Premier League Game of the Week: Chelsea 4-1 Sheffield United

Chelsea made it 9 games in all competitions without defeat as they demolished Sheffield United 4-1 at the weekend.

It was a huge win for Frank Lampard’s side who have now moved up to 5th place in the table with 15 points and are only three behind the current league leaders Leicester.

This was always going to be an important season for Chelsea where the pressure would be mounted on Lampard who was given a ‘pass’ in his debut season with the club. That pass was still justified as Lampard steered the club into Champions League qualification, but finishing 4th in the season without any trophies usually doesn’t cut it at the Blues anymore. Given funds to spend this summer, Chelsea will be expecting more and the early signs are looking good, for example with 20 goals scored already Chelsea have netted the most goals for a Premier League club.

As for the game you talk about pressure on Lampard but spare a thought for Sheffield United’s Chris Wilder. His side were a constant thorn in some of the big teams last season and pulled off some magnificent results along the way to finishing 9th with 54 points. But the Blades entered this game in the bottom three and had lost six times already with no wins.

The surprise of the match then was when the away side opened the scoring. David McGoldrick scored his 2nd goal of the campaign and from Chelsea’s perspective it looked incredibly hard to keep out. The ball was crossed in and an initial shot went wayward but fell to McGoldrick like a ball in a pinball machine and he slotted home before anyone could really react.

What happened next was the reaction that Chelsea showed which spoke volumes- they believed the goal was lucky and they played calm and assured football almost as if they knew if they stuck with their game plan they would get themselves back into it. Lampard had opted for an attacking 4-3-3 and that meant Tammy Abraham, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech were pushed up front. And 14 minutes after United had taken the lead it was 1-1 through Abraham who had connected onto a Mateo Kovacic pass.

Chelsea took the lead 11 minutes later through the impressive Ben Chilwell who has really fit straight into the side after his move from Leicester in the summer. Chilwell was the last man on the post to turn it in after a terrific pass from Ziyech. The half ended with Chelsea in front by 2-1 and the London club had 5 shots on target and almost 70% of possession.

As the 2nd half went on Chelsea dominated and the game never looked like going 2-2, this was confirmed in the 77th minute when another Ziyech assist set up Thiago Silva who glanced in his header to score his first goal for Chelsea, and it was a goal that effectively wrapped up the game at 3-1.

But Chelsea were not finished and just three minutes later they added a fourth through Timo Werner who smashed home an easy chance. The German international has started to show his qualities lately and that was his 4th goal of the league campaign.

 

The Blues had 11 goal attempts in the second half alone and one of their stand out players at the weekend was Ziyech and Lampard was full of praise for their new Moroccan signing. “He gives us a different style in terms of the left foot off the right side. It’s not something we’ve had much of in recent years. The ability to find the last pass or the last cross, to break teams down with a low block. We saw that today, we clearly saw that today.”

Chelsea’s leading pair of players in the fantasy rankings are Ben Chilwell and Kurt Zouma who have 24 points each.

Sheffield United are having a woeful season and that defeat has left the club at the bottom of the league. As for Chelsea though the sky looks like the limit. After spending big in the summer it seems that the team have really clicked now, and after the international break they will play Newcastle away from home where they will be going for their 10th unbeaten game in all competitions.

Challenge the best EPL Fantasy Managers at www.fantasy-premier.com

Premier League: Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 5

Everton are still top after they drew 2-2 against rivals Liverpool in a fiery derby match that saw Everton reduced to 10 men and a good goal ruled out for Liverpool. Aston Villa continue their 100% start to the season and West Ham stunned Tottenham by coming back from 3 goals down to draw 3-3 in a very exciting weekend for the Premier League once again.

Did any of your players make the best 11 of the weekend? Let’s see below.

Goalkeeper: Damian Martinez – Aston Villa 7pts

As has been the case this season defending hasn’t been the strongest element in the league so far and that means more goals. However Damien Martinez pulled off a clean sheet and it was an impressive one with Aston Villa going to Leicester and winning 1-0.

Defender: Tyrone Mings- Aston Villa 5pts

Tyrone Mings makes the final 11 cut for the second time in a row. Mings was rock solid in defence as Leicester could not score at the King Power Stadium for the 2nd game in a row. Mings is racking up the points now and if he isn’t in your team may be worth looking into getting.

Defender: Matt Targett- Aston Villa 5pts

Matt Targett was assured and collected 5pts at the weekend and he now has a total of 12. Villa have started the season in stunning fashion and Targett can be brought into your team for an absolute bargain of only 3m.

Defender: Kyle Walker- Manchester City 5pts

Manchester City really needed a win and a clean sheet after a bumpy start to the season and they did well to beat Arsenal 1-0. Kyle Walker put in an assured display and made some very good interceptions and earned 5pts at the weekend.

Defender:  Ruben Dias- Manchester City 4pts

Ruben Dias was just as good as Walker in the defence of Manchester City, though he did lose a point because he was booked in a game that got more tense as it went on. The result, a win over Arsenal will have been a huge lift to Manchester City though.

Midfielder: Raheem Sterling- Manchester City 6pts

Raheem Sterling scored the all important goal that was enough for his side to beat Arsenal 1-0 at the Etihad. Sterling now has scored 2 goals so far this season and has 12 points to his name.

Midfielder: Ross Barkley- Aston Villa 6pts

Ross Barkley looks like a new player since moving from Chelsea to Aston Villa. He followed up his goal against Liverpool, by scoring the last minute winning goal for Villa as they beat a very tough Leicester side away from home.

Midfielder: William Zaha- Crystal Palace 4pts

Where would Crystal Palace be without the quality of Wilfried Zaha? He keeps scoring the goals and has started well for the Eagles. He earned 4pts as Palace drew 1-1 with Brighton. His goal at the weekend was his 4th of the season so far.

Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 4pts

Bruno Fernandes had another eventful game for Manchester United as they overcame Newcastle 4-1. Fernandes had a goal ruled out by VAR, he then missed a penalty, then scored a goal and then set up United’s 4th goal. At least he is the centre of the party and it is very clear that the club need the Portuguese player to remain fit this season.

Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 10pts

Every week Harry Kane seems to make the best 11 cut and yet again he was on fire at the weekend. Kane scored another 2 goals and now has 5 for the season and he has already assisted in a further 7, in a stunning start. The only disappointment for him will be that Tottenham let a 3 goal lead slip with just 8 minutes of the game left as their opponents West Ham came back to draw 3-3.

Striker: Timo Werner- Chelsea 10pts

Timo Werner was under a lot of pressure to perform for Chelsea as he still hadn’t scored yet but the German international rectified that at the weekend when he scored a brace as Chelsea drew 3-3 with Southampton. Like Kane Werner will be annoyed with the final result but personally this was a great weekend for the 24 year old.

Challenge the best EPL Fantasy Managers at www.fantasy-premier.com

Chelsea back on track but is star striker Timo Werner struggling?

After Chelsea destroyed a very good Crystal Palace side 4-0 the Blues look back to form and focused after a shaky start. The victory has put Chelsea into 7th place and they are now just two points behind the top four. It was a game that means the club have gone unbeaten for the last two.

The 4-0 score line was obviously one sided and Chelsea deserved their win but without looking at the scorers list you could have been forgiven that at least one of the goals had come from star striker Timo Werner, but sadly that wasn’t the case. One has to bring up the question is Germany’s number 1 choice struggling in the Premier League?

True it is very early days and some strikers do take time to adapt. Chelsea have brought in so many different faces that as a team the club are expected to take time to gel together, but football is a business and sport that doesn’t allow too much time. The league is a month old and Werner has hardly made an impact.

Werner has scored in the Carabao Cup but in the Premier League he is yet to register a goal. Is that cause for concern? Many would say no, but the player himself just like any other striker will be worried that he hasn’t got that first goal. Strikers live for goals and it is what gives them confidence to get more and play better.No Chelsea fan wants to be reminded of the likes of two great strikers who failed at the club in Andriy Shevchenko and Fernando Torres. And that is the key here just because you are a world class striker doesn’t mean every club and every league can fit into your game.

Werner has 1 assist for a goal in the four games that he has played and most damning could be if you have the German in your fantasy team as he has zero points so far.

The critics have been kind and Werner has received no negatives despite going a month without a goal in the league. This is because he is a new signing and he will be allowed time. But if we are in November and he still hasn’t registered the pressure will start to build. At the same time Werner has proven in the last few years that he is a top striker and the betting would be that he will end up having a successful season with Chelsea.

For now the money spent on the player has not been justified and manager Frank Lampard may have to switch his system which has seen Werner play a slightly deeper role to a more advanced one if he wants to see the goals. Only time will tell.

Challenge the best EPL Fantasy Managers at www.fantasy-premier.com

5 of the best Premier League transfers during the window

The summer transfer window is now closed and Premier League clubs have made a lot of business during the opening couple of weeks of action.

New arrivals were landed as late as deadline day on Monday and managers have a difficult job to integrate their new players into the team ready for next weekend’s action as many squad members are currently jetting off all over the world for international duty.

Here’s a look back over the transfer window to five players we believe could have the biggest impact on your fantasy team this season:

1. James Rodriguez (Everton)
The Colombian star has taken the Premier League like a duck to water with four goals and an assist in his first four starts for Everton. As a result, the Toffees headed into the break as the only team with 12 points.

James Rodriguez has been outstanding as the number 10 in Carlo Ancelotti’s attacking side that have scored a league high 12 goals through four rounds of action. Although he’ll set your fantasy team back £9.50m he has so far been worth every penny.

Continue reading

EPL Predictions Gameweek 3

Brighton & Hove Albion host Manchester United on Saturday lunchtime in the first Premier League game of the weekend before the action concludes on Monday night with the most-anticipated game of the week: Liverpool versus Arsenal at Anfield.

In between that, Manchester City welcome Leicester City to the Etihad Stadium and Crystal Palace host Everton in a match between two teams with six points from six.

Here’s a look ahead to each of the weekend’s games:

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Manchester United
Manchester United started the 2020-21 Premier League season with a 1-3 loss at home to Crystal Palace, whilst Brighton were comfortable 3-0 winners away to Newcastle United. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side did the double over the Seagulls last season, including a 3-0 win here in June, so perhaps they can pick up their first points of the campaign on Saturday. Bruno Fernandes scored two here just three months ago and is always difficult to leave out of your fantasy team.

Continue reading

Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 3 Picks

After EFL Cup action midweek the Premier League returns on Saturday lunchtime with Brighton & Hove Albion hosting Manchester United at the AMEX Stadium.

Crystal Palace host Everton in a game between two sides on a 100% win record to start the 2020-21 campaign, whilst Chelsea will be looking to get back to winning ways away to West Bromwich Albion.

Sunday sees Leicester City travel to Manchester City whilst the best has been saved to last when defending champions Liverpool welcome Arsenal to Anfield on Monday night.

Here are our picks for your fantasy team this weekend:

Goalkeeper: Rui Patricio (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Clean sheets haven’t been easy to come by in the opening two weekends of the season but Rui Patricio kept one away to Sheffield United in Wolverhampton Wanderers’ opening game before facing a rampant Manchester City on Monday night. With a trip to the London Stadium on Sunday there’s a good opportunity for Nuno’s side to keep a second clean sheet against West Ham United’s poor attack.

Continue reading

EPL Predictions Gameweek 2

A full fixture list this weekend as Manchester City and Manchester United start their season in gameweek 2 of the 2020-21 English Premier League.

Arsenal will be looking to build on their impressive win last weekend when they host West Ham United this Saturday, whilst all three promoted teams will be looking for their first points of the campaign.

Here’s a look at each of the weekend’s games:

Everton vs West Bromwich Albion
Everton are one of many people’s dead certs to win this weekend following their impressive 1-0 win away to Tottenham Hotspur last weekend whilst West Bromwich Albion looked like relegation candidates in their 0-3 hammering at home by Leicester City. Another clean sheet could be on the cards, so Jordan Pickford and Lucas Digne should be sensible picks. Going forward, James Rodriguez and Dominic Calvert-Lewin may be the best options for your fantasy team.

Continue reading

EPL Predictions Gameweek 1

The 2020-21 English Premier League season kicks off in London on Saturday lunchtime as Fulham play host to Arsenal.

Eight matches in all will take place on the opening weekend, concluding with Brighton & Hove Albion hosting Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.

With Manchester United and Manchester City competing in the latter stages of European competition last month the two clubs have been given the opening weekend off, to explain the shorter schedule.

Here’s a look at each of the weekend’s games:

Fulham vs Arsenal

Arsenal have won the FA Cup and Community Shield in Mikel Arteta’s first couple of months in charge and should fancy their chances of picking up three points in their season opener too. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would be the obvious selection for your fantasy team given the forward has scored 22 goals in each of the past two seasons, whilst Dani Ceballos (3.50m) and Damian Martinez (1.0m) offer good value for money in this game.

Continue reading

Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 1 Picks

The English Premier League returns on Saturday as Fulham entertain Arsenal in the opener of the 2020-21 season.

With the return of the most exciting league in the world sparks the return of the fantasy football season too. Week 1 is always the busiest for players as they select a team from scratch with an eye on both the following week and the entire season in mind.

This season is perhaps more difficult than ever as Manchester City, Manchester United, Burnley and Aston Villa don’t feature the opening weekend as a result of the former two’s participation in the latter stages of last season’s Champions League and Europa League campaigns.

With that in mind, here are 11 players who you should strongly consider for the opening weekend:

Goalkeeper: Aaron Ramsdale
Dean Henderson returned to Manchester United at the conclusion of the last campaign and Sheffield United have replaced their successful loan signing with Aaron Ramsdale in goal. The Blades have kept a number of clean sheets over the past two seasons and the former Bournemouth man is a shot stopper so could pick up some points versus Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.

Continue reading

The future is ever more exciting for Chelsea

Chelsea have enjoyed the past decade-and-a-half under Roman Abramovich’s ownership, which includes the 2012 Champions League and five Premier League trophies.

In recent years though there have been signs of decline – only two Premier League titles over the past decade, numerous managers coming and going, and a transfer ban.

Frank Lampard’s appointment last summer seemed questionable at the time, but the Chelsea legend proved many critics wrong by qualifying for next season’s Champions League and reaching the FA Cup final.

The transfer embargo the Blues were under last season led to the young manager handing opportunities to a number of young players – Mason Mount arguably the best of those of the current youth academy crop.

Tammy Abraham had started the season well before fading out at the end and losing his place to Olivier Giroud. Reece James saw plenty of game time at right-back, whilst Fikayo Tomori started a number of games at the back at the start of the season.

Billy Gilmour was another exciting prospect handed his chance prior to a serious injury, whilst Callum Hudson-Odoi was already established prior to the current manager’s arrival.

Continue reading