Can Firmino Compete with Kane or Salah in the Fantasy Premier League?


Last week, Roberto Firmino managed to become the highest-scoring Brazilian football player in the Premier League with a total of 44 goals which earned him the Samba Gold award in 2018 which is awarded to the best Brazilian player when it comes to European leagues. However, despite these recent awards, it’s still relatively easy for Firmino to get completely lost when it comes to fantasy soccer.

He is currently listed in the same tier as Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, Harry Kane, and Mohamed Salah, but has fewer points than them at the same time. However, the hat-trick he scored in last weekend’s match was a clear reminder of how good this player actually is and will continue to be going forward.

Roberto Firmino’s Performance

Firmino’s performance while playing against Arsenal not only assisted Liverpool to secure a huge victory but also allowed him to score a staggering 45.9 points when it comes to fantasy soccer which is considered the highest single-match total this season. Although Firmino usually drifts behind other huge players in his tier when it comes to total points, it’s worth mentioning that fantasy soccer is a weekly game and Firmino just provided that he can be the best football player in any given week.

The most noticeable reason why Firmino is currently behind other football stars at his tier is due to the fact that he hasn’t managed to keep up in scoring goals. Although he scored 4 goals in the last two games, the player from Liverpool is still underperforming when it comes to expected goals. There isn’t a player in fantasy soccer with more goals that has been more unfortunate than Firmino in this statistic so far.

Another area where Firmino is struggling at the moment is assists. Firmino has never provided fewer assist than the 3 he is carrying into 2019. To give you some perspective, over the last 5 seasons Firmino has managed to average around 5 by this time. Although he is creating more opportunities when compared to the last 3 seasons, he is posting the lowest number of assists. Furthermore, his actual assists total is far behind his expected assists which simply means that Firmino has been exceptionally unlucky this year.

It’s not just assist and goal statistics where Firmino is lacking at the moment. He is also posting three-year lows when it comes to fouls drawn, accurate crosses, and shots for every 90 minutes played. While this could be seen as someone that is underperforming as oppose to being unlucky, these factors usually balance over when it comes to a 38-game season.

Thankfully, Klopp managed to experiment with Firmino’s position where he moved him back in his formation to play the role of an attacking midfielder. Firmino has only played 8 games in total in that position but has managed to score half of his goals since the experiment took place. He also managed to increase his passing rate since he was pushed back in Klopp’s formation.

Why Manchester City Is Showing Signs of Strain


Less than 30 days ago, Manchester City was enjoying a 2-point lead in the Premier League table over Liverpool and impressed with a phenomenal difference of 15 goals. However, they are now 7 points behind Liverpool who are also level when it comes to goal difference, and Manchester City has also dropped to third position on the table behind Tottenham Hotspur by a point after Boxing Day.

Manchester City suffered a devastating couple of weeks where they managed to lose 3 out of 4 games where they previously remained undefeated. However, what could be the cause in their sudden dip?

Full-back Problems

The two defeats that Manchester City endured over the festive period, including a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Leicester City and a 3-2 defeat against Crystal Palace, have both been characterized by awful full-back performances. The Crystal Palace match managed to expose the defence limitations of Kyle Walker at right-back, who enjoyed a spectacular 2017/18 season but suffered a bit after his World Cup participation. He made a handful of mistakes during their victory against Everton but was partially to blame for the Crystal Palace game where they managed to score three goals.

Against Leicester City, Fabian Delph was to blame as he completely lost the equaliser from Marc Albrighton and Hamza Choudhury’s similar run thereafter which indicates that it might have been a tactic deployed by Leicester City to target the inability of Delph at the far post. Delph is actually considered a midfielder who was converted to play as a left-back. Although he is quite comfortable with the position, his body shape is frequently awkward once the ball is located on the opposite flank.

With Benjamin Mendy out of the team, it leaves Oleksandr Zinchenko or Danilo to face Mohamed Salah when Manchester City clashes against Liverpool in a week’s time. Salah usually plays up front during the 2018/19 season, but Klopp tends to go for a 4-3-3 formation where Salah plays wide on the right during important matches. Klopp will definitely utilize his dangerous attacker due to the fact that Manchester City is having problems at the back.

Lack of Pressing

Manchester City has never been able to adept when it comes to defending in deep positions. However, they managed to compensate with defensive work proactively in higher zones. The forward three managed to press aggressively, while the midfielders pressed up onto their opposing numbers, and the defence maintained a high line to ensure the game is played in the opposition’s half.

However, in recent weeks, prior to the sudden dip from Manchester City, it was quite noticeable that the team weren’t engaging their opposition in this manner. This has been highlighted by Mark Thompson in an article when Manchester City was still accumulating wins.

The article highlighted how the opposition was allowed to control the ball forward which made things increasingly more difficult for Fernandinho, the only defensive midfielder for the team.

Jose Mourinho Sacked by Man Utd


Celebrations are definitely going around in Manchester after Jose Mourinho was finally sacked by the popular football club. The Red Devils constantly underachieved during the two and a half seasons under Mourinho, but they’ve been even worse at the beginning of the 2018/19 Premier League season. The end of Jose Mourinho took place after a shocking 3-1 defeat at the hands of Liverpool last weekend. The announcement was made on Tuesday morning to inform everyone that Jose Mourinho has left the club.

What Happened During the Liverpool and Manchester United Game?

Liverpool might have defeated Man Utd 3-1 last weekend, but the score definitely didn’t reflect the true result. Liverpool had a total of 36 shots on goal which is the most in the 2018/19 Premier League season. Man Utd, on the other hand, only had 6 shots on goal of which 2 were on target. In fact, their only goal during the game came from a mistake by Allison Becker, the Liverpool goalkeeper.

The result against Liverpool left Man Utd in 6th position on the grid with an enormous 11 point gap from the top four clubs. What’s even more devastating is that Utd has an even goal differential which is equal to Leicester, West Ham, and Wolves. A 2-1 fluke against Juventus during the Champions League is basically the only reason why Mourinho was kept for so long.

Third Season Strikes Mourinho Once Again

This is the fourth time in Jose Mourinho’s career that has seen his job security and team fall apart during the third season of his career. Unfortunately, he never got the opportunity at Inter Milan and he was poached by Real Madrid before it could occur. However, it’s happened a total of four times in five jobs.

During his leadership at Chelsea, Jose’s relationship with Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea, caused a lot of havoc as the boss handled more power when it came to the transfer policy between Piet De Visser and Frank Arnesen. His second stint at Madrid took place when the team lost 4-1 against Dortmund. During both stints, Mourinho achieved fantastic things before he managed to lose the dressing room. However, at Man Utd, he never managed to get anything going. He now left without winning the FA Cup, the Champions League, or the Premier League.

Mourinho’s Issues with Paul Pogba

In the 2017/18 season, Paul Pogba was dropped on numerous occasions for Scott McTominay who still hasn’t shown his worth for the club. Pogba stated that he was unhappy with Jose Mourinho and was possibly looking for a transfer. Then, an argument was filmed in September that managed to strip Pogba from his vice-captaincy title where Mourinho told him he will never be captain during his time at United. Pogba was also dropped during the match against Liverpool where Mourinho stated that Man Utd is greater off the ball without him. Obviously, Man Utd did nothing off the ball during the match.

Alisson Becker Becomes No. 1 Goalkeeper in Premier League


There’s never been a goalkeeper in the Premier League that has been as dominant as David De Gea from Manchester United. Obviously, there’s been more successful ones, as David De Gea only has one title in the Premier League and only one award for the Golden Glove thanks to the highest number in terms of clean sheets.

However, these figures are greatly dependent on the quality of team members in De Gea’s team. Include another aspect, the number of times De Gea has been voted for the PFA team of the Year, and he is in a league of his own. De Gea has been named the best in the league by his team members, including the last 4 campaigns. In the Premier League, no other goalkeeper has managed to earn this honour more than 3 times.

David De Gea Is Struggling in the 2018/19 Campaign

However, De Gea’s reign seems like its coming to an end. Although we are less than halfway through the current season, it’s rather impossible to make a case for David De Gea following his poor performance since last season. During the 2017/18 season, De Gea performed the best statistically and held the highest number when it came to clean sheets throughout the division. He managed to concede 14 less goals that anyone expected when you base it off the shots he faced which is undoubtedly the most impressive record in the Premier League. However, something has changed. De Gea suffered an awful World Cup tournament, allowing a Ronaldo shot to go beneath him during a 3-3 draw against Portugal.

In addition, this season’s statistics make for a grim read with the world-class goalkeeper only having two clean sheets in a total of 16 games. What’s even more alarming is that he isn’t saving enough shots this season with a 67% save rate which places him at the bottom half when you look at the goalkeepers in the Premier League.

The Rise of Alisson Becker

This weekend, De Gea will be facing the top goalkeeper in the Premier League this season. Alisson, who is currently ranked fourth in the world by several experts, managed to produce his unforgettable moment while wearing the Liverpool shirt as he saved a point-blank shot from Milik, effectively earning his team members a spot in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Was this considered an excellent save, or did Milik strike the ball directly at Becker? Perhaps somewhere in the middle as the overall finish wasn’t especially impressive. However, Becker advanced for a few yards forward to minimize the angle, forcing Milik to rush.

Either way, the save was considered phenomenal and spoke volumes about the reputation of Alisson. He’s already regarded as the best in the Premier League. It’s hard to remember another side in the Premier League that upgraded so incredibly between two posts. Although Alisson wasn’t cheap, at £67 million, it was something that Liverpool certainly needed.

Can Manchester City Continue to Handle the Pressure?


Mind games, heat of battle, pressure: these are all key factors in every single title clash – apart from when a football team manages to win by 19 points in the Premier League and leave the rest of the brigade trailing in their wake.

Manchester City was so undisputed dominant during in the previous season that the normal rules when it came to engagement simply didn’t apply to the team. The race to the finish line from Manchester City was so brilliant that it became more of a procession as opposed to an examination in terms of their credentials.

Chelsea’s Defeat Over Manchester City

However, after the surprising 2-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea this weekend, the missing ingredients have returned, and Manchester City are now facing a completely different test if they want to retain the crown before the end of the tournament. This Premier League season will be about how the current leaders decide to deal with it and if they are able to handle the pressure.

“Our primary objective is to accumulate one point more than our opponents. However, Liverpool is better than us at the moment,” Pep Guardiola started. “We were favourites before the weekend, but Liverpool claimed that spot. They are both unbeaten and at the top. Our level of performance is the same as last season, but our rivals are stronger.

“You won’t find a sport anywhere in the world where only one team is winning constantly,” Guardiola continued. “This is simply an illusion. Losing is, unfortunately, part of the competition. During our match against Chelsea, we dominated when it came to possession and had outstanding passes, but Chelsea dominated where it mattered most, scoring.”

Defining Moments in the 2018/19 Premier League Campaign

Every single title race in the Premier League will have defining moments which will mark a fork in the road for those that are involved at the sharp end, and the first was certainly the stoppage-time winner from Divock Origi during Liverpool’s clash against Everton.

The strike by N’Golo Kante during the Manchester City vs Chelsea match, minutes before halftime and after his squad had been flooded by Man City men for 44 minutes was undoubtably another significant moment as it placed Sarri’s team on the right path for victory that managed to inflict the first defeat for Manchester City.

The results for these two moments, including the second-half header from David Luiz, is that Liverpool received a turbo boost which made Manchester City realise instantly that an all out war is going to take place this season for the prestigious title. If Origi didn’t nod home a spectacular goal during the 99th-minute, Manchester City would have had a 4-point lead along with a psychological advantage when they witnessed their closest rival slip. However, they, unfortunately, had the pressure placed on themselves this time round.

Liverpool is currently leading the chase. The question is, can they maintain their lead or will Manchester City make a return to the top?

Manchester United’s Situation Remains Dire under Jose Mourinho


There’s no one at Manchester United who wants the club in the shape it is now. Certainly not Ed Woodward, who is busy with agents representing some world-class footballers. Certainly not the staff, most of whom are Man Utd supporters situated in Manchester who merely want their favorite club to start winning matches like before.

Certainly not Jose Mourinho, who is currently defending himself and his phenomenal record against several detractors. Certainly not the players who are currently destroying their reputations for being below par in relation to their enormous salaries and the huge expectations that have been placed upon them, and certainly not the fans who are completely bored with the way things are turning out for the squad.

Jose Mourinho’s Current Reputation

As much as the 91st minute goal from Marouane Fellaini was celebrated earlier this week, several United fans had mixed feelings about it. If Manchester United failed to win, it would have brought the decision to replace the current manager much closer.

Manchester United is closer to the bottom of the Premier League than the top when it comes to points and Jose Mourinho’s squad has never been this low among fans at Old Trafford. Fan polls indicate that between 70% and 80% want to replace Jose Mourinho and the vocal support from the Old Trafford club is extremely minimal. Less than 3 weeks ago, fans were cheering Mourinho’s name, and therefore the club shouldn’t dismiss him now that’s there trouble around the camp fire.

Jose Mourinho can certainly still turn things around for the club. Let’s judge him after the requested three years is over and let’s enjoy him as he cups his ears for haters and laugh at how he throws water bottles around when one of his strikers finally scores a goal towards the end of a match. Jose’s sacking is definitely not imminent while Manchester United still has loads to play for. They managed to defeat Juventus away from home, so there’s certainly still hope that they can get somewhere in the Champions League.

The Recent Win Has Helped Jose Mourinho

The recent win against Young Boys on Tuesday has certainly helped, even if it’s only a little. Mourinho was obviously disappointed with Rashford due to the fact that he missed multiple chances during the game, transforming it into a huge talking point all week. However, Alex Ferguson reacted in the same manner whenever Christiano Ronaldo missed a golden opportunity as he matured during his stay with Manchester United.

Should Mourinho make it through to 2020, things within the team undoubtably need to change. The team will be required to provide much more entertainment, especially at Old Trafford as seats are getting emptier and emptier with each passing match. The squad also needs to obtain a lot more points going forward to keep the manager in his current role and will need to finish in the top 5 at least to keep the dreams alive for both the manager and the players.

Tottenham Hopes Christian Eriksen Signs New Contract

Mauricio Pochettino has recently stated that he is in high hopes that Christian Eriksen will ink a brand-new contract as the famous midfielder enjoys his last 18 months with Tottenham Hotspur. Dele Alli and Henry Kane already signed their long-term extensions with Tottenham Hotspur, and Mauricio Pochettino wants Christian Eriksen as he managed to score 10 goals, along with 10 assists, during the Premier League in the previous season. The famous midfielder has also been linked to both Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Mauricio Pochettino commented  on the potential contract with Christian Eriksen stating,  “Eriksen knowns exactly what we are doing, and we know that we are working extremely hard this year,” Pochettino stated. “The squad is working extremely hard to ensure we make the best decisions. Eriksen will undoubtedly take some time to ensure he is making the best decision for him.

Pochettino added that they are not worried about it and added,

“However, we are certainly not worried about it. In the world of football, I am never worried. However, I would prefer that Eriksen signs the brand-new contract, allowing him to spend loads of time with the Hotspurs. There’s no denying that it would be absolutely remarkable for both him and the squad. Christian Eriksen is a phenomenal player. When he was initially signed, everyone could see he had potential, an extremely diverse player at Ajax but still relatively young at the time. Tottenham managed to provide an incredible platform for him to further develop his skills. No one can deny that Tottenham and Eriksen was a fantastic mix. It’s for this reason that I sincerely hope he continues to play for Tottenham to fine tune his skills and quality even further.”

The EUFA National League and the Champions League
Christian Eriksen, who was unfortunately sidelined for almost a month due to abdominal problems earlier in the year, was primarily used for sparingly at Tottenham before the international break occurred, and Mauricio Pochettino wasn’t pleased at all that the famous midfielder started on both matches for Denmark during the EUFA Nations League.

“I believe looking after him prior to going to the national team was one of the best decisions I could make as he managed to start in the last ten days in two matches,” Mauricio Pochettino stated. “Playing 90 minutes against a difficult Crystal Palace squad, followed by 2 matches with the national team, it really too much for Eriksen.”

Mauricio Pochettino is going to be without 3 defenders against Chelsea on Saturday, with Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier, and Davinson Sanchez out of action as well as Mousa Dembele as a midfielder. Thankfully, Jan Vertonghen will be back in action after a hamstring injury that saw him miss a total of nine matches.

“There’s still one more day of training, but its fantastic news that he is back in the fold, Mauricio Pochettino stated.” During the last two weeks, Vertonghen trained well, and now we merely need to see if we can include him in the squad when we face Chelsea this weekend.

England’s Revenge on Croatia in UEFA Nations League

Four months after an unbelievable semi-final defeat during the 2018 World Cup in Russia, England’s optimism once again looked like it was going to be punctured by the experience and resilience of Croatia. However, the England squad, as we quickly found out, doesn’t use the same tactics and managed to engineer a mind-blowing comeback to reinstate the team’s reputation.

England Claims Victory Against Croatia

The two teams played for a place in the UEFA Nations League final and provided a dramatic match from start to finish. Croatia managed to take the lead thanks to Andrej Kramaric. However, the home side managed to score during the 78th minute and the 85th minute thanks to Jesse Lingard as well as Harry Kane, sending Wembley into a complete frenzy.

Although it took some time to be confirmed, it was a well-deserved victory from the England squad. Croatia pressed hard during the early stages of the match, but England was fully prepared as they played around with the opposition as they looked for the early ball to release Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling, moving at a completely different pace to the severely panicked defenders who were assigned to defend them.

Sterling could have done better instead of firing a straight shot to the Croatian goalkeeper when received by Kane, and minutes later the captain of the England squad managed to fluff his lines when Barkley’s corner was sent straight to him by Stones. On multiple occasions, England’s sensational work was denied merely by last-ditch defending. The England captain witnessed a goal-bound shot which was unfortunately blocked by Tin Jedvaj along with a follow-up save from Kalinic. The Croatian team managed to make it to halftime on level grounds, failing to create a shot on target.

Southgate’s Substitution

Sterling and Rashford’s fearless running and speed continue to be the best route for a breakthrough during the early stages of the second half, but it was the Croatian team who went ahead. Ante Rebic created a phenomenal counter-attack, feeding Kramaric, who clipped a shot off the outstretched leg of Eric Dier and past Jordan Pickford.

Déjà vu quickly grew as the attack of England crumbled against the Croatian squad, but the substitutions made by Southgate managed to turn the tide. New ideas and fresh legs were injected thanks to Jadon Sancho, Lingard, and Dele Alli. Lingard provided the equaliser after Kane managed to scramble the ball past Kalinic, setting the stage for a beautiful goal with only 6 minutes left on the clock.

If it wasn’t for Kane’s decisiveness and Southgate’s substitutions, the game would have been regarded as another monument for the Croatian squad that continues to defy both logic and belief in the months following their incredible final in the Russian World Cup. While the energy reserves of Croatia seemed limitless in 2018, it looked like physical exertion was the main reason England had the opportunity to add more pressure during the final minutes of the game, allowing them to win by one goal in order to get their revenge.

Jose Mourinho Wants Zlatan Ibrahimovic Back at Man Utd

If the rumours going around the Manchester football club are true, Jose Mourinho is planning a move to return Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Manchester United in early 2019.

While Jose Mourinho has yet to deny or confirm his interest, there are several reasons for him to do everything in his power to get Zlatan Ibrahimovic back to the Manchester United squad, even if it’s just for a few months.

Zlatan’s Impact on Man Utd

From a football perspective, Ibrahimovic’s tail end of his 2017/18 career at Manchester United, when he only scored once in 7 appearances after making a return following his ligament injury, would suggest that his impact in a match would be minimal should he return to the Premier League during the off-season of the MLS.

Although Ibrahimovic is 37 years old, his record of 21 goals in just 25 matches for LA Galaxy proves that there is still life in the former Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, and Barcelona forward. However, his value when he returns to Man Utd will be measured in the number of goals he scores by Jose Mourinho. Ibrahimovic’s true worth the Mourinho, who is currently under a great deal of pressure, will be the influence he has in the dressing room. There’s no denying that disharmony within the Manchester United squad started the day Ibrahimovic left the club.

Jose Mourinho is Struggling

It’s no secret that Jose Mourinho is struggling to manage certain members in the Manchester United squad where plenty of senior players are growing frustrated and angry with him due to the way he treats players, his negative demeanour, and his tactical decisions when it comes to training.

Obviously, Ibrahimovic can’t offer a miracle cure for the disharmony in the squad, but while he was playing for Manchester United for 18 months, his presence was significant where all players considered him to be the leader. In addition, Ibrahimovic was essentially a buffer between Mourinho and the dressing room due to his longstanding relationship with the United manager as they previously worked together at Inter Milan.

Trouble at Manchester United


After Ibrahimovic left Old Trafford, along with the departure of Rooney who was transferred to Everton last summer, there hasn’t been a player to successfully fill the void left by Rooney and Ibrahimovic.

Although Paul Pogba is the most valued player at Manchester United, he hasn’t been able to gain the same respect that Zlatan instantly earned due to his career achievements and persona. United’s highest-paid player, Alexis Sanchez, is considered a remote figure who lacks the charisma of Ibrahimovic, while others have simply formed small groups based on their shared language and nationality.

Ibrahimovic has always led by example where he inspires youngsters in the club with his dedication and humility and is able to lead from the front when it comes to speaking to the press. So, moving Ibrahimovic back to Manchester United is not the craziest idea as the manager is in desperate need of resolving the current issues in the squad and Ibrahimovic will certainly help with that.

D.C United Closes Playoff Gap After Defeating Montreal Impact

It was the biggest game of the 2018 season, and in the second half, the Montreal Impact dropped the proverbial ball. It cost them any chance of recovery in what saw United winning 5-0 and leaving the Impact with a devastating and embarrassing loss.

Paul Arriola, and Wayne Rooney each scored two goal for D.C United. Luciano Acosta scored one and also earned three assists on Saturday. The win helped put D.C United to within two points of the Impact for the final playoff spot in the MLS Eastern Conference.

Head coach of the Impact, Remi Garde stated, in post-game interviews with reporters that,

“In the first half, I wasn’t under the impression that we would play such a horrible second. There are certain behaviours we need to correct. These are important games in which we need all 11 players on the field to be at their best physically, mentally, and in their aggressiveness. Today, we were outclassed by our opponent in these categories.”

Luciano Acosta sent a shot to an open net at the 17th minute mark to start the scoring for D.C. Rooney made it 2-0 after he found an opening at the 48th minute mark. Rooney earned his second goal with 8 minutes left in regulation time to increase their lead to 5-0 and at the 78th and 82ond minute mark. D.C’s Bill Hamid had five saves and earned his second shutout this season.

Commenting on the devastating loss, Montreal Impact striker, Quincy Amarikwa stated.

“”When we look back on the season, this will be the moment that we decided if we stepped up or we crumbled. I’m confident of the quality we have in the locker room, and we’re going to use this as motivation to move forward into the playoffs.”

About D.C United

D.C. United plays in the Major League Soccer, a North American professional soccer league. They compete in the Eastern division and began as an organisation in 1996. D.C United has won eight titles and shares the record for the most “Supporters’ Shields”. The franchise also has won hour MLS Cups, and won three U.S. Open Cup championships.