the side’s player of the season just after Fred, has got the whole right flank on lockdown time and time again, as he successfully kept Raheem Sterling in his pocket for the third time this campaign. Bruno Fernandes, since arriving to United in January, has completely transformed the team around and has helped to bring the best out of a number of players. Finally on Martial; he has had a lot of unnecessary criticism towards him in recent weeks, but his performance as well as his key goal to give his team the lead should be enough to see him getting back to his best.

Is suspending VAR ever going to be a realistic option for the Premier League?

When you sat back and thought about the 2019/20 Premier League season during your last summer holidays, you would’ve been at a loss to pinpoint the biggest talking point of the season. All things considered, that is quite remarkable given that Liverpool will most likely smash the 100 point mark, and be crowned champions after putting together the most impressive Premier League campaign ever witnessed.

In fact, Jurgen Klopp’s men should top the table by the biggest winning margin by any
side ever in the history of the Premier League. But, alas, that still won’t be at the
forefront of your mind as you sit on the Costa Smeralda.

Instead, as you sip on something cool whilst the azure waters of the Mediterranean lap
at your feet, you’ll be thinking about VAR and what a catastrophe it has been in its
debut season in the Premier League. Almost no one is happy with VAR at this stage,
and the calls for it to go are growing louder and louder, and are now almost coming
from every corner. Will the Premier League listen and finally suspend VAR?

What is the extent of VAR’s interference this season?

The latest count on VAR, and the goals or incidents that it has affected, comes in at 75
after the controversy in the game between Spurs and Manchester City, where the North
London club claimed victory after benefiting from the Video Assistant Referee. All in
all this season, 38 goals have been disallowed and 19 decisions made that led to goals.
Furthermore, 12 penalties have been awarded and four overturned, with 25 goals
ruled out for offside. Carrying on from there, VAR has seen fit to award five red cards
whilst overturning three.

Needless to say, after having a look at those figures, VAR has stolen the limelight throughout this season. Some decisions are less controversial than others, but some are quite ridiculous, namely Declan Rice’s handball in the build-up to Robert Snodgrass’ goal at Sheffield United, that denied the Hammers a share of the spoils late on at ramall Lane.

There is every chance, should West Ham get relegated, that they look back on that decision as one of the key moments behind their Premier League demise. This controversial situation looks a distinct possibility given that, as of early stages in February, Betway have priced Moyes’ men at 5/4 to go down.

Indeed, VAR is beginning to act as the hand of fate, with its decisions beginning to add
up, which will inevitably have a longer-lasting impact. But it’s not just the basement
clubs that are struggling.

Many have asked if Manchester City are indeed feeling the brunt of VAR. It should be
said that there is a tendency for supporters to feel like there is a conspiracy against
their clubs at the best of times but, when VAR intervenes and disallows goals, fans feel
like they officially have proof. In the cold light of day, and once the emotion dies down,
it’s clear to see that simply isn’t the case.

Does common sense actually go out the window?

The main problem with VAR is that supporters feel like it nit-picks too much, hence
why we all talk about the armpit offside now, after VAR ruled out a Firmino goal on the
barest of margins. So, in essence, what the fans are saying is that we want VAR but
don’t necessarily want it to scrutinize a possible situation too closely. It’s hard not to
shake your head after weighing up that logic.

Sure, VAR is frustrating, but to accuse it of being too accurate, well, anyone can see
how flawed an argument that is, given that its sole purpose is to use all means possible
to make the right decision. Could it be done slightly faster? Absolutely, but these things do take time. In any case, what you’ll probably find if the Premier League does decide to persevere with VAR, is that we were dealing with a raw version of it that had many teething issues.

Will the Premier League stick with VAR?

Everything says that they will so rather than put it on the scrapheap. They are
rumoured to be inviting the 20 Premier League clubs to sit down and debate what the
league is calling ‘radical changes.’ Having said that, the Premier League doesn’t strike
you as an organization that will sit idly by whilst VAR ruins the product that they have
built up over the past 27 years.

It’s unlikely that lead sponsors like the gaming giants EA Sports will stand by and not
make much a noise of this cacophony of disapproval gets any louder. The same can be
said for the soft drink titans Coca-Cola and their affiliation with the Premier League.
These big boys of industry, not to mention the league’s main sponsors, are not going to
let VAR turn people away from the beautiful game.

If the team at Stockley Park don’t streamline VAR in its current form, then you’d have
to say that it is in real danger of getting the boot after the playing of the 2020/21
season.

Premier League: Best 11 Players from Week 27

Let’s take a look below at the best 11 performing players in the Premier League as European finishes hot up with just 11 games left to play.

Formation: 4-4-2:

Goalkeeper: Ederson- Manchester City 7pts

It might seem normal to pick out Ederson for Manchester City but the player had to come up against the 3rd best side in the league in Leicester and made some great saves and City were away from home in game they won 1-0. That was Ederson’s 9th clean sheet of the season.

Defender: Romain Saiss- Southampton 7pts

Wolves had a great and commanding 3-0 victory over Norwich to boost their European hopes and Saiss was part of a defence that kept a clean sheet and he assisted in a goal.

Defender: Philllip Bardsley- Burnley 6pts

Stalwart Bardsley helped clean a keep sheet as Burnley won their game 3-0 and he also scored a goal but he got booked and lost some points. But he has been very solid this season.

Defender: Ashley Westwood- Burnley 5pts

Westwood isn’t seen too many times on the weekend best players, but he put in a very good performance at the weekend and made some crucial tackles and that was the players 10th clean sheet of the season.

Defender: Patrick van Aanholt- Crystal Palace 9pts

Patrick van Aanholt was spectacular in earning 9 points at the weekend as Palace beat Newcastle. The score finished 1-0 so he kept a clean sheet and he also scored the only goal of the game which turned out to be the winner and a much needed 3 points for the club.

Midfielder: Diogo Jota- Wolves 10pts

Dioja Jota earned a fantastic 10 points at the weekend as Wolves beat Norwich 3-0 and it wa down to Jota who scored the opening 2 goals he now has 5 goals for the season and looks back to his best.

Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 8pts

Bruno Fernandes has started his career off at Manchester United very well and the player opened the scoring and then assisted in the last goal as United beat Watford 3-0.

Midfielder: Riyad Mahrez- Manchester City 4pts

Riyad Mahrez helped his club beat his former one as City ran out 1-0 winners against Leicester. The only goal was scored by Gabriel Jesus and it was Mahrez who made the assist. That was Mahrez’s 8th assist of the season!

Midfielder: Neal Maupay- Brighton 4pts

Brighton are under pressure but they got a very good 1-1 draw away to Sheffield United at the weekend, where many expected them to lose. Maupay got the goal for the away side which was so important for them and he has now scored 8 goals this season.

Striker: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang- Arsenal 8pts

Arsenal were involved in a five goal thriller as they beat Everton 3-2. Aubameyang scored 2 goals and now has 17 and is joint top of the goalscorers list in the Premier League with Leicester’s Jamie Vardy.

Striker: Shane Long- Southampton 4pts

Shane Long scored just his 2nd goal of the campaign as Southampton beat Aston Villa 2-0 in a crucial win. That keeps the team up there and Villa back in fighting for survival.

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Champions League: Manchester City prepare for Real Madrid

Manchester City face Real Madrid on Wednesday in the Champions League Round of 16 with Pep Guardiola eager to make an impression following the news that the Premier League club are banned from European competitions for the next two seasons.

Sergio Aguero returns to Madrid – Atletico being the team where he made a name for himself – whilst the Argentina international will be hungry to make up for his poor performance against Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday. Continue reading

Manchester City’s reaction to Champions League ban has been breathtaking

It would have been easy for Manchester City to have given up on this season after UEFA banned the club for what, in their opinion breached and broke the FFP rules, but the club will not lie down and a lot of that credit has to go to Pep Guardiola.

City who are in 2nd place have played two games since the ban was announced and have both won of them. They have scored 3 goals in those matches, and they haven’t been their greatest wins ever but they have shown the ultimate response, that this team will not give up and that this team are going nowhere.

The clubs first game since the ban was against West Ham in 18th place and had City put in a lacklustre performance after just receiving the news it may have been understandable. The game was always going to be difficult with Hammers boss David Moyes predictably setting up five at the back and trying to park the bus. But City managed to score 2 goals and get the win and they showed the fight, despite the threat that all of their efforts this season could be in vain with no Champions League qualification.

The exact same mind set went into their more difficult tie, at King Power Stadium at the weekend away to 3rd placed Leicester who have had a magnificent season so far. The game was very entertaining and at tImes City needed to ride the storm but they came out 1-0 winners. That was only Leicester’s 3rd home loss of the season and City had had attempts on goal.

It never looked like, not even in one minute of the game that City didn’t care about playing in the league anymore. That is why they have a very good manager in Guardiola, a man who never gives up the chase and even if he has been fortunate to coach teams with open chequebooks at the end of the day his man management skills are some of the best in the world.

It’s very clear that City are on a mission and that is to try and win every other game they will play this season. It won’t be enough to overhaul Liverpool, but one of those games they must play them and if they can beat them that would feel like a mini trophy in itself.

Guardiola has said it himself, does it feel like we don’t care, and it certainly doesn’t. He has now installed an us v them mentality and the club could actually be stronger and more focused after UEFA’s decision. He has also hinted at staying at the club, maybe even beyond 2021, personally that should be taken with a pinch of salt as Guardiola rarely stays at clubs for too long. Also if City do lose the appeal, a few players could leave and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Pep go too.

For now though City have reacted like champions should and they should be applauded.

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Premier League Predictions: Week 27

Whilst Liverpool will win the league this season all of the attention has turned to European places. Any of five different teams could finish 4th and there are some mouth watering games coming up at the weekend, including Chelsea v Tottenham. Below are our predictions for the games this weekend.

Chelsea v Tottenham

Chelsea lost to Manchester United in their last game here and have been defeated at home 5 times. They did beat Tottenham in the reverse fixture and Tottenham do have an injury crisis. This could be a low scoring game where we expect Jose Mourinho on his emotional return to Stamford Bridge to come out as a winner. Tottenham to beat Chelsea

Burnley v Bournemouth

Burnley have gone unbeaten for the last 4 games and are in very good form. Bournemouth are in 16th and a loss here could spell disaster. The club have lost their last 4 games in a row away from home, and we think they could halt that run. Draw

Crystal Palace v Newcastle

Palace have no wins this year and have lost their last 3 games in a row. Newcastle did lose 4-0 to Arsenal last weekend but actually played some good football. Allan Saint-Maximin looked very quick and this will be a hard game for the home side as the Magpies look to push on. Newcastle to beat Crystal Palace

Sheffield United v Brighton

Brighton have lost 8 of their 13 away games and they face an uphill struggle to get anything from this game as the Blades look to advance on 4th place as best they can. Sheffield United to beat Brighton

Southampton v Aston Villa

The Saints have recovered well in recent months but they come into this game having lost 3 of their last 4. Aston Villa looked impressive against Tottenham and could give Southampton a real game here. Jack Grealish can run the show. Draw

Leicester v Manchester City

Leicester have been terrific this season but each time they have had to play the better teams they have failed, and we can see them losing this one. It should be very entertaining. Sergio Aguero and Jamie Vardy will both have a point to prove but a win here could see City get daylight to Leicester and move 7 points clear of them. Manchester City to beat Leicester

Manchester United v Watford

United have some key players out but Bruno Fernandes looks like he can step up in midfield. Also Anthony Martial has  a new lease of confidence as the main striker after Marcus Rashford’s injury. Watford have done quite well recently but should be no match for United here. Manchester United to beat Watford

Wolves v Norwich

Wolves will be the favourites but they are struggling to win games, with just one win in their past five. Norwich in bottom who look like they will go down, have little to lose now and are just trying to enjoy their football. They could spring a surprise. Norwich to beat Wolves

Arsenal v Everton

Arsenal had an excellent second half v Newcastle and that will inject confidence in the side. Everton haven’t looked better for a good 18 months and also unlike Arsenal didn’t have to play in the Europa League in midweek. Everton don’t do well at Arsenal but we can still see them going away here with a point. Watch out for Dani Cellabalos who could pose all sorts of problems with his pace against the away side. Draw

Liverpool v West Ham

Liverpool are 22 points ahead they will win the league but the objective is remaining unbeaten too. They should win this game with ease but may have to work very hard at it as West Ham will play very defensively and try and make life hard. There is just too much quality in this Reds side though and Mohamed Salah loves playing against West Ham who could well be relegated this season. Liverpool to beat West Ham

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Paul Pogba or Sergej Milinkovic-Savic: Who would you take?

After his most recent man-of-the-match performance against Inter, Sergej Milinkovic Savic is drawing comparisons to Europe’s elite midfielders and rightfully so. Many are even making the case that the 24-year-old is the best midfielder in the league right now. After all, the Serbian international is as well-rounded as they come. He can score goals, he dominates aerial duels both in his own half and in the final third and is slick in possession.

It’s since been reported that Italy’s elite are queuing up for the Lazio man, including the likes of Juventus and Inter. Whether Lazio will sell the player is a completely different story; especially if they go on to win the Scudetto.

It’s also recently been reported that Paul Pogba is on his way out of Manchester United and will be available this summer. His agent, the infamous Mino Raiola, is currently hard at work and is trying his best at wedging himself between his client and the club. Considering both are of similar age and will command the same price, which player would you go with? Let’s have a look.

Both players are similar in the sense that they operate best from a mezz’ala role, and enjoy making late runs into the back post, where they can use their physical presence to create space. In addition to their aerial prowess, both Pogba and Milinkovic-Savic are equally capable at firing from range and don’t have to be asked twice to shoot. When it comes to scoring goals, however, I might have to give the Frenchman the slight advantage. Pogba has demonstrated more consistency in this respect over the years.

Defensively, it’s another close call as both players are increasingly involved in their own third, be it through tackles and interceptions. While Pogba has improved in this respect in recent seasons and has become defensively responsible, Milinkovic-Savic currently has the upper hand. The Lazio man is currently averaging 1.6 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per game, and makes his presence felt inside his eighteen-yard box. Advantage SMS.

Beyond preventing goals, creating them is equally important. In this respect, Pogba is the more accomplished player. Milinkovic-Savic possesses a great range of passing himself, but the Manchester United man simply creates more chances; chances that translate into goals. Last season, Pogba registered ten assists in all competitions and he regularly leads his side in this regard. While Milinkovic-Savic is slowly developing this facet to his game, as illustrated through his four assists this season, he still lags behind the Frenchman when it comes to end-product. Point, Pogba.

All in all, if they’re both available for similar prices, I’d probably take Pogba and even then, it’s too close to call. In my opinion, he’s the better goalscorer and creator and is equally dominant in the air. Wages, agent fees, and availability come into play, but any team looking to bolster their midfield have no choice but to take a flyer on these two.

Now have your say: Who would you take on your team?

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