Sunderland vs Norwich Betting Tips, Preview & Predictions

GW24 - a summary and tips.

Leicester 2 - 0 Liverpool
We'll kick this round-up off with the most headline-grabbing game since Liverpool's last match away at Norwich. World leaders have unified over Jamie Vardy's goal, with Barack Obama hailing it as "the most beautiful shot since Bin Laden's assassination". His Holiness The Pope has also relinquished his abstinence in order to "make love to that sweet, sweet volley". In other news, Riyad Mahrez is being reconsidered by Leicester sceptics after he lumped a ball in Vardy's direction and had a shot on target. Great play from the Egyptian prince. Moreno still hasn't scored or assisted since everyone said he was a must-have, and Firmino had 2 efforts on goal - 35 less then against Norwich. Mignolet proved he might be a good shout, providing he isn't facing a Deity.
My tip - Triple Captain Vardy every week
Norwich 0 - 3 Tottenham
Dele Counter vindicated those who picked the youngster, scoring in the 2nd minute. The boy is so sick he had to get subbed off with an illness. Fortunately for Spurs, Norwich's new signings are already fed-up with playing under the looming gaze of Delia Smith, and Dele's horse-faced teammate capitalised with two goals either side of half time to make it 8 goals in 8 games for the horse.
My tip - Back the horse
Arsenal 0 - 0 Southampton
Southampton have sold their soul to Fraser Forster, who has rewarded them with 4 clean sheets in a row. Arsenal haven't scored in the last three, with the assist-king Ozil getting all the more frustrated with his shite teammates. Walcott was apparently subbed on, though even with the latest technology, pundits and scientists have struggled to locate him. Had Giroud's finishing been nearly as sharp as his flawless jawline, this game could have been winnable for the Arses.
My Tip - Giroud is too good looking to drop. Keep him for the eye candy.
Sunderland 0 - 1 Man City
Aguero, in talismanic form, capped his goal with what is quickly becoming his trademark: a look of anger and anguish. Despite announcements that Pellegrini will be making way for a trendier manager, Man City kept the pressure on the team comprised of Jesus and his minions with a hard-fought 1-0 win. Kevin de Bruyne, who was taken out of the squad after it emerged he's actually a 12 year old boy, was hardly missed as Man City's all-star squad filled in the gaps more than adequately. Sunderland fans can take heart: they acquitted themselves well, and reports are emerging that Big Sam celebrated the spirited performance by eating Raheem Stirling after the game.
My tip - Raheem Stirling 50% doubtful for next game, depending on Big Sam's shitting schedule.
West Ham 2 - 0 Aston Villa
Villa continued their pursuit of the fewest points earned in a Premier League season with a worthy loss at West Ham. Villa, who came dangerously close to winning another game last week, set out their stall early with an inspired move to get Jordan Ayew sent off. The Hammers didn't make it easy for them, however, and the threat of 5 consecutive games without a loss for Villa loomed until Antonio's 58th minute header. The away stand breathed a sigh of relief as Kouyate doubled the Irons' lead in the closing stages of the game - a defeat that brings Villa ever closer to a historic season.
My tip - if you don't have three West Ham midfielders then take a good look at yourself.
Crystal Palace 1 - 2 Bournemouth
Palace's fall from Grace (whoever she is) continued in triumphant form as a Wilsonless Bournemouth surprised us all with a win once again. It had all looked a little castaway for Bournemouth after Callum's departure, but the minnows have proven that with Daniels and Francis at the back, anything is possible. Nothing but self-flagellation for the Dann sceptics, but his yellow card should hopefully bring them some comfort.
My tip - make sure you have every Bournemouth defender
Man Utd 3 - 0 Stoke
Perhaps the biggest head-turner of the Gameweek, as Man Utd managed to find the net 3 times: for the stat lovers, that's 40 times as many as their whole season combined. Butland lovers, or those from the Isle of Butland, will be cursing Stoke's poor defensive display, but credit has to be given to 13 year old alien Anthony Martian and his goblin strike partner.
My tip - the goblin could be a good differential if you hate horses
West Brom 1 - 1 Swansea
A recent survey concluded that -45 people in Britain like West Brom. Indeed, even the players have spoken out, with Dawson going so far as to imply that he'd rather play under Delia's reign. Despite that, an actual Salmon managed to deny Swansea of a rare win in the 92nd minute. Questions will have to be asked of the Swansea defense, but credit to the Salmon for having the initiative to grow legs and poach a goal so late on. A gripping game for the neutrals, but Tom Jones and other people from Wales will feel hard done by here.
My tip - Siggurdson could be the new Catherine Zeta-Jones
Watford 0 - 0 Chelsea
Diego Costa stole the headlines once again, this time for the right reasons. The Spaniard, known for his rough and ready approach to the game, managed to only get himself booked once in this match - a personal best for him. Subsequently, Ladbrokes have closed betting on the Nobel Peace Prize, stating that Diego was "a shoo-in" for the accolade, who's winners also include Roy Keane and Kony 2012.
Watford, who went into the game as clear favourites, might feel aggrieved at the result - they, like the rest of us, know that the possibility of 3 points seldom comes as easy as this.
My tip - find a way to work Frank Lampard into your squad if you don't have him already.
Everton 3 - 0 Newcastle
The absence of John Stones gifted Everton their first clean sheet since 1904, against a Newcastle side lacking enough money to score goals. Stones, who recently picked up the award for the most overrated English youngster, was visible in his absence, as Everton's defense manged zero unforced errors between them. Boss Rarkley scabbed too many points in the last 10 minutes, crushing the hopes and dreams of the many armchair pundits who thought they had cracked the enigma code by bringing in Delefeou as a cheeky alternative.
Despite Newcastle's recent signings, including the controversial acquisition of three different colored eggs, they offered very little going forward. Perhaps the Wijnaldjedasdklsdfm bandwagon will finally grind to a halt so we can all get on with our lives.
My tip - get rid of anyone who's name is longer then 23 letters
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Leicester City pre-season guide

As you will all be aware of by now, LCFC are a team not to be underestimated or written off, and are a team that can play with an attacking vigour that is complemented by their defensive perseverance and determination. The focus and confidence that was displayed so admirably throughout the course of last season tie together these qualities and as such, The Foxes are poised to establish themselves as a solid Premier League team this season.
LCFC could provide a number of quality options at cheap price points, many having the bonus of a small selection percentage, so put the kettle on, get your reading glasses out, and enjoy a brief summary of the selection choices ahead.
After the devastation of the 12/13 playoffs Damn you, Troy Deeney!, a sensational 13/14 season in the Championship saw Leicester truly shine, netting a mighty 83 goals and achieving a phenomenal 102 points, with a mere 6 losses along the way. Promotion was assured and the 14/15 return to the PL was to be an exciting prospect, but for the longest time, a frustrating and bleak reality. After some smashing performances against a run of tough opposition, namely Everton, Chelsea, Arsenal, Stoke and Manchester United in the first 5 GWs, the team displayed dynamism and fight, direction and commitment, and the results (DLDWW) were excitingly promising. This spirit never wavered, however, after the monumental high of a 5-3 home win against Manchester United, providence turned. 2 draws and 11 losses later, LCFC sat seemingly hopeless at the bottom of the table. A brief glimmer of hope over Christmas saw 2 wins and a draw, but back again came the poor results. 6 losses and 2 draw later, a lesser side would have capitulated, and like origami, folded under the pressure. However, other than two less than average performances against Villa and West Ham, the side came out every week and played with consistent teamwork, ambition and direction that was painfully unrewarded, but will hopefully prove to be their greatest asset going forward.
Gloriously wrapping up the end of the 14/15 campaign with 7 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss (to a Chelsea side looking to bury any competition for the title by that point) Leicester City topped the end of season form tables in Europe. Over the last 9 games, scoring 17 and conceding just 9, the fight finally came to fruition and survival was at long last assured!
With a number of solid, smart signings over the summer, and potentially more to come, optimism is justifiably high going into the new campaign.
In contrast to last season, these are fairly good opening fixtures; I would say six out of eight here are feasibly winnable.
It is worth noting, before you read any of the following, that the exciting appointment of Claudio Ranieri will have a significant impact in the team selection and squad rotation, which is going to be very hard to predict until the season is underway. Ranieri has encouragingly stated, in his first interview as LCFC Manager, that he is looking to play to the current strengths of the squad rather than overhauling entirely and attempting to fit a square peg into a round hole. He explicitly mentioned admiration of the style that Pearson had successfully worked into the team, of three and the back, and two on the flanks, which ended up being the decisive strategic move to ensure survival in the Premier League. It is also noteworthy that, over the course of his long career, Ranieri has earned the nickname ‘The Tinkerman’, for his liberal approach to squad rotation. It remains to be seen how ‘nailed on’ anyone will be in the new LCFC, but I think we will line up much like during the last couple of months of last season; pacey and attacking, utilising the wings and the speed of the frontmen, whilst relying on a tough back three and a deep centre midfield, who enable the rest of the side in from of them through initially, titanium resistance and then smart, creative forward play.
SCHMEICHEL - 4.5m: Leicester City’s and the Danish National Team’s #1 keeper; The Main Dane, Son of the legendary Peter Schmeichel, Kasper is the same age now as when his father signed for Manchester United. A spell of injury put him out for a few months last season, which coincided with our poor run of results. An incredible stopper from close range, he has saved us on many crucial occasions when the defence was caught short. Cheap, nailed on, and will be great for bonus points from saved shots, seeing as LCFC are not quite the public transport valets as some other noteworthy teams in the Premier League are!
Verdict: A solid choice for #1 goalkeeper this season. The only thing that puts me off sticking him between the sticks is that there are some strong options in the Leicester defence, and I would not advise gambling two clean sheets on one team until the season is underway and we can see who is performing well enough for that risky strategy.
HAMER – 4m: Signing from Charlton Athletic last season as a backup for Kasper, and was soon called upon to be just that. In spite of only one seasons Championship experience, he found himself facing the best in the world in the Premier League, and performed admirably. He lost his place almost as quickly as it came though, with the return of Schmeichel and the signing of Schwarzer, and he now finds himself third on the bench.
Verdict: Avoid, unless you are playing the no rotation strategy of doubling up with both keepers from one team, to keep things cheap and ensure a starting keeper each week. LCFC are as good a shout as any for this; the back line has been significantly strengthened with the signing of Huth, the current formation of three at the back working as well as it does (conceding only 5 in 9 games while deploying this at the end of the season under Pearson), and the fact that there will still be more chance for bonus points for saves made than in a more established Premier League side.
SCHWARZER – 4m: After signing from Chelsea midway through last season, the 42 year old immediately replaced Hamer in goal whilst Kasper was still recovering from an injured foot, despite Hamer’s solid performances. Schwarzer’s decades of top flight experience will have bought valuable contributions to the training ground and the dressing room; however this double edge sword means that he is unlikely to keep that second spot on the bench for long, with a young, athletic, and proven backup behind him.
Verdict: Avoid. Schwarzer played with Pearson at Middleborough, their previous relationship being a contributing factor to his signing, and it is unclear if Ranieri will trust the old Aussie over Hamer. I would wager he will not (he was not on the Barclays Fantasy Football website team sheet list as a selection option until a couple of days ago, so I’m sure there are others far more informed that I who were expecting the same!), but I suppose we will have to wait and see.
MORGAN – 4.5m: Captain to LCFC and ‘The Reggae Boyz’ Jamaican National Team, Wes is as solid as they come in a back line. Last season the CB stopped more shots than a police bust at a college party, and led by example in a defence whose strategy (at least until the 343 formation had been successfully applied) largely revolved around acrobatic bravery in front of goal bound balls. If Kasper was Whitney Houston, Wes would be Kevin Costner. This could prove very lucrative with the new bonus points system in place this season (a bonus point for every 2 blocked shots, tackles in the box, or interceptions for a defender, rather than for every 3). I’m putting the extraordinarily high ownership (18.7%) down to the fact that he is the highest scoring 4.5m defender from last season. This is a team selection strategy for the uninitiated, and I would in fact use it as justification to avoid him, as the high ownership will inevitably see his value drop quickly if results are not instant or consistent. He will be missing the start of the season due to Jamaica's fantastic run in the Gold Cup, so expect that value to drop immediately as uninformed fantasy managers notice his absence.
Verdict: I suspect that while the improvements in the new bonus points system for shots, blocks and clearances will benefit a CB with the ability of Wes, the potential for reward for a couple of our other defenders, from their attacking qualities, will probably outweigh this. However, a nailed on 4.5m defender in a team that got as many clean sheets as De Gea managed last season could prove a viable bench or rotation option. That high ownership means that he will drop in price quite quickly, especially considering he will miss the first few games of the season, as opposed to Huth, who is just as nailed on and will play in the same position, alongside Wasilewski and Morgan at CB. Certainly consider picking him up later when his price has settled at it's lowest value
SCHLUPP – 5m: Schlupp is listed as a defender despite the fact that he played LM or LW 25 times last season, and only in LB 5 times. He is frighteningly fast, strong, attacking and direct, and will launch explosive runs down the flanks, slicing defenders to bits, cutting in to shoot, or hitting it from 20 yards out. Pearson would play him as a LW with three CB, and as Ranieri claimed in his first interview as manager, he will be looking to stick to this formation that worked so well last season. Schlupp is young, came through our youth academy system and is improving in great bounds, having recently established himself as a first team player in the Ghanaian National Team and one of our most reliable attacking and creative outlets. It is entirely likely that he will utterly explode this season, and I would wager that the 3 goals and 4 assists which he tallied last season will look paltry come GW38.
Verdict: Buy him. First name on my team sheet; an attacking midfielder listed as a defender is enough to justify the 5m price tag alone, but not only is Schlupp shaping up to be one of the most exciting young talents in the Premier League, he is a playmaker and goal scorer in a team that will also grind out their fair share of clean sheets. There are rotation risks with the new man Christian Fuchs, who has played very similar roles in his time at Schalke 04, at LB, LM and LWB. However, Fuchs is far more imposing in defence, and Schlupp far more direct in attack. Fuchs could play alongside Wes and Huth with three at the back, or at LB, with Schlupp in front. I see them forming a formidable partnership together on the left. Hold fire on both if you are feeling cautious and want to wait for the team selection and formation to settle down, but expect to see big things from the glorious Ghanian this season.
WASILEWSKI – 4.5m: The monstrous Polish International will likely line up alongside Huth and Morgan to complete the back three that worked so well towards the end of last season. He is, much like his two partners in the same position, a big, mean, persistent ‘no nonsense’ defender. He is prone to the odd overly aggressive challenge, and as such, is a yellow card waiting to happen every time the opposition have the ball anywhere near him. He does the job, if not occasionally with a little too much vigour, and has won the hearts of many fans with his fierce contribution to defence last season.
Verdict: Formidable defender for the team, but choose Morgan or Huth (choose Huth) if you want a 4.5m Leicester CB, as Wasilewski is a little less reliable and experienced that his counterparts in the same position, and as such, may see himself rotated out of the squad by ‘The Tinkerman’.
HUTH – 4.5m: Since signing on loan from Stoke in the January transfer window last season, the gigantic German Mauer proved to be the fulcrum in a strong, aggressive back three, alongside Morgan and Wasilewski. Signing for three years this summer off the back of his terrific influence in Leicester’s Premier League survival campaign, he has clearly established himself as a defensive staple in the line-up. He will get up into the oppositions box for corners and has a powerful head on his shoulders too, making him somewhat of a goal threat from set pieces, scoring one in the 13 or so appearances he made for us last season.
Verdict: Similarly to Morgan and Wasilewski, I think that our fullbacks/wingbacks will provide more lucrative returns by way of the potential for goals and assists over the centerbacks on whom they rely. A strong 4.5m choice if what you need is a cheap nailed on starter for a team that will likely be rewarded with a medium amount of clean sheets over the course of the season. The towering head of his could net a couple over the course of the season; an area in which the set piece proficiency of new signing Fuchs will surely aid.
SIMPSON – 4m: After a successful promotion campaign with QPR, Simpson signed for LCFC last year, and eventually earnt himself an occasional spot at LB when playing the now out of favour flat back four. Only 7 appearances, stiff competition and a formation that puts others in the squad ahead of him; not a promising fantasy pick at all.
Verdict: Avoid. I thought he had been sacked earlier this year for throttling his girlfriend, but apparently not. He displayed hard work, if nothing else spectacular, in his appearances last season. He is versatile in defence, and will be looking to start fresh, with a clean slate, in front of a new manager who has not settled on a formation or a team sheet yet, which should be taken into account for his potential in the upcoming season, but I would not expect to see him play much at all, other than for some squad rotation at some point mid-season.
DE LAET – 4.5m: Once a staple name on the team sheet in the Championship, De Laet inspires more in terms of a good fantasy team name (‘Ctrl+Alt+De Laet’) than a good fantasy squad selection. Starting in 20 games last season, it became clear that he was prone to making abominable errors in between his regular unassuming defensive role at RB/RWB, for which he competes with Simpson. His mistakes cost us goals last season, and once again, the current favoured formation will see him find it even harder to secure a spot in the starting line-up. The imminent and likely signing of young French RB Marcel Tisserand is an axe hovering over De Laet’s head.
Verdict: Avoid. Not nailed on, nowhere near as competent or attacking as our other fullbacks, and better picks in Morgan and Huth at the 4.5m price point.
KONCHESKY – 4.5m: If you had asked a LCFC fan halfway through the 14/15 season where we need to strengthen the squad, 9 times out of 10 you would have heard lamentation for a LB. Despite the fact that, over the years, he has been a generally reliable defender who works hard and likes to get forward and take the odd shot on, I can’t help but fret and watch, for the entire 90 minutes he is on the pitch, as you would watch a film like Halloween; holding your breath and waiting for the inevitable gruesome mess. It has generally been considered that LB was our weakest position on the field, because Konchesky was our only LB. The signing of Christian Fuchs this summer has relieved that concern.
Verdict: Avoid. He is past his best, and finds himself lacking the pace and vigour needed in the Premier League in that position, and despite striking the odd decent shot last season, even scoring a screamer against Villa, I don’t see much game time or potential in him this season at all.
MOORE – 4m: The young England under 21 International is our reserve CB, sitting on the bench behind Wasilewski, Huth and Morgan. A player with ample potential, I am certain he will become a solid defender in time. However, only 11 Premier League appearances last season and the current solid accord between the three CBs ahead of him mean that it is almost certain he will play off the bench, if at all, for the most part of the season. As Wes is out for the Gold Cup early on, he could see some initial starts, but expect to see them wane with Morgans return.
Verdict: Avoid. Reserve CB, will need an injury or a poor run of form from Huth, Morgan or Wasilewski to get game time. That being said, Moore is a young player who is developing fast. This, coupled with Ranieri’s apparent favour of rotation, could see more time on the pitch that I am assuming he will get.
FUCHS – 5m: Captain of the Austrian National Team, the aptly named Fuchs is an extremely exciting improvement to the squad. With his wealth of Bundesliga, Champions League and International experience it is entirely possible that he will hit the ground running in the Premier League. A set piece specialist, he succeeded in 2 goals and 4 assists for Schalke 04 last season, and in a team set up as LCFC are it is likely that he will be utilised for his attacking prowess as much as his defensive contribution. He will more than likely take direct and indirect free kicks, and even corners. Albrighton, Mahrez (and Cambiasso… please, please, please stay with us!) will provide competition for set pieces, so again, we will have to wait and see who wins Ranieri’s confidence.
Verdict: Fuchs could be an incredibly lucrative pick for 5m. Virtually nailed on in a fairly strong defensive side, with a mind for attacking play; top class crossing and delivery and a wicked long shot, he presents all the qualities needed for a top fantasy defender. The quick flank breaks that LCFC affirm great proficiency in will play to his strengths, and I am hopeful that he will prove to be one of the Premier League signings of the season. Watch for the potential of rotation with Schlupp, as discussed above; the returns from his set piece duties could offset the more direct attacking disposition of Schlupp.
MAHREZ – 5.5m: The Desert Fox and now established Algerian National team staple, Mahrez is a player who is developing some incredible creative attacking skill. A little unpolished, his relatively young age and the clear improvements he has made during his time in CAM, RW and RM at Leicester City so far suggest the potential for him to become a phenomenal attacking midfielder in time. 4 goals and 5 assists in his debut Premier League season, he is poised for an exciting campaign to come. He is a wildly skilful and direct player, carving runs from midfield straight through opposition, goal-ward bound, or darting past a backline into the corner where he will swing crosses into the box. His chance creation and through ball ability is strong, and he can aptly put himself in great positions for reciprocation, making him dangerous on the break and in fluid, fast attacks. On his day, Mahrez will be the most dangerous man on the pitch, as he joyfully displayed last season, for instance, with two goals and ‘Man of the Match’ against Southampton. His shooting can be fairly wayward and is an area that needs work, but when he has his eye in, he is dangerous from 20 yards out. He takes the odd corner and free kick too, but those honours are currently under contention with the new signing of Fuchs. I see him getting a lot more assists this year, and a brilliant goal from distance during pre-season training suggessts he has been working on that tempramental shooting ability.
Verdict: When he turns it on, he will be everywhere at once; shooting from distance, taking players on, charging forward towards goal, making quick and clever passes, or making distance down the wing to fire crosses into the box. He is, however, slightly unreliable as he continues to develop his game, but at 5.5m, presents great potential in a cheap attacking midfielder. Consider Mahrez one to watch.
ALBRIGHTON – 5m: Albrighton’s first season with The Foxes, after signing from Aston Villa, saw the RM succeed with 2 goals and 4 assists in 18 appearances. His strengths lie in his solid crossing ability and eye for quick, key passes. If he is not looking to find possession on the wing, ready to put a ball into the box, he will plant the ball into the path of the front runners as soon as he finds himself in space. This plays well to the strengths of the squads attacking options, and could see him utilised frequently for such contributions. He often takes corners and free kicks, but as previously mentioned, this duty could be bestowed upon Fuchs.
Verdict: The only other current option alongside Mahrez for LCFC midfield coverage. His attacking and set piece potential could see good returns from the not-quite-budget midfielder, but with the addition of Fuchs in the squad and the clear ability in Mahrez, I would hesitate before lining him up in my starting 11; certainly one for the watchlist, but better options are presented elsewhere in the Leicester side.
KING – 4.5m: A first name in the starting line up in CM since 2008, the Welsh International has been a reliable player for LCFC in the middle of the pitch for years now. Whilst you would not necessarily label him an attacking midfielder, he certainly has an eye for goal, and will take a shot on from distance if given the space. In fact, as Leicester’s all time highest goal-scoring midfielder, bagging only 2 during last season’s Premier League campaign was disappointingly lower than his normal season average. He did not play consistently, however, and the team in its entirety found it difficult to score in front of Premier League opposition. As LCFC have strengthened the defence and forwards over the last year, it has left the midfield in noticeable need of similar talent acquisition. King is by no means head and shoulders above the likes of James and Drinkwater, and does not supply the same kind of creative forward play that Albrighton and Mahrez offer. Read this either way. The lack of options in CM could necessitate game time for King, but formation, squad rotation and potential new signings could push him even further away from the team sheet than he was last season.
Verdict: Avoid. At 4.5m, with his forward minded disposition, he is certainly one of the best midfield options out there at that price point if he plays. However, far from nailed on, and proving last season that he found it far easier to score in the Championship, I would wager that his time as a LCFC midfield pillar is being weathered away.
JAMES – 4.5m: Currently suffering from a knee injury, it could be a number of months before he returns to the squad. An aggressive and hard-working midfielder, he will be fighting to create attacks for those in forward positions, or taking the initiative himself and hitting (usually unsuccessful) efforts in from distance, if he is not risking a sending off by throwing himself into heady tackles from deep.
Verdict: Avoid. Injured, and not expected to be back by even Christmas. I couldn’t tell you where he would line up in the midfield roster anyway, as for the CM positions, Cambiasso has really set the bar so high it’s seeing pink elephants in the wallpaper.
DRINKWATER - 4.5m: Another solid mainstay on the team sheet during the Championship promotion campaign of 13/14 season, Drinkwater scored 7 and made hard work look easy in the midfield. He has seen strong competition for the CM spot in the Premier League; as with King and James, none of whom shined, they all suffered from rotation whilst Pearson was figuring out the formation and best squad for each game. Drinkwater has a very good eye in picking out forward through balls, and takes tackling seriously. However, a Premier League first team position is far from guaranteed.
Verdict: Avoid. He was brilliant in the Championship promotion campaign, but this from did not really translate to a difficult first season in the Premier League. I would certainly expect a lot of rotation, and if we do not sign a new midfielder to dominate in the role that King, James and Drinkwater have struggled somewhat with in the 14/15 campaign, we will certainly suffer. Here’s to hoping that a stronger team with a year’s experience behind them will see our CMs look as good as they did a couple of years ago, but I would not hold my breath.
HAMMOND – 4.5m: Older and far more defensive in midfield than the aforementioned CMs, Hammond saw only a handful of games last season, but still displays good control and a great talent for reading play. He may get more game time if Cambiasso does not stay, but I would expect to see him used as an occasional substitute, especially if we sign another much needed CM. Again, this is our weakest area on the field, in anxious need of a new signing to relieve the mighty defensive back line and to enable our rapid forwards. Dean Hammond can do neither.
Verdict: Avoid. Will not be used much this season I would reckon, and generally used to playing more defensive roles, he is not a good fantasy pick. The CM spot will get strengthened eventually with a new signing, and I would then call time on the first team LCFC career of Hammond.
KNOCKAERT – 4.5m: I don’t know why he is still listed on the website, as he was sold to Standard Liege this summer.
Verdict: Does not play in the Premier League anymore. Buy only if you want to prove a point to your mates that you can beat them with a squad of just 14.
ULLOA – 6m: Signing from Brighton & Hove at the start of last season, the powerful Argentine centre forward was then our record signing. He justified the ~£8m we paid in the first month of his Leicester career, scoring 5 in 5 games, displaying a fantastic work ethic, great positional aptitude and a strong defensive contribution. He quickly became my favourite player in the side for this quality effort and attitude. Unusually nimble with the ball at his feet, Ulloa can hold the ball and play others in as successfully as he can make the six yard box his own. He excels with his head, and is our only real target man; the pace in our wingers and the set-up of the squad as it was when we shined during the last couple of months of last season will play very well indeed to the strong centre forwards strengths. The swift price rise he saw last season attest to the fantastic contribution he can make to the team, but his value subsequently plummeted when the entire side suffered a mirage inducing goal drought that began immediately after the riotous performance against Manchester United, in which Ulloa netted a brace. During the terrible, sustained run of losses, the side played good attacking football consistently, and were never short on creating chances. Had Ulloa had a more clinical finish, this run could quite possibly have ended sooner.
*Verdict: A quality centre forward, I trust that Ulloa will enjoy even more success this season than he achieved in the last, with 11 goals and 4 assists. His size and strength and dexterity with the ball at his feet give him opportunity for hold up play, quick lay-offs and passes in to enable assists. The whole team is shaping up strongly for this season, which should help Ulloa’s goal tally increase. Kramaric, Vardy and Okazaki all play similar styles of forward play, and as a straight up centre forward, Ulloa has a role of his own to fill in a team that is prone to pounce on the Premier League and score far more successfully this season than in the last.
VARDY – 6m: Delightfully deft with the ball at his feet and frighteningly aggressive at pace, Vardy earned his debut England call up off the back of some terrific displays in the Premier League last season. Not necessarily gifted with the most skilful ability or poise, what he lacks in finesse, he more than makes up for in aggression and tenacity. Vardy will ungracefully run hard at a defence, often from deep, and will tear them to pieces for it. Formations fail, players are pulled out of position, fouls are drawn, and nerves are wrecked when he takes it upon himself to blaze forward. His style of play works well to enable the centre forwards and attacking players by way of the space he can create, as defenders fight to keep up with his ferocious runs down the flanks. Here, he will tally assists by flinging crosses in towards his team mates. When he is hot, Vardy is microwaved jam. 4 assists, a wonderful solo goal, drawing two penalties and baiting a red card in a 5-3 victory, he terrorised the Manchester United back line into such dissolution I almost started to feel bad for them. Almost…
Verdict: 12 assists and 5 goals scored last season, he is more than capable of repeating this in the forthcoming campaign. More competition for his position with the signing of Okazaki and the improvement in Kramaric mean that rotation is almost assured at some point during the season, but Vardy is a player who, even off the bench, has ability in his wild and antagonistic approach that can change games. A bonus point and yellow card magnet in equal measure, but a threat from anywhere on the pitch, consider Vardy one to snap up if he nails a starting spot.
NUGENT – 5.5m: Basically the poor man’s Austin. He was invaluable in previous seasons, and his partnership with Vardy in the promotion campaign of 13/14 was devastating; he scored 20 of their combined 36 league total; his cool and happy disposition once belied a vicious goal scoring capacity, however, in the PL, he has failed to repeat the success he saw in the Championship, and I imagine he will sit last in line on the bench.
Verdict: Avoid. He will not likely get game time, and will hit the post or scuff it wide if he does.
KRAMARIC – 6m: The super sharp Croatian International, tipped by many in his home nation to be the next Davor Suker, was an astonishing, and club record breaking ~9.5m acquisition to the side in January. Kramaric was to shun persistent interest from Chelsea in favour of The Foxes and the promise of game time and development, signing during our time floundering at the foot of the table. This attests to his desire to accept a challenge, and shines light on a very humble and hardworking attitude. 35 goals in 27 games for Rijeka in the 13/14 season, he excels in poaching at close range, chip shots and flair. A skilful and creative striker, one who can move and run with swift intelligence, his potential is monumental. Wisely eased into the side by Pearson, extravagant efforts that may have worked well for Rijeka in the Croatian league have been easily countered by Premier League defences, and he has been caught in possession and muscled off the ball far too easily. This is clearly improving, and he scored his first home goal on the last day of the season. A summer of training with the squad will have hopefully stoked the fires further, under a firework whose fuse is ready to ignite.
Verdict: He still has some work to do to translate his game to the necessary quality to contend in the Premier League, but it is surely only a matter of time before the Croatian starts to turn heads all over Europe. Until then, Ulloa and Vardy present safer bets, but as soon as he starts scoring, he may not stop, so keep your eyes on his progress.
OKAZAKI – 6m: As exciting a prospect as Kramaric, Okazaki could adapt to the demands of the Premier League fairly quickly due to his ample Bundesliga experience with Stuttgart and Mainz 05, with whom he has scored an impressive 15 goals last season, becoming the most prolific Japanese player in German League history. Good with both feet and a genius first touch, he will appear in the middle of the area like a flash, and with a keen eye, will fire goal-wards. He can control a wayward cross with the most nimble of touches, and has a potency for on-target shots from tight angles or difficult positions while under pressure. A forward who knows how to be in the right place at the right time, any loose ball in the penalty area is one touch away from goal with Okazaki in the box, if he can stand up strong to pressure.
*Verdict: If Leicester’s problems last season stemmed from a lack of clinical finishing in front of goal (they did), then Okazaki looks set to remedy that. Once again, I would hold fire on selection as of yet, we do not know how well he will perform in new colours in a new league, or where he will line up on the team sheet. If he settles in fast, the potential for points in this 6m forward is huge, and if he nails a starting spot in front of goal, the likes of Kramaric, Vardy, Mahrez and Albrighton could very well feed the Japanese forwards appetite for goals.
TISSERAND (DEF): A young RB who has worked with Ranieri in the past and looks set to be on his way to The King Power soon.
Verdict: Could replace De Laet, and will probably be used in squad rotation until he establishes himself.
CAMBIASSO (MID): Our talisman last season, his experience and influence, on and off the field, provided strength and concord throughout the squad. He was our platform in CDM, creating play from deep and dictating the pace of the game and the direction of play with acute positional and tactical awareness. Arguably the signing of the season, Cambiasso was utterly indispensable, and it is more than likely that we would be playing Championship football this year had it not been for his magnificent contribution.
Verdict: Can take free kicks and corners, will poach goals from out of nowhere with his thunderous striking ability, and makes more forward passes than a drunk single Aunt at a wedding. ‘He’s maaagic, you knooow; Esteban Cambiassooooo!’
A CENTRAL MIDFIELDER: Watch this space… We narrowly missed signing N’Zonzi, and if we can re-sign Cambiasso and supplement him with another secure signing in this position, then watch out Europa League! We are coming for you!
Thanks for reading! This was a lot of fun to write, and I am so ready for the start of the season by now, I may go mad before kick off on the 8th August! Comments and edits welcome, any feedback and input will be much appreciated.
EDIT Cambiasso has sadly decided not to re-sign for the Foxes. He will, without a doubt, go down as a squad Legend for his immense contributions and influence last season. Thank you, Esteban, it's been glorious :') This only intensifies the need to sign another CM/CDM soon, and will present a good opportunity for Hammond, King and Drinkwater to get on the team sheet.
Hamer has been loaned full season to Nottingham Forest, with a recall clause. Good luck to him, he is a fine keeper and will benefit and improve further from game time, waiting to return and reclaim his second spot as the clock ticks on Schwarzer's ageing career. (As Hamer has been loaned out, Schwarzer has the second spot under Kasper now. With the dismissal of Adam Smith for the incident in Thailand and the expiry of Conrad Logan's contract a short while ago, we have no third keeper. Perhaps Ranieri has a keeper in his crosshairs?)
Pre-Season stand out players so far, after two games, multiple formation changes and 22 substitutions... Mahrez has impressed greatly, with flair and creativity in attacking midfield roles; Schlupp has displayed characteristic pace and power down the wing, stoking the fires of my high expectations for him this season; Albrighton has supplied a brilliant array of accurate, smart crosses into the box; Schmeichel has been on point, in solid form, and has made a couple of wonder-saves; Kramaric looks to be linking up well with his attacking partners, looked sharp, keen and scored a phenomenal goal from the edge of the penalty area.
Fuchs and Okazaki will need more time to settle, but both displayed glimmers of their potential amidst a somewhat temperamental and confusing baptism into the squad.
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A Guide to Crystal Palace

Since nobody else has done one, I figured I'd throw together a Crystal Palace guide. Before we start, it must be said that Palace are one of those teams this year where a lot of the players are gambles. The team is built in such a way that there isn't really an overreliance on any one player, potentially leading to lower scores. Add to that the fact that Pardew's honeymoon period is over, and Palace have quite a few choices that could potentially not be great pick despite ostensibly looking quite good. On the other hand, there's plenty of reasonably cheap choices that could absolutely come alive, so there's everything to play for.
First Five

Palace's first five games aren't particularly pretty reading. An away game at newly-promoted Norwich is nothing to be sniffed at, and then a home game against Arsenal isn't a great second game. Aston Villa at home is the only clearly winnable one of the lot, with Chelsea away and City at home not likely to yield great results.

  • Julian Speroni (4.5) - Manos de Dios has been at Selhurst forever and we love him, but I'm not necessarily convinced by him as a pick. Yes, he's cheap and behind a reasonably good defence, but at times last season he was beginning to show his age. He's still good and at that price he's competitive, but the next player is the main reason why I'm holding off on him for now.
Verdict: He's not a bad pick at all, but you'll need to watch him like a hawk to see any signs of decline emerging.
  • Wayne Hennessey (4.0) - This is the main reason why I'm not so hot on Speroni this year. Hennessey's been at Palace for about a year now, and he's getting impatient to get starts. He started Palace's last two games of the season last year and looked assured, to perhaps it's time for the giant Welshman to step up into a starting role. If he does, then get him in pronto, because over his career he's proven to be a reliable pair of hands.
Verdict: If you have to take one thing away from this guide, it's that taking Hennessey as your backup keeper is a double plus good idea. So long as he stays, he's a great pick for a cheap second choice 'keeper. Hamer's the popular pick, but Hennessey is the smart one.
  • Scott Dann (5.0) - Our best and most likely to start defender by far. Dann is a rock at the heart of the Palace defence, and his leadership is what makes the team work at the back. For 5.0 he's competing with the likes of Toby Alderweireld, Ashley Williams and so on, and I think he's decent value for that.
Verdict: If you want a Palace defender, he's by far and away the most reliable pick.
  • Joel Ward (4.5) - Ward's an interesting choice at a competitive price point. A defensively-minded right back, Ward's versatility has seen him fill in at left back and even central midfield over the past couple of years. With Souare bought last year, Ward is likely to start at right back this year, and he's not a bad choice at all for £4.5.
Verdict: He's reliable and rarely gets injured, which is good stuff for a £4.5. Worth a try.
  • Pape Souare (4.5) - A reasonably attacking left back, Souare had a torrid start to his Palace career before slowly growing into the role. He finished the season strongly, and is likely to reprise his role. Having Yannick Bolasie in front of him tying up opposition full backs and demanding double marking is a big bonus, but I can't recommend him just yet based on what we've seen.
Verdict: Better options at £4.5, but a likely week in week out starter at least.
  • Kelly (4.5), Delaney (4.5), Hangeland (4.5), Mariappa (4.0) and Fryers (4.0) - Martin Kelly is a versatile defender that Palace generally slot in where necessary. He's far from a guaranteed starter. Delaney, on the other hand, is likely to start, but he's 33 now and this might be the first steps of the final slope down. Hangeland isn't likely to start every week, and as a result isn't worth his 4.5 when the likes of Morgan and Huth are for the same price. Mariappa is the same as Kelly, just cheaper and less likely to start. Don't even look at Fryers.
Verdict: In order: maybe, perhaps, nah, nah, lolno.
Midfielders -
  • Yannick Bolasie (6.5) - Bolasie is our most attention-grabbing player, and likely to be the one most people look at, but there's a number of things one has to consider before springing for him. Let's take a look at his bad points first:
1) Bolasie is a hugely inconsistent player, in terms of runs of form, game-to-game and even within a match itself. When he's on - much of the middle of last season, that game against Sunderland, any time we play Liverpool - he's nearly unstoppable. When he isn't, he's rubbish. Don't rely on him to get you consistent points.
2) He is a truly awful finisher. Apart from that game against Sunderland his finishing has varied between terrible and pretty bad.
3) His production in FPL is highly dependent on his striker. Whilst that's true for many wingers, Bolasie is 'blessed' with some of the scarcest options for strikers to work off in the entire mid-table.

But there's a reason he's popular, after all:

1) When he's on, he's on. Bolasie can rack up double figures for a match in a few instants.
2) With the addition of Cabaye in midfield, Bolasie can expect more and better quality service than last season.
3) His price is competitive. For £6.5, his main competition will be teammate Cabaye, rotational players like Navas, less productive players like Deulofeu, or players who had worse seasons than him last year like Cabella, De Jong and Barkley.
Verdict: It'll be your choice with Bolasie, and it could reap huge benefits. He's not in my team for reasons I'll discuss next, but he's a huge wildcard who's coming off a good season and an excellent half-season under Pardew. My tip is to keep an eye on who Palace sign next: Cabaye will make Bolasie more effective, but a good striker like Palace targets Austin or Remy will immediately make him a very very good prospect indeed for that price point.
  • Jason Puncheon (6.0) - Jason Puncheon is my pick of the entire Palace team (minus Hennessey) for FPL. He's incredibly influential in the team's overall play, he almost always plays - whether it's on the wing or attacking midfield - and he's heavily involved in almost everything good the team does going forward. Since he's moved behind the striker, and especially since Pardew has come in, Puncheon has relatively quietly been Palace's best player.
Verdict: If you want to consider any Palace player, I'd definitely say Puncheon is your best bet. He's a player who has come into his own, he only costs £6.0 (which is huge considering that puts him in competition with the likes of Andros Townsend and Lazar Markovic) he plays centrally, he shits when he wants and crucially he's an excellent free kick and corner taker, though given the arrival of Cabaye I wouldn't necessarily put too much weight on that.
  • Yohan Cabaye (6.5) - Now here's a gamble! Cabaye's a huge purchase for us. As such, and given his undeniable quality, he'll likely start a lot for us. But there's a couple of things that make him a slightly less enticing prospect that you might think. Firstly, he might not be on freekicks and corners due to how well Punch has been taking them, so there could be a few points lost there. Secondly, and more importantly, I don't see him playing high up the pitch because Puncheon has made that his own spot. I'm not saying he won't, and for all we know Pardew might want to play him there and shift Puncheon back out wide, but given how well the wingers are playing I don't see that happening very regularly.
Verdict: I wouldn't, not yet. Palace have a nasty early schedule, so I doubt you'll be picking any more than two players from Palace right away, but Cabaye will be a perfect player to stick on your watchlist and consider after five or six games. By then, you'll be able to see how he's playing, whether he's on freekicks and crucially where he's being deployed. If all of those signs are good, £6.5 might prove to be a bargain.
  • Wilfried Zaha (5.5) - Zaha is one to consider. Zaha came back to Palace a bit of a broken bird after his ill-fated United spell, but some coaxing by Pardew brought back his confidence, and that brought back his form. Towards the end of last season he was one of our most consistently threatening players. That said, he's an enigma for this season, so it might be best to hold off.
Verdict: Zaha is likely to start, but for £5.5 I might be considering the likes of Nathan Redmond. Wait and see.
  • Mile Jedinak (5.0) - Jedinak's been a reasonably popular pick the last couple of years for his guaranteed two points per game along with a sprinkling of extras from clean sheets, free-kicks and penalties. This year, at this price though?
Verdict: Avoid. He's been phased out of the starting lineup in favour of McArthur, Ledley and now Cabaye, and he's less likely to be taking free-kicks and penalties. Still a good player, but at £5.0 he is not worth it.
  • Ledley, McArthur, (both 5.0) Mutch, Lee Chung-Yong (both 4.5) & others (all 4.5) - McArthur is more or less a nailed on start, he's been arguably our best player in the past year. That said, he's not likely to get many goals or assists, and given Cabaye is likely to be his partner is likely to get even fewer this year. Same goes for Ledley, a somewhat similar if more offensively-slanted player, and Ledley is likely to be the one to give way for Cabaye. All the others like Mutch and Guedioura are unlikely to see much game time, with the notable exception of Lee Chung Yong. He's versatile, hard working and a good player, and now he's recovered fully from his nasty injury he could see the pitch quite a lot.
Verdict: Keep an eye on LCY, especially for that price, but otherwise avoid.
  • Glenn Murray (6.0) - We love Glenn Murray at Selhurst. After fully recovering from his injuries, Pardew put his faith in the big man and Murray responded by putting in some big games in his purple patch. With that said, he's getting on, and Palace have been pretty openly chasing strikers this window. For £6.0 I wouldn't be tempted to take him unless there's a particularly juicy run of games coming up and his midfielders have been in good form.
Verdict: My heart says that I love him, but my brain is saying that he's not worth it, not when you've got the likes of Troy Deeney on the board for less.
  • Marouane Chamakh (5.0) - Chamakh's been a very good player for us at Palace, but he usually doesn't start as a forward (he prefers Puncheon's AM spot) and when he does he's ineffective.
Verdict: Cheap, but won't start and not worth it if he has to play as a striker anyway.
  • Dwight Gayle (5.5) - Oh Dwight, why won't you develop into a proper striker? Gayle's shown no signs of developing his all-round game since arriving a couple of years ago, and he's fallen down the pecking order behind better all-round players. He's played well in preseason so far and this could be his season to explode, but I doubt it.
Verdict: Unless we're playing Liverpool, I would avoid him.
  • Fraizer Campbell (5.5) - Runs around a lot, scores about 5 goals a season, not worth your money.
Verdict: Nah.

OVERALL SUMMARY - The one I would recommend without any caveats is Puncheon, and Hennessey's also a great pick so long as he stays. Past that, if you want to get points from Palace players, you'll need to pay attention. If Palace make a splash up front with someone like Remy or especially Austin, Palace's wingers in Zaha and Bolasie immediately look better value, so you can consider bringing them in, as well as the striker himself. A new centre-back would potentially improve the defence too, so someone like Dann could be worth it. If I were you, I'd avoid all of Palace's current strikers for now, with the exception that if Glenn Murray hits form, he could be worth a punt. Defenders aren't that value-packed either, so you'll focus mostly on Palace's midfield, where the likes of Bolasie, Zaha, Puncheon and Cabaye could turn out to be big points winners.
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GW25 - a summary and tips - part 1

Man City 1 - 3 Leicester City
In a groundbreaking move, Saudi Arabian officials have announced Riyad Mahrez is to become their new capital city following his dazzling performance at The Etihad earlier today. “He’s just a lot better than our current choice” said Abdul Beheadmaat, Saudi’s Minister of Culture and Executions. Mahrez, who had a point to prove after reading that 107% of his owners had benched him ahead of today’s early kick-off, is said to be delighted with Saudi’s decision.
Barclay’s Premier League top scorer and professional wooden block Robert Huth added to his tally with a delightful brace, further staking his claim for this season’s golden boot. Raheem Pound Stirling, the 3’5” youngster, did some running, and Aguero grabbed a late consolation, much to the relief of Claudio Ranieri, who had benched Huth and triple captained the Argentinian forward in a fit of over-thinking this morning.
My tip - never bench glove-wearing footballers
Tottenham 1 - 0 Watford
A special Mahrez filter for Facebook profile pictures was released today, as the world unified to commemorate those who had benched the Egyptian Prince in favour of Dele Counter. The collective groan registered as the Spurs playmaker came on in the 61st minute was apparently picked up on the Richter Scale, however the Delicatessen added some consolation with a quality ball to tee up his transparent team-mate, Tripwire, for a tap in 3 minutes later.
In other news, Pochettino apologised after it emerged he left Harry Kane’s blinkers on all game, forcing the horse to miss several easy chances in front of goal.
My tip - The horse is far better with some peripheral vision
Liverpool 2 - 2 Sunderland
This match managed to reach the headlines before it had even kicked-off, when news emerged that the poison Brendan Rodgers had slipped Jurgen Plopp a few months ago was finally taking its toll. The charismatic tracksuit wearer was hospitalised moments before the game, where he allegedly caused controversy by berating the nurses for not holding a tight enough back line. Reports are emerging that the lively German manager also refused a vaccination, stating that “unless it was an injection of pace, you can shove it up your arse”. Plopp is yet to comment.
The match itself proved to be equally as dramatic. After Llama’s goal, a Ploppless Liverpool looked sure to have wrapped up the three points, but an impressive last 10 minutes for Sunderland, including a debut goal for new signing Willam Defoe, rescued a point late on. The Black Cats only had 3 touches of the ball throughout the whole match, so they’ll be the happier of the two teams after a thrilling contest.
My tip - Willam Defoe might be worth a punt if he can keep up this form
Newcastle 1 - 0 West Brom
Not even the Salmon could rescue a point for West Brom, who suffered an away defeat to a rejuvenated Newcastle team. Ex-militant Mitrovic, who only joined the Toon Army because he thought it was an actual army, scored the only goal in a game laden with chances and eggs. One egg, the light brown one, hit the post, which is impressive for an egg. The news that Newcastle had enjoyed 69% possession was music to Steve McLaren’s ears, who responded with a wink and an “oi oi, cheeky.”
Wijnasdkfjkjfkjfddsaum fans will be dismayed at another blank, with the dutchman confirming he will only score after everyone has taken him out of their team.
My tip - if you want Wijnaldasjkdsjzdbhsbdnsum points, bench him next week
Aston Villa 2 - 0 Norwich City
The city of Birmingham has been put under a high state of alert after numerous sightings of Delia Smith, armed with an AK47 in each hand and marching towards the midlands, have been verified. The Wicked Witch of the East, as she is affectionately known, has apparently killed several Norwich fans and Wes Hoolahan in a heated conflict near Carrow Road.
The result sends Norwich into the relegation zone - a fate that seemed destined after their pre-season loss to a field of potatoes. Bottom of the table Villa give themselves a lifeline, and a good performance by The Beautiful Prostitute, AKA AgBonneLaWhore, gives them another option going forward.
My tip - don’t be seduced by The Beautiful Prostitute - she’s very overpriced
Stoke 0 - 3 Everton
Residents of Butland County will find themselves disappointed once again as the promising keeper failed to keep a clean sheet against a rampant Everton team. Everton, still buoyed from the absence of John Stones, have never kept 2 consecutive clean sheets in their illustrious history, and find themselves vying for a Europa League place once again.
Having triple captained himself this week, Lukaku aggressively fought off competition for the 11th minute penalty, head-butting Boss Rarkley who had bravely stepped forward. The Belgian finds himself 3 points behind Ranieri in their 2-man head-to-head league, and will take heart from today’s haul.
Two players who aren’t Rarkley added to Everton’s first half tally, which no one gave a shit about because they’re not Rarkley. Another poor defensive display from Stoke will throw doubt over whether tripling up on Stoke defenders was in fact a good idea.
My tip - it’s still a good idea to triple up on Stoke defenders
Swansea 1 -1 Crystal Palace
Scott Dann performed self-fallacio in the middle of the pitch as he once again found the back of the net in this hard fought draw. Dann, who’s scored more goals for the Phallus then any other player in their history, has surely made himself a must have for FPL managers after he scored from close range, in similar fashion to every other goal he’s scored ever.
Milfy Siggurdson might just be the new Ayew. The former Iceland employee has scored again, much to the infuriation of everyone who’s already used their wildcard. The bastard.
My tip - a team comprised only of Scott Dann is your best bet at the moment
A report on today’s late kick-off, and tomorrow’s games, will be posted tomorrow evening
**Edit: If you really can't wait for tomorrow's update, I've started a blog (yeah, it's one of those shite self-promotion edits) where I've posted a few bits and bobs. It's here:
If you have a problem with this shameless plug, I have a mate called Jamie Vardy who would love to talk to you more about it**
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Daily Transfer News Thread - 07/22/2018

Auto-Refreshing Transfer News Thread from Sky Sports
Auto-refreshing reddit comments link


That's all for tonight, we will be back in the morning with more transfer talk.


Sky sources understand Celtic have made a third bid for Hibernian midfielder John McGinn believed to be in the region of £2million.
Celtic failed with bids of £1.5 million and £1.75 million in the past two weeks for the Scotland international.
McGinn, who has just one year left on his deal at Easter Road, is also attracting attention from clubs in England.


Manchester City have denied that they are in for Juventus playmaker Miralem Pjanic.
It has been reported that City were preparing an £89m bid for the 28-year-old.


Kilmarnock boss Steve Clarke says he is finding the transfer market frustrating.
Clarke has only managed to bring in one player so far - Bournemouth forward Mikael Ndjoli on a six-month loan deal.
He said: "We're speaking all the time to agents, trying to gauge the market, find out who is available on loan and who is available for nothing, as that is the market we're working in.
"We're working the market hard, although nothing is really falling for us at the moment - but we'll keep looking."


Liverpool and Manchester United are both in pre-season action tonight.
Liverpool are playing Borussia Dortmund, with summer signings Fabinho and Naby Keita involved in the squad.
And Manchester United are facing San Jose, with Anthony Martial starting.


Sky sources understand Huddersfield forward Tom Ince has had a medical at Stoke after the clubs agreed a £10m fee.
It’s hoped the move will be finalised in the next 24-48 hours.


Newcastle have turned down a loan offer from West Brom for Dwight Gayle, according to the Newcastle Chronicle.
Apparently the bid was "swiftly snubbed" by Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez, who is said to be keen to keep hold of the striker.


With plenty of transfer stories developing at the moment, here's a wrap of where we stand from the Transfer Centre on Sky Sports News...


Defender Scott Wharton has re-signed for Lincoln on a season-long loan from Blackburn Rovers.
The 20-year-old, who signed a new three-year contract with Blackburn on Wednesday, spent the second half of 2017/18 with the Imps.


Tottenham might be the only Premier League top-six side yet to sign anyone in the summer window, but striker Harry Kane does not seem too concerned.
When asked about Spurs' activity in the transfer window, Kane told Sky Sports: "That's up to the gaffer and the chairman, and I am sure they will get who they want and get rid of who they want.
"From our point of view we've just got to focus - we've got a great squad, we're growing and getting better each year, and it's important for us going into the new stadium just to keep progressing."


Napoli's president Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed Manchester United's Matteo Darmian is one of a number of full-back options they are considering moving for...


Jurgen Klopp expects Alisson to make his Liverpool debut against Napoli in Dublin on August 4.
Alisson joined Liverpool from Roma in a £67m deal last week but has been given extended leave after the World Cup.
"He is desperate to play. He could have joined us here in America but it made absolutely no sense," Reds boss Klopp is quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.
"He had a long year and, as Brazil’s No 1, it was quite an intense year, so I sent him on holiday again. There will still be two games to play and West Ham is only the first game of the season, not the last one.
"I would say he plays in Dublin [against Napoli]."


Norwich manager Daniel Farke has suggested the club might sign a new goalkeeper this summer.
Manchester City loanee Angus Gunn was Norwich's first choice last season, but Remi Matthews and Michael McGovern are currently competing for the No 1 spot.
"It is quite obvious we don’t fall asleep in the market because we have lost a goalkeeper, but it is also a situation that doesn’t concern me," Farke told the Eastern Daily Press.
"There have been some good games but also some mistakes. I am pleased with their attitude, they are both working hard. I trust them both and I would have no problem if one of them would be between the posts when the real stuff starts.
"I trust my keepers but without any pressure we can watch the market. Let’s see how it develops."


Stoke boss Gary Rowett has been talking to the club website about the addition of James McClean...
"James is a player I've admired for a long time. He has real quality with his left foot and he's an old fashioned winger in so much that he retains width and gives teams balance.
"I've spoken to lads who have played with him before, the likes of Darren Fletcher, and they have all said that he's a great guy to have around the dressing room and he's really, really popular with his team-mates."


Stoke City have completed the signing of James McClean on a four-year deal from West Brom.
The Potters have paid an initial £5million for the 29-year-old, although the fee could rise to £6million with add-ons.


AC Milan have confirmed the signing of goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who was a free agent after leaving Napoli.


Summer signings Raul Jimenez and Rui Patricio both made their debuts for Wolves today in a pre-season friendly against Bochum.
There were no goals for Jimenez, but Patricio did save a couple of penalties in a shoot-out...


Alex Iwobi is close to signing a new long-term Arsenal deal, according to the Daily Mirror.
It is reported that Iwobi has agreed terms on an improved contract until 2022.


Watford's Richarlison is set to have a medical with Everton in the next 24 hours.
Richarlison returned home early from Watford’s pre-season training camp in Austria and we are told the clubs are finalising a deal and the structure of payments.
The deal could be worth in the region of £50m, which would mean a huge profit for Watford as they signed him for £13m last summer when Marco Silva was manager.


Women's Super League side Reading have signed Millie Farrow from Bristol City.
The 22-year-old started her career at Chelsea and has represented England at both Under-19 and Under-23 level.


We understand Chelsea are one of three clubs interested in signing Anthony Martial from Manchester United this summer.
It is understood Chelsea have yet to make a formal offer but are keen on signing Martial, along with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.
Martial, currently with the Manchester United squad in Los Angeles, has a year remaining on his current contract and we understand he has told Jose Mourinho he wants to leave.
However, sources have told us that United are not interested in selling Martial and Mourinho has suggested he will be part of the squad for their opening game of the season against Leicester.


Jack Wilshere pulled on a West Ham shirt for the first time yesterday after joining from Arsenal...


Barcelona want to sign Senegal defender Moussa Wague, reports Mundo Deportivo.
Wague’s impressive displays at the World Cup caught the eye of Barca, who are working to bring him to the Camp Nou from Belgian outfit KAS Eupen.
The 19-year-old would link up with the LaLiga champions’ reserve side Barca B if he completes a move to the club this summer.


Sunderland want Aston Villa striker Ross McCormack on loan, reports the Mail On Sunday.
The report also suggests the League One side are also interested in Kilmarnock winger Jordan Jones.


Wayne Rooney has described his first start for MLS side DC United as a "tough" and "difficult" game.
Rooney's new side, who are bottom of the Eastern Conference, lost 3-1 to Atlanta United on Saturday at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
It was a frustrating afternoon for the former Manchester United and Everton striker. His misplaced pass led to Atlanta's opening goal and he later picked up a yellow card for a clash with Chris McCann before being substituted after 66 minutes.
"Today was a difficult game. Atlanta are top of the league and they're a good team," Rooney told the club's website. "We knew it was going to be a difficult game. We knew it was going to be tough.
"We had to hang in there at times and unfortunately we didn't quite do that well enough today. But there are still a few positives and I'm happy about more minutes on the pitch today which will help me. Overall, I'm disappointed with the result on a personal level."


Striker Korrey Henry has joined Yeovil Town, signing a one-year deal at Huish Park with a club option of extending for a further year.


Juventus will pick up their pursuit of Sergey Milinkovic-Savic again after being frustrated in their efforts to sign Paul Pogba and Adrien Rabiot, according to Tuttosport.
The report suggests Manchester United transfer target could leave Lazio for around €100m.


Anthony Martial can be "one of the best players in the world", according to Manchester United team-mate Ander Herrera.
Martial had a frustrating second season under Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford - scoring nine goals in 18 starts - leading to him being left out of France's World Cup-winning squad and linked with a move away.
Sky Sports News understands Martial is part of United's plans for the forthcoming season, despite his agent telling French media in July that he wants to leave.
Herrera has been impressed by Martial's start to pre-season and has backed him to rediscover his form this term.
"He's very talented," the Spanish midfielder said. "He can be one of the best players in the world and I think he is very focused this season to smash it. When you have players like Anthony, like Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Alexis Sanchez, those kind of players that can change the game."


West Brom are interested in highly-rated Scunthorpe left-back Conor Townsend, who could also attract an offer from his former club Hull City, according to the Mail On Sunday.



Axel Witsel is interesting Borussia Dortmund, according to Funke Sport.
The Bundesliga club would have to pay €40m to sign the Belgian international from Tianjin Quanjian in China, but the Belgium midfielder would likely have to take a pay cut to make the move.


Rangers have announced the signing of Ryan Kent on a season-long loan from Liverpool.


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits he is a fan of Christian Pulisic, but concedes a deal for the Borussia Dortmund winger is unlikely in this window.
Dortmund, according to reports, rejected a bid from the Merseyside club for Pulisic in 2016, but his father has since branded links with Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham as "hogwash".
Klopp, who is familiar with Pulisic having previously worked with the 19-year-old while at Dortmund, believes he is at the right club to further his career, but refused to rule out linking up with him in the future. When asked about the chances of Liverpool making an approach, Klopp said: "He has a contract at Dortmund, no? That's the first problem. I like Christian, I've known him since he was a kid. He's still not really old, he's a fantastic player, and it's deserved people think highly of him in America.
"In Germany, it's the same. If he wants to play in England or whatever one day then for sure he has the chance to do so but he's at a really good club for his development at this moment. It's really good to be at a club where they know him already. He had not his best season last year but he was still a decisive player but it's important in that age group that there's no rush. He still has 14 or 15 years to play in his career and that's good and he wants to be the best Pulisic he can be. For this, there is still space for development.
"If - at one point - he will join us, I don't know. I like him, it's not that that could be the problem, but we respect contracts still and there's no market I know about at the moment. We did our business and Dortmund are doing theirs. All good."


Wolves are considering triggering Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore's £18m release clause in order to beat Huddersfield to his signing, according to The Independent on Sunday.


Bayern Munich are closing in on the signing of Canada international Alphonso Davies, reports The Athletic.
Davies, who is on the books at Vancouver Whitecaps, has previously been linked with Real Madrid, Manchester United and Liverpool
However, it appears as though Bayern have won the race to sign the 17-year-old winger, who is set to join the German giants in a $12m deal.


Jurgen Klopp hits back at critics after Liverpool sign goalkeeper Alisson for a world-record £67m.


Leicester City have enquired about Everton winger Yannick Bolasie, reports the Sunday Express.
The report suggest the winger is also interesting his former employers Crystal Palace.


Here are the latest transfer rumours from our friends at Football Whispers...


Sunderland manager Jack Ross has ruled out a move for Rangers midfielder Greg Docherty, writes the Daily Record.


Jeffrey Schlupp and Joel Ward hope “irreplaceable” team-mate Wilfried Zaha stays at Crystal Palace this summer.


Steve Bruce says Aston Villa should now be able to "name their price" on midfielder Jack Grealish after investment into the club was revealed.
Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris and American businessman Wes Edens are set to take charge at Villa Park after making what is reported to be a "significant investment" in the Sky Bet Championship club. That deal could have a significant effect on Bruce's own future, as well as that of a number of high-profile players including Grealish.
Sky Sports News understands Villa and Tottenham have held talks over a deal for the 22-year-old, whose position as one of Villa's highest earners had made him most vulnerable in a potential cost-cutting position.
Bruce said: "I know for a fact from the owners - new investors - anybody wanting to buy Jack Grealish will not buy him on the cheap. It's only what somebody else is prepared to pay - what he's worth. Until I have the conversation I can't really answer the question. What is he worth? Who knows? [But] If we have to sell them then at least we get the right price for them and can move forward.
"When you're up against it and hanging your dirty washing out in public then the vultures are circling and ready to nick your assets. At least that's not going to be the case - well I know that's not going to be the case - because I've had that conversation already. So if anybody is going to buy one of our players now they are going to have to pay a premium."


Everton target Yerry Mina admits he may have to leave Barcelona this summer.
The Colombia international joined Barca from Palmeiras in January but has been tipped to leave the club less than seven months after arriving at the Camp Nou.
Everton have reportedly contacted the centre-back’s agent and the player has handed the Toffees hope by admitting he will be forced to leave Barca if the LaLiga champions do not want to keep him.
Speaking to Marca Claro Colombia, he said: “I have a contract with Barca and I want to succeed there. For now, proposals for me have come, but at the moment I want to rush through my holiday and then we’ll see. If they don’t want me, I will have to find the best way out, but I remember that my intention is to succeed at Barca because it’s the best team in the world.”


Get a full round-up of the back pages of this morning’s European newspapers HERE!


  • Yerry Mina has admitted his future at Barcelona is uncertain. The Colombian revealed offers have been made for him this summer and confessed that if the Catalan club don’t want him, he will have to look elsewhere for opportunities (Marca Claro).
  • Ousmane Dembele will not be sold to finance Barcelona’s move for Willian. The Frenchman has struggled to settle at Camp Nou since joining last summer, but the Arsenal and Liverpool transfer target won’t be leaving the club (Mundo Deportivo).
  • Juventus will pick up their pursuit of Sergey Milinkovic-Savic again after being frustrated in their efforts to sign Paul Pogba and Adrien Rabiot. The Manchester United transfer target could leave Lazio for around €100m (Tuttosport).
  • Thomas Tuchel remained coy on rumours linking Paris Saint-Germain with a move for Jerome Boateng. The Bayern Munich centre back has also been linked with a move to Manchester City and Manchester United this summer, but PSG are reportedly leading the chase (SportBILD).
  • Porto face a fight to keep Alex Telles. The left back has been the subject of a €30m bid from Juventus, with Paris Saint-Germain also reported to be interested in the 25-year-old (UOL Esporte).


Southampton boss Mark Hughes is happy to play the waiting game over Jordy Clasie as talks continue over a possible return to Feyenoord.


Mateo Kovacic remains firm in his desire to leave Real Madrid, reports Marca.
Kovacic last month revealed his desire to change clubs this summer, citing a need for regular first-team football. The Croatia midfielder met new Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui on Friday and asked him to let him leave. Lopetegui tried to persuade him to stay but Kovacic remains convinced that the best thing is for him to leave the Bernabeu this summer.
Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Manchester United and Liverpool are among the interested clubs who have contacted him and offered him the possibility of greater first-team action.
The 24-year-old wants to begin pre-season at a new club after his summer holiday. Madrid are starting to feel that they will have to facilitate the Croatian’s departure and would seek a fee of at least €50m.


Everton and England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford will be on Chelsea's radar if they decide to cash in on Thibaut Courtois this summer, writes The Sun On Sunday.


Jurgen Klopp has defended Liverpool's transfer spending after signing goalkeeper Alisson for a world-record £67m.
Two years ago, when Manchester United paid around £90m for Paul Pogba, the Liverpool manager insisted he would quit football if huge transfer fees became the norm.
Speaking before Liverpool's opening International Champions Cup match against Borussia Dortmund in North Carolina on Sunday, Klopp said spending at the top end of the transfer market had moved on.
"I'll do whatever it takes to make Liverpool successful," he said. "I couldn't have imagined since then that the world would change like it has. Two years ago £100m was a crazy number. Since then the world has changed completely.
"First and foremost my responsibility is to make this club as successful as possible. It's not about pushing through my thoughts or saying 'No, I don't want to buy players, I don't want to pay big money' and then in the end Liverpool FC is not successful. We have a really good team, a really good squad and to improve it is expensive. To find better players than we already have, they aren't waiting around the corner."


Arsenal and Liverpool are reportedly both in the running for Max Meyer after he was released by Schalke.
Take a look at his key statistics from last season here...


Max Meyer was hailed as the next wonderkid from Germany, but with the new season fast approaching, he is without a club. With the help of our colleagues at Sky Germany, we look at how he found himself in his current predicament.


Girona are keen on Manchester City youngster Brahim Diaz, reports Sport.
The La Liga minnows want to sign the 18-year-old playmaker on loan.


Joe Hart is keen to secure a permanent move away from Manchester City this summer and avoid going on loan for a third consecutive season.
Hart is back at City after loan spells at Torino and West Ham and finds himself third choice behind Ederson and Claudio Bravo. City boss Pep Guardiola has said he wants to "find a solution" for Hart and the 31-year-old goalkeeper is keen to begin a new chapter in his career.
"I need to go somewhere permanent, I think that's obvious," said Hart, who missed out on selection for England's World Cup squad. "I did what I did in the previous two seasons because I needed to play to be involved in the World Cup - and look where that got me.
"I'm experienced, I've played at the highest level for a long time and done a lot of things in the game. I need to be an important player at that club and I think that can only happen with a permanent move.
“Of course, if I don't find a solution which suits both parties, I'm contracted to Manchester City. I need to do what's right for me and my family and that's the decision I'll be making. It's a tough one, but it's a situation which will be resolved."


Manchester United are on the brink of a £1m deal to sign Rochdale teenager Daniel Adshead, according to the Sunday Mirror.


Take a look at Chelsea target Aleksandr Golovin's key statistics from the midfielder's 2017/18 season with CSKA Moscow.


Aleksandr Golovin's CSKA Moscow team-mate Sergey Chepchugov has given the biggest hint yet that the midfielder could be heading to Chelsea.
The club have been strongly linked with the Russian international and Chepchugov's Instagram post hinted that Golovin is heading to Stamford Bridge.
Chepchugov's post congratulated the midfielder on sealing a move to a "big club" and wished him well at Chelsea.
Golovin's official Instagram account @alex_golovin17 liked the post.


Claude Puel insists Leicester have not received any offers for goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
Sky Sports News understands Chelsea are considering a move for the Denmark international, who helped the Foxes to a ninth-place finish in the Premier League last season.
Puel is determined to hold on to the 31-year-old as he plans for his second season in charge at the King Power Stadium.
"I am not troubled about this," said Puel, speaking after his side's 4-1 win over Notts County in pre-season. "Of course Kasper is a very important player for us. He had a very strong World Cup. We need Kasper, with his character, his performance and his consistency."
When asked if Leicester had received any offers for Schmeichel, Puel said: "No. There is no problem with this. There is a lot of speculation at this moment, it is normal."


Meanwhile, Arsenal are in advanced talks with Borussia Monchengladbach to sign goalkeeper Yann Sommer, according to the Sunday Mirror.
Sommer is also a transfer target for Barcelona, reports Marca.


Simon Mignolet is on Barcelona’s five-man shortlist of candidates to replace Jasper Cillessen, reports Marca.
Cillessen, the Netherlands goalkeeper, has reportedly decided to leave Barcelona this summer and has been linked with a number of clubs.
As a result, Barca are scouring the market for replacements for the Dutchman. Their top targets are Wolfsburg’s Koen Casteels and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Yann Sommer, but other candidates to replace Cillessen include Liverpool's Mignolet, Real Sociedad’s Geronimo Rulli and Eibar’s Marko Dmitrovic.


D.C. United are beaten as Wayne Rooney made his first start for his new club.
Watch the highlights below...


Get a full round-up of the back pages of the Sunday papers HERE!


  • Chelsea and Bayern Munich are working on deals to sign Anthony Martial from Manchester United but neither side are willing to meet the £89.3m valuation. (Sunday Times). Meanwhile, Manchester United will resist any attempt by Tottenham to sign Anthony Martial, despite knowing that the Frenchman is tempted to leave Old Trafford. (Sunday Telegraph)
  • Jose Mourinho wants Manchester United to make a £65m move for Leicester defender Harry Maguire but he has to sell one of Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo or Eric Bailly first. (Mail on Sunday)
  • Arsenal are in advanced talks with Borussia Monchengladbach to sign goalkeeper Yann Sommer, who is also a transfer target for Barcelona. (Sunday Mirror)
  • Roma are considering making a bid for Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech following the sale of Alisson to Liverpool. (Sun On Sunday)
  • Daniele Rugani will travel to the United States to complete a £45m move to Chelsea and join up with the Blues' pre-season tour. (Daily Star)


And welcome to the Sky Sports Transfer Centre. It's time for transfers again so stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest news from around the world of football...
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[[Live**^Wycombe Wanderers vs Aston Villa live

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DETUBE BETTING TIPS & Predictions SOCCER TODAY. [17] Watford vs Norwich [20] 08 Jul 2020 (tips over) Premier League Week 37: Football Match Tips, Odds ... Football vip betting tips today on 14-7-2020 Football Betting Tips Today - 14 July 2020 - Premier League, Serie A, EFL Championship Predictions Manchester United Norwich City Live Betting Picks  FA Cup  Stoppage Time for Saturday, June 27

However, Sunderland’s poor returns in the month of August coupled with Norwich’s strong form at Carrow Road, make the home side favourites for this fixture. Norwich vs Sunderland: Bet Tips. FT – Norwich to win for 1.85 odds @ Bet365. BTTS and Over 2.5 Goals for 2.25 odds @ Bet365. Sunderland vs Norwich Betting Tips & Analysis. Sunderland have won 55%, drawn 40% and lost 5% of their last 20 home games. Sunderland have kept a clean sheet in 40% of their last 20 home games. Sunderland have failed to score in 5% of their last 20 home games. On this page you can find our predictions & bettings tips for the match between Norwich and Sunderland. Our predictions for Norwich vs Sunderland are based on a large number of factors such as direct meetings, Norwich last matches, Sunderland last matches, Norwich lineup, Sunderland lineup, standings, insider informations and so on. Sunderland vs Norwich City Predictions, Betting Tips, Preview, Head-to-head stats, Team Form Guide and Analysis, English Championship 10th April 2018 Dec 21, 2013: Sunderland 0-0 Norwich Mar 17, 2013: Sunderland 1-1 Norwich. Norwich City vs Sunderland Betting Tips and Odds. Bet365 have the following odds available for this match: Norwich are at 4/5 to win, a draw is at 5/2, and a Sunderland win is at 7/2. The odds for a Sunderland win look very enticing here, but it is one that we believe

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DETUBE BETTING TIPS & Predictions SOCCER TODAY. [17] Watford vs Norwich [20] 08 Jul 2020 (tips over)

Betting tips today with bettingexpert's Average Joe. Check some of Joe's predictions in Premier League, Serie A and Championship clashes today. You can check out Joe's profile on bettingexpert ... • Norwich vs Burnley ... For more soccer betting tips, picks and predictions, ... Serie A Week 34 Football Match Tips, Odds & Predictions - Duration: 48:15. In this video series we provide some Serie A predictions for the clash between Atalanta and Brescia. Visit our website for more related betting tips and feel free to share your own Serie A ... 13Th JULY FOOTBALL BETTING TIPS TODAY ... Chelsea vs Norwich [20] 14 thg 7, 2020 DETUBE BETTING TIPS & Predictions SOCCER TODAY. - Duration: 4:35. DeTuBe Betting Tips 3,258 views. New; Who is going to win in this Premier League clash Chelsea vs Norwich? Ready to bet? Visit our website for more related betting tips and feel free to share your own best bets and betting tips in the ...