How Would Alexis Sanchez Fit in at Manchester City?

Arsenal Vs Burnley” (CC BY 2.0) by joshjdss

Alexis Sanchez may well have played his last game for Arsenal, as elite vultures begin to circle the Premier League star before the transfer window opens on July 1st. It is likely that the Chilean will be prised away from the Emirates for the right price, as the man who contributed to 34 goals this season is desperate to see his efforts rewarded with silverware. Pep Guardiola signed Sanchez while at Barcelona and is eager to do the same again and bring him to the Etihad. But where would the ferocious attacker fit in Manchester City’s jam-packed attack?

As the season drew to a close it appeared as though Guardiola had struck on the right formula in front of goal, as the Cityzens finished the campaign on a high. The devastating attack (see video below) put away 15 goals in their final four matches and gave fans a glimpse of things to come next term. Guardiola has had a chance to familiarise himself with England’s top flight now, and it is expected that City will be challenging for the title all the way next time out. In fact, in the early season Betfred betting, Guardiola’s side are 9/4 to lift the trophy in the 2017-18 campaign, with new users able to claim a welcome offer worth up to £60.

It seems that Guardiola’s favoured line-up now is to play an attacking trident with Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling either side of Sergio Aguero or Gabriel Jesus. The effectiveness of this quartet of players was plain to see in the final days of the season, and Guardiola was able to rotate the four attackers around the three slots. Sanchez would add yet another option here, and would provide more depth for City as they look to battle on domestic and European fronts.

When signing Sanchez for Barcelona, Guardiola spoke of his appreciation of the deadly attacker’s ability to play an all-round game and occupy any of the attacking positions. Not only can the 28-year-old be deployed on the wings or at the spearhead, he also has the potential to flourish in a number 10 role just behind a central striker. The fact that Sanchez has established himself as one of the standout performers in the top flight suggests that when fit he will start, leaving the other attackers to fight it out between themselves for the remaining spots. This embarrassment of riches would leave City more than capable of outscoring any opponent.

City will have to act quickly if they want to secure Sanchez’s services, though. Other top clubs such as Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain have expressed interest in the forward, and there is no doubt that they can offer him the opportunity to win trophies.

City may have the upper hand, as Sanchez has a good relationship with Guardiola and may want to stay in the Premier League. He should have no doubts about his security of starts, either, as even though City have a formidable force already, he is arguably the best of the bunch. If he does follow in the footsteps of former Gunners Samir Nasri, Emmanuel Adebayor, and Gael Clichy, and move to the blue side of Manchester, it’s hard not to back City for the title next term.

Pep vs Jose isn’t finished yet

jose

This Premier League season has been one of the most exciting in recent years, the football being played has been at a brilliant standard and English football in general has done itself proud on the European stage. The Premier League has a reputation for being exciting but has failed to attract big money players and world class managers in the past.

However, things are changing and the best players and the best managers are moving to England in search of success. This season saw the reemergence of Jose Mourinho as he took over Manchester United, following his departure from Chelsea in 2015. The Premier League also welcomed the debut season for Pep Guardiola as he took over Manchester City.

As the season draws to a close, many are wondering who has had the upper hand. Pep will finish his first ever campaign as manger without winning a trophy, his Manchester City side are currently fourth and are no longer in any other competition. Whereas, Mourinho’s men grabbed their first piece of silverware in Feburary’s EFL Cup Final as they beat Southampton 3-2. 

pep guardiola
“duke-0525” by Thomas Rodenbücher (CC BY 2.0)

Although, the former Chelsea manager isn’t done yet, his Man Utd side are chasing their Manchester counter-parts for a top four finish. Utd are just one point behind City and as always – the top four race is set up to be just as exciting as the race for first place. As predicted by Oddschecker, Liverpool came out victorious against Watford on Monday, and now sit comfortably in third place.

As well as winning a trophy already and trying to push Pep off fourth place – Mourinho has the little matter of a Europa League semi-final to attend to. Man United play Celta Vigo in one half of the tournament and Ajax play Lyon on the other. Manchester United are favourites to win the competition, which would certainly prove a point or two to those who mocked United for being sixth place for so long earlier in the season.

Manchester City haven’t had as much success with Pep, they recently lost out at a chance in the FA Cup Final when Arsenal beat them 2-1 and prior to that they were beaten by Champions League Semi-finalists Monaco in the round of 16.

Written by Tom Wilson.

FA Cup Final: Chelsea v Arsenal

The final teams have been decided and Arsenal booked their place at Wembley with a great win over Manchester City coming from 1 goal behind to win the game 2-1.

Chelsea booked their place after beating Tottenham Hotspur in a 6 goal thriller with the final result being 4-2. The game was extremely close and Spurs fans will be kicking themselves having nearly made the FA Cup final for the first time in years.
Can Chelsea win the FA Cup and go on to complete a domestic double, if so that would be a great achievement for a team that didn’t even qualify for Europe last year.

Chelsea have a high chance to beat Arsenal at Wembley on May 27th 2017 but with Arsenal winning the tournament for the past 2 years then this is truly a special final.

Not only are they London rivals they are also rivals in the league and therefore expect fireworks and goals when they play. Chelsea v Arsenal is one of the biggest games of the season and to have it in an FA Cup Final is a treat for all football fans.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will be looking to win the trophy to make him one of the most successful managers in world football history. With many fans wanting a change to the management at the club maybe this could be his last game after over 20 years in charge. Save the date: 27th May 2017 live at Wembley Stadium.

Getting Tickets

This is a high demand game and tickets will be selling for hundreds of pounds closer to the game. We fully expect Arsenal and Chelsea to sell their allocation and then the race is on for the demand in tickets. Adam Beaumont from SafeFootballTickets.com describes this game as one of the biggest in recent history.

Order your fa cup final tickets 2017 Chelsea v Arsenal online before the prices increase, which they are expected to with Arsenal and Chelsea both with a high fan base. When Arsenal played against Hull City in the last final tickets were sold for an average of £350 each, we fully expect them to reach way above £500GBP each for this game.

Whilst Wembley is one of the biggest stadiums in the world at 80,000 90,000 seats the majority of tickets for the game go to corporate hospitality, club Wembley and other designated receivers.

Will you be at the game? What is the most you would pay for a ticket to support your team? The official FA Website has more information on the full tournament for the readers that are doing research into this historical tournament. Emirates are the sponsors of the tournament and have done a great job in their marketing this year.

Talents losing out on ‘street-cred’ for wearing claret

The 2016/17 Premier League season is drawing to a close, and for some, it has been a revelation. For instance, AFC Bournemouth have once more staved off relegation thanks to the herculean efforts of Josh King in attack, although he would not have appeared in many fantasy football teams before the New Year.

New, swashbuckling youngsters have also broken through, particularly at Goodison Park, with the likes of Tom Davies and Mason Holgate already being tipped for senior international duties.

Sadly, for others, being overlooked and underrated remains a constant issue, but today – at any rate – they will receive the adulation they deserve. Over at Turf Moor, two players, in particular, stand out as overlooked.

‘Tom Heaton playing for Burnley in 2015’ Kelvin Stuttard via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The ‘Heat’ is on

This summer, Burnley will celebrate a second consecutive season in the top flight for the first time in the Premier League era. That is almost entirely thanks to some impressive home form, which has seen vital points taken from several teams in the top seven.

Goalkeeper Tom Heaton, relegated with Burnley in 2015 despite producing some excellent performances, showed immense loyalty – even when linked with boyhood club Liverpool – by staying at the club and helping them to achieve promotion at the first attempt. This season has been an obvious improvement, yet he remains on the periphery of Gareth Southgate’s plans for England, and it may take a change of jersey, for Heaton, if that is ever to change.

Case for the defence

Of course, a goalkeeper is nothing without trusty defenders. At centre back, Michael Keane has been a largely imposing figure – at least when given the luxury of home advantage. It is already the worst-kept secret that he is touted to fill the boots of veteran defender Phil Jagielka at Everton, and the rate of his progress implies that his first club, Manchester United, will regret swinging the axe prematurely.

However, Ben Mee has been as reliable a partner as Keane could have wished for. To date, the former England youth player has played in every single minute of Burnley’s impressive season, but remains firmly eclipsed by Keane as the press prepare for another hectic summer transfer window.

‘Arsenal Vs Burnley’ – JoshJDSS via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Many people will be surprised to learn that Mee has, in fact, won more tackle per game than Michael Keane – winning out around 85% of the time, compared to Keane’s 64%.

A defender’s work often goes unnoticed, but for a striker to be overlooked is disastrous, and it is only ever a short time before they are shipped elsewhere.

Heaven and Hull

Back in December, there was the distinct possibility of 2016/17 going down as the highest-scoring Premier League season ever. Such is the optimism in strikers this season that, in English Premier League Betting on Paddy Power, bettors are currently being offered an immediate payout if any team they back goes two goals up.

Not everyone has enjoyed the party though, and perhaps most disappointed of all will be Leicester City striker Ahmed Musa. Arriving on a backdrop of minor hype, the Nigerian produced a scintillating individual performance in a 2016 pre-season game against Barcelona, and he was seen as a threat to Vardy.

But, against a skeleton Hull side with a midfielder at centre-half, he failed to live up to the occasion and found himself gradually exiled as Leicester plummeted into the relegation zone.

Perhaps it is time to give him just one more run out once the Foxes are mathematically safe?

Have Chelsea Won The League Now

Last night we was pivotal in the Premier League race as Chelsea beat Manchester City by 2 goals to 1 with Eden Hazard scoring both goals. The result was important because many have seen Tottenham potentially catching them in the race with them only 7 points behind going into the game.
Tottenham produced a last minute display coming back from 1 goal down to winning 3-1 with all spurs goals coming back within the last 15 minutes.

Antonio Conte’s Chelsea are now only 6 wins away from finishing the job, however the Tottenham Hotspur captain Vertongen has stated that the next 2 games are just as important as those from last night.

Many pundits and fans think the the title has been decided many weeks ago and it is surprising that the title race is still slightly competitive. Whilst Chelsea have been seen to have dominated the League this season credit is due to Spurs for slowly but surely winning their games and keeping Chelsea on edge.

 

Chelsea are looking very strong. We can’t stop pushing and dreaming of that league but they had a big win against City and obviously the gap is still seven points.
‘They have got a couple of difficult games coming up and we have to keep winning and hopefully they get a bit stressed.’

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There are only 8 games remaining in the league and from calculations this brings the potential crowning of the champions to the middle of May. It is highly likely to be Chelsea and no one is backing against them but maybe, just maybe there is a chance that they can push them all the way.

Chelsea play away against both Bournemouth and Manchester United in the next 2 games and anything but 2 wins will surely put pressure on themselves, that is if Tottenham can win their games against Watford and Bournemouth, both at White Hard Lane.  Get all your Chelsea football news from e-soccer.com

Preview: Middlesbrough V Manchester United

riverside

This week we look at Sunday’s game when Middlesbrough welcome Manchester United to the riverside. That’s right, its the return of the Premier League with Manchester United traveling to Middlesbrough with both teams desperate win. Middlesbrough are 19th in the Premier League whilst Manchester United are 6th, a position they want to change having been in the same place for a while.

Manchester United will travel north after their disappointing FA Cup Quarter final game against Chelsea in which they lost 1-0 with Kante getting the decisive goal. The will also be without several key players as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ander Herrerra, and Antony Martial will be missing through injury and suspension respectively.

The online website 888Sport have a dedicated page on Middlesbrough v Man United betting odds . Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka and Stewart Downing have been in the news this week as they were involved in a training ground bust up according to leading media outlets.

The left winger was understood to question the boss as to why he has been left out of the squad for the games.

Middlesbrough are also coming off a loss in the FA Cup, having been well beaten 2-0 at home to Manchester City.The FA Cup was the last real tournament for both teams and both will be extremely disappointed at this stage of the season.

Aitor Karanka stated this week that he wants a team of fighters for the remaining run in. If M’boro are to remain in the English top flight then they need to win more of the remaining fixtures starting with this Super Sunday clash.aitor-karanka-mfc

Will Manchester United recover in time for the game, in between this they have to play at home in the Europa League against Russian team Rostov. With the Europa League now offering the winners the chance to qualify for the Champions League this is now an important fixture, even better for Middlesbrough.

#MFCvMU

The Magic of The FA Cup

The FA Cup is the oldest football tournament in world football and is watched by millions of fans around the planet. The FA Cup final is watched more than any other game except the world cup final. The magic of the FA Cup is not only when small teams beat the big clubs, it is the true essence of the cup that makes it truly magical for all fans.

Highlights so Far

This season has been no different in which certain big teams have been beaten and knocked out of the tournament by teams in a lower league.

One of the highlights so far is how Sutton made the 5th Round and were able to host the mighty Arsenal at their small stadium. This was the biggest game of the club’s history and even though there was an incident called ‘Piegate’ this took nothing away from the achievement of the team and management.

Lincoln City have made the Quarter Finals for the first time in the history of the football club. Whilst they will go into the game against Arsenal as huge underdogs they will be confident of pulling off one of the upsets of recent years.

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Quarter Final Matches

The following matches will take in less than 2 weeks and the world will be watching to see who makes the next round which of course is a visit to Wembley for the Semi Finals.
Saturday 11 March 2017 
Middlesbrough VS Man City
Arsenal VS Lincoln City

Sunday 12 March 2017 
Tottenham Hotspur VS Millwall

Monday 13 March 2017 
Chelsea VS Manchester United

Semi Finals

The Semi Finals of the FA Cup this season could be between some of the biggest football rivalries in world football. Should Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur win their respective games then the semi-finals will be the strongest games in recent seasons.

FA Cup Final

The FA Cup final is an immense spectacle and no matter the teams the tickets for the match often sell for hundreds of pounds on the secondary market.

The final this year will have an attendance of 89,826 and is the fourth best attended domestic club  game and the second most attended domestic football match.

 

The Best Midfielder in La Liga?

Steven N Zonzi

Steven N’Zonzi survived a slow start after his move from Stoke City to become the main man at Sevilla.
When Steven N’Zonzi sign from Stoke City many fans were underwhelmed but things have progressed and now is the team’s key player. It was not a great start as his performances were poor when he first join the club. The Frenchman though has come on leaps and bounds since then. Many pundits now think that he is the best midfielder that plays in La Liga with is a huge compliment when you consider the competition.

The Sevilla midfielder has been widely compared with his fellow Frenchman Patrick Vieira who at his peak was one in the best in the world. If he keeps on making the kind of progress he has made over the last six month, he could be the best in the world in his position.

It was a disastrous first game for Sevilla for N’Zonzi as he was sent off. The fans did not take to him and many jeered him at home matches. He was heavily criticized by the Spanish media and many though they had just spent 10 million euro on a dud.

Since the arrival of Jorge Sampaoli though N’Zonzi has improved remarkable. The new manager has managed to get the most out of the player and the team is flourishing because of it. The fans started to take to the player more after his influential display in the match against Liverpool in the Europa League final.

It was the first time in N’Zonzi professional playing career that he had won a trophy and that win has helped boost his confidence and make him into a better player. It was Sevilla’s third time that they had won it in a row and they are one of the best teams in Europe.

The player impressed at his former clubs, Blackburn and Stoke. His 6’3 frame is suited to the English game and at first, it was difficult for him to get used to playing a different style of football. In his last year playing in the Premier League, he made over 2000 passes which were only achieved by nine others. In the Spanish league, he has passed the ball accurately more times than any other player. On average the Frenchman makes around 78 passes per match and rarely gives the ball away. The high tempo game that Sevilla is known for is due to the leadership of him midfield pulling all the strings. He does not just sit in front of the back line like many do these days. Instead, he is a true box to box player and is great at both ends of the pitch.

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FA Cup 5th Round Preview

fa cup

The FA Cup returns this weekend with the famous tournament in the 5th Round. Teams in this part of the FA Cup are already looking at the dream of reaching the final at Wembley. With only 4 games until the final every fan starts to take the tournament seriously at this stage. With this the atmosphere at the stadiums this weekend will be great.

The full list of the games for the 5th Round can be seen below:

Saturday 18th February 2017
Burnley v Lincoln City
Huddersfield Town v Manchester City
Middlesbrough v Oxford United
Millwall v Leicester City
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea

Sunday 19th February 2017

Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur
Blackburn Rovers v Manchester United

Monday 20th February 2017

Sutton United v Arsenal

 

Highlight Matches

The games will be played across 3 days with their being not a single all Premier League tie, making some upsets highly possible. Aside from Lincoln traveling to Premier League side Burnley and Chelsea traveling to Wolverhampton Wanderers, here are our picks for the standout games of the FA Cup weekend. We have researched and found that the best FA cup betting odds can be found on 888Sport.

 

Blackburn Rovers v Manchester United

The two teams are not only based in close proximity but also rivals in the football world. For those who remember back to the 1990’s will know that Blackburn Rovers were once the main rivals of Manchester United, even so they beat them in the race to the Premier League. With strikers of Chris Sutton and Alan Shearer leading the line, they managed to win the Premier League against the odds.

This fixture is always highly intense and promises goals, especially at Ewood Park. Jose Mourinho will be sure to field a strong team to ensure they progress to the 6th Round.

Sutton United v Arsenal
sutton fc

This fixture is the reason why the FA Cup remains magical and is watched my millions of viewers around the world. The non-league side of Sutton United have never reached the 5th round of the tournament and have been rewarded with a home tie against Premier League powerhouse Arsenal.

Sutton United are currently in 16th in English football’s fifth tier, and play at Gander Green Lane, which has a 5,000 capacity – 55,000 less than Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.

Tickets for the game have just gone on sale and queues for the game are so big they are already around the full stadium. Arsenal have won the tournament 12 times and will be strong favourites to win even though they probably won’t field a strong team.

 

Match Preview: Manchester United vs Southampton EFL Cup Final

efl cup

The EFL Cup final takes place Sunday, February 26 2017 in front of 80,000 fans and millions watching worldwide. The fans of the final teams of Manchester United and Southampton will head to Wembley to watch this one off game. The current champions of the EFL trophy are Manchester City who beat Liverpool on penalties in last season’s game.

Semi Finals

Manchester United beat Hull City in the semi-final of the tournament whilst Southampton upset the odds by convincingly beating Liverpool to book their place.

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Southampton

saints

Having not won a major title since 1976, the Saints are confident of pulling off another upset with the manager turning things around in only his first season. The fans of Southampton will be confident going into this game having seen them beat every top team in the previous seasons when they play well. Southampton have a large fan base and regularly sell-out their stadium, St Mary’s for Premier League games. Whilst the team has no real stand out players, they do have some great team players and are very effective of winning games.

Manchester United

mufc

Manchester United are heavy favourites for this game but for one-off games this rarely means much. Jose Mourinho struggled at the start of the season resulting in many draws for the team, setting them way back in the chase for the Premier League. However since November , Man United have gone on to win 9+ games in a row and continued to shine.

Wayne Rooney recently became the highest goal-scorer of all time at Manchester United, surpassing Sir Bobby Charlton’s previously unbeaten record. With players now finally finding form including Martial, Ibrahimovic, Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan as well as Juan Mata, the future looks bright for the team. The obvious pressure will be on the Red Devils, can they live up to the expectation? We will find out on Feb 26.

Tickets

On February 26, 2017 at Wembley Stadium tickets for the match will be sold-out and be sold for hundreds of pounds on the secondary ticket market.

Final: Southampton v Manchester United

Date: Sunday, February 26, 2017

Location: Wembley Stadium, London, United Kingdom

EFL Final Tickets: Starting at £40 for official club supporters.

The good news for supporters is that unlike the FA Cup or other major finals, the EFL does provide a larger amount of tickets to fans from both teams. With an estimated 25,000 tickets going to each team this ensures that there will be at least a good presence for both teams, making the atmosphere special.

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