£150m? Why wonderkid Haaland isn’t even worth £70m

Move over Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo- Erling Haaland is the new kid in town and soon every kid in the playground will be donning his shirt. Which new club that will be is still anyone’s guess but Haaland has taken the headlines by storm and it seems that over the past two weeks everyone has been talking about the Norwegian player who is still only 20.

The hype seems genuine enough, Haaland scores goals, but he is tall, huge in fact, and is quite a presence and his speed is lightning quick, his current club Borussia Dortmund seem to have found a gem of a player.

Haaland has already scored 124 goals in all competitions in his career and this season alone has 33 goals from 33 games. It is stunning and certainly reminds one of Messi and Ronaldo’s records. In short Dortmund are not going to keep him and he is certainly going to be transferred this summer.

In truth at 20 he could probably do with another season in the Bundesliga, but here’s the catch- he can leave next summer for £68m, that is stipulated in his buyout contract. Now that would still be a tidy profit for Dortmund of almost £50m, but of course they want more.

If Haaland was to leave this summer it is possible that he could go for upwards of £150m, that’s the figure that has been talked about. The likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City and PSG may just be able to convince their purse strings and in some cases their banks to hand over that kind of money for a player who may well light up world football for the next 15 years.

But let’s face it, it is a gamble.

The Bundesliga with all due respect isn’t the highest bar to judge oneself. True the current European champions are Bayern Munich, but they are almost a one off. Like PSG who reached last year’s final too- it doesn’t mean that particular league is strong. That isn’t to say German football isn’t strong, but currently one would have to question.

Take Timo Werner at Chelsea who was scoring goals for fun in the Bundesliga, when Chelsea were able to snap up the German international for around £60m it looked like a bargain. However Werner has had a poor debut season with the Blues, and quite frankly his confidence looks shot. He may improve next season, then again…. The Premier League, La Liga and Serie A are simply at a higher level, and you can get found out.

It doesn’t seem like Haaland will have any troubles adjusting to a different league but when prices of £150m are being quoted doesn’t someone have to say, well, hang on a second?

What has Haaland proved so far, yes he looks good, yes he can score goals, but he hasn’t done anything significant yet. True he’s young but how about make a mark- because all of the other greats have done so.

Imagine for example in the 2nd leg of Dortmund’s quarter final Champions League tie against Manchester City Haaland makes the difference and helps knock City out of the competition. That would be quite a marker to lay down. No one is expecting Haaland to join his new club loaded with trophies in his resume just yet, but perhaps one would like to see some showing in a big match first.

It is why in reality Haaland is only worth his buyout clause he hasn’t really been able to make that difference not to a team yet, not like Kylian Mbappe for example, although of course Mbappe is in a better team.

Dortmund of course will understand that if they sold Haaland for £70m one day he could be sold on for £200m plus and they don’t want to miss out, that is the business of football. Some players simply are not worth what clubs are prepared to offer.

Ideally everyone should be happy with a smaller fee, it’s still profit for his original club but Dortmund will go for the top price, and honestly you can’t blame them for that. As for Haaland the truth of how great he will be is only going to be revealed next season at his new club.

 

Premier League: Best 11 Players of Week 30

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

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

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

Goalkeeper: Alisson- Liverpool 7pts

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

Defender: Benjamin Mendy- Manchester City 9pts

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

Defender: Trent Alexander- Arnold- Liverpool 7pts

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

Defender: Ruben Dias- Manchester City 5pts

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

Defender: Andrew Robertson- Liverpool 5pts

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

Midfielder: Mohamed Salah- Liverpool 6pts

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

Midfielder: Diogo Jota- Liverpool 9pts

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

Midfielder: Nathan Redmond- Southampton 6pts

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

Midfielder: Jack Harrison- Leeds United 4pts

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

Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 8pts

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

Striker: Callum Robertson- West Bromwich Albion 8pts

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

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Superstar Martinez could be heading for Barcelona as Inter approach Aguero

Name who has been the best player for Inter this season as they try to win their first scudetto in 11 years and most people would say Romelu Lukaku. But Lautaro Martinez wouldn’t be too far behind after a stunning season.

The 23 year old Argentinian has really impressed this season and even last summer he was starting to attract the mega clubs of European football. The fact that Inter should win Serie A this season is spearheaded by Martinez’s fantastic statistics for Antonio Conte’s side.

Martinez has scored 14 league goals so far from 27 games and has 16 overall from 37. He is projected to be the next star of world football when it comes to strikers. One could suggest that Martinez is the type of player that started slow in his career, if we compare him to Kylian Mbappe but Martinez has all of the qualities to become just as good as Mbappe and perhaps even beyond. In short Inter have quite a star on their hands.

It is thought that the likes of Bayern Munich, PSG, Manchester City and Barcelona are very interested in taking the player and one would have to wonder how much for? The pandemic has brought prices down for now, but one would still presume that Martinez’s price tag could be between £100-150m. Can Inter afford not to sell at that price?

Manchester City are on the look out for a striker as veteran forward Sergio Aguero has announced that he will be leaving the club after 10 years playing at the Etihad. Obviously a straight swap is out of the question but City might be able to offer Aguero plus £120m, and that could be tempting for Inter. True Aguero is pushing on for age now but he is still sharp and alert and would score goals in Serie A.

There have been rumours that Inter have been looking at Aguero for his quality and experience although the one drawback is the amount of times he has been injured over the years. Still Aguero leaves the Premier League having scored the most goals ever for an overseas player and that could seal the deal with Inter.

PSG seem to have bottomless pockets and that would be quite a capture for the French champions who could, in effect, over the most money to Inter.

However one would have to suspect that if Martinez was going to leave the San Siro it would be to go to the Camp Nou and link up with his countryman Lionel Messi. Barcelona still want Neymar to return but surely going for youth would be the correct move for the Catalan club.

As for Martinez he may be tempted to stay at Inter and try and deliver the club the Champions League. Ultimately though the final decision will come down to Inter and if big money is offered this will be a huge test for the club who will probably be forced to sell.

As for this season, Serie A took a break for the past 10 days due to the international games. But Inter resume their title challenge away to Bologna on Saturday. Presently Inter are 6 points ahead of 2nd placed Milan and have a game in hand.

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The Best 5 Premier League players so far in 2020/21

Domestic football is on a break until the beginning of April, so there are no Premier League team of the week.

This is a chance then to see which Premier League players have been performing the best this season based on their fantasy points and gives you the chance to see if you have any players.

Together with picking out the top 5 we will also have honourable mentions of other players who have performed well this season and could well make their way into the top 5 by the end of the season.

The top 5 best Premier League players so far this season:

1. Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 101 pts

If you had Bruno Fernandes in your team at the beginning of the season what a pick that would have been given that the midfielder costs just 8.5m. He has been such an important player for Manchester United that we can say that the club would not be 2nd without his input. And let’s talk about his contribution so far the Portuguese star has scored 16 goals and assisted in another 10 goals. If you want to know why United are doing well in the Premier League this season, look no further.

2. Ederson Moraes- Manchester City 98pts

When Manchester City win the league this season people will talk about how well Ilkay Gundogan has performed alongside Phil Foden. But the key to City’s title will be in their defence and Ederson in goal has had a terrific season. So far he has helped to keep 16 clean sheets, which is a fantastic record. On top of that Ederson has even assisted in a goal, which is a remarkable fact. He continues to get better by each season.

3. Harry Kane- Tottenham 93pts

By far England’s best striker Harry Kane may not win any trophies this season (the Carabao Cup withstanding) but even if he doesn’t what a personal season it has been again for Kane. Kane’s record for Tottenham in the league is nothing short of mind blowing and he has been involved in 30 of the clubs league goals. Tottenham have scored 49 goals, just let that sink in. Tottenham will be doing everything in their power to keep their star forward this summer as he will surely be in demand.

4. Mohamed Salah- Liverpool 90pts

It almost feels like this has been a quiet season for Salah given his presence over the Premier League in the last 2 seasons. But actually Salah has been as busy as ever, it’s just that Liverpool as a team faced such an implosion that nobody could have seen it. Still for Salah he has scored 17 times and assisted in 3 goals, that is hardly a poor season and the Egyptian international himself is actually having another solid and brilliant campaign.

5. Edouard Mendy- Chelsea 86pts

In truth Edouard Mendy was scripted to be the 2nd goal keeper at Chelsea, but once given his chance he has impressed enough to become the clubs number 1 shot stopper. It’s encouraging for him that new manager Thomas Tuchel has kept him on and can also, like former manager Frank Lampard, see his immense qualities. Mendy has kept 14 clean sheets so far and is turning out to be a real star with the Blues.

Honourable mentions:

John Stones is having his best season as a professional player and is such an important part of the set up at Manchester City. Before this season his place was genuinely under threat but he has stepped up to the mantle and is not just defending well but is good to score goals too- he currently has 4 so far.

Ilkay Gundogan another Manchester City player, like Stones is having his best season. Gundogan can be provider but he has also scored some very important goals this season and has 12 so far. Ruben Dias is yet another City player in defence which has held everything together and looks like the perfect replacement for club legend Vincent Kompany. Dias has 73 pts so far.

Let’s not forget about Harry Kane’s strike partner, Heung-Min Son who has been unfortunate lately having his injury and missing some key games. But Son has had brilliant spells this season and has scored 13 goals and assisted in another 9. Indeed Kane and Son are arguably the best striker partnership in Europe when they are firing on all cylinders.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players of Week 29

Because it was FA Cup weekend only 4 of the scheduled 10 Premier League games took place over the weekend but there were still some very significant results.

Tottenham bounced back after a nightmare week as they stepped up their top 4 hopes with victory over Aston Villa. The most thrilling game though involved Tottenham north London neighbours in another London derby as Arsenal came back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 against West Ham.

Brighton won their 2nd game in a row and they have pushed 6 points clear of the bottom three as a result.

Let’s look at the players that made the team of the week.

Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris- Tottenham 7pts

After a disappointing week for the club the captain would have been happy to have secured his 10th clean sheet of the season as Tottenham got back to winning ways to beat Aston Villa 2-0 away from home. Lloris now has 48 points.

Defender: – Sergio Reguilon Tottenham 5pts

Sergio Reguilon has been one of the best defenders in the league this season and he was alert and focused as Tottenham beat Aston Villa 2-0. He has now helped to keep six clean sheets.

Defender: Lewis Dunk- Brighton 5pts

Lewis Dunk really stood out for Brighton as they achieved a fantastic and much needed 3 points at the weekend by beating Newcastle 3-0. Dunk helped to keep a clean sheet and his value is is 7m and he is rated as the best Brighton defender.

Defender: Ben Davies- Tottenham 5pts

Ben Davies had a solid game for Tottenham when he came on for Reguilon in the 2nd half. Davies could be called upon and was so effective that Aston Villa were not able to come back into the game when he was brought on.

Defender: Joel Veltman- Brighton 7pts

Joel Veltman was at the heart of Brighton’s team performance. The defender helped to keep a clean sheet as he saw his side beat Newcastle 3-0. He also assisted in the first goal which got the ball rolling. Veltman now has 27 points and his value is 7.5m.

Midfielder: Neal Maupay- Brighton 6pts

Neal Maupay scored his 8th goal of the season as his goal helped Brighton on their way to beat Newcastle. It was a huge win for the club who with that victory have been able to move six points clear of the bottom three.

Midfielder: Jesse Lingard- West Ham 6pts

Jesse Lingard has had a very positive start to his career as a West Ham player. Lingard opened the scoring against Arsenal and then assisted two minutes later for the 2nd goal. Lingard has already since January, been involved in seven goals and scored 5 of them.

Midfielder: Lucas Moura- Tottenham 4pts

Lucas Moura assisted in Tottenham’s opening goal and that was the midfielder’s third of the season so far. Moura with 38 points is ranked as the best midfielder for the club and pulled 8 points clear of Tanguy NDombele.

Midfielder: Raphinha- Leeds United 4pts

Many expected Fulham to pull together another win as they are battling hard in relegation but Leeds pulled off a great victory by beating Fulham 2-1.Raphinha scored the winning goal and he now has six goals so far this season.

Striker: Patrick Bamford- Leeds United 5pts

Patrick Bamford scored the other goal for Leeds as they beat Fulham 2-1. That was Bamford’s 14th goal of the season and he has also assisted six times in what has been a superb season for the player so far. Bamford now has 68 points overall.

Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 4pts

Harry Kane was back to his best as he converted a penalty for Tottenham which secured their win and ended up being the winning goal as they bounced back to beat Aston Villa 2-1 after a miserable week for the club. That was Kane’s 17th goal of the season.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players of Week 28

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

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

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

Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy- Chelsea 7pts

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

Defender: John Stones- Manchester City 9pts

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

Defender: Joao Cancelo- Manchester City 7pts

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

Defender: Harry Maguire- Manchester United 5pts

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

Defender: Ben Chilwell- Chelsea 5pts

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

Midfielder: Marc Albrighton- Leicester 4pts

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

Midfielder: Wilfred Ndidi- Leicester 4pts

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

Midfielder: Martin Odegaard- Arsenal 4pts

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

Midfielder: Luka Milivojevic- Crystal Palace 6pts

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

Striker: Kelechi Iheanacho- Leicester 14pts

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

Striker: Chris Wood- Burnley 4pts

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

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Man City 0-2 Man Utd: Three things we learnt as the Red Devils show their class in a big game

Manchester United continue to their amazing form away from home as they visited the noisy neighbours and walked away with the three points, a clean sheet and a solid performance from the team as a whole. With this victory, it leaves them 11 points behind Pep Guardiola’s men, however, the Red Devils are able to return into second place and a step closer to Champions League football.

Despite the likes of David De Gea, Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba being unavailable for the Manchester derby, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were still able to hold up their own and execute their game plan to full effect. On the other hand, Manchester City were dominating possession as always and had created a couple of really good chances but were missing the clinical player to take them.

Given the outcome of one of the most intense Premier League fixtures of the season, Manchester United will be hoping to continue this form to confidently finish in the top four positions whilst compete on all fronts in the FA Cup and Europa League. Meanwhile for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, they will not want any last-minute slip-ups as they seem on course to win the league title.

With no further ado, here are the three things we learnt from United’s latest league fixture…

Dean Henderson stepping up in David De Gea’s absence

Manchester United are expected to be without David De Gea for the next couple of weeks, who is currently in Spain after his partner had given birth to their daughter just a couple of days ago. Although there were some doubts about the Spaniard’s presence being missed with some crucial fixtures coming ahead, Dean Henderson has entered the team and stepped up better than expected.

With a monumental save at the end of the Crystal Palace fixture and five important saves during the Manchester derby, Henderson is starting to prove himself to the manager and the rest of the coaches at the football club. Not only that, but the goalkeeper has shown how much of a leader he is, along with his ability to play with the ball at his feet and his composure of playing as a sweeper keeper, leaving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a good headache of who is number one keeper should be.

Outstanding performances from Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw

The fact that Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw were huge doubts ahead of the derby, and both of them went on to produce an outstanding performance on and off the ball, shows the type of sacrifices the players in the squad are willing to make for the manager and the club. If the duo were not able, the expected replacements for the pair would have been Alex Telles and Mason Greenwood, who would not have lived up to the expectations of the Manchester United supporters.

Martial, who has had a very poor season compared to his usual standards, showed many bright moments of his former self, where he held the ball up impressively and was always willing to take on one or two players in the middle of the pitch. Turning the focus onto Luke Shaw, he is quite clearly showing that he is currently the best left-back in the league, as a number of wingers are finding problems in getting past the defender, and he is also implementing his attacking ability all campaign.

The Red Devils showed composure defensively and their class on the counter

A lot of questions were raised ahead of the Manchester derby, especially towards Manchester United’s results against the big teams in the Premier League, where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s lack of ambition and attacking plans were questioned by his critics. On the other hand, his side showed what they are about at the Etihad Stadium, as they showed their composure in the defensive areas as well as their pure class on the counterattack.

The Red Devils have proven to be more dangerous in transition and on the counter through the pace and movement of the likes of Daniel James, Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw, whereas, they have had constant difficulties in breaking down a deep block against teams such as Crystal Palace, Sheffield United and West Brom. If the side can be more proactive and intelligent on the creative aspect of the game, then for sure, the team will be successful under the 48-year-old Norwegian.

Premier League: Best 11 Players of Week 27

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

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

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

Goalkeeper: Alphonse Areola- Fulham 7pts

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

Defender: Matt Doherty- Tottenham 6pts

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

Defender: Luke Shaw- Manchester United 8pts

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

Defender: Ola Aina- Fulham 5pts

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

Defender: Michael Keane- Everton 5pts

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

Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 6pts

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

Midfielder: Gareth Bale- Tottenham 9pts

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

Midfielder: Mason Mount- Chelsea 6pts

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

Midfielder: James Ward-Prowse- Southampton 6pts

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

Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 12pts

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

Striker: Kelechi Iheanacho- Leicester 4pts

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

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Why this seasons Champions League has been tarnished

The Coronavirus pandemic has affected the world like something we could never have imagined and of course this means that football has suffered as a result too. Players being tested twice a week and no fans at grounds for almost a year bar in very rare instances it has been an odd time for the game we all love.

The biggest European competitions have been affected too, especially the Champions League. And this season the most elite club competition of them all feels like it has been tarnished, and simply feels very unfair.

Let’s explain.

The games affected have all involved English teams, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City. Some EU countries have said that persons from England cannot travel to Germany and Spain because of the new variant, which means in effect that the football clubs cannot travel to these countries to play their first legs.

This in itself is a real head scratcher given that players and coaches are tested twice a week and they will be the only personnel entering the countries. We are not talking about fans being present, so one has to wonder where the problem lies? Of course the other side of the argument would be, why would football players be given special access and not members of the public?

So for English clubs playing in Europe their first leg matches were directed to Budapest, Hungary. But this is wholly unfair on the likes of Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach. It is unfair because the 2nd legs will all take place in England at the respective clubs grounds. What happens in that instant is the most elite competition loses its integrity and gamesmanship- and no sport should be losing either of those.

Of course there will be arguments against and that at the end of the day it is not the clubs fault that England are allowing German and Spanish nationals into the country and it isn’t like this in the opposite direction. But it is unfair on the clubs.

Some will say that Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City will give up their home advantage anyway because the 12th man- the fans- will not be allowed to attend the games. But hang on one second. What about the extra travel time for the away sides having to arrange drives to the airport and planes, hotels etc. What about the familiarity of the home teams ground, players have a connection to that even without the fans. When Atletico visit Chelsea they are not in Madrid anymore.

It is odd to think that UEFA have not stepped in. If English based players cannot play in Germany and Spain then there is nothing wrong with playing in Budapest as a neutral venue. But why not also have the 2nd legs take place in the country too. Why change and have one team have an advantage by playing in their backyard so to speak, even if the advantage is decreased by a lack of fans, there is still some there.

Fans of the clubs will care little of course, and probably won’t see the argument either. But surely if you’re in love with the game and value fairness within it, this way of playing this seasons Champions League could feel like the soul just got ripped out of it.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players from Week 25

Everton beat Liverpool for the first time in 11 years and the first time at Anfield since 1999 as they won 2-0 against a very odd looking Liverpool side who seem to have imploded and they could well struggle to finish in a top 4 place this season.

Tottenham have lost 4 out of the last five games and their latest defeat came against the impressive West Ham  who have climbed to 4th as a result. The chase for a top 4 spot is on and it’s looking very exciting, let’s see which players dazzled the league this week and made the team of the week.

Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford- Everton 7pts

Jordan Pickford has been missing for a few weeks with a rib injury but England’s Number 1 was back to his best as he kept a clean sheet at the champion Liverpool and Everton won an historic match 2-0.

Defender: Ruben Dias- Manchester City 5pts

Ruben Dias has been superb this season and he kept yet another clean sheet his 14th of the season as Manchester City beat Arsenal 1-0 away from home. Dias now has 66 points and his 3rd in the defenders list in the fantasy points for the Premier League.

Defender: James Tarkowski- Burnley 5pts

James Tarkowski has now kept 9 clean sheets and has had a solid season especially when you consider that Burnley have struggled this season and the player earned another 5 great points at the weekend.

Defender: Michael Keane- Everton 5pts

Michael Keane was arguably the man of the match as Everton beat Liverpool 2-0. Keane has had a solid season and was rock solid in defence for Everton making numerous great tackles. Keane’s value is 6.5m.

Defender: Lucas Digne- Everton 5pts

When Lucas Digne defends like he did at the weekend v Liverpool in the classic Merseyside derby then his switch from Barcelona to Everton makes perfect sense for the Premier League side. Digne’s value is 7m.

Midfielder: Raheem Sterling- Manchester City 6pts

Raheem Sterling scored the only goal of the game as Manchester City beat Arsenal 1-0. Sterling scored early on and that was 9th goal of the season. The player seems to get better every season and is having a solid campaign.

Midfielder: James Rodriguez- Everton 4pts

James Rodriguez earned another 4 points in midfield and he has a total of 29 points and is ranked as Everton’s best midfielder of the season so far. His value is 9.5m.

Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 5pts

Manchester United were given a scare by Newcastle by eventually powered through and Bruno Fernandes sealed the winner as the Red Devils won 3-1. That was Fernandes 15th goal of the season and he has been involved in a total of 25 league goals so far, in an incredible season for the Portuguese.

Midfielder: Jesse Lingard- West Ham 4pts

Jesse Lingard has been brilliant for West Ham after his switch in the winter transfer window from Manchester United. Lingard scored again for the Hammers as they surprised Tottenham to win the game 2-1.

Striker: Richarlison- Everton- 4pts

Richarlison has started the season slow but he is scoring goals for Everton now and he got one of the most important of his Everton career as he opened the scoring against Liverpool in the derby. Richarlison now has 4 goals and 17 points this season.

Striker: Takumi Minamino- Southampton 4pts

Takumi Minamino became the first player to score against Chelsea with Thomas Tuchel as manager as he put Southampton in the lead early on. The game finished 1-1 but Minamino played a very good match and his switch from Liverpool looks like a good one for the Saints.

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