Power Ranking Manchester United Players 3.0: Top 5 Changes

Manchester United’s midfield masterclass ensured they dominated City, but it turns out playing an entire last 45 in the opposition half at home doesn’t guarantee a goal. Joe Hart denied Chris Smalling from an amazing opportunity, while Jesse Lingard hit the crossbar to keep the game 0-0. Here’s the updates to the United Player Power Rankings.

Note: City played like a little team that wanted to frustrate historical giants in their backyard. They played 3 holding midfielders, and Wilfried Bony was basically a midfielder. Also, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones haven’t yet played enough games to get onto the list but they were wonderful on the day.



Manchester Derby Preview Part 2: Combined XI

The Manchester Derby is coming closer and closer, and this time it means a lot in the EPL race. Manchester City will be looking down at Liverpool as they are closer to the Reds than they are to the leaders, Chelsea. Meanwhile, United will be looking to keep up the pace or overtake Arsenal in the leaderboard as the Gunners travel to Turf Moor to play Burnley.

The Derby is a great showing of some of the best talent around, and I’ve built a super-team around which players would make the best combined team (formed in a 4-2-2-2). This is also based on form, so though Yaya Toure, Angel Di Maria, Vincent Kompany, Radamel Falcao, Robin Van Persie and Luke Shaw are fantastic players, they don’t show up in the team for today. (more…)

Manchester City vs Crystal Palace Review: Masking a Maligned Midfield

Yesterday, I wrote about how all of the teams with good midfielders ended up being victorious over the weekend. The interesting thing, though, is how just 3 hours after the article was posted, Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace executed a tactical system that is able to mask a poor midfield.

Going into the match against Manchester City, Pardew knew that Yaya Toure and David Silva would have Palace’s midfield duo in knots. He also happened to know how to get a smash and grab despite all this. (more…)

Arsenal vs Liverpool: Match Preview, Predictions, Predicted Lineups

Arsenal will play Liverpool at the Emirates (3rd vs 5th) in a match that is vital to either side’s Champions League hopes. Arsenal lead Liverpool in the table by 6 points, a healthy tally, but considering the run-ins, Arsenal will probably want to extend that to 9. Liverpool, on the other hand, will be looking to minimize Arsenal’s advantage with the hope they can pull something out of this season- other than one major epiphany in December. (more…)

Transfer News: What is the Best Destination for Gareth Bale?

Gareth Bale seems unsettled at Real Madrid, as per ESPN, and he is reportedly eyeing a return to the Premier League. Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and his former club Tottenham Hotspur. The question to ask right now is where he will fit best rather than where he will go, and just for the sake of comparison I’ve added Liverpool and Arsenal to the mix. (more…)

Chelsea News: Where the Blues Need to Reinforce

Jose Mourinho has built a very good, and almost complete team at Chelsea. There are some places that could do with some purchases that will complete the team, though. Where need Chelsea reinforce?

In net, Mourinho can choose from Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois, so they have one of the best goalkeeping forces in the world. In defence, John Terry and Gary Cahill are there along with Kurt Zouma, but the former two are ageing. On the defensive flanks, Chelsea has Cesar Azpilicueta, Branislav Ivanovic and Filipe Luis, and Zouma can deputise in this position too (Ivanovic deputising in centre back is a possibility too). In midfield, Nemanja Matic, Ramires, John Obi Mikel and Cesc Fabregas are all options to choose from, though it seems Mikel isn’t good enough, Fabregas needs to be pushed further forward and Matic burns out eventually due to being overplayed. In attacking midfield, they can choose from Eden Hazard, Juan Cuadrado, Willian, Oscar and Loic Remy can play there too. Up top is perhaps their deepest position, with Diego Costa, Loic Remy, Didier Drogba and there’s also a young Patrick Bamford waiting for a promotion to the first team. (more…)

Liverpool Transfer News: How Mauro Icardi Would Fit In

Liverpool has been linked to Mauro Icardi according to multiple sources, most notably ESPN. With Liverpool in need of a player in a couple of positions, they’ll be looking to prize away one of Europe’s elite scorers to potentially pair Daniel Sturridge.

Tactically, Liverpool’s key to success this season has been the 3-4-3 with Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana or Raheem Sterling as a sort of dual no. 10 system. No team is able to give a defensive midfielder as much stress as an in form Liverpool, as Lallana or Sterling looks to break away (or distract) the marker while Philippe Coutinho takes advantage of the crammed centre by floating in and out of the middle. Though this makes the best out of Lallana and Coutinho, it can leave Liverpool very open on the counter in midfield and on the wing, especially with Alberto Moreno and Raheem Sterling at wingback (reputation for a clanger!). In addition, Daniel Sturridge needs a partner up top and Mario Balotelli doesn’t seem dependable as the only option considering Rickie Lambert is a misfit tactically and Fabio Borini really isn’t there yet. This is why Mauro Icardi can complete the system. (more…)