Premier League Winners/Losers – Newcastle Run Riot

The Premier League was finally back this weekend after an international break; the weekend had some amazing clashes and teams were thriving to get the result which they were looking for. Here we are once again discussing the winners and losers from the game day 9 in the Barclays Premier League.

Winners:

West Ham

First in the list of winners for the game day 09 in the Barclay’s Premier League features Slaven Bilic’s West Ham, who came away with all three points in a crucial away win against Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Slaven Bilic side’s job was made a little bit easier after Pardew’s men were down to 10 men in the 43rd minute when striker Gayle received 2nd yellow card.

Since then, it was Slaven Bilic’s side control the game, but couldn’t able to score until the 87th minute, when the player of the match Manuel Lanzini finally gets one passed through the stubborn Palace defense, which laid the foundation for a hard fought 3 points away from home.

Manchester United

Next in the list of winners for the game day 09 in the Barclay’s Premier League features LVG’s Manchester United, who earned an impressive 3 points away from home at Goddison Park against Everton. It was a near perfect day for the red devils, as they eased past Roberto Martinez men with 2 early strikes from Schneiderlin and Herrera inside the first 25 minutes of the match.

From that point, the match remained relatively one sided, with United defended with complete authority mostly. Man of the match for the winners was Spaniard Andre Herrera, who scored a goal and provided an important assist in the 61stminute to complete a comprehensive victory away from home.

Newcastle United

Last in the list of winners for the game day 09 in the Barclay’s Premier League features Steve McClaren’s New Castle, who managed to finally grab their first win of the season, and that too in a more than just impressive manner.

Winner’s, who just had 6-1 thrashing last game day when they played against the blue side of Manchester, scored 6 themselves this time, mainly thanks to Dutch midfielder Wijnaldum and French Mousa Sissoko, who managed to score 4 goals and provide 4 assists to complete a thrashing of the newly promoted visitors. With this win, Steve McClaren’s men are off the bottom of the table, and are now just 2 points away from the safety zone once again.

Losers:

Everton

First in the list of losers for the game day 09 in the Barclay’s Premier League feature Roberto Martinez men, who was comprehensively beaten at home playing against Manchester United. Roberto Martinez would be extremely disappointed after his side couldn’t able to recover after conceding two early goals, and were never managed to come back into the game.

Lukaku was extremely disappointed in the loss against a defense, many believe, is not up there amongst the best in the league. Martinez will hope that his men will bounce back from the defeat in another tough fixture, as they will travel to the Emirates Stadium to face red hot Gunners next Saturday.

Spurs

Next in the list of losers for the game day 09 in the Barclay’s Premier League features Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs, who give away the chance to finally end their horrid run against Liverpool. Many believed that it was Spurs best chance to end the hoodoo, as it was Jurgen Klopp’s first game as the manager, and the only fit Striker that was available to Liverpool was Belgian Origi.

However, Pochettino’s men could not able to dominate the game, and made very few chances, and could not able to convert anyone of them, and only managed to earn a point at home.

Southampton

Last in the list of losers for the game day 09 in the Barclay’s Premier League feature Ronald Koeman’s Southampton, who gave away a two goal advantage at home against Leicester this weekend.

Southampton was totally dominating the game in the first half, and went two goals up in the first half, after a goal from Jose Fonte and Virgil Van Dijk, but couldn’t hold onto their lead in the 2nd half against a spirited Leicester side, who refused to give up the fight and managed to get an equalizer late in the extra time in the 2nd half.

RonaldKoeman will feel that it was 2 precious points dropped at home, and he will hope to bounce back next week from a late shock at the weekend.

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.

Tops and Flops on Champions League Day 02

Second Match Day in the Champions League has come to an end, and it was nothing less than two nights of a spectacular set of matches that viewers had the opportunity to see. Here we are back with the Tops and Flops from the UEFA Champions League from the Match Day 02.

Tops:

Olympiacos:

First in the list of Tops for the Match Day 02 in the UEFA Champions League is a real Surprise! And that surprise is Olympiacos, who defeated Arsenal at Emirates in a surprise result. Olympiacos were heavily under-dogs going into a match, as Arsenal were desperate for a win after a loss in a first match. In a match that was highly dominated by the home side, Olympiacos defended well throughout with sheer resilience, and a bit of luck that helped them talking the lead thrice, out of which they were successfully defended the lead third time, which was enough for them to take all three points back home, which can prove a pivotal role in advancing to the round of 16.

Benfica

Next in the list of Tops for the Match Day 02 in the UEFA Champions League is another surprise in the form of Benfica, who managed to beat 2013/14 finalist Athletico Madrid at Vicente Calderon.

Going into the match, Benfica was tipped as under-dogs since Athletico was in more than a decent form in the buildup to this match. However, in the match where Benfica was dominated throughout the match by the home side, it was the winning team’s defensive line that deserved all the praise, especially former Brazilian Goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who had more than a decent performance between the sticks. Gaitan was the star man upfront for Rui Vitoria’s side, as the Portugese teams are now in a commanding position to qualify for the next round, after earning maximum points from the first two matches.

Manchester City

Last in the list of Tops for the Match Day 02 in the UEFA Champions League is English giants Manchester City, who managed to win a crucial away match in Germany against Borussia Moenchengladbach. In a match where City were desperate to win, Manuel Pallegrini’s men were looking for a leader to step up and take the team across the line, and it was none other than Goalkeeper Joe Hart, who stood up for the blue side of Manchester and made a crucial save in the 20th minute. Even after countless attacks, City went behind in the 54th minute, and all looked a little too bleak for the Pallegrini’s men, as they again looked set to go out from the early stage of this competition. However, an own goal from Andreas Christensen and a penalty in the 90th minute from Segio Aguero sealed a crucial victory for the Pallegrini’s men on the road, which can go a long way in taking them through the group stage this season.

Flops:

Arsenal

First in the list of for the Match Day 02 in the UEFA Champions League is English giants Arsenal, who is now facing a group stage exit, after losing 2 out of 2 matches, and that too against oppositions many thought Arsenal would be hands down favorite to win again. Arsene Wenger opted to play David Ospana in place of Peter Cech, which raised many eyebrows, and seeing the performance of Ospana, brought more misery for the Frenchman, who refused to give answers as to why he did not pick Cech in such a crucial match if he was fit. Arsenal would be gutted to not being able to convert 18 shots on goals, out of which 9 were on target. Home side dominated the visitors throughout the game, but it was the Gunners defense, which was the real cause of concern for Wenger, who now have to face Bayern in back to matches, in a situation where his team needs to win at least 3 out of the last 4 remaining matches.

Chelsea

Second in the list of for the Match Day 02 in the UEFA Champions League is another English giants Chelsea, who lost to Porto in what was a below par performance from the defending English Champions, who were the deserving loser’s on the night against an energetic Porto. Mourinho’s men were beaten on the night when he dropped Hazzard and Matic on the bench. The visitors by pace, in the physical department and were slow to react defensively, as Julen Lopetigui’s men were deservingly winners on the night when Mourinho came back to face the team with which he managed to win the Champions League back in 2004.

Chelsea’s problem in defense and in the central defensive midfield was evident once again, as Mourinho looks short on defensive options and the need of John Stones seems ever more evident for the blues if they are to make any significant progress this season.

Athletico Madrid

Last in the list of for the Match Day 02 in the UEFA Champions League is Spanish giants Athletico Madrid, as they suffered a shocking defeat against Benfica at home. Diego Simeone’s men were outright dominant throughout the match, but they failed to convert the chances. Athletico took the lead in the 23rd minute but failed to capitalize on it, and were poor on the defending front. Griezmann had another star performance for Simeone’s side, as he looked a part for the men in red & white. Martinez had another disappointing night for his new club, as he still did not look the kind of player he was once at Porto. For Simeone, it’s another setback which he will like to get over, and will try to get his team back on track in La Liga after back to back defeats in the week.

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.

Premier League Gameweek Six Winners/Losers – West Ham Fly Again

Match day six of the Barclays Premier League had some amazing matches, where the favorite teams missed out on crucial wins and some surprise results were on the show with some scintillating performances from the minnows. That’s all we have in this week’s edition of Winners & Losers from Match Day 06 from Barclays English Premier League.

Winners:

Watford

First in the list of winners, we have a surprise inclusion in the form of Watford, who won an impressive match against struggling New Castle at St. James’ Park. Watford had a tough fixture by every means, where Newcastle was desperate to get off the mark after a very disappointing start to their campaign.

Sanchez Flores side were quick off the mark, and had a far superior physical presence in the game. Capoue in the middle were instrumental, as well as Abidi on the wing offered a lot of pace to the striker Ighalo, who struck a brace to keep Newcastle in the bottom half. Flores’s side looked like a team that has more intent, and will prove to be a tough team to beat for the clubs who will face them in the matches to come.

West Ham:

Next in the list of winners is another surprise in the form of West Ham, who handed the league leaders their first defeat on the Match Day six in the Barclays English Premier League. Before the match, West Ham Manager Slaven Bilic said in an interview that this will be the toughest game for him and for his team, but they came out of it with flying colours.

West Ham, as in the previous big matches against Liverpool and Arsenal, played counter attacking football that paid dividend on the field with a victory, and that too against the most expensive starting XI ever feature in the Premier League history.

Defensively, West Ham remained solid as their players give it all and put their body on the line to defend, especially in the 2nd half. Reid, Jenkinson and Goal Keeper Adrian remained solid as a rock, even when City were attacking from all fronts.

On the offensive front, the pace of Sakho, Moses and Payet proved too hot to handle for the league leaders, as they found wanting on the more than couple of occasions. Overall, a very impressive show from a team that is now in a serious position to challenge for a spot in Europe as said by new signing Payet in his post – match interview.

Norwich

Last in the list of winners for Match Day six in the Barclays English Premier League feature another surprise package in newly promoted Norwich, who managed to get a draw against a struggling Liverpool side at Anfield. The star of the show for Alex Neil side was Goal Keeper Rudy, who managed to earn a precious point for the Alex Neil side away from home.

In the game where Norwich was dominated in most of the part, Rudy kept them in the game at more than one occasion, and it was down to his effort that gave center back Martin an opportunity to equalize Danny Ings first goal for his new side. A draw means the Norwich is closer to the Top half of the league after 6 match days, which should give them more than sniff of a chance to stay in the top flight for at least another season.

Losers:

Newcastle

First in the list of Losers for Matchday six in the Barclays English Premier League features Newcastle, who are already in a serious relegation battle after just match days of the new season. After spending more than £50 Million in the transfer Window, the Magpies would have hoped to have a far smoother ride in the season, but it is proving to be anything but that. Steve McClaren has some serious work to do as his side seems to lack intent as well hunger to get anything out of the game. In the first half, Newcastle were slow to start with and never pressurized Watford players when they had the ball.

It improved in the 2nd half, but it was just good enough to earn anything out of it. There was no attacking intent as well, and Newcastle’s best attacking player was their right back Janmat, who kept making those dangerous runs down the flank, and that’s why he ended up scoring the only goal for the Toon army, as their bad days just got worse. McClaren’s days as the new manager won’t get any easier as they will have to face City and Chelsea in the next 2 match, and as of now, it seems very unlikely that they will get anything out of those matches either.

Man City

Next in the list of losers for the Match Day 06 in the Barclays English Premier League features league leaders Manchester City, who suffered 2nd consecutive loss in a week on their home ground and first league loss of the season. Pallegrini put the most expensive side on the field in the history of the league, with Otamendi and De Bruyne had their first start of the season. City will be bitterly disappointed coming away with no points as they nearly had 70% of the possession, and had 5 times as many shots as Slaven Bilic’s side.

However, it was the City’s defense who could not cope up with the counter attacking play of the West Ham’s trio of Sakho, Payet and Moses, and Pallegrini’s man had to pay the price in the end. The brightest player of the match for City was the new signing £55 Million man Kevin De Bruyne, who looked a part with his vision, touch and attacking work rate.

Liverpool

Last in the list of losers for the Match Day 06 in the Barclays English Premier League features another Premier League giants Liverpool, who only managed to get a draw at home against newly promoted Norwich. Brendan Rodgers is now facing a serious risk of losing his job after another dismal performance at home, even with playing the strongest team possible. Sturridge, who were making yet another comeback after a long layoff, seems to lack the co-ordination upfront while playing with Benteke.

The midfield looked rigged and out of sorts even after the arrival of Coutinho, who himself looked lackluster on his comeback after serving the suspension. Mingolet had another dismal night for the reds, as he once again failed to keep a clean sheet at home. Brightest player for the reds all night was left back Moreno, who showed his attacking stint down the left hand side and also provide the only assist to Danny Ings, who finally got on the score sheet for his new club. After spending more than £250 Million in 3 transfer windows since he took charge 3 years back, pressure is mounting on Rodger’s to deliver as Liverpool is drifting away from the top 4 spot, which was their minimum target this season.

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.

Premier League Gameweek 5 – Winners/Losers

After an International break, Premier League came back with a bang where some big teams lost and there were some surprise winners, and we are here again with the list of winners and losers from the Premier League Match Day 05.

Winners:

Everton

First in the list winners is surprisingly Everton this week, who had the defending champions up against them. However, Roberto Martinez side looked sharper and far hungry for the points than their opponents, and that eventually sealed the show for the Toffee’s.

Steven Naismith was the surprise hero of the match, with a well-crafted hat-trick, who came off the bench in the 10thminutes for injured Muhamed Besic, and only became the 5th man to score a hat-trick coming as a substitute. Apart from the last 10 minute in the first half, Everton looked dominant throughout the match, and had far more pace and far more conviction that made the defending Champions looked 2nd best throughout the match.

Manchester United

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Next in the list of winners for week 05 in the Premier league features the red devil, as they outplayed their arch rivals at Old Trafford on Saturday. Until the first half, the match looked boring and slow for more of the part as both United and Liverpool looked defensive throughout the half.

However, in the 2nd half United turned up with a fiery performance that proved to be enough for a unmotivated looking Liverpool. One prime positive in the match for United was the emergence of the newly signed French teenager Anthony Martial, who scored a stunning solo goal on his debut and proved everyone why LVG paid £36 Million for a 19 year old.

Watford

Watford's Odion Ighalo celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during their English Premier League soccer match against Swansea City at Vicarage Road, London

Last in the list of winners for week 05 in the Premier league features the newly promoted Watford, who faced a tough home fixture against a team who defeated United last week and who managed to get a draw on the opening weekend against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Watford were dominant throughout the match and had twice as many shots on target and off target compared to Swansea, who looked far less convincing than the winners.

What made this win even more special was the fact that the home side had to play nearly one third of the match with 10 men after midfielder Valon Behrami was red carded in the 64th minute. However, the home side were not ready to give their initiative away and grabbed their Watford’s first win of the campaign, and they will look to capitalize on an impressive display in the matches to come.

Losers:

Chelsea

First in the list of losers once again feature defending Champions Chelsea, as they lost their 3rd match out of first 5 league games in the season. It is the exact number of defeats that Chelsea had throughout the last season which can be of a serious concern for the club hierarchy. Mourinho’s men looked a shadow of what they were last season, and they seem to lack that conviction that made them invincible throughout the last season.

Mourinho’s problem got worse with the amount of players that seems out of touch. The likes of Ivanovic, Terry, Hazard, Costa, Pedro and Febregas had a day to forget, as their performance graph dropped over the last few weeks. Mourinho has already had a mountain to climb, as his team find themselves 11 points behind the league leaders, with nearly 85 % of the season still to go and things are getting difficult with every passing game.

Liverpool

Next in the list of losers feature Liverpool, who once again had a night to forget as they lost to their arch rival Manchester United in a far less convinced performance on the night when Brendon Rogers was under scrutiny after another summer of high spending at the club. Liverpool did have some bright spots in the match, but Rodgers came under severe criticism for his persistence of 4-3-3 formation, where he found wanting after the departure of natural winger Sterling and in the absence of suspended Coutinho.

Young Ibe looked active after coming off the bench in the 2nd half, and a stunner of a goal from Benteke was the high points of what otherwise was a night of total disappointment for Brendon Rogers side, and questions are again being raised as to how long Liverpool board will give him the chance to turn it around this season.

Swansea

Last in the list losers features Gary Monk’s Swansea, as they lost to the newcomers Watford after their impressive performance against the big guns this season. Gary Monk and his team will be bitterly disappointed after an impressive start to the campaign, as they could not get a point away from home against a team who recently got promoted and were playing with 10 men in the last 30 minutes of the match.

Monk’s men lacked creativity and pace throughout the match, and only managed to get 6 shots on goal in total, with only 3 on target. Monk will hope that was a one off day performance as he will look for a push for a spot in the Europa League next season and would want to ideally get some points away in the matches against less quality opposition.

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.

Premier League Game Week 4: Winners/Losers – United Abysmal

As game week four of English Premier League comes to an end, it was nothing less than a week of upsets. With some of the big guns losing their matches this week, we have some very interesting winners and losers in our elite list this week.

Winners:

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace features on top of the Winners list as Alan Pardew once again find a way to overcome Mourinho’s men. Palace had one of the toughest fixture as they visited struggling blues at Stamford Bridge.

Even though Chelsea had more of a ball, and largely dominated the game. Palace remained calm and did not panic even when Chelsea came back from behind after Falcao opened his account for the Blues. Palace kept the ball and made sure they will give a hard time to Chelsea’s defense, which is more than just struggling at the moment.

For most of the first half, Palace looked a more dangerous side and created more threatening chances, but Chelsea were the stronger side in the last 10 minutes of the first half. The second half was again positively started by Palace, and their pace and attacking display paid dividend in the 65th minute where they took the lead over reigning champions.

Palace should have sealed the game in the 74th minute when Yannick Bolasie missed an open goal, which led to Chelsea’s comeback which was short lived. All in all a very impressive show from Crystal Palace and Mourinho for once, were made to take the blame after the defeat, as Alan Pardew’s men were more than just competitive for the defending Champion.

West Ham

West Ham feature 2nd in the list of winners, after a totally dominating performance against Liverpool at Anfield. Brandon Rogers said before the match that match against West Ham will be more difficult than visiting Arsenal, and hence the case was proved later.

West Ham controlled the match in all departments, with more overall shots on goal, with more dribbles and with more tackles. Liverpool would have had an escape route after Coutinho went off in the 53rd minute, but West Ham was also reduced to 10 men in the 79th minute, but went 3-0 up in the 90th which completed a day for total misery for the home side.

Swansea

Swansea also feature in the list of winners, after a remarkable comeback against United while playing at home. United were dominating the match completely till the 60th minute, but then Swans turned it around to score two goals within five minutes.

It was Garry Monk’s third consecutive win against the Louis Van Gaal’s side in the league, and the red devils manager had to accept that his team couldn’t cope the intensity of their rivals.

For Swans, after not having much possession, their performance throughout the match was pretty much par with the rivals and they did not give United much of a space even after having nearly 65% of the possession. Andre Ayew is proving to be the best signing of the season so far, with 3 goals in 4 matches as it seems to be another master stroke by Gary Monk, who is impressing every football pundit once again.

Losers:

Chelsea

The top in the list of the losers this week is non – other than defending champions Chelsea. Chelsea had a match against a far lesser quality Palace side, but was not in the best form on the day.

Mourinho’s team lack answers of the questions that were asked of them in the league so far, and they have already lost four points at home after first 4 games in the league, which is not normal at all. The biggest worry for the Portuguese is the defensive problem, and with Stones arrival seems more unlikely as the times goes on, Mourinho will have a very tough task to defend the title this season.

However, there were also few positives for the blues as newly arrived Pedro again looked threatening from the right, and Falcao managed to open his account at Stamford Bridge and he will hope that will go a long way in recapturing his best form.

Liverpool

Liverpool feature at number two this week in the loser’s list, as they were hammered by the Hammers in their own backyard. Rodgers did confess his concerns prior to the match, and said that the match against West Ham will be more difficult than playing against Arsenal, and it proved that way.

Liverpool were out rightly beaten in every department, and hence left Brendan Rodgers to face severe criticism once again. What makes things worse is the fact that Philip Coutinho will not be available for the next match as he received a red card, which makes it even tougher for the reds to make a comeback next week.

Brendan Rodgers has already spent more than £150 Million during his reign at Liverpool, but is yet to win a trophy for the Reds, and this sort of performance will only increase pressure as the board and the supporters look for a better results this season.

Manchester United

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The last team to feature in the list of losers is none other than Manchester United. Van Gaal’s men were in total control of the game for most of the game, and had nearly 65% possession, but failed to create any sufficient chances, which made them pay once again. United were leading till the 60th minute, but then Gary Monk’s men turned it around in the matter of five minutes, and United lost 2-1 after failing to equalize after going behind.

Van Gaal’s problem in the defense showed once again, as lack of any marquee signing in the center back department can cause them serious hurdle in the time to come. Also the lack of form of Wayne Rooney in the league is creating more headache for LVG, as Javier Hernandez and RVP have already left the club and Rooney remains the only experienced striker in the squad, and with him out of form, United will have a hard time living up to the pre-season expectation.

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.

Premier League Game Week 3 – Winners/Losers

The 3rd week of English Premier League has come to an end and some teams are now shaping up into their more settled style of play come the end of the Transfer Window. We have picked out 4 teams that both as a real winner and real losers in week 3 of the English Premier League.

Winners:

Manchester City:

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Coming on the back of an impressive win over defending Champions Chelsea, Manchester City had a visit to Goodison Park, which is a difficult venue to visit for any side in the league. However, City seemed at absolute ease throughout the match, where they dominated the first half as well as the 2nd, and finished the game with a comfortable score line of 2-0, which is surely what they deserved at least. City throughout the game looked more threatening and more versatile, whereas Everton looked far more one-dimensional. According to exclusive Sports Matrix stats, City had 17 shots compared to Everton’s 10, and had 8 dangerous shots compared to Everton’s 5. Moreover, City had 9 shots from good chances, which is nearly double to what Everton Produced. City also had better possession to Everton (54 to 46), which once again showed their total supremacy over their rivals. City’s impressive start to their season campaign sends a strong message to their opposition’s as they seem to be the team which means business.

Bournemouth

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Bournemouth is included in a surprise winner’s category, after their more than impressive show against West Ham, where they totally dominated the game from the word go.  This was Bournemouth’s first ever victory in the top flight and that too against a consistent Premier League side. Not only in the goals department, but Bournemouth was quick to offer a lot of pace and enthusiasm.

Sports Matrix suggests that Bournemouth had far more shots from good chances than West Ham (10 compared to 6), which shows why they were leading at the half side and stayed pretty much in control throughout the match except  than those 20 minutes where West Ham United made a remarkable comeback.

That was not it, as Bournemouth made more clearances (37 to 16), won more tackles (54% to 42%) and won more Aerial Duels (56% to 44%), which shows their supremacy over Slaven Bilic side. To say that Bournemouth was the pick of the side over the weekend would surely not be an understatement.

Newcastle United

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If Bournemouth was the most deserving winners of the week 3 in Barclays Premier League, than Newcastle would have to be counted as the luckiest team to find a place in this elite list. Newcastle had one of the toughest fixture as they visit Old Trafford to face an inform United.

United did all they could, but with a bit of luck and lots of effort, Steve McClaren’s side managed to earn a precious point on the road, which seems more like a victory than a draw, considering the fact that according to Sports Matrix exclusive stats, they only managed to had 2 shots on target compared to United’s 18. Newcastle had to grind it out, stayed rough and tough which eventually gave them a point which many believes was a reward a bit too much for their performance.

Leicester City

Leicester-City-v-Tottenham-Hotspur

Our last winner of the Week 3 in Barclays Premier League is Leicester City, who continued their progress under experience Claudio Ranieri. Leicester City also had a tough fixture against visiting Spurs, who were far superior in their quality compared to the home side. Leicester City remained competitive throughout the match, and looked a far more relaxed unit than they looked for most of the last season.

Ranieri is known to bring that calmness in the dressing room, and Leicester has continue to impress everyone in their 3 games so far this season. To come back against a team who belong to a top half of the Premier League for many seasons in the past says a lot about the team’s character. Leicester City’s performance in the first 3 games of the season is a good enough sign for the “foxes” fans and they can hope that this season their ride will be far smoother to retain their place in the top league in the Country.

Losers:

Manchester United:

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Our top spot in the loser’s category goes to Manchester United. The red devils had a relatively easy fixture against the magpies, where they faced a team who had a terrible outing against the Swan’s the weekend before. United controlled the whole match, from the start till the end, but lacked the finishing touch even after having 18 shots on target.

United can call themselves a little unlucky as controversy still surround a Rooney’s disallowed goal, but they only had themselves to blame after not being able to convert ample amounts of chances. For Van Gaal to deliver trophies this season, United will need to find someone who can score them goals, after just being able to score 2 goals in 3 outings this season.

Tottenham Hotspur:

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Spurs found themselves sitting at the 2nd spot in our elite list of Loser’s in week 3 in Barclays Premier League. Pochettino’s men will not find many easier games on the road than the one they had against Leicester, where they again seemed to lack the potency to find a breakthrough till the 81st minute, only to concede an equalizer a minute later.

Harry Kane doesn’t seem to be in the same form as he was last season, whereas there are rumors regarding Eriksen and Lamela’s future, which is increasing Pochettino’s problems as he is now on the hunt to sign at least 2 strikers to ease of the burden on Kane. As of now, Spurs lack that quality to be considered as a real favorite to finish in the top 4 this season, which might prove costly for the manager as the Owner Mike Ashley might lose his cool finally.

West Ham United:

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Third in the list comes West Ham United, who faced the biggest upset on the weekend, where they lost to new comers Bournemouth. Slaven Bilic side looked unprepared and undisciplined, and were slow to get off the hook, and that’s why they went 2-0 down inside the first 30 minutes.

Though Bilic side made a strong comeback in the 2nd half, but it was short-lived as they first went behind again in the 66th minute and were later down to 10 men in the 79th minute, which sum up their performance. Bournemouth in all departments showed better game play and were the deserved winner. For a team who consistently feature in the Premier League year after year, Bilic side needs to toughen up or else they might have a fight in their hand to avoid relegation this season.

Aston Villa:

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Last in the list of loser’s for week 3 in the Premier League is Tim Sherwood’s Aston Vila. Aston Villa have already lost their 2 key players who were pivotal to their survival last campaign in Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph. Villa had a tricky visit over the weekend to Selhurst Park, and Alan Pardew’s men made sure that they will have a hard time throughout the match.

Tim Sherwood’s team was completely dominated, and never really looked like a team who is capable of getting anything out of the game. With the squad depth and quality seems to be compromised after the sale of 2 quality players, this campaign will going to be the real test of Sherwood’s managerial capability, as he will look to keep Villa in the Premier League for another year at least.

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.

5 Best Signings to watch out for in the Champions League Season 2015/16

With days passing by, and teams gearing up for the new seasons, a lot of deals have come to a close and some deals are yet to be completed. Here we have a list of 5 players, who will be most instrumental in their team’s progress in the Champions league next season.

Sami Khedira:

1st in the list is Juventus jackpot signing once again, as they signed a World Class player in Sami Khedira for free. Khedira’s contract came to an end at the end of the last season and Juventus convinced him to join the club, where Pirlo have already left the club and there were still rumors that Pogba or Vidal might follow him in the coming days. Khedira’s presence will give a much needed boost to the already strong Juventus midfield, as he will bring in the experience of playing at the Bernabue along with winning the World Cup with Germany last year. His performance for the Los Blancos have been on a slide ever since the departure of Jose Mourinho from Madrid, and Ancelloti’s attacking mindset did not give him room to shine for the whites in the last 2 seasons. This will be his chance to be counted and show the World once again as he will get the chance to play in a more defensive looking Juventus this season, which should give him more breathing space to perform at the highest level.

Raheem Sterling:

2nd in the list is English highly rated 20 year old winger Raheem Sterling, who has finally completed his transfer to Manchester City after a long transfer saga. Manchester City bought him for a whopping £49 Million, which made him the most expensive English player ever. His arrival at the Etihad will give a much needed fresh breath of air to the city attack, which haven’t had many inclusions in the last season. His pace will help the blue side of Manchester, along with Aguero upfront that will have the capacity to create trouble for any opposing defense in Europe. Even though he is yet to perform in the Europe’s elite club competition, but his quality will give immense boost to the struggling City side who always had a hard time progressing in the Champions League.

Morgan Schneiderlin

Next in is Manchester United’s new boy Morgan Schnerderlin. Red Devils’ have done a great business this season, especially in the midfield with the arrival of a highly rated French International Morgan Schneiderlin from Southampton. Schneiderlin had an amazing time with Southampton where he participated in the revival of the club from the 3rd tier of English football with back to back promotions. His presence in the middle of the park brings calmness to his fellow players, and he has the capacity to hold the ball or win the ball back at a crunch time. With United making a comeback to the Europe’s elite competition after a season’s break, Schneiderlin could prove to be an Ace in the book of Wild Cards of Louis Van Gaal.

Jackson Martinez

Our 4th player in the list is Athletico’s new boy Jackson Martinez, who is featured in our Top 5 signing in the Europe so far due to his performance for his former club FC Porto. He was their go to man when the team needed him and had the presence of the traditional center forward. He is a nightmare for defender’s to deal with his pace, height and strong built and it is fair to say that Diego Simeone finally managed to find the right replacement for Diego Costa. With the arrival of a quick and solid center forward in Jackson Martinez, Simeone and Athletico will be hoping to once again produce the heroics of 2013/14 season, where they went all the way to the final and lost to their City rivals Real Madrid.

Bastian Schweinsteiger:

The last in the list is another signing from Manchester United, who have left Bayern after spending his whole career there. With Bastian joining United, the red devils will finally have an experience midfielder, who have tasted victory at every level for the club and the country. With him in the side, United can expect to have a warrior in the park, who is ready to give it all to make it tough for the opposition. Louis Van Gaal will hope that Schweinsteiger will use all his experience and help the red – devils to reach the glory that they were known for.

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.

Who’s the real Winner in Schweinsteiger Deal? United, Bayern or the Player?

“United’s chances of coming out of this deal as a real success is depending on how United will take care of him, as he had some injury issues, especially with his knee in the last few seasons.”

As reports are coming in that Schweinsteiger have finally signed up for the Red – Devils, it is arguably the biggest transfer saga that has come to an end. United manager Louis Van Gaal was keen on the German Midfielder for quite a while, and have finally able to snap up the World Cup winning midfielder. Here we will look in detail as to, who have come out of this deal as a real winner; i.e. Manchester United, Bayern Munich or Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Manchester United:

Photo Courtesy of Twitter @ESPNFC

For Manchester United, the deal is a more like a “long shot”, but a long shot they would be more than willing to play. With Schweinsteiger arrival, United have made a marquee signing to begin with. The signing will bring the kind of quality that United lacked after the departure of  three real leaders in Vidic, Evra and Ferdinand.

The likes of Fellaini and Herrera is already there, but they lack that leadership quality and found wanting when asked to play in front of the defensive line. With Schweinsteiger, United will finally have a leader in the park, who can dictate the game on his own terms and on his own pace. United’s chances of coming out of this deal as a real success is depending on how United will take care of him, as he had some injury issues, especially with his knee in the last few seasons. With no winter breaks, and a tougher schedule than Bundesliga, United medical staff will have a hard task to keep him fit to take the best out of him in important matches during the campaign next season.

 

Bayern Munich:

Aug 3, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola directs plays during Bayern Munich training in preparation for the 2014 MLS All Star Game at University of Portland Merlo Field. Mandatory Credit: Susan Ragan-USA TODAY Sports

For Bayern Munich, a deal worth of £14 Million plus is a bonus for a player, who, according to them have already past his best and is nearly 31 years old. Bayern able to cash in on a player, who just had 15 starts last season, and haven’t had more than 30 league games for the club in a season since 2011.

With Lahm getting better in a midfield role, and with Guardiola preferring Alonso over Schweinsteiger, this seems more like a win – win situation for the German champions, who will use this cash to strengthen their squad in the coming days. However, we believe that Bayern will not be the real winner as they will miss the experience of Schweinsteiger in the coming season, and his presence in the dressing room which could prove costly for the German Champions.

 

Bastian Schweinsteiger:

For Bastian Schweinsteiger, this is a tough decision to start with. He is leaving a club for which he played for all his life, for nearly 15 years, where he have won everything and is an iconic figure. He will have to start all over again at Manchester United, and a new challenge will surely excite him. Keeping in mind that he was not getting enough football under Guardiola, we believe that it’s Schweinsteiger who is the real winner in this deal, as this move will suits him in an attempt to gear up for the Euro next year, where he will lead Germany as a Captain.

At the age of nearly 31, Schweinsteiger will have stiff challenge to show his class once again, but in a different league, in different weather conditions & in a more competitive league. He has nearly won it all with Bayern and Germany, and Manchester United will be hoping that he will use all of his experience and will win this challenge as well.

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.

Real Madrid: Iker Casillas’ career hangs in the balance as David De Gea nears move to Bernabeu

Real Madrid, after having a serious debacle last season where they finished the season empty handed after winning La Decima the season before, is looking to strengthen their squad this season. Madrid has long been an admirer of David De Gea from the days when he used to play for cross-town rivals Athletico Madrid, but couldn’t convince him to come to Bernabeu back in 2011. However, this time around, De Gea seems to be more convinced about a move to the Los Blancos side, and there’s no doubt there is a need to strengthen their defensive line with a more assured man between the sticks.

Casillas, a world class goal-keeper, probably the best of his generation and his record speaks for himself. However, he has had a hard time for Real Madrid and Spain in the recent times, and had to face the anger and disappointment of the Bernabeu faithful last season. He had a mediocre World Cup and was one of the prime reasons for the La Roja’s early exit from Brazil. His form throughout the season raised eyebrows of many, and led to questions as to why Navas was not being started more often, a proposition Ancelotti, at the time was not willing to accept. Mistakes such as a first goal against Atletico at the Vicente Calderon in the league match, that opened the gates for the worst defeat for Madrid against their noisy neighbours in the league, made Madrid pay a heavy price in the end as Madrid lost the league even though they were four points clear at the top after Christmas break.

De Gea, on the contrary, had one of the best, if not, the best season for the Red Devils in 14/15, where he was among the best goalkeeper’s throughout the season along with Chelsea’s Courtois and spurs Hugo Lloris. De Gea seemed the only assured block in a defense of uncertainty for United throughout the season. He was quick on the feet, and had the ability to stay big in one-on-one situations. He is the one prime reason as to why United were able to qualify for the Champions League, as he earned them some precious points.

Looking into exclusive stats from SportsMatrix, De Gea had 30.8% good saves compared to 19.4% of Casillas throughout the league in 14/15, and also had nearly double of spectacular saves of 15% compared to 7.8% of Casillas during the same time, which exactly proves why Madrid is after this young Spaniard and is willing to let go their living legend.

Another important factor that is influencing Madrid’s decision to go for the United number one is his young age, and at the age of 24 and given the amount of talent he possesses, he will surely stay on at the Bernabeu for a while to come.

De Gea is all set to leave Manchester United for the Spanish giants if media reports are to be believed, as the deal is seems to be coming to closure in the next few days. However, the real question is where does Casillas go on from here? Casillas, who is still only 34 despite the fact that he seems to have been around for an eternity. The World Cup winner will be looking to switch to a side where he will get a first team role, and either Arsenal or Tottenham could be possibly the destination for the Spanish legend.

Indeed, it now seems Arsenal is in for Chelsea’s Peter Cech as they are looking to end their goalkeeping woes should keep their eye on Casillas situation in case they won’t be able to land the Czech international. Spurs on the other hand, seems to have resigned to the fact that their star man Lloris will leave the club for Manchester United in order to get Champions League football, and they would love to get the experienced Spaniard to take over the charge between the sticks.

Casillas’ leadership quality along with his experience as a keeper where he has spent all of his life at a club of the size of Madrid is bound to help any side in need of a goalkeeper. For Casillas, a change of club might help him to regain the lost form and become the keeper he once was, which will be a great spectacle to watch out for.

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.

English Premier League: 6 Midfielders Who Could Make Their Way to EPL Next Season

Azeem Siddiqui identifies six midfielder who could be on their way to the Premier League next season…

Top class midfielders are in high demand. Look no further than the clubs Barcelona, Real Madrid and other teams consider to be part of Europe’s elite who have been linked with playmakers in the transfer mill.

Things are no different in England with a lot of Premier League clubs are looking to strengthen their squad this season, especially in the midfield department to boost their chance of success not only on the domestic stage, but to break their hoodoos in Europe’s elite competitions.

And with that, PF90 has have identified six midfielders, who might be featured in the Premier League season 2015/16.

Paul Pogba

The French midfielder, who is tipped to leave Turin this season, is a target of Barcelona & many other European giants, and few English clubs are quite interested in this young high rated midfielder. Manchester City, who had a trophy less last season, are emerging one of the favorite to land the young French man, with reports emerging that City are preparing a £86 Million offer for him to land him in Manchester and create a dream combination of Toure and Pogba in the center of the park.

Kevin De Bruyne

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Former Chelsea outcast, De Bruyne had a fantastic season with VFB Wolfsburg. With highest assists in the Bundesliga last season, De Bruyne was among the top midfield sensation throughout Europe. Manchester City once again is in for this midfield maestro, as they look to revamp their squad and challenge for the premier league glory next season.

Ikay Gundogan

Dortmund and Germany midfielder, Ikay Gundogan is another top quality midfielder that Premier League sides are looking to land this season. Another Manchester club, this time Manchester United who is emerging as favorites to seal this deal in the near future.

Roberto Firmino

The Brazillian from Hoffenheim 1899, is also looking set for a move to England, after his agent confirm the news that he will be playing in the Premier League next season. Firmino had an impressive season with Hoffenheim, where he netted 7 times and provides 10 assists and was one of the star performers for the club.

Asier Illaramendi

Madrid outcast Asier Illaramendi, who seems to be on his way out of the Bernabue, is looking set for a move to the Premier League, most probably to Anfield. Illaramendi moved to the Spanish Capital in 2013 with high hopes after Madrid paid a heavy price for his services, but is yet to develop as the first team player. Madrid hierarchy is resigned to a fact that they might have to let the young Spaniard go, in order to increase funds for one or two marquee signings this season.

Yohan Cabaye

Yohan-Cabaye

The PSG outcast and a former Magpie man Yohan Cabaye, is set to leave Paris to find first team football. With his former boss Alan Pardew looking to strengthen Palace squad this season, Cabaye will be happy to join him at Selhurst Park and work under the man who brought the best out of him in the past.

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.