Premier League Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 4

The 2020-21 Premier League campaign is set to head into its first international break of the campaign after another thrilling weekend of action that included Aston Villa’s incredible 7-2 victory over champions Liverpool.

Liverpool will be the next team in action when the Premier League returns as they are set for the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on lunchtime of Saturday 17 October.

Before that though, let’s have a look at who the top players were from matchday 4:

Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy (Chelsea) – 7pts
Four goalkeepers kept a clean sheet in the Premier League over the weekend and we selected Edouard Mendy in the team of the week. The Senegalese goalkeeper was making his Chelsea debut on Saturday lunchtime in helping Frank Lampard’s side keep their first shutout of the new campaign in the 4-0 hammering of Crystal Palace.

Defender: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea) – 15pts
Ben Chilwell was also making his Chelsea debut on Saturday when the left-back opened the scoring and later got an assist to go with his clean sheet in what can only be described as the perfect start from the England international.

Defender: Kurt Zouma (Chelsea) – 12pts
Chelsea dominate our defence as Kurt Zouma’s goal made it 2-0 midway through the second half to help secure three points in the London derby. It’s the centre-back’s second goal in only three Premier League games so far this season, and his first clean sheet.

Defender: Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United) – 12pts
Back-to-back surprise victories have come with clean sheets for West Ham whilst manager David Moyes is self-isolating. The Hammers followed up their 4-0 thrashing of Wolverhampton Wanderers with a 3-0 win away to Leicester City on Sunday lunchtime. Left-back Aaron Cresswell setup two of the goals.

Defender: Serge Aurier (Tottenham Hotspur) – 12pts
The one defender to make the team of the week without keeping a clean sheet is Tottenham Hotspur right-back Serge Aurier. Jose Mourinho’s side were behind within two minutes before coming back to hammer Manchester United 6-1 at Old Trafford. Aurier scored the fifth of those shortly after the break.

Midfielder: Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) – 22pts
The highest point scorer of the weekend was Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, who remains at the club after deadline day. The midfielder helped himself to a brace in the second half of their 7-2 humiliation of Liverpool at Goodison Park on Sunday night.

Midfielder: John McGinn (Aston Villa) – 11pts
Liverpool had reduced the score to 1-2 through Mohamed Salah in the first half before John McGinn’s goal for the Villans restored their two-goal advantage 10 minutes before the break.

Midfielder: Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle United) – 11pts
Allan Saint-Maximin tore into the Burnley defence on Saturday night as he scored in the opening goal in Newcastle’s important 3-1 victory that sees Steve Bruce’s side head into the international break in the top half whilst the Clarets remain pointless.

Striker: Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) – 18pts
The Aston Villa striker marked his recent transfer from Burnley with a first half hat-trick against Liverpool on Sunday night. Dean Smith may have found his man after struggling for goals out of his strikers last season.

Striker: Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) – 14pts
The South Korean has been deadly to start the new season. Son Heung-min returned from injury to take his place in the starting lineup and score twice in the demolition of Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Striker: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) – 13pts
His well-taken goal on half hour proved to be the nail in Manchester United’s coffin by making it 3-1 moments after Anthony Martial’s red card. Harry Kane added a second 10 minutes from time from the penalty spot.

Challenge the best EPL Fantasy Managers at

Early Fantasy trends in the English Premier League

Between no fans, an explosion of offence, and a condensed offseason, there are some interesting early-season trends taking place in the English Premier League. We look at the ones impacting English Premier League fantasy football after the first three weeks of matches.

Highest Scoring Week Ever 

Week 2 of the 2020/21 Premier League season witnessed record scoring. The ten games combined for 44 goals in Matchday 2, topping the previous record of 43 goals set during the 2010/11 EPL season.

Matchday 3 saw offences continue to pour in goals, with five teams topping the three-goal mark, helping the week reach 29 goals with two games left to play on Monday.

Excluding Sheffield United, every single EPL team enters Monday, averaging at least one goal per match.

Clean sheets are challenging to come by early in the season, meaning a top-tier goaltender is more valuable than normal this early in the season. Everton’s keeper Jordan Pickford has been one of the few to shine early in the season.

Knowing whether record goals will continue to pour in is unpredictable. However, grabbing a quality keeper could help your team weather the storm if scoring continues in the EPL continues at a record pace.

Away Teams Dominate Early

Early in the EPL season, the term “playing the matchups” seems to have taken on a new aspect – and that is playing the away players.

Week 3 saw the first seven away teams get a result – after Newcastle scored at 90+7 to tie the Hotspurs and Leicester knocked in five goals against Man City to move atop the table. These outcomes make it three straight weeks where the away teams have looked superior – with 18 results in 26 games, compared to 10 results for home teams through as many games.

The lack of fans is the one glaring factor this season. Typically, a visit to Man City means a hostile environment. However, without any real fans in the stands, Jamie Vardy could just waltz his way to a hattrick in Matchday 3.

If you need to make a roster adjustment for the upcoming week, players on road clubs are outperforming home players early in the 2020/21 EPL season.

The Stars Scoring Early in the Season

Early draft predictions are looking pretty smart to start the EPL fantasy season, as top-rated players are lighting up the stat sheet. Mohamad Salah, Danny Ings, Jamie Vardy, and Son Heung-Min are off to strong starts, while Harry Kane has four helpers to lead the league early.

The strong starts from the stars coincide with the offensive explosive occurring early in the season. While the top guys should continue to produce throughout the year, some of the early season surprises – such as Neal Maupay and Patrick Bamford – may be worth shopping early with their value at an all-time high, especially if your team needs a keeper or defence.

“Manchester United Nani goal” by gordon2208 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Big Club Fantasy Disappointments so Buy Low

While some stars are producing early in the year, the big names on Man City, Man United, Arsenal, and Chelsea have yet to live up to expectations.

Both Manchester teams came into the year without much of an offseason. Still, Kevin De Bruyne – star of Man City – should not be outperformed by Jarrod Bowen on West Ham United.

The slow starts mean someone could be shopping one of these players for a low return. Even if Kevin De Bruyne is off to a slow start, he is still a fantasy stud. If you can survive his lower production now, you should see significant returns on your fantasy team later in the season.

Fantasy Trends and Soccer Betting

Much of the information above is useful for betting on soccer as well as playing EPL fantasy. Knowing that road teams are having early success and unusually high offensive production from just about every club can help you make better wagers.

Knowing where to bet is essential as well. The best Canadian sportsbooks for EPL odds offer a wide selection of quality markets on every single match.

Look for away underdogs and overs on the goal totals to offer the best soccer betting value as the 2020-21 EPL season heads into Matchday 4.

Premier League Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 2

Heung-min Son scored four as Tottenham Hotspur thrashed Southampton 5-2 and Dominic Calvert-Lewin grabbed a hat-trick as Everton beat 10 man West Bromwich Albion by the same score.

Clean sheets were hard to come by in the Premier League last weekend, with only Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea and Aston Villa keeping one.

Here’s a look at the players who made a real difference in the fantasy football last weekend:

Goalkeeper: Emi Martinez (Aston Villa) – 7pts
Aston Villa’s new signing introduced himself to the fans by saving a penalty and keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 win over Sheffield United on his debut. Emi Martinez was one of only three goalkeepers to keep a clean sheet on matchday 2.

Continue reading

Son continues to shine for Tottenham but does he get enough recognition?

Son Heung-Min wasn’t even 10 years old when South Korea reached the World Cup semi finals on home soil in 2002, and it was that very competition, seeing for himself the magic and hope that surrounds football that made Son pursue his own dreams.

After spells with FC Seoul in his youth years he had a huge cultural change ahead of him when he joined Hamburg in the Bundesliga in 2010. His potential was then snapped up by Bayer Leverkusen before Tottenham came calling in 2015.

Son has been ever reliable for the Premier League team, setting up goals, scoring them and always getting those important ones. He has been an integral part of the side even if he has started some games from the bench, he is as important as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was to Manchester United in the late 1990s and early 2000s. But arguably one could question if Son is not getting enough media treatment and enough appreciation. In a side who continue to be touted as amongst the favourites to win trophies, Son is just as an important as Harry Kane, and has ended up being a superb purchase for the club.

Whilst it’s true that Son is not scoring as many goals as Kane, it is what he does on the pitch too. Drawing defenders out, using neat tricks and his pace to create space and he is very popular with the players and fans. One has to wonder if Son is one of the best Asian players to grace the league.

There have in the past been quality like Tim Cahill of Everton, or Shinji Kagawa who had a few seasons at Manchester United. The one player that really sticks out though is Park Ji-Sung, who won over 10 trophies for Manchester United. Though Park was used mainly as a super sub there is no question of his quality and his influence over the Red Devils in the games that mattered, culminating in winning the Champions League in 2008 in all an English final against Chelsea.

But that is in the past and this is the present and Son continues to shine. He recently won the goal of the month for his superb solo effort against Chelsea. A goal that helped Tottenham to win the game 3-1 and inflict Chelsea’s first defeat of the season.

He has had a memorable week too- scoring at the Emirates as Spurs knocked out Arsenal in the Carabao Cup and then scoring a brace against Everton this weekend in a rousing 6-2 victory. The media pages need to be filled a little less with the brilliant Kane, and a little more with the also very brilliant Son, who may just be warming up to be one of the best Asian players to grace his name in the major European leagues.

VIDEO PREVIEW: The Premier League’s battle to be runner-up

Nicholas Carroll returns to preview the weekend’s biggest Premier League and La Liga fantasy fixtures while joining the world football community in the mourning of Davide Astori.

In England’s north, Liverpool have the opportunity to leapfrog Manchester United into second place in Saturday’s early fixture before Arsenal search for some pride at home to Watford.

Meanwhile in Spain, two in-form clubs will clash when 5th-placed Sevilla hosts 4th-placed Valencia. Continue reading

Arsenal and Spurs strikers on target at the Olympics

arsene wenger

The first round of group stage matches of the Men’s Olympics Football tournament have now been completed, with the eight games played producing 31 goals.

Three of those goals were scored by attackers who play for the North London rivals, Arsenal and Tottenham, whilst another three other English Premier League based players featured in the competition’s opening set of fixtures.

Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry scored for Germany in their 2-2 draw against Mexico after coming on as a first half substitute, whilst the 21-year-old’s club mate Takumo Asano found the net for Japan, as they lost 5-4 to Nigeria, who were captained by Chelsea’s Jon Obi Mikel.

Aside from Japan against Nigeria, the game in which the most goals were scored was Fiji’s encounter with South Korea. Despite only leading 1-0 at half time, the South Koreans ran out 8-0 winners, as Tottenham’s Son Heung Min confidently scored a penalty kick.

Whereas the former Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen striker successfully opened his goal scoring account for the tournament, Manchester City’s new Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus, who the club have just signed from Palmeiras for a fee in the region of £27m, was unable to as the hosts drew their first game 0-0 against South Africa.

Despite creating an abundance of chances, Brazil were frustrated in their efforts to score, with Jesus guilty of a glaring miss from just two yards. The 19-year-old has been loaned back to Palmeiras until January, which will create a great deal of anticipation among Manchester City’s supporters about his first appearance for the club.

Whilst Jesus endured a disappointing Olympic debut, Liverpool’s Tiago Llori did not, as the 23-year-old central defender made a substitute appearance in Portugal’s 2-0 win over Argentina.

Although Llori has now been with Liverpool since September 2013 and spent last season on loan at Aston Villa, the former Sporting Lisbon player is yet to make his Premier League debut.

Nevertheless he will enhance his prospects of doing so by showcasing his strong defensive talent in the Olympic Football tournament, which will continue on Sunday – 7 August – when the second set of group stage matches are to take place.

The highest profile of those is to be Germany’s game against South Korea, whilst Gabriel Jesus will look to produce an improved performance for Brazil to help them secure their first win of the competition against Iraq.

Ultimately the Olympics Football Tournament represents a wonderful environment within which some of the world’s most promising young players can display their skills, with many having done so during a highly entertaining first round of group stage matches

What Tottenham can expect from new-boy Son Heung-min this season

Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur recently confirmed the signing of Bayer Leverkusen forward Son Heung-min for around £22M this summer to provide competition in the attack. Manager Mauricio Pochettino has been keen to strengthen his frontline following the sale of Roberto Soldado and the impending exit of Emmanuel Adebayor, and Son has certainly impressed in his domestic league prior to his White Hart Lane switch.

“I’m looking forward to going there and performing for the Spurs fans as soon as possible. Bold and daring – this is how I like to try to play. I learned the game under my father who was a football coach in my school. I’ve trained with both feet so I can use them freely,” he said upon his arrival.

The 23-year-old has hit double figures for goals in the German Bundesliga in each of his last three seasons, while making more than 40 caps for South Korea, scoring 11 times. It’s easy to forget how young he is given his vast experience for club and country, and Tottenham will be hoping it leads to Son to pick up where he left off for his former side.

Regarded as an industrious, versatile forward, the former Hamburg star is a pacey striker, and adept at using both feet. 49% of his goals scored in the last four years have been with his left foot, 51% with his right. Son is 6 foot 1, but doesn’t provide an aerial threat like Tottenham striker Harry Kane. He relies more on his excessive pace and industrious style, but more importantly is a composed player in front of goal.

As highlighted by Pochettino, Tottenham’s biggest problem has been cutting our their defensive errors, but having another goal threat in the side could be key too. Kane was outstanding for the Londoners last season, but needs competition and a potential strike-partner. It’s led to bids being made for West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino this summer, but the clubs haven’t managed to agree a fee.

Tottenham have let themselves down in the Premier League for a number of years, and Kane’s rise to prominence last season masked what could have been a very disappointing campaign. They have spent a lot of money on attacking players, but consistency has been a problem. Son could offer a new dimension in the Tottenham side in 2015/16, and his impressive scoring record over the last few years could see him shine in his debut season.