UEFA make Real Madrid unseeded in an odd move for the Champions League draw

The draw for the Champions League season 2019/20 will take place later today and sadly UEFA have made it all about them. In a stunning move, which actually feels more bizarre they have decided not to seed Real Madrid.

Now even if you are not a fan of the club, that is beside the point. Barcelona fans for example may just be laughing at the idea that Madrid have been relegated to Pot 2. However if you are a fan of football then you’ll be scratching your head and wondering why a club that has won the competition 4 times from the past 6 years isn’t being seeded.

The story has gone completely under the carpet which is a bit of a travesty really. Had Liverpool won the competition 4 from the last 6 years could you imagine the media in England? And these type of stories shouldn’t go unnoticed around Europe and only be centered on one country. All sports media should be crying out loud because this is a playing like a bad joke from UEFA. They are not rewarding success, they are making their awkward points system all about them and not the club- and then UEFA wonder why some of them threaten to breakaway and start a super league.

As news stories go, this one may not feel important, but it should be. UEFA used to respect the clubs that won their own leagues and competitions. UEFA have punished Madrid based on last season alone when they didn’t win the Champions League or the Spanish title. Punished for one season, makes little sense when they have dominated the competition for years.

However rules are rules and the likelihood is that Madrid will qualify for the knock out stages anyway.

The draw should be an exciting one as Madrid count draw one of the very big teams. Imagine for if example they came head to head with Liverpool that would be a repeat of the 2018 final. Not only would Liverpool be after revenge but how will Mohamed Salah react to having to play against Sergio Ramos. Put it this way you wouldn’t want to be Ramos when Liverpool play at Anfield.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said this season will be the hardest in the Champions League ever, and with teams always improving he has a good point. Any one of 6 teams could win it this season, or perhaps we will have a major surprise.

 

Predicted lineups for round 4 of the Premier League season

It’s time for gameweek four of the 2019/20 English Premier League season.

Here’s a look at all the predicted lineups for the ten fixtures over the coming weekend.

Southampton v Manchester United

Southampton XI: Gunn, Valery, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Danso, Romeu, Hojbjerg, Boufal, Ward-Prowse, Adams, Ings

Manchester United XI: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young, Pogba, McTominay, James, Mata, Rashford, Greenwood

Questionable: Bertrand, Redmond, Obafemi (Southampton); Martial, Sanchez (Manchester United) Continue reading

The winning mentality of Liverpool looks unstoppable as they go top of the Premier League

Who is going to stop Liverpool winning their first league title since 1990? Everyone would say Manchester City, but it’s probable that not even Pep Guardiola’s stars are going to be able to do that. The reason is that they won the title last season and not Liverpool.

Liverpool ran out 3-1 winners at Anfield against a very good Arsenal side who had their chances too, but yet again it felt as if the Reds did not break out of second gear in order to do it.

Liverpool have started the season with 3 wins from three games, beating Norwich 4-1 and then Southampton 2-1 and this game and inbetween that they popped over to Turkey to win the Super Cup from Chelsea. There is just this incredible winning formula with the club and with Jurgen Klopp in charge he has so many winning qualities that Liverpool have the perfect manager.

But one wonders how and why Liverpool have started so strongly. Yes they are a great team after all let’s remember they are the European champions but after such a taxing season you could have wondered if the players would have felt at least some psychological damage. It has never been known for a club to get 97 points and not win the league, and also they lost just 1 game all season which was ironically against Manchester City.

But there is a massive hunger and passion from within the club to simply continue their journey. Their nearest rival City are a brilliant team with one of the best coaches in the history of football, but at the same time they have won the league two times in a row. What is their motivation? To win a 3rd title in a row? Well that is a good one which has only in modern history been won by Manchester United, and of course City would love to replicate that. But one could wonder if the motivation of not winning the league for 30 years is a bigger one- of course it is.

The irony of last season was that City ended up winning what Liverpool really wanted and Liverpool won what City really want. Also the quality of Liverpool and a never say die attitude is evident also. Look at the 2018 Champions League final when they lost against Real Madrid, they came back the year after and won it. Can they do the same in the Premier League? There only have one realistic challenger and make no mistake City will push them, but when the league gets down to the business end where these two teams rarely drop points don’t be surprised if it is Liverpool that find that second wind.

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Predicted lineups for gameweek 3 of the Premier League

It’s time for gameweek 3 of the Premier League season.

Here’s a look at all the predicted lineups for the ten fixtures over the coming weekend.

Aston Villa v Everton

Aston Villa XI: Heaton, Elmohamady, Engels, Mings, Targett, Jota, McGinn, Luiz, Grealish, Trezeguet, Wesley

Everton XI: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne, Gbamin, Gomes, Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Kean

Questionable: Digne, Baines (Everton)

Out: Chester, Hause, Kodjia (Aston Villa); Delph (Everton) Continue reading

Predicted lineups for the first weekend of the new EPL season

The English Premier League returns on Friday night when European champions Liverpool face Norwich City at Anfield.

There is a full programme of matches on between Friday night and Sunday afternoon with all 20 Premier League teams in action on the opening weekend.

Here are our predicted lineups for those EPL fixtures so have a read in preparation to get your EPL fantasy season off to the perfect start.

Liverpool v Norwich City

Liverpool XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Keita, Salah, Firmino, Mane

Norwich City XI: Krul, Aarons, Klose, Godfrey, Lewis, McLean, Vrancic, Buendia, Stiepermann, Hernandez, Pukki

Questionable: Milner (Liverpool); Klose, Tettey (Norwich)

Out: Clyne (Liverpool); Zimmerman (Norwich)

West Ham United v Manchester City

West Ham XI: Fabianski, Fredericks, Balbuena, Diop, Cresswell, Noble, Rice, Fornals, Antonio, Haller, Anderson

Manchester City XI: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Zinchenko, De Bruyne, Rodrigo, David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Aguero, Sterling

Questionable: Fabianski, Noble (West Ham); Laporte, Sane (Man City)

Out: Mendy (Man City)

Burnley v Southampton

Burnley XI: Pope, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters, Lennon, Cork, Westwood, McNeil, Barnes, Wood

Southampton XI: Gunn, Valery, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Bertrand, Romeu, Hojbjerg, Ward-Prowse, Djenepo, Adams, Ings

Questionable: Tarkowski, Long, Brady (Burnley)

Out: Defour (Burnley)

Crystal Palace v Everton

Crystal Palace XI: Guaita, Ward, Dann, Sakho, Van Aanholt, McArthur, Milivojevic, Meyer, Townsend, Benteke, Ayew

Everton XI: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne, Gomes, Schneiderlin, Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Kean

Questionable: Sakho (Crystal Palace); Delph, Baines (Everton)

Out: Tomkins (Crystal Palace)

Bournemouth v Sheffield United

Bournemouth XI: Travers, Stacey, Steve Cook, Ake, Daniels, Wilson, Billing, Lerma, Fraser, King, Wilson

Sheffield United XI: Henderson, Basham, Egan, O’Connell, Baldock, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens, Freeman, McBurnie, Sharp

Questionable: Steve Cook, Daniels (Bournemouth)

Out: Francis, Kelly, Brooks, Stanislas, Gosling, Lewis Cook (Bournemouth)

Watford v Brighton

Watford XI: Foster, Femenia, Dawson, Cathcart, Holebas, Capoue, Doucoure, Hughes, Pereyra, Deeney, Deulofeu

Brighton XI: Ryan, Duffy, Webster, Dunk, Montoya, Stephens, Propper, March, Gross, Trossard, Maupay

Questionable: Deulofeu (Watford)

Out: Bissouma, Izquierdo (Brighton)

Spurs v Aston Villa

Spurs XI: Lloris, Walker-Peters, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Sissoko, Winks, Ndombele, Lamela, Kane, Moura

Aston Villa XI: Heaton, Guilbert, Engels, Mings, Targett, Jota, McGinn, Hourihane, Grealish, El Ghazi, Wesley

Questionable: Davies, Aurier, Dier, Wanyama (Spurs); Nyland, Steer, Konsa, El Ghazi (Aston Villa)

Out: Foyth, Son, Alli (Spurs)

Newcastle United v Arsenal

Newcastle XI: Dubravka, Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandes, Schar, Willems, Hayden, Shelvey, Longstaff, Almiron, Joelinton

Arsenal XI: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Torreira, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Ozil, Lacazette, Aubameyang

Questionable: Ritchie, Colback (Newcastle); Lacazette (Arsenal)

Out: Yedlin, Lejeune (Newcastle); Bellerin, Holding (Arsenal)

Leicester City v Wolves

Leicester XI: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Morgan, Evans, Chilwell, Tielemans, Ndidi, Ayoze Perez, Maddison, Gray, Vardy

Wolves XI: Patricio, Bennett, Coady, Boly, Doherty, Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho, Castro, Jimenez, Jota

Questionable: Mendy (Leicester); Doherty, Jimenez (Wolves)

Out: n/a

Manchester United v Chelsea

Manchester United XI: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Pogba, McTominay, James, Lingard, Rashford, Martial

Chelsea XI: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Christensen, Emerson, Jorginho, Kante, Pedro, Mount, Pulisic, Abraham

Questionable: Pogba (Man Utd); Kante, Willian (Chelsea)

Out: Bailly (Man Utd); Rudiger, Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea)

 

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Rhian Brewster shows why he may play a big part in Liverpool’s first team next season

Rhian Brewster

Liverpool got their pre-season friendlies off to a flying start with a 6-0 win over Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park on Thursday evening.

The young Reds striker put a season of injury woes behind him by turning on the style against League One side Tranmere and, in doing so, declared himself fit, ready and able to play a part in Jurgen Klopp’s first-team squad for the 2019/20 campaign.

It’s no secret that Liverpool have been quiet in the transfer market so far this summer. Could Klopp’s faith in Brewster’s abilities be one of the main reasons why Liverpool have not looked to spend big on another forward? Continue reading

Divock Origi needs to hit the ground running next season

Divock Origi

Liverpool are reportedly confident that Divock Origi will extend his current contract deal with the club to go beyond 2020.

Origi showed his worth to the first team on several occasions last season when he filled in for one of the first-choice front three and, more often than not, provided important goals when called upon.

The Reds’ forward line consists of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane so Origi has one of the toughest jobs in football trying to break into Liverpool’s first eleven. However, Jurgen Klopp is reportedly very happy with the Belgian international’s contribution and his ability to be effective in a short space of time. Continue reading

Liverpool set for a quiet summer – Forwards

Liverpool forwards

Can Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp go one step better in 2019/20 and win their first league title for 29 years?

Today is the final part of our look at the whole Liverpool squad. We already discussed goalkeepers and defenders and followed that up with a look at The Reds’ midfield department.

Now we’re going to look at Liverpool’s forward line plus their backup strikers.

Forwards

Mohamed Salah – Salah has now spent two seasons at Anfield, scoring a phenomenal 54 league goals in the Liverpool jersey. The Egyptian speedster has also provided 18 Continue reading

How to be Great at Fantasy Football & Football Bets

Much loved and passionately followed, the joy of football enhances tenfold by linking it to the excitement and entertainment of fantasy football and sports betting. Fantasy football is a great way to be a part of the game in an intense manner, not just talking about it, but indulging in every aspect of football on and off the field. Sports betting, on the other hand, is all about putting your money where it matters with a chance to walk away with significant earnings that you can boast about, very much like winning a fantasy league title.

Whether playing in a fantasy football league or betting on the actual Premier League, there are striking similarities in the way a fantasy player or a bettor can go about making informed decisions. With a little bit of information and a whole lot of self-analysis, it is easy to come out on top and claim your trophy along with the team that wins the championship.

Watch More Games

It’s quite easy to bet on matches these days without having any prior knowledge, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right tactic. Whether you are playing fantasy football or trying to make money from Manchester City winning the Premier League, the more games you watch, the more informed decisions you can make. Do remember that getting an update about a particular match from a friend is not the same as watching it yourself.

They might have missed out on essential aspects such as who played, who didn’t, and what was the form of a particular player, that can come in handy to you when strengthening your fantasy team or placing a winning bet.

Listen to the Pundits

They are called “pundits” for a reason, and it pays to listen to expert analysis of games to better understand team dynamics. However, too much information is never useful and can often create unnecessary doubt. It is best to have a few trusted voices that you follow regularly and stick with them long term. Moreover, when looking at 2019 betting offers, check the leading bookmakers and read up on their recommendations.

Most bookies have detailed analysis of upcoming games to help punters make an informed choice. Best of all, punters can pick up some excellent bonuses, free bets, and enhanced odds while doing the above to increase their winnings.

Gut Instinct

The most vital aspect of playing in a fantasy league or betting is to follow your gut instinct. Take the recently concluded Premier League and the top scorers of the competition. Even though Liverpool came in second, and almost everyone had Mohamed Salah to take away the Golden Boot with ease, there were two other winners this year who went on to share the trophy. So, don’t get diverted by what everyone thinks, and stick with your instincts because the magic of football lies in its unpredictable nature that is full of surprises.

Spread Your Plays

Fantasy football enthusiasts very much like astute bettors tend to dip their hands in all
possible jars. While indulging in several fantasy football games can prove to be a little time consuming and confusing, if you are not mentally prepared for it, spreading your bets across the table in a sports competition can only lead to more favourable chances of winning big.

For fantasy football, being a part of different leagues is a fantastic learning experience, only if you remember not to go overboard and signup for more than you can handle.

No shame in second for Liverpool

Liverpool second Premier League Klopp Van Dijk Robertson Salah Mane

Bill Shankly famously said that finishing second is nothing. Even he, though, would have been tempted to revise that statement when discussing this current Liverpool team. Describing this team as failures would be cruel in the extreme.

While the overarching desire is to look back at this past season and mourn the death of another potential title win, the reaction should be the opposite. Liverpool should be celebrating a glorious campaign and the fact that it happened in the first place. Jurgen Klopp’s side have impressed beyond belief over the past year. Suggestions that they have done anything but succeed this season are not worth listening to. Klopp will certainly be sharing that message among his group.  Continue reading