Is Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha really worth £80m?

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Wilfried Zaha the Crystal Palace striker has said that he wants to play Champions League football next season and Palace are not going to stand in his way. However the only catch is that they value the player at around £80-£100m and will not let him go for lower than that, but is Zaha really worth that figure?

There is no doubt that on his day the 26 year old packs a punch and is a decent player but in a world where football transfers have gone a little mad, Palace’s fee for such a player seems absurd.

One has to ask how did Palace come up with such a figure? Zaha has no major trophies to his name. He did win the Community Shield with Manchester United, a club he played a total of 4 games for before moving to Crystal Palace. In his career which has lasted for 10 seasons he has never scored more than 10 goals in one season which seems like a poor return on striker. Yes true sometimes he has been deployed as  winger but even so, this doesn’t seem befitting of  a player rated so costly by Palace.

From a total of 340 games the least we could expect from an £80m player would be 100-130 goals. But Zaha has scored 53. He will be best remembered for his time with Palace where he has been there for 5 seasons and played 180 games, his goal return is 35.

In a few words that is a poor return and does not suggest that Zaha is Champions League material. True with a better attacking team Zaha should be able to improve, he may even get to a 1 goal in 2 games ratio, but at 26 he hasn’t shown even in one season the potential that he believes he has. His dream is to play in the elite competition but there would not be one team outside of England who would be willing to pay more than £30m for him.

This is a reality of the situation and it is why Palace would only listen to offers from Premier League clubs. But who will take the risk, Chelsea, Tottenham? As it stands Manchester City and Liverpool look covered in that department

Good luck to Zaha he deserves a crack at the Champions League in a better team, but to suggest he is worth what the Eagles have said is simply not justified. What happened to the players that had bagged trophies and had that experience of winning, or if nothing else were scoring hatful of goals. Palace want to cash in, and this is what this really boils down too.

Predicted lineups for this weekend’s Premier League action

Firmino and Salah

The FA Cup semi-finals take place this weekend in England. As a result, there will be only six Premier League fixtures played between Friday and Monday.

St Mary’s is where the action starts with the meeting of Southampton and Liverpool on Friday night. It’s a huge fixture in the Premier League title race with Jurgen Klopp’s Reds looking to go back on top with a win.

At the other end, Burnley will be hoping to take something from their game at Bournemouth as they look to shake off Cardiff City in the battle to survive relegation.

Arsenal and Chelsea are the only two teams from the top-four battle who are in league action over the coming days. Continue reading

Predicted lineups for this weekend’s EPL action

EPL Logo

The English Premier League returns after the final international break of the season this weekend.

Starting around noon (local time) on Saturday, all 20 teams will be in action with some great games on offer.

The biggest game is Liverpool’s meeting with Spurs at Anfield on Sunday in what could be a huge fixture in deciding where this season’s Premier League title goes. It is a must-win for the hosts. A slip by Liverpool may offer Manchester City a big advantage- psychologically – provided City can win their match. Check out the promotional offer for new registrants as well as for existing ones at William Hill.

While injuries and a manager’s last-minute changes may affect the starting lineups, here’s a look at the expected XI for each team for this weekend’s EPL action. On a side note, check out the current promotional offers by DraftKings.

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The EPL’s likely starting lineups for this weekend

Ross Barkley

This weekend we have another full schedule of ten EPL matches to look forward to. Here are the predicted lineups for every EPL game.

Crystal Palace v Brighton

Crystal Palace XI: Guaita, Wan-Bissaka, Dann, Tomkins, Van Aanholt, Kouyate, Milivojevic, Schlupp, Townsend, Batshuayi, Zaha

Brighton XI: Ryan, Montoya, Dunk, Duffy, Bernardo, Propper, Stephens, Bissouma, Knockaert, Andone, Jahanbakhsh

Questionable: n/a

Out: Speroni, Sakho, Souare (Crystal Palace); Balogun, Gross (Brighton)

EPL Best XI – Week 27

zahaWith the title race continuing to hot up, this weekend’s Premier League action saw contenders Liverpool going toe-to-toe with rivals Manchester United, while champions Manchester City took the weekend off from league action to battle Chelsea in Sunday’s Carabao Cup Final. At the lower end of the table, Newcastle hosted Huddersfield in what could be described as a relegation six-pointer. With that said, let us take a look at which players performed the best for their clubs over the past few days.

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The most wanted players outside of the Premier League top-six

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The Premier League and the top-six clubs will always be the main topic on a regular basis, no matter how they do against their opposition. The key big-game players such as Eden Hazard, Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah and Sergio Aguero are already starting to show their fine form as they look to help their respective clubs to challenge for the league title as well as compete in the other competitions.

However, the English media and the Premier League experts do not show enough respect and value to the teams and players outside of the top-six. The reason to why it is like this is not known as of yet, but the only time players from the likes of Crystal Palace, Everton and Southampton are mentioned, is when they are linked with a huge move to one of the clubs from the top of the league.

It’s time to now look at three most wanted players outside of the top-six in the Premier League…

James Tarkowski – Burnley

Looking at the campaign so far compared to recent seasons, Burnley’s defensive record  has been below standards and unconvincing as they have already conceded ten goals in six league games, which is more than the likes of Newcastle, Watford and Wolves. Though, when they are at their best, it is normally due to the ideal brilliance and consistent display of centre-back James Tarkowski.

The 25-year-old has been a dominant and reliable player for Sean Dyche’s side since joining the club from Brentford in February 2016. Furthermore, he has gone on to complete over 50 Premier League appearances and has also made his debut for the England national team early this year. Overall, his defensive tools could be really helpful for a side like Arsenal, Liverpool or Manchester United.

Ruben Neves – Wolves

Wolves have had a memorable transfer window in the summer, having brought in players with huge influence such as Adama Traore, Diogo Jota, Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves. Out of the all the many signings that have arrived at Molineux Stadium, it’s been the perfect performances of central-midfielder Ruben Neves that has allowed the side to control and lead the matches from midfield.

Neves has already come up with some impressive showing against the likes of Everton, Manchester City and Manchester United, which has caught the attention of many as well as a number of scouts from the top-six sides. At the age of 21, the Portuguese international is showing that he can read the game on both areas of the pitch and has the pure ability to dictate the tempo and pull the strings.

Wilfred Zaha – Crystal Palace

The story of Wilfred Zaha and his time in the Premier League will always be deemed as an interesting and motivational one. He went from being a Manchester United player that had an attitude problem and was not given enough opportunities to show his worth, to an individual that has developed and maturely improved season by to season to go on to becoming the main man for Crystal Palace.

When he is not in the starting line-up, Roy Hodgson’s side suffer a lot as no other player in the squad has the ability to stretch the opponent’s defence and create chances for their team-mates in the final third like Zaha does. On top of that, he has the special spark to produce something out of nothing as well as proving himself to be one of the best dribblers in the league and in Europe.

Honourable mentions: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Harry Maguire, Manuel Lanzini, Richarlison, Ryan Sessegnon and Wilfred Ndidi.

Play the most challenging Fantasy Premier League game here www.epl-fantasy.com

 

EPL Weekend Picks – Round 5

Alexandre Lacazette

Sadio Mane, Mo Salah, Sergio Aguero, Eden Hazard and Marcos Alonso are among the high-scorers for EPL Fantasy managers so far this season, but there are plenty of other players across the league who could be worthy of inclusion in your team this weekend.

GK – Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea)
Chelsea’s big-money summer signing has picked up 12 points so far this season – Liverpool’s Alisson is the only goalkeeper with more – and he will surely add to that tally in the upcoming matches against low-scoring Cardiff and West Ham.

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Crystal Palace’s over-reliance on Wilfried Zaha is cause for concern

It is a startling statistic. Crystal Palace’s 2-0 defeat by Southampton last weekend means it is now almost two years since they won a Premier League game in which Wilfried Zaha has not featured. Alan Pardew was the club’s head coach for that come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in September 2016; Palace have since employed three other managers in Sam Allardyce, Frank de Boer and Roy Hodgson, while Pardew himself has worked as a pundit for Sky Sports and had a short spell as boss of West Bromwich Albion. It was, in the ever-changing world of football, a very long time ago.

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EPL Weekend Picks – Round 4

Mamadou Sakho

The first three weeks of the 2018-19 Premier League season have gone according to plan for many EPL Fantasy managers, with Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City all having unbeaten starts to the campaign, but there are still plenty of players across the league who could be worthy of inclusion in your team this weekend.

GK – Jordan Pickford (Everton)
Everton haven’t started well defensively this season, conceding five goals in three games, but Jordan Pickford’s tally of -4 points should improve with home fixtures against Huddersfield and West Ham coming up. At 7.00m, he’s worth considering.

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Crystal Palace must be flexible to get the best out of Zaha

It is fair to say that Wilfried Zaha has quite the history with Watford. The Crystal Palace winger has faced the Hornets 14 times in his career, during which time he has scored two goals and provided six assists. Sunday’s 2-1 loss at Vicarage Road was only the third occasion on which Zaha has suffered defeat against the Hertfordshire outfit, the others being a 2-1 home reverse in 2015/16 and a 3-2 setback on the opening day of the Championship season in 2012/13.

That second-tier campaign ended with Palace and Watford locking horns at Wembley, with Zaha pivotal to the outcome of a tight and nervy play-off final. The Eagles were the better team for much of the encounter, but they had failed to make the breakthrough in regulation time and the match looked to be headed to a penalty shoot-out as the additional half-hour ticked away.

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