This past weekend we saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lose his domestic unbeaten run as Man Utd manager, with Arsenal triumphing 2-0 at the Emirates. Elsewhere, Liverpool maintained pressure on league leaders Man City with their 4-2 win over Burnley at Anfield, and Southampton caused something of an upset by beating Tottenham 2-1 on the south coast. There were wins for Brighton and Cardiff, with Newcastle also putting in an impressive showing with their 3-2 home win against Everton. With that in mind, we will now adopt a 4-4-2 formation and see which players performed the best for their clubs in England’s top flight this past weekend.
La Liga leaders Barcelona have been linked with a shock move for Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal, according to media reports in Spain.
The Spanish international is rumoured to be interesting Ernesto Valverde’s side, in a story by Catalan newspaper Diario Sport, this morning.
Despite tying current first choice left back Jordi Alba to a long term deal at the end of February, cover in the position has been a real concern for La Blaugrana at times this season.
The ninth week of the 2018-19 Premier League season features one of the biggest games of the campaign so far, Chelsea v Manchester United, while Liverpool travel to Huddersfield and Arsenal host Leicester. Let’s take a look at 11 players who you should consider adding to your EPL Fantasy team before the weekend.
GK – Ederson (Manchester City)
Every EPL Fantasy team needs a reliable scorer of points in goal, and you can’t go wrong with Ederson. The Manchester City goalkeeper has recorded 37 points this season – more than any other player in his position in the Premier League – and there’s a good chance he’ll add to that tally at home to Burnley.
On 53 minutes against Qarabag in the Europa League, teenager Emile Smith Rowe scored his first competitive goal for Arsenal. With Alex Iwobi drawing four defending Qarabag players out before releasing the ball, the 18-year-old slotted home Arsenal’s second of the night following a well-timed overlapping run. The goal proved Arsenal’s second string is also capable of quick transitions and counter-attacking goals. Continue reading
Unai Emery isn’t one to undermine cup competitions. His winning three Europa League and two Coupe de France trophies in five consecutive seasons before joining Arsenal must highlight his view on cup tournaments, so it wasn’t surprising when he fielded a strong second-string side in the recent third-round Football League Cup fixture against Championship team Brentford. Continue reading
He was one of the players thought to be on his way out of Arsenal following the appointment of Unai Emery in the summer. Nacho Monreal had just enjoyed his best ever season at the Gunners, scoring five times in 26 Premier League starts over the course of the 2017/18 campaign, but nonetheless, the Spaniard was expected to return to his homeland.
Some reports even claimed that Real Sociedad had agreed a deal with Arsenal for the signing of the left back. And yet the summer transfer window passed, the deadline came and went, and Monreal remained in North London. What’s more, he has started three of the Gunners’ opening Premier League fixtures.
Now, however, speculation is starting to swirl once more. Barcelona are the latest club reported to be monitoring the 32-year-old, with the Catalans keen to add some depth to their squad in the January window. Lucas Digne was never replaced following his summer move to Everton and so Ernesto Valverde is nervous about the prospect of an injury to his only out-and-out left back, Jordi Alba. Filipe Luis could be another option for the Camp Nou side.
So what happens if Monreal leaves in January? Could Arsenal cope without the 32-year-old? How important is he to what Emery is attempting to build at the Emirates Stadium? Should the Gunners be worried about Barcelona potentially luring away their starting left back in the middle of the season?
Reports that emerged on Wednesday suggest that Emery sees Monreal as very important to his Arsenal project, with the Gunners set to offer the Spaniard a new contract to ward off any interest from Barcelona or any other potential suitors. “At the moment we are talking with the club,” he said.
“I’ve always said I am really happy, I feel very happy playing for Arsenal. I came six years ago. I have a good relationship with them. We are in contact in any moment so don’t worry about that. I am happy here. That is the most important thing.”
Indeed, Monreal does have a good relationship with Arsenal and most notably with the club’s support. The Spaniard has become something of a cult figure since arriving at the Emirates all the way back in 2013, with that status only underlined by his impressive performances for the Gunners last season.
Losing in Monreal in January wouldn’t be a disaster for Arsenal. As popular as the 32-year-old is, he’s not good enough to take the Gunners back to the top of the game. But it would certainly be an unwelcome inconvenience for Emery just at the point he would be hoping to build some momentum towards the second half of the season. All things considered, losing Monreal would be a blow.
How well do you know European Football? Want to challenge the best English Fantasy Managers? Play www.epl-fantasy.com now.
The most exciting match from the second week of the 2018-19 Premier League season saw Chelsea defeat Arsenal 3-2 at Stamford Bridge, with Maurizio Sarri’s side surrendering a two-goal lead before striking late on through Marcos Alonso to pick up their second win in as many games.
Both teams put away chances in the first half, with Pedro and Alvaro Morata scoring for the hosts before quickfire goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi for the Gunners to level things up just before half-time, but it was the 2016-17 champions who earned the early-season bragging rights in this London derby.
With another great weekend of Premier League football ahead of us, take a look at who we think will be victorious, and which players should be in your fantasy side as a result. Continue reading
The FA Cup has pushed back the Premier League this weekend as Manchester United and Arsenal welcome their new star signings.
To cover some of the most intriguing clashes across Europe, Nicholas Carroll provides this week’s Euro Fantasy League preview.
Arsenal have enjoyed a positive week of results and now have Henrikh Mkhitaryan at their disposal for their trip away to Swansea. Likewise, Manchester United are set to unleash Alexis Sanchez as they look to ignite their attack for a tough clash on the road with Tottenham. Continue reading
This coming weekend sees the FA Cup make its glorious return to action for this season’s fourth round, and so we have to wait until midweek next week for the next set of Premier League games, before regular weekend action follows a couple of days later. Continue reading