The curtain is almost down. The business is almost done. With just a single round of games remaining in the Premier League, the relegation battle is finished but the title race remains very much alive. With the final game of the season being the time that this year’s Premier League champions will be identified, there is still plenty to play for at the summit of England’s top flight. With that said, let’s adopt a 4-3-3 formation this week and see which players performed the best for their clubs this past weekend.
There was only half a round of games in the Premier League this past weekend, what with FA Cup action also going on, and so with just ten teams taking part picking a best XI may be slightly different to usual. Sunday’s action was fun-packed, as Everton raised some eyebrows by beating Chelsea 2-0 at Goodison Park – their first home victory since mid-January – putting a big dent in Chelsea’s top-four ambitions. Liverpool were tested more than many will have been expecting at Craven Cottage, a late James Milner penalty putting them top of the table with a 2-1 win against Fulham. On Saturday, Bournemouth played out a 2-2 draw at home to Newcastle, Leicester won 2-1 at Burnley and West Ham beat Huddersfield in a 4-3 thriller.
This past weekend saw no less than three local derbies in the Premier League, with two of them winding up as draws. Of the six clubs involved in these three games only Chelsea triumphed, toppling Scott Parker’s Fulham 2-1 at Craven Cottage. It was a spirited performance from the hosts, who sacked manager Claudio Ranieri last week after only 19 games in charge. Spurs hosted Arsenal while Liverpool made the short trip to Everton, with both of these games ending in stalemate. Arguably the finest action to be seen was at Old Trafford, where resurgent Man Utd battled to a 3-2 home win against Southampton, who on this performance alone really should not find themselves in the trouble they are in. Adopting a 4-3-3 this time, let’s see which players stood out!
It’s a rare occurrence that Everton head to Anfield to take on Liverpool full of confidence and belief. History has taught them that is a foolish notion.
In the 52 Premier League games they’ve played at Anfield as they’ve managed nine wins. The last of those came 19 years ago. In their last five league visits, they’ve managed two draws and three defeats. Twice in the last four years, they’ve suffered 4-0 defeats there.
Travelling across Stanley Park has become a regular pilgrimage of misery. Even last year, when Sam Allardyce’s side earned a point, there was little joy to be had. Fans had to endure 90 minutes of watching their side defend deep and scrap for an undeserved point. Wayne Rooney’s penalty offered a moment to celebrate but in reality, there was little to enjoy. Continue reading
The 14th week of the 2018-19 Premier League season sees Liverpool host Everton, while Tottenham make the short trip across north London to face Arsenal. Let’s take a look at 11 players who you should consider for your EPL Fantasy team this weekend…
GK – Jordan Pickford (Everton)
We’re going to look specifically at players who have gone under the radar in EPL Fantasy this season, starting with Jordan Pickford. Everton’s 7.00m-rated No.1 has picked up 15 points in 2018-19 — only five goalkeepers have a better record.
There’s no greater problem for a manager than having too many good players to choose from. For Marco Silva at Everton, that issue is about to raise its head at centre back.
So far this season, consistency has proven key for the Portuguese boss. The strong summer transfer window overseen by Marcel Brands left him with plenty of options, particularly in the heart of his defence.
The arrival of Yerry Mina and Kurt Zouma meant Silva had those pair plus Michael Keane, Mason Holgate and Phil Jagielka to choose from. Fortune, however, forced his hand.
An injury ruled out Mina while a red card left Jagielka on the sidelines. After Zouma got fit and Keane returned from an injury they established themselves as the first choice pairing. Continue reading
Manchester City and Liverpool have 23 points after nine games of the 2018-19 Premier League season, while Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham trail them by just two points following another incident-filled weekend in England’s top flight. Let’s take a look at which players made our Best XI from the last three days…
GK: Jordan Pickford, Everton – seven points
Jordan Pickford has recovered from a slow start to the season to pick up 14 points in two of his last three games. He earned another seven in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace – a match in which he also saved a penalty.
As Everton exited the Carabao Cup on Tuesday the sense of disappointment inside Goodison Park was palpable. The Blues have never won the League Cup and it will be another year before they’re given a shot at changing that record.
Most Evertonians cannot understand why. If there was any year that they should have been focusing on England’s ‘lesser’ cup competition this was it. Instead, they are questioning why Marco Silva has passed up a massive opportunity for himself and his team this season.
This competition was a real shot at silverware for Everton this season. Liverpool and Manchester United are already out. Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City have more pressing issues. Continue reading
The eighth week of the 2018-19 Premier League season features the biggest game of the campaign so far, Liverpool v Manchester City, while Manchester United host Newcastle. Let’s take a look at 11 players who you should consider adding to your EPL Fantasy team before the weekend.
GK – Rui Patricio (Wolves)
Rui Patricio has picked up an incredible 17 points this season — Ederson, Allison and Kepa Arrizabalaga are the only goalkeepers with more — and he could easily add to that tally in upcoming matches against Crystal Palace, Watford and Brighton.
Sometimes it takes one performance for a new manager to get going at a club. For Marco Silva and Everton, it may prove to be the win over Fulham.
Describing Silva’s first few weeks in charge at Goodison Park as frustrating would be accurate. His desire to attack regardless of opponents is a welcome change for fans who were bored into submission by Sam Allardyce’s football. His attitude towards the club is another point in the plus column.
Whereas Allardyce had little regard for the fourth most successful club in England, Silva has made it clear he knows this is a big job. He has also made it clear that existing is not enough. Everton have to compete. Continue reading