5 players worth keeping an eye on in the Champions League group stage

David Neres (Ajax)

Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong have departed the Amsterdam Arena for pastures new, but Ajax have otherwise kept the bulk of last season’s squad intact. A repeat of their 2018/19 achievements – a domestic double and a run to the semi-finals of the Champions League – is highly unlikely, but Erik ten Hag will fancy his side’s chances of progressing from an open group containing Chelsea, Valencia and Lille.

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Leicester can confirm top-four credentials with positive performance at Old Trafford

It is still early days but after four games of the Premier League season, Leicester City are the side who look best equipped to challenge the big six. Brendan Rodgers’ charges are third in the standings heading into this weekend’s trip to Old Trafford, with two wins (against Sheffield United and Bournemouth) and two draws (against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Chelsea) representing a solid start to the new campaign.

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6 classic Arsenal vs Tottenham clashes from the Premier League era

Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham (2011/12)

Arsenal, it is fair to say, did not get off to the best of starts in 2011/12. An opening-day draw with Newcastle United was a disappointment but the worst was still to come, with the Gunners following up that stalemate at St James’ Park with a 2-0 home defeat by Liverpool and an infamous 8-2 demolition at the hands of Manchester United.

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Arsenal out to end dreadful recent record at Anfield – but the performance could be as important as the result

Anfield has not been a happy hunting ground for Arsenal in recent years. Since the start of 2014 the Gunners have collected two points from a possible 18 at Liverpool’s home, with an aggregate score of 22-8 across those six matches.

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Players to keep an eye on in the Premier League

With the Premier League gearing up for the third week of action, many are excited to watch their club play and hopefully win matches. Supporters are also excited to watch their favorite players in the Premier League. Fans tend to engage in heavy activity involving online betting to earn money based on the performances of their favourite star.

 

One of the most important players you need to watch out for is Raheem Sterling who is in the race for the Golden Boot. This was highlighted by his hat-trick during Man City’s win over West Ham. From Man City to Liverpool whose star player Mohamed Salah is another fan favourite who has been delivering goals in abundance the last two seasons. Salah started great with a goal in Liverpool’s 4-1 victory against Norwich City.

Another player to look out for is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who scored the decider to edge his club Arsenal in a 1-0 win over Newcastle. That was the only goal and he took four shots of the eight of his team. He shared the Golden Boot last year with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, and his graph indicates that he is going to have a great season.

Other names such as Marcus Rashford and particularly Harry Kane cannot be left far behind. While Kane did not have his best season in the Premier League due to injury, he still was top scorer for England in the World Cup in Russia 2018.

Looking to impress again is Virgil van Dijk, the Liverpool centre-back who had a phenomenal 2018/19 season. He has a habit of scoring goals but can also pass while steadily performing well as a defender. VVD, as he’s commonly referred to by some, is helped by having one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League in the form of Alisson. The ex-Roma goalkeeper and Manchester City’s shot-stopper Ederson were very impressive last season, and perhaps the two best goalkeepers in the Premier League.

It is safe to say many of the key players will be coming from Liverpool and Manchester City. Tottenham may have a couple of players but all eyes will be on Kane to see if he’ll be scoring many goals this season as well as new midfield signing Tanguy Ndombele. Who is on your Fantasy Football team?

8 Premier League new boys we’re excited to watch this season

Patrick Cutrone (Wolves)

Nuno Espirito Santo switched to a 3-5-2 formation during last season, with Raul Jimenez paired with Diogo Jota up top. The acquisition of Cutrone, who joins from Milan in a £16m deal, gives the Wolves boss another option as he prepares his side for a dual domestic and European campaign.

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7 memorable Community Shield matches from years gone by

Ahead of Sunday’s showdown between Manchester City and Liverpool, we have picked out seven memorable Community or Charity Shields from yesteryear.

Manchester United 4-0 Queens Park Rangers, 1908

The first ever Charity Shield pitted Football League winners Manchester United against QPR, who did not triumph in the previous season’s FA Cup. Wolves were the victors in that competition, overcoming Newcastle United 3-1 in the final at Crystal Palace Park, but in the inaugural edition it was the Southern League champions who contested the curtain-raiser.

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6 managers who crossed the divide to manager their former club’s rivals

Steve Bruce (Sheffield United/Sheffield Wednesday, Birmingham City/Aston Villa and Sunderland/Newcastle United)

Bruce’s appointment as Newcastle boss is not the first time he has crossed the divide of a fierce rivalry. He is unlikely to manage the Magpies against former club Sunderland, with whom he spent two full seasons between 2009 and 2011, given the two divisions separating the two sides at present, but it is unlikely that such a fixture would faze him.

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10 Premier League players who should leave their current clubs before the window closes

Islam Slimani (Leicester)  

It is easy to forget that Slimani is still a Leicester player. Signed following their improbable Premier League title triumph in 2016, the Algeria international made something of an impact in his debut campaign, scoring eight goals in 29 appearances, but he fell sharply out of favour the following season and was loaned out to Newcastle in January. Slimani spent 2018/19 in Turkey with Fenerbahce; given that he is unlikely to play much for the Foxes next term, he should now seek a permanent exit.

Dejan Lovren (Liverpool)

The much maligned Lovren is a perfectly capable centre-back on his day, which is why clubs such as Milan have explored the possibility of signing him this summer. According to the latest reports, the Rossoneri have been priced out of a move for the former Southampton man, who has slipped further down the pecking order at Anfield thanks to Joe Gomez’s emergence at centre-half and Joel Matip’s tremendous end to last season.

Jairo Riedewald (Crystal Palace)  

Clashes with powerful members of the Crystal Palace squad supposedly contributed to Frank de Boer’s sacking as the club’s manager after just four games of the 2017/18 campaign, but Riedewald would have been disappointed to see his compatriot go. The Dutchman was a bit-part player under Roy Hodgson for the remainder of that season, before making just a single Premier League appearance last term. His career would surely be best served by a move away from Selhurst Park this summer.

Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City)

Manchester City’s recruitment has generally been excellent in the last three years, but Mangala’s presence in the squad is a reminder that it was not always thus.

Henri Lansbury (Aston Villa)

No club has spent more in this summer’s transfer market than Aston Villa, who have splashed out £83m since winning the Championship play-off final against Derby County. That is not particularly positive news for Lansbury, who only played 10 games in the second tier last term. That was in large part because of injury, but having been out of the first-team picture for so long, it make sense for the Arsenal academy graduate to start afresh elsewhere.

Joe Hart (Burnley)

Hart’s decision to move to Burnley last summer always felt like a curious one; granted, he was guaranteed to start in the first few months of the season due to injuries to Tom Heaton and Nick Pope, but his future beyond that was doubtful. Indeed, Heaton’s return to the starting XI coincided with an upturn in form for the Clarets, and Hart may even fall to third in the pecking order now that Pope is back to full fitness. For the sake of his career, the former England net-minder should seek pastures new.

Yannick Bolasie (Everton)

It is fair to say that Bolasie’s move from Crystal Palace to Everton in 2016 has not worked out. The DR Congo international made a decent start at Goodison Park, but a severe knee injury suffered against Manchester United kept him out of action for a year, and he struggled to make much of a positive impression thereafter. Reports suggest that Bolasie is available for £10m this summer, but at the time of writing he remains on Merseyside.

Guido Carrillo (Southampton)

Southampton parted with £19m to acquire Carrillo in January 2018, a decision they must massively regret 18 months on. The former Monaco frontman failed to score in his 10 appearances for the club before a season-long loan move to Leganes last term. Now back at St Mary’s, Carrillo was left out of the Southampton squad that travelled to Austria last week.

Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal)

If Laurent Koscielny gets his way and departs the Emirates Stadium this summer, Jenkinson will take over as Arsenal’s longest-serving outfielder. That is extraordinary given that he has played only four league matches for the club since 2013/14, and a situation that surely cannot continue. Now 27, Jenkinson must secure a transfer that brings him more first-team football.

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Laurent Koscielny problem is the last thing Arsenal needed

It is fair to say that Arsenal have not had the most straightforward of summers so far. Defeat by Chelsea in the Europa League final and a failure to finish in the top four in the Premier League last term did not only deny the Gunners Champions League football in 2019/20, but it also further restricted their transfer budget ahead of next season. The fact that Aaron Ramsey’s contract had expired by the time of his official move to Juventus means that the north Londoners were unable to recoup any funds to lessen the blow of losing their star midfielder, while the chances of getting Mesut Ozil’s sizeable wages off the payroll are slim to nil.

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