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Alexis Sanchez
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Top 5 dribblers in the Premier League

The Barclays Premier League is known for its competitiveness and quality of all the 20 teams involved in the top flight. Almost every club has its own star player, their own impact player than can change the course of the game on its head.

This makes sure that the entertainment value is always high in the English domestic league. But what makes it more interesting is the confidence of the players from all over the country. Here is a list of the top 5 dribblers in the Barclays Premier League so far this season.

  1. Wilfred Zaha (Crystal Palace):

Alan Pardew started this season with a bang winning games in a hurry but recently they have lost some form and find themselves in the second half of the table. But one man has been exceptional this season for the Eagles. Ex-Manchester United man Wilfred Zaha has been unplayable this season. He has attempted 7.4 dribbles per game in his 28 appearances, 3 more than the average Premier League player this season. He has been influential in all the games for the club and is surely showing what United let go when they put him on sale.

  1. Ross Barkley (Everton):

The 22-year old England international is only getting better by the day. He announced himself in the last season with a number of good performances and this season he has added some consistency to him and has been one of the best players for the Toffees this season. He has 7 assists to his name and has completed an average of 3.3 dribbles per game. His form has seen him assume an important role in England’s squad at the EURO16 in France later this year. He will have to be consistent if Everton are to play in Europe next season.

  1. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City):

With 15 goals and 11 assists to his name in 28 appearances, Mahrez has arguably been the best player in the league this season. He has the ability to drift past a player or two with ease and can score with both his feet. He has attempted a total of 5.6 dribbles per game on an average and has completed 3.2 of them on an average per game. He will surely attract a lot of interest from various clubs and at the age of 25, has loads of room to improve. He will have to continue his performances if Ranieri is to lift the Premier League trophy with the Toffees.

  1. Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal):

In more than 10 years, the Gunners have a real chance of winning the title this season but the chances are only getting slim by the day. However, the fans will be ecstatic with the performance of fan favorite Alexis Sanchez for the second year running. Sanchez at times seems to be the only player with passion on the field for the Gunners and it is depicted in the fact that he has attempted 5.3 dribbles and completed 2.9 on an average in a game. He looks like he can make things happen in the final third and will have to be at his best if the Emirates franchise is to win any silverware this season.

  1. Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace):

Known for his skill, tricks and his pace, 26-year old French international Yannick Bolasie has once again been an important player for the Eagles this season. He is a smart player who knows how to get past his man and has attempted 5.3 dribbles on an average per game. He has the ability to create chances and can outrun most defenders in the league. He has always been an asset for the Palace side and will remain one for the rest of the season if Pardew’s wants to get his side out of the glut they find themselves at the moment with 5 back to back losses at home. Bolasie has had no impact in the last few games and will have to find his form quickly for his club’s future.

 

Top 5 Asian players
Top 5 Asian players
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Top 5 Asian players in EPL this season

As the fans around the world tune in to enjoy the live action of English Premier League in every weekend, it is the same in Asia, a continent that has become an increasingly important source of revenue for the league. But at the moment, however, there is a dearth of Asian players in England’s top flight. You have Son Heung-min at Tottenham, Ki Sung-yueng at Swansea City, Shinji Okazaki at Leicester City, Crystal Palace’s Lee Chung-yong and Moya Yoshida at Southampton. Here we have tried to pick out top 5 Asian players in Premier League this season.

Son Heung-min (Tottenham)

Tottenham signed the South Korean winger from Bayer Leverkusen last summer, and he has so far enjoyed an impressive debut season in the top flight of English football.

The 23-year-old attacker is already a fan favourite at White Hart Lane, but Son believes he still has a lot to offer Mauricio Pochettino’s team. He has been so far used in a rotational role at Tottenham, and while forced to compete with the likes of Nacer Chadli and Erik Lamela for a place in the starting eleven. Son has given Spurs certainly a different option going forward, and his work-rate always meant that he slotted in naturally with Pochettino’s preferred style of play.

The energetic forward has made 34 appearances for Tottenham so far, scoring on five occasions with 5 assists on his name.

Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City)

Okazaki was brought to Leicester City from Mainz last summer, but he has quickly adapted to the hardship of Premier League. The Japanese international might not have scored frequently, but his efforts have consistently provided the perfect foil for Jamie Vardy. Many say that his importance to Leicester has often been overlooked throughout this season. the 29-year-old centre-forward has so far scored 5 goals with 2 assists from his 30 appearances in all competitions this season.

According to Ranierie’s style of play, the front two start dropping too deep, which means as soon as you win back the ball, you cannot break quickly. Normally teams end up losing the ball and play almost all the match on the back foot and eventually concede. But Leicester get the distances between the blocks of players exceptionally right. Vardy always stays right up on the centre halves, not allowing them to squeeze space and Okazaki manages the spaces between Vardy and the midfield perfectly.

Maya Yoshida (Southampton)

Yoshida joined Southampton shortly after they began their first Premier League season following a seven year absence. He actually received some criticism for his early performances, and some fans even questioned his ability to look solid at the top level but last season it was a sensational one for him. This season, the 27-year-old Japanese centre-back has been fighting hard to make himself regular in the starting line-up as he has played only 19 matches in EPL this season. However he looked much more assured whenever got chance.

Ki Sung-yueng  (Swansea City)

When the South Korean midfielder arrived at Celtic for a then club-record £5.5m back in 2012, he eventually brought with him a devoted following. As the captain and pin-up of his country, Ki was then inundated with letters, gifts and even South Korean food and drink from his legion of admirers.

Ki is already a stalwart of the South Korean team with 80 caps at just 27-years-old, and he has also established himself in Swansea’s first team – albeit in circumnavigated fashion. He won the League Cup in his first season with the Premier League club but had to spend the next campaign on loan at Sunderland, before returning to the Liberty Stadium in 2014 and winning the Welsh club’s player of the year award. This season the veteran defensive midfielder has played 27 matches with one goal and one assist in all competitions for Swansea.

Lee Chung-yong (Crystal Palace)

Lee Chung-Yong had been a star performer for Bolton Wanderers during his stay at the club but following six years, the South Korean international finally decided it was time for him to move on to greener pastures during the January transfer window in 2015 and Crystal Palace came calling for Lee’s services and Bolton agreed a deal said to be worth £2million to sell the winger. This season the 27-year-old has played 15 matches for Crystal Palace scoring only once.

 

 

 

 

10 talking points from this weekend in the Premier League

Entertaining, the only word that can describe the action in the Premier League this season. With just over a month and a half left in the season, the stakes are higher in every game and there were plenty of games that have had a say on the points table.

From the thrilling North London derby to the Baggies victory against United, there was plenty to talk about from this weekend. Here are 10 talking points from the 29th round of Premier League fixtures:

  1. Arsenal hate playing with 11 men in big games:

The Gunners have picked up a bad habit of losing players in big games. Against United, Chelsea and Barcelona and now against Tottenham, Arsenal were shown a red card reducing them to 10 men. This was the first game they took a point from and will not be gutted with the end result.

  1. Remi Garde’s time at Villa is up:

Villa showed no resilience at the Etihad as they were shoved away with 4 goals by Manchester City. They are definitely going down this season and the manager will have a tough time convincing the board that he can lead the side back into the Premier League this season. Surely his time at Villa Park is all but over.

  1. The Magpies have all to do with the rest of the season:

Newcastle lost to the Cherries this weekend at home in a result that will see them put in the 19th place in the points table. They are close to relegation but are just a point away from safety. They will have to fight hard for the rest of the season to stay in the top flight for the next campaign.

  1. Sigurdsson sends the Swans clear of relegation:

The 1-0 victory over relegation threatened Norwich City took the Irish outfit to 33 points in the 16th position 9 points away from the drop zone. They are surely safe for this season and will need to finish off the season strongly to go into the next one on a high.

  1. Diouf rescues a point for Stoke:

The Potters looked down and out of the game at Stamford Bridge but a late header from Diouf saw both teams share a point from this weekend. Chelsea are now unbeaten in their last 12 league games and find themselves 10th in the points table.

  1. Sunderland happy with a point:

The Black Cats opened the scoring late at the St Marys and looked like taking away all three points before Van Djik equalized for the home side. However, the relegation threatened Sunderland will embrace the points that takes them clear of the drop zone by just a point.

  1. Hammers compile a stunning come-back:

After two goals in the less than an hour, Everton looked like they took the Hammers to the cleaners but Slaven Bilic’s side came back into the game and took away all three points with three goals in the last 12 minutes of the game. Antonio, Sakho and Payet gave the Hammers a memorable win in a thrilling encounter this weekend.

  1. Celebrations begin in Leicester:

A solitary goal from golden-man Riyad Mahrez was enough for the Foxes to see out the Baggies on Sunday as Leicester City opened up a 5 point gap over Tottenham after the end of this weekend. 5 points in this season is a lot to cover and barring any last minute slip-ups, Leicester City are set to lift the title for the first time this season.

  1. Three in three for Liverpool:

Since the 2-2 draw against Sunderland, Liverpool have scored 11 goals and conceded just one winning all the three games that they played the latest being against Palace. A late controversial Christian Benteke gave Liverpool all three points after they were a goal and a man down even before the hour mark. They need to stay consistent till the end of the season to entertain thoughts of European football.

  1. Damaging defeat for Louis van Gaal:

The recent results have seen the Red Devils find some form in an important time of the season but Juan Mata’s suspension gave United little to work with as they were dumped by a solitary goal from Rondon this Sunday. They are now 6th in the table three points away from a top-4 spot.

 

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Crystal Palace vs Liverpool: Preview, predictions, expected line-ups and betting odds

The high that the 3-0 victory against Manchester City at Anfield gave, will not have worn off for Liverpool when they travel to Crystal Palace this weekend in the Barclays Premier League. The manager asked his troops to stay angry for the rest of the season but it will not be easy against a side that has often troubled the Reds.

Palace won the previous dual this season 2-1 at Anfield and Pardew will hope that his team puts out a similar performance and ends a 11 game winless streak. Recent results have not been helpful for the London outfit after the good start to the season and they will hope to find some form going into the end of this season.

Here is the preview of the game along with the team news, predictions, expected line-ups and betting odds.

The Crystal Palace vs Liverpool game will be played on Sunday the 6th of Match at he Selhurst Park in London. The kick-off is scheduled at 1:30 pm BST (7:00 pm IST).

Team News:

Alan Pardew’s side will miss the services of Jason Puncheon for this game as he is out injured for another week. Except him, Palace have a fit squad for this game barring the long term injuries to McArthur and Appiah. Wickham who has been in good goal scoring form off late will once again start for the home side on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp confirmed that defender Lucas Leiva is out for 6 weeks after picking up a thigh injury in the League Cup final. Rossiter, Stewart and Gomez are the only other injury worries for Klopp who is expecting Mamadou Sakho to be fit to start on the bench at the Selhurst Park. Martin Skrtel might be back in the starting line-up after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Expected Line-ups:

Crystal Palace:

McCarthy, Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare, Cabaye, Ledley, Mutch, Zaha, Adebayor, Bolasie

Liverpool:

Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Skrtel, Moreno, Milner, Henderson, Allen, Firmino, Coutinho, Sturridge

Key Battles:

Connor Wickham vs Martin Skrtel

Skrtel might be given a start in this game with Sakho coming back from a head injury last Sunday. He will face a tough task on his comeback against the likes of Connor Wickham who has been in red hot form in the last few games. It will be an interesting battle between these two all throughout the game.

Roberto Firmino vs Scott Dann:

Dann has been exceptional for Palace this season and has saved them a number of time from embarrassing situations. He will be against a tricky player in Firmino who is finding his feet in the Premier League. With good quality players around him, he can be dangerous and prove to be the difference between the two sides on the night.

Key Stats:

Crystal Palace have won six of their last 11 meetings with Liverpool in all competitions (W6 D2 L3).

In four of the last five matches in all competitions between these two sides, the team scoring first has not won (W1 D1 L3).

The last two Premier League meetings at Selhurst Park have seen the Reds take a 1-0 lead and lose 1-3 and a 3-0 lead only to draw 3-3.

The Eagles have gone 11 Premier League matches without a win (D4 L7).

Palace have gone nine Premier League games since they last kept a clean sheet, conceding 21 goals in that run.

Betting Odds:

Crystal Palace: 29/10

Draw: 12/5

Liverpool: 11/10

Predictions:

Liverpool have not won at the Selhurst Park in the league since 1997 and will have to be on their toes to get anything from this game. But Palace have looked off color in recent games and will surely wilt under pressure if Liverpool can continue their performance from the City game.

Our Prediction:

Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool

EPL team of the week
EPL team of the week

Barclays Premier League: Game Week 28 Team of the week

There was no respite for the Premier League teams in the mid-week as a whole round of fixtures were sizzling all around the country. It was not a great round for the big clubs as City, Arsenal, Tottenham and Leicester, the top 4 teams all dropped points. Come to the end of the season, this weekend may prove to be the difference between winning the title.

Here is the Team of the Week for the 28th round of Premier League fixtures:

Goal Keeper:

David de Gea (Manchester United):

The Spaniard was once again on top of his game as he denied Watford to keep a clean sheet and help his team take all three points from this round.

Defense:

Jon Flanagan (Liverpool):

The Merseyside local lad did not put a foot wrong on the night as he helped his side to a clean sheet against Manchester City in their 3-0 victory.

Steve Cook (AFC Bournemouth):

Scored the first goal for his side against Southampton and was also solid at the back to help the Cherries to a 2-0 victory on the night.

Ramiro Funes-Mori (Everton):

Was a solid presence at the back for the Toffees in the 3-1 victory over Aston Villa. Scored the opening goal of the game from a Mirallas corner to set his team to a perfect start.

Kyle Naughton (Swansea City):

Was a constant threat for the Gunners on the night as his pace and trickery were too much to handle. Also showed some great strength at the back to see off Arsenal in the closing stages.

Midfield:

Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City):

Scored the equalizer in Leicester’s 2-2 draw against the Baggies. Was superb all night dictating the midfield for the home side.

Kevin Mirallas (Everton):

Was simply unplayable against Villa in an all-round performance where he picked himself two assists in their 3-1 victory.

James Milner (Liverpool):

The England international was electric all night with his tireless running and closing down of his opponents. Also picked himself a goal and an assist on the night.

Attack:

Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City):

The Swiss international showed his class in a closely contested game against Newcastle United as he scored his first goal at the Britannia Stadium and gave his side all three points with a 1-0 victory.

Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace):

Was a livewire up front for Palace as he helped himself to a brace and helped his team draw 2-2 against Sunderland in the mid-week.

Adam Lallana (Liverpool):

Arguably the player of the weekend, Adam Lallana was everywhere for Liverpool as he made life disgustingly hard for the Manchester City back four. He was smart and slick with his moves and picked up a goal and an assist in a man of the match performance for the Reds at Anfield.

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