Author Archives: Josh Challies

Arsenal’s Summer Hangs In The Balance Ahead Of FA Cup Final

Arsenal enter tomorrow’s FA Cup final in a bit of a mess, as it’s not clear what Gunners side we’re set to witness at the start of next season.

Whilst it’s more than likely Arsene Wenger will extend his contract, the general consensus from the fans is that it’s not what they want and the wealth of uncertainty hovers above North London this summer- with Wenger, key players and the board potentially set for exits.

The Gunners endured a sub-par Premier League campaign, finishing outside of the top-four for the first time in over two decades, and were on the receiving end of a drubbing from Bayern Munich in the Champions League- losing 10-2 on aggregate.

Tomorrow’s FA Cup final won’t heal those wounds but winning the trophy is a crucial step for Arsenal’s rejuvenation, whereas defeat could make their difficult task this summer all the more daunting.

Should Arsenal win tomorrow, they can consider the campaign as partly successful and the fact they’re winning honours will help them keep the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil at the club, as well as helping lure big-names in from elsewhere.

If they were to lose, as many expect, then it could be the final straw for players like Alexis and Ozil, as well as giving the Gunners a battle in their quest to lure potential targets to the Emirates Stadium. Crucially though, it would set-up a poisonous atmosphere around North London.

Failure to win tomorrow would be the latest frustration for Arsenal fans with Arsene Wenger and it would be difficult to spin any sort of positive out of the campaign to justify handing the long-serving Frenchman a fresh deal- so Arsenal are drawing a huge target on their back.

Lift the FA Cup and Wenger maybe, just maybe, be able to save some grace and have some support from the fanbase or, equally, it may allow him to walk away with his head held high after securing yet more success to cap off his fantastic tenure in charge of the Gunners.

Without FA Cup victory and a top-four finish, it would be extremely difficult for Arsenal to justify handing Arsene Wenger a contract extension and the club would be a time bomb, which would be set off at any stage next season when the Gunners endure a blip in form.

Arsenal’s backs are against the walls as they face a huge test to compete with the financial might of the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City and, in truth, it’s going to take the Gunners a long time to ever be considered the favourites for Premier League glory once again.

The glory years of Arsenal are a long way gone and any chance of salvaging a decent future in the coming years hangs in the balance ahead of tomorrow’s clash, as the Gunners will find it extremely difficult to keep key players and attract big names without being able to boast a trophy in their locker.

Crucial Summer Ahead For Tottenham, They Need To Prove Themselves

Tottenham Hotspur have excelled in the past two years under the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino but many still accuse them of simply benefitting from a purple patch and question their ability to remain at the top.

After two seasons fighting for the Premier League title, but ultimately falling short, Tottenham face a stern test next season to remain competitive as the rest of their title rivals will spend heavily- whilst the Lilywhites also have to contend with playing their home matches at the Wembley Stadium.

Tottenham’s European adventure was torn apart in England’s national stadium this season and the Wembley factor is a big concern for the Lilywhites next season, as is the fact that big clubs could swoop for their prized players this summer.

For Tottenham to remain competitive, they need another solid summer and need to show consistency in the battle to secure another top four finish- which could end the argument as to whether Spurs are here to stay, as it would seal three consecutive seasons in the Champions League.

Failure to do that, however, could lead Spurs’ wonder-squad to be dismantled following the World Cup next summer- so we asked our team what Pochettino’s side need to do this summer to continue fighting at the top.

Josh Challies (@Challies11)

Tottenham’s squad is largely consistent of up-and-coming players who’ve made a name for themselves at White Hart Lane and have been poached from arguably smaller sides. To remain at the top, they could probably do with luring a big player from a big club.

Signing a player from a top-four rival is unlikely but Spurs should look abroad and try to lure in a player from the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona, both of whom could be set to sell this summer as they compete major squad overhauls.

Alvaro Morata, Ivan Rakitic, Danilo and James Rodriguez are amongst the names that could be moving on- and each of those would be an excellent addition to Spurs’ squad, although Danilo and Morata would be the more likely options.

Shane Burns (@MediaShaneBurns)

Every year the same debate has resurfaced regarding Tottenham and the answer is who knows? Somehow the club manage to find gems in the transfer market and turn them into some of the league’s inform players.

Pace in wide areas is a must for Spurs however, and signing someone to rotate with Harry Kane must be considered. Other than that, realistically who can Tottenham attract that may improve their impressive form?

Tom Scholes (@TomScholes316)

It’s going to be an incredibly difficult 12 months for Tottenham, with Spurs looking forward to playing every home game at Wembley next season, but also have the task of keeping hold of their star players. It is vital for Spurs that they add depth to their squad, as that is almost what has held them back at times this season.

Players like Ross Barkley, Wilfried Zaha and perhaps Michael Keane would really bolster the squad, however the latter does seem incredibly unlikely. Signings like Moussa Sissoko and Georges Kevin N’Koudou haven’t quite worked out, so it’s time to really reinforce their squad and buy strong in the summer.

Sam Cox (@SamRCox_)

Replacing the apparently Manchester City bound Kyle Walker has to be top of the list. Kieran Trippier has enjoyed some great displays this season, but the importance of full-backs in Spurs’ play makes that addition key.

Then it comes to the final third. Georges Kevin-Nkoudou and Moussa Sissoko have suffered from being out of favour and poor form respectively. Heung-min Son, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli have had superb seasons, but there are times where the lack of an option or two from the bench has cost Spurs.

Chelsea continue to be linked to Premier League star, he might not be worth it

Chelsea seem set on improving their attacking lines this summer as Diego Costa continues to be linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge, whilst Michy Batshuayi has endured a difficult maiden campaign in the Premier League.

With Belgian youngster Batshuayi linked with a loan move away from the Blues, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility for Chelsea to enter next season without both strikers- and that increases the necessity for the Blues to spend in this area.

Of the names to be linked with a move to Chelsea, Everton’s Romelu Lukaku is a player who is consistently mentioned- but there are concerns as to whether the Belgian would be able to excel on his return to Stamford Bridge.

Lukaku seems keen on a move, as he feels he has unfinished business at Chelsea, but he may not be the ideal fit- despite boasting an impressive return of 52 goals in 109 Premier League appearances since moving to the Toffees.

It’s a fierce debate as to whether Lukaku would be the right fit at Chelsea, so we asked our team their views- and it’s fair to say the opinion was split.

Sam Cox (@SamRCox_)

If Chelsea had Romelu Lukaku instead of Diego Costa this season they would not have won the league. Costa’s spats with officials and defenders are the street-fighter side of his game, but the former Atleti man has led Chelsea’s line through timely goals, smart movement and constantly occupying opposition defenders.

Costa’s post-rumour form has been indifferent, yet signing Lukaku alone would leave Chelsea’s attacking options looking weaker. Lukaku’s streaky goal scoring would be an issue at Chelsea and the Belgian’s price tag must make Chelsea consider their other options this summer.

He could be a brilliant signing longer-term, but as a direct replacement for Costa for next season it is a risk.

Shane Burns (@MediaShaneBurns)

Lukaku’s form this season cannot be understated, however, question marks remain whether he can achieve a similar vein of form at a massive club. Ultimately his career at Stamford Bridge was a flop – the majority of which was through no fault of his own – however, replacing Diego Costa is another story.

The Spaniard has his faults, but it must be remembered he has guided Chelsea to two titles in three years – and one with Atletico Madrid before his move to West London. So to conclude, Lukaku isn’t ready just yet.

Josh Challies (@Challies11)

There’s no doubt Romelu Lukaku has excelled at Everton and deserves his chance at a bigger side. However, he does seem a bit short of taking the mantle as a leading player for a Premier League side as his consistency is an issue.

Whilst he usually finishes the season with a decent amount of goals, these usually come in quick flurries of form with two-to-four goals a match amidst large periods of finding the net- and many have accused him of simply performing against the smaller clubs.

There’s certainly some truth to that claim but if there’s anyone who can help Lukaku fill his true potential it’s Antonio Conte, as he’s got the best out of a Chelsea side this season that many considered to be quite weak.

Tom Scholes (@TomScholes316)

All signs are pointing towards a return to Stamford Bridge for Romelu Lukaku, and on paper it seems like the perfect move. With the Belgian coming off of a fantastic season on Merseyside with Everton, he would be the ideal replacement for Diego Costa. His power and finishing is what Conte likes in his team, and with Pedro and Hazard on either side of him, the service into Lukaku would be plentiful.

He has all the traits to make the Blues forget about Costa, who has been a good player for Chelsea, but has always flattered to deceive at times. Costa is a very patchy player and Lukaku would add a certain level of consistency to really take Chelsea to the highest level.  

If Man City Lose This Superstar, Is This Ace A Ready-Made Replacement?

Manchester City endured a transitional season under the guidance of Pep Guardiola this summer and the Catalan boss will complete a major squad overhaul this year.

The Citizens have already confirmed Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna, Willy Caballero, Jesus Navas and Gael Clichy are on their way out, whilst the likes of Joe Hart, Aaron Mooy and Fabian Delph could follow.

Of the names linked with an exit, the future of Sergio Aguero remains a pressing concern for the majority of Manchester City fans as it would be a bold move from the club and could come back to haunt them.

Gabriel Jesus’ explosive start at Manchester City has left Aguero’s first-team spot under threat and the Citizens look like they may cope without their starring Argentine. However, the second-half of the season has seen speculation that Aguero could leave reduce significantly.

Should a new striker arrive though, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Aguero is moved away from the Etihad Stadium and we asked our team whether they can see the South American leaving and whether Gabriel Jesus is ready to take the mantle as their leading forward.

Shane Burns (@MediaShaneBurns)

Aguero leaving was – and still is – a story which gathered momentum by the press because the out-of-form Argentine was dropped by his manager. The striker has been in devastating form since the arrival of Gabriel Jesus and his best years have certainly been rekindled, with the duo playing alongside each other more frequently, a partnership rather than a rivalry is developing between the two and being expertly guided by Pep Guardiola.

Jesus is earmarked as the long-term replacement for Aguero when he does decide to leave in 2019, but needing only 11 goals to become City’s all-time leading scorer, don’t expect Guardiola to call a halt on his six-year City career anytime soon.

Tom Scholes (@TomScholes316)

All signs are pointing towards Sergio Aguero leaving Manchester City in the summer, and with how Pep Guardiola sets his sides up, you can see why. Let’s admit it, Aguero isn’t the player he used to be due to his previous injuries, and Pep requires a high intensity press from his forwards for the majority of games. Maybe Aguero doesn’t have it in him anymore to work in a Pep style of play, but Gabriel Jesus certainly does and he’s being touted as the replacement to Aguero.

Jesus certainly has the potential to be as good as Aguero, but to heap so much pressure on someone so young could be very damaging. The Brazilian would need help from Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane to really do some damage in the Premier League.

Sam Cox (@SamRCox_)

Sergio Aguero will stay. Should he not, however, Gabriel Jesus is a more than able deputy.

The fearsome thing for City’s rivals, though, is the prospect of this dazzling City attack having Aguero and Jesus fully fit for a full season along with Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva.

Josh Challies (@Challies11)

Sergio Aguero will certainly see his playing time reduced next season but it’s difficult to envisage him leaving Manchester City this summer. If he does leave before his contract ends in 2019, expect the move to take place after next summer’s World Cup.

Gabriel Jesus is a top-quality player and should shine for many years to come with Manchester City. However, putting so much faith into a youngster just months after his arrival is a dangerous game and he could crack under the pressure if Aguero leaves.

With Jesus and Aguero, City boast two of the best strikers in the league and if Pep Guardiola can mould them into a dynamic partnership, then the rest of the division will be left quaking in their boots.

Liverpool Face Major Challenge To Keep Star-Man, He Could Leave

Liverpool made great progress under Jurgen Klopp this season and the Reds sealed their minimum objective of returning to the Champions League next term.

Klopp’s side narrowly sealed their spot in the top-four, finishing one point ahead of Arsenal, and it’s clear the Merseyside giants need significant summer activity if they are to compete for major honours next season- especially with both Manchester clubs set to spend heavily.

However, Liverpool’s lack of recent history in European football and their financial restrictions when compared to their rivals makes it difficult for the Reds to maintain a top-class side and keep hold of their key players, with question marks surrounding the future of Philippe Coutinho.

The Brazilian ace has attracted the interest of Barcelona in recent seasons and the Catalan side’s restructure this summer could see them launch a move- which Liverpool would find incredibly difficult to fend off.

With speculation surrounding Coutinho, we asked our team what they believed would happen with the Brazilian and what it would take to keep him at Anfield.

Sam Cox (@SamRCox)

Liverpool’s summer is more significant than their rivals’.

The club’s creaky 2017 is a concern and – while Champions League football will return to Anfield – they must finally address long-term recruitment issues. Additions like Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Joel Matip have been splendid, though they now need to replicate that sort of investment throughout the squad to add depth and build a squad capable of holding their own against the might of their top six companions.

Prove they can do remain genuine contenders and Philippe Coutinho will find it much harder to leave the adoring Kop. Equally, clubs are unlikely to move for him just yet as his talent is yet to produce consistently enough.

Josh Challies (@Challies11)

The next year is crucial for Liverpool as they need to cement themselves as top-four regulars and genuine contenders for the Premier League title, rather than being consider a side that will dip in-and-out of the top spots in English football.

Securing Champions League football this weekend was vital to keeping Philippe Coutinho and their chances of keeping the Brazilian long-term likely hinge on the next year, as I do believe he will remain at Anfield this summer- but a move after the World Cup in 2018 is a possibility.

To have any chance of keeping Coutinho, Liverpool need to make a statement of intent this summer by securing big names and showing they can compete with their rivals- which means eyeing players that don’t currently represent lower-ranked sides in the Premier League.

Tom Scholes (@TomScholes316)

Philippe Coutinho is the player that Jurgen Klopp should be looking to build his team around in the summer, and he must do everything in his power to keep him at Anfield. If Barcelona come in for the Brazilian, he will find it hard to turn it down because who doesn’t want to play for Barcelona?

That being said, I do think Coutinho will stick around for yet another season. I doubt he would jump ship just went Liverpool are set to return to the Champions League, and Klopp needs to give him the players around him to make it similar to Eden Hazard at Chelsea.

Shane Burns (@MediaShaneBurns)

Ultimately, whether Liverpool fans care to admit it or not, the Merseysiders are a selling club and are unable to either keep hold of world-class players, or attract them.

It’s impossible to see how Liverpool can keep Coutinho if Barcelona come calling. Their name/brand is the only thing big about Liverpool these days.

Huge Summer Ahead For Everton Star, Record Deal May Not Happen

Everton face a testing summer window in the months ahead as Ronald Koeman looks to strengthen his squad and increase the chances of the Toffees breaking into the top-six, all whilst contending with the likely departures of key names.

Romelu Lukaku continues to be linked with a huge move away from Goodison Park in the close season and speculation continues to circle over the head of England ace Ross Barkley, as contract discussions have seemingly hit a brick wall.

Koeman has issued an ultimatum to the 23-year-old and is preparing to sell the influential midfielder if he does not extend his contract, although The Telegraph states he’s demanding a mouth-watering price of £50m for the Tottenham target.

It’s difficult to argue that Barkley is worth that much and it’s set to cause a lot of debate over the summer months, so we asked our team where they expect Barkley to be playing next season and whether he’s worth the monumental price-tag mentioned.

Shane Burns (@MediaShaneBurns)

The future of Ross Barkley will possibly become a long, drawn out saga which results in him staying at Everton this summer. Ross Barkley has not developed like many expected following his breakthrough in 2012.
His career has stagnated somewhat and the only club that will likely take a punt on Ross would be Tottenham – but certainly not for the £50million being reportedly demanded by the Toffees.

Tom Scholes (@TomScholes316)

Ross Barkley looks set to leave Everton in the summer and at the moment; the ideal place for him to move would probably be Tottenham. People always say that Barkley just needs someone to guide him and help him find his best form, and at the moment there is no one better at that at a big club than Mauricio Pochettino.

He may not get as many minutes as he is at Everton right now, but the fact of the matter is he wouldn’t at any other top 6 clubs either. With regards to his price tag, there is no way he is worth £50M, but Everton will have to lower it or risk losing him on a free next summer.

Josh Challies (@Challies11)

Ross Barkley may well complete a u-turn and secure his future with the Toffees for another few seasons but the longer he waits, the more he risks causing irreparable damage to his relationship with his boyhood club- and Ronald Koeman isn’t prepared for any mucking around.

As it stands, North London is the most likely destination for Barkley but Tottenham may find competition in the market from rivals Arsenal. The Gunners have a big summer ahead and one crucial aspect that is being overlooked is the club’s decreasing homegrown contingent.

Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs are amongst the Englishmen linked with a summer exit, which would leave Arsenal’s homegrown ranks looking severely lacking- so a move for British players is likely this summer.

In regards to his price-tag, there is no way that Ross Barkley is worth that amount and it’s difficult to imagine Everton actually commanding such a high-price for a player of his services and negotiations will likely decrease the figure to somewhere around £30m, plus add-ons.

Sam Cox (@SamRCox_)

Spurs seem likely candidates to sign him, but I have a hunch he will remain at Everton. The price tag is extortionate for a player who suffers from great inconsistency and only one of the top six would be able to stump up that sort of fee.

There’s still a chance Barkley becomes a one-in-a-generation player for England, but it’d be a severe risk from any top six clubs.

Assessing The Key Pieces Of Business Arsenal Need This Summer

Arsenal have endured a majorly disappointing campaign and, barring a miracle on Sunday, will spend next season away from Champions League endeavours- which could lead to a mass exodus.

The futures of key players like Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remain shrouded in speculation and Arsenal may have to search the transfer market for replacements, as well as strengthening their current squad.

Arsenal are crying out for a top-class striker, improvements to their defensive line, additional midfielders and potentially a new goalkeeper to succeed Petr Cech; all of which leaves Arsene Wenger, or whoever is in charge at the Emirates Stadium, facing a daunting task.

Debate will continue throughout the summer around what sort of business Arsenal need to conduct to stand competitiveness next season and we’ve asked our team what they believe the Gunners need to do in the transfer market to avoid being left behind by their rivals.

Sam Cox (@SamRCox_)

Winning a title with Arsene Wenger in charge remains unlikely. Their best chance, though, obviously will come if they keep Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.

Away from that, the cry for another striker is hauntingly familiar, but it remains as relevant as ever. A player in a similar mould to Aaron Ramsey to avoid potential dependence on the Welshman in the 3-4-3 is equally key, however. A new central defender to replace Gabriel and at least one left-back is a must, too.

Tom Scholes (@TomScholes316)

To be considered as serious title challengers, things really need to change in the red half of North London. The future of Arsene Wenger needs to be addressed, business needs to be done quickly and they can’t have another season like this one where everything seemed to go wrong.

Spending tons of cash of big name players won’t do the trick. Provided he stays, Wenger needs to pick a certain formation and build around that system. Another centre back is imperative, maybe some more orthodox wing backs despite Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain proving capable of playing out wide.

Another central midfielder to compliment Granit Xhaka and an out and out goal scorer is needed for Arsenal to be taken seriously.

Josh Challies (@Challies11)

Once again, Arsenal seem to be a couple short of a full deck and it’s been a case of one step forward, two steps back for the Gunners in recent years. Bizarrely though, the common trend remains of Arsenal being desperate for a top-class striker.

Arsenal’s need for a quality striker is obvious but it’s not just on the field where Arsenal need to make a statement of intent, as the Gunners need to show they’re prepared to battle the likes of both Manchester clubs and Chelsea in the transfer market.

Sead Kolasinac is a good start to Arsenal’s summer but they can’t stop there. As well as a striker, the Gunners need a successor to Santi Cazorla, Petr Cech and Laurent Koscielny- all of whom are in the twilight years of their careers.

Shane Burns (@MediaShaneBurns)

Truthfully the Gunners need more than a few players. They also need their rivals to slip up in the transfer market – and drastically.

Ideally Arsene Wenger will be targeting a centre-forward, a box-to-box midfielder, another centre-back and left-back for starters. With Saed Kolasinic arriving from Schalke, the progression is underway. Keeping hold of Sanchez is a necessity for Arsenal also.

Man United Continue To Be Linked To Superstar, He’s A Questionable Recruit

Manchester United’s debut season under Jose Mourinho has seen the Red Devils fall well short of expectations in the Premier League and money is sure to be spent this summer in an attempt to improve the club’s fortunes.

James Rodriguez continues to be the name on everybody’s lips ahead of the summer transfer window, with the Colombian seemingly set to leave Real Madrid after a disappointing few seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu where he’s failed to show the sort of form that set the 2014 World Cup alight.

Earlier this month, Spanish media outlet Sport stated James has verbally agreed to move to Manchester United this summer and fresh reports continue to appear on a daily basis, intensifying the South American’s links with a lucrative move to the Premier League.

However, James Rodriguez would be a questionable recruit for Manchester United due to their wealth of depth in attack and the Red Devils continue to be linked to further attacking additions this summer- so it’s difficult to see where exactly the Colombian fits in.

The debate is likely to rumble on throughout the summer, with James Rodriguez’ future shaping up to be the transfer saga of the 2017 summer window, and we asked our team for their thoughts on the 25-year-old’s potential move.

Josh Challies (@Challies11)

I’ve been left scratching my head ever since James Rodriguez was first linked to Manchester United as I can’t see where he’d fit in- added to the fact the Red Devils would have to pay an audacious sum to secure his services and it’s difficult to justify that amount.

The Colombian has failed to build on his exceptional form at the World Cup three years ago and he continues to be living off his reputation in that tournament, having failed to establish himself as a first-team regular for Real Madrid.

At Manchester United, there’s a real danger he’d be in exactly the same boat regardless of whether Mourinho viewed him as a winger or an attacking midfielder, so it really seems like United would be spending money for the sake of it.

Shane Burns (@MediaShaneBurns)

James Rodriguez signing for Manchester United could be a game-changer regarding their title aspirations. The Colombian is highly marketable in South America and he certainly has the talent to up his potential marketability.

Whether or not signing for United is a possibility, Rodriguez would add proven quality and depth to a frail United side. A Mourinho player? Probably not.

Sam Cox (@SamRCox_)

Players of James’ class are always welcome additions to the league.

When it comes to Manchester United, however, James’ arrival would rely on at least one of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata leaving. It’s been a tough year in Madrid for the Colombian and, while creativity has been lacking at Old Trafford, his presence would not fix the fundamental issues with the setup of the team.

It could work out, but right now it aches of a signing that will fizzle under Jose Mourinho’s management.

Tom Scholes (@TomScholes316)

A lot of people are raving about James Rodriguez to Manchester United, but I can’t help but feel that it isn’t the right move for the Colombian. United already have multiple play makers in their squad including Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and to a lesser extent Paul Pogba, and James would just become yet another big name signing with no purpose.

If United really want to get the best out of Paul Pogba, the last thing they should be doing is signing James Rodriguez. Adding another central attacking midfielder only pushes the Frenchman deeper in midfield, restricting him.

With the constant links seemingly every summer, is James to United the new Wesley Sneijder to United rumour?

5 New Signings: The Potential Newcastle XI To Secure Safety Next Year

Newcastle United sealed the Championship title ahead of Brighton at the weekend, with Rafael Benitez’ side benefitting from Jack Grealish’s late equaliser for Aston Villa.

The Magpies had already secured an immediate return to the Premier League, with arch-rivals Sunderland set to be relegated, and entered the final weekend of the Championship campaign with a chance of winning the title- but they’d have to better Brighton’s result.

Benitez’ side did exactly that, defeating Barnsley 3-0 at St James Park, and the Tyneside outfit will now turn their sights on securing top-quality signings this summer in order to secure safety in the Premier League next season.

40 points will be the target for Newcastle as they seek to avoid the drop but, led by the experienced Benitez, the Magpies could push higher in the table and potentially lead a charge in the cup competitions.

Whilst it may take a few seasons for Newcastle to be truly competitive, this potential XI is bursting with attacking talent and could set the Premier League alight.

GK: Jordan Pickford

The recently-relegated Sunderland goalkeeper is attracting a lot of attention ahead of the summer and there has been suggestions of an incredible move that would see the England international move across the North East to Newcastle.

However, Rafael Benitez’ side face a huge test to land the goalkeeper’s services as he’s being linked with the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton and West Ham, as well as attracting a price-tag in excess of £25m.

4 Home-Grown Players Who Could Follow Walker to Man City This Summer

Manchester City’s debut campaign under Pep Guardiola is set to end without a trophy, which is increasing the pressure upon the former Bayern Munich boss to invest heavily this summer.

Guardiola is set to oversee a major reshuffle in his squad, as he replaces players who aren’t cut out for the challenge and looks to replace the ageing guard- which includes his array of full-backs, which has led to the Citizens eyeing big recruits in this area.

Tottenham Hotspur ace Kyle Walker is reported to be the priority signing for Guardiola this summer, who’s understood to be eyeing home-grown talents to add to his squad as the Citizens look to battle up the Premier League standings.

British players come at a premium price this days but City can certainly afford to pay what’s necessary and we’ve identified four more home-grown players that could follow Walker to the Etihad Stadium.

Jordan Pickford

The England international is one of few Sunderland players who can hold their head high following the club’s relegation to the Championship and Pickford is more than likely going to be on the move this summer, as he battles for the number one jersey in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

With Joe Hart set to be ousted and summer-signing Claudio Bravo struggling, Pep Guardiola’s side have been linked to signing a new goalkeeper and Pickford could be the perfect fit for the Citizens as he’s young, homegrown and should be relatively easy to capture.

Liverpool & Man United In Surprise Battle To Sign World Cup Winner

Manchester United and Liverpool are both being linked with a surprise name ahead of the summer transfer window, as both Premier League sides eye recruits to improve their chances of success next season.

The Reds are on-course for a return to the Champions League next year and could be joined in the competition by arch-rivals Manchester United, who have two possible avenues to qualification as they continue to battle for success in the Europa League.

Having fallen short of battling Chelsea for the Premier League title this season though, Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho are both expected to splash the cash heavily this summer in order to build a side capable of battling on all fronts- and that’s led to surprise links.

The Daily Star states that Liverpool have joined United in the battle for Chelsea’s World Cup winning midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who is linked with an exit from Stamford Bridge three-years after returning to English football from Barcelona.

Fabregas has been a bit-part member of Antonio Conte’s side this season and is expected to move on in the summer, particularly amidst rumours that Chelsea’s Italian boss is looking to strengthen his midfield depth with new recruits.

Would Chelsea sell?

The biggest question concerning the links between Fabregas and both Premier League sides is whether Chelsea would approve a sale to direct rivals, as the Spaniard is still one of the best midfielders in the Premier League and a decision to offload him could come back to haunt Chelsea.

Chelsea want to recoup the majority of the £27m they paid for Fabregas, who turns 30 tomorrow, and that fee is affordable for both Premier League sides. However, it’s difficult to imagine Roman Abramovich sanctioning such a big sale to a rival club.

Conte’s side would certainly prefer to sell abroad but they may have difficulty doing so, as it’s unlikely Fabregas would return to Spain after a disappointing few years with Barcelona and has limited suitors elsewhere.

What about Italy?

Both AC Milan and Inter Milan have long been linked with Fabregas’ signature and the two San Siro sides have cash to spend this summer following their recent takeovers. However, The London Evening Standard reports he’s not interested in moving to Italy.

Fabregas is likely to seek opportunities in the Champions League as he looks to establish himself in the pecking order for Julen Lopetgui’s Spain squad for the World Cup next summer and neither Inter or their cross-city rivals will be able to offer that opportunity.

That means Fabregas is likely to reject any offers from China, should they emerge, and he’ll prefer a stay in the Premier League- which could lead United or Liverpool to have to pay over the odds to sign the experienced Spaniard.

Agent Speaks Out On Transfer Rumours Concerning Spurs Star

Tottenham Hotspur have enjoyed a fantastic season under Mauricio Pochettino and still hold an outside chance of winning the Premier League, as they trail Chelsea by just four points.

Whilst the likelihood is Spurs will endure heartbreak for the second season in a row, Pochettino’s men have come along leaps and bounds in recent years, with a squad breaming with star-players and potential world-beaters.

Naturally, that’s led rival sides to eye moves for Tottenham’s players and a recent transfer rumour has speculation that Barcelona’s major reshuffle this summer could see the Catalan giants make a swoop for Christian Eriksen.

With speculation Ivan Rakitic could leave the Nou Camp, Barcelona will have room in their side for a creative midfielder and Eriksen would certainly fit the bill. However, his agent has played down the exit rumours.

What’s been said?

Speaking to Danish outlet BT and quoted by The London Evening StandardEriksen’s agent Martin Schoots said:

“I prefer not to comment on what the newspapers write about the future. The only thing Christian wants to do is focus on playing his matches.”

“We let the rumours be rumoured, even now, when Christian’s merits as a player who sets up a goal are better than anyone else, and now he scores also very important goals.”

“Christian just wants to be important for the team, it is the only thing that matters to him.”

Could he leave?

Spurs definitely face a difficult summer as big clubs are likely to swoop for their star-men but Eriksen isn’t seen as a player who is deemed expendable, which means Barcelona would have to pay well over the odds if they wanted to bring the Danish international to Catalonia.

With Eriksen recently signing a new deal in September, worth a reported £75k-a-week, Tottenham have a good bargaining position. However, they may find it difficult to keep Eriksen if he has his head turned by the Catalan giants.

Fortunately, it’s unlikely Eriksen will leave this season, as Spurs seem to be on the rise, but a move after next summer’s World Cup could materialise if Tottenham fail to make progress next season- when they’ll be playing their home games at Wembley.

Revealed: Chelsea Turned Down Chance To Sign European Starlet In Bargain Deal

Chelsea have enjoyed a fantastic campaign under Antonio Conte but criticisms still remain at the West London outfit’s use of youngsters, as they have an abundance of players waiting for their opportunity behind the scenes.

The Blues have remarkably failed to see an academy graduate become a first-team regular at the club since John Terry, who is approaching the end of his career at Stamford Bridge, and it’s difficult to judge where the next Chelsea-developed hero will emerge from.

Sensationally, it’s now emerged that Chelsea turned down the opportunity to sign Monaco starlet Kylian Mbappe four years ago for just £17k, The Daily Mirror reports, instead promoting Tammy Abraham and Dominic Solanke through the youth ranks.

The decision not to sign the now 18-year-old rated at three-figures seems incredibly wrong, especially as neither Solanke or Abraham have been handed a genuine chance to excel in the first-team.

Where are Solanke & Abraham?

Tammy Abraham has excelled on-loan with Championship outfit Bristol City this season, scoring 23 goals, the second-highest in the division, to help the Robins fend off the threat of relegation and he’s due to return to Stamford Bridge this summer.

Dominic Solanke, meanwhile, spent last season on-loan at Vitesse Arnheim but remained at Stamford Bridgee this season, although he’s set to leave in the summer after being frozen out of the first-team fold following a breakdown in contract talks.

Solanke, 19, made his Blues debut in the Champions League back in 2014 but has not featured for the first-team since. Abraham, meanwhile, made two substitute appearances in the Premier League last season prior to his loan move in the summer.

Would Mbappe have made it?

Whilst Mbappe is widely regarded to be the hottest prospect in European football right now, it’s debatable as to whether he would have had an opening at Chelsea. Given the Blues track record, it’s likely that the Frenchman would be far from where he is now.

As Mbappe prepares for the Champions League semi-final with Juventus tonight and eyes a spot in France’s World Cup squad next summer, it’s clear the teenager has benefitted from the sequence of events four years ago that led Chelsea not to land his services.

Even if Chelsea were to put up the funds to sign Mbappe this summer, it’s difficult to see how he would be managed in West London- especially due to the mishandling of last season’s Ligue 1 breakthrough star Michy Batshuayi.

5 New Signings: Klopp’s Ideal Liverpool XI To Push For Glory Next Season

Liverpool have once again endured a transitional season, with Jurgen Klopp’s men challenging for a spot in the Champions League but falling quite a way short of pushing for the Premier League title.

The Reds have certainly made a meal out of their European qualification too and have left themselves with a lot to do in the final weeks of the season, as top-four rivals Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal could take advantage of their games in hand.

It’s clear new faces are needed at Anfield this summer and a wealth of top-names have been linked with a move to Merseyside, although fans need to be aware that their finances mean that the club run the risk of losing out to their rivals in the chase for big deals.

Liverpool can probably afford to go all-out to get one or two big names this summer though, especially with added funds from the likely sales of Mamadou Sakho and Daniel Sturridge, and this potential XI next season could certainly challenge for honours.

GK: Antonio Adan

Liverpool’s goalkeeping ranks have come under intense criticism this season and Jurgen Klopp is likely to move to solve that this summer, with 29-year-old Spaniard Antonio Adan eyed as the ideal recruit- and his arrival could spark the end for Simon Mignolet.

Last summer’s signing Loris Karius has struggled in his debut season in the Premier League but, aged just 23, there’s plenty of time for him to develop and moving for an experienced keeper like Antonio Adan would be a wise move.

Currently with La Liga minnows Real Betis, Adan’s services shouldn’t be too difficult to capture.

Insider Discusses Possibility of Huge Man United Transfer, Gives Positive News

Manchester United have been heavily linked the services of big-name players this summer, with one particular man attracting a wealth of attention in the back-pages during the past few months.

The man in question is of course Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann, who has been identified as the prime-target to bolster the Red Devils front-line next season- and United’s interest in the Frenchman may have risen following Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s injury last week.

However, Manchester United aren’t the only club interested in the services of Antoine Griezmann but the Frenchman’s advisor, Eric Olhats, handed United two huge boosts- stating the Red Devils have shown the most interest, whilst also stating Paris Saint-Germain are no longer keen.

What was said?

Speaking to French outlet Telefoot, Olhat said:

There was Manchester United who came, who inquired, they told us about their project. They were the first and most concrete in their wish.”

Last year, there was a real interest, and this year, no, it’s not part of their plans.”

However, Olhat also reiterated that any interested party will have to match Griezmann’s mammoth release-clause, whilst he questioned whether the Red Devils were a lucrative option for the 26-year-old forward.

We are currently in the area of ​​taking information from clubs that have concrete means. There is a clause, which is 100 million euros, which is unavoidable. Of candidates. These candidates are the English clubs like Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea. In Spain, Barcelona, ​​Real Madrid.”

If Diego Simeone, his mentor, is leaving, he has to leave too, and afterwards, in relation to the different choices he has, I think the most obvious, and here I forget the Madrid problem.”

“He’s a great player, but you have to raise trophies, Real Madrid seems to me a lot better than Manchester United because there’s Zizou, there’s a team Where things seem clear, structured.

Manchester United is not yet relaunched, they had to revive themselves this year, even in a transitional year, but they are lagging behind their passing times.”

What does this mean for United?

Although the quotes ended with a damning assessment of Manchester United’s current situation, the possibility of Antoine Griezmann moving across Madrid to join Zinedine Zidane at the Santiago Bernabeu is extremely unlikely.

The same can also be said for Barcelona, who boast the best attacking trident in world football and seem unlikely to make any changes there, so realistically it should just be a one-horse race for Griezmann’s signature- but United will have to convince Griezmann to move.

With Atletico once again in the semi-finals of the Champions League, Griezmann has vast opportunities available to him and can lead Atleti next season in their move away from the Vicente Calderon. Should Simeone leave this summer though, Griezmann will almost definitely follow.

4 New Signings: The Potential Chelsea XI To Conquer Europe Next Year

Chelsea have enjoyed a fantastic season this term but Antonio Conte’s side face a challenge in the summer to bolster their ranks and prepare for a return to the Champions League next season.

In truth, Chelsea’s squad depth is fairly lacklustre across the board and injury problems this term could have created havoc, had they occurred. Therefore, it would be unwise to run the same risks next season by failing to strengthen.

Whilst Chelsea have been defensively solid and impressive in attack, it turns out that those areas are where the Blues are keen to strengthen most this summer- with star striker Diego Costa looking inevitable to leave, whilst veteran skipper John Terry is also on his way out.

Conte has identified targets already though and these four signings could leave the Blues boasting an exceptional side, as shown by this incredible line-up.

GK: Thibaut Courtois

Chelsea’s goalkeeper is widely regarded to be one of the best in the world and the Blues will face a battle to retain his services in the summer, with Spanish giants Real Madrid reportedly eyeing the Belgian as an alternative to long-term target David De Gea.

Courtois seems loyal to Chelsea though and the Blues would command an audacious fee for any move to materialise, so it seems highly likely that the goalkeeper will remain at Stamford Bridge for the forthcoming Premier League campaign.

Arsenal boss hands club crucial transfer boost

Arsenal seem to be on the rise again, having sealed their place in next month’s FA Cup final following a 2-1 victory over Manchester City at Wembley.

Goals from Nacho Monreal and Alexis Sanchez saw the Gunners come from behind to take the win, having conceded the opening goal to Sergio Aguero, but the positives of that performance could be overshadowed by continued concerns regarding the futures of Arsenal’s star-players.

Match-winner Alexis Sanchez is one of many players who face an uncertain future at Arsenal, as the Chilean is rapidly approaching the final 12 months of his contract and is attracting vast interest from across Europe.

Whilst many feel Alexis will move on this summer, Arsene Wenger has a different view and has issued a huge statement following yesterday’s victory- claiming the former Barcelona man is going nowhere.

What was said?

Quoted by The Sun, Wenger said after yesterday’s win:

“Alexis Sanchez was like the team, he had problems to start with and became stronger and stronger. He is an animal, always ready to kill the opponent. He will never give up.”

“He will be here next year because he has a contract with us and hopefully we will manage to extend it.”

What does this mean?

Wenger’s comments are a major statement of intent from Arsenal, as a sale of Alexis Sanchez now would see a target drawn on the back of the French boss as fans would see him as either going back on a previous promise or simply lying.

However, it’s a risky move from Arsenal as it opens up the possibility of their star-man leaving on a free transfer next summer and the Gunners would be powerless to stop him joining a Premier League rival, whereas they could force a move abroad at the end of this season.

The most crucial comment is therefore Wenger’s hope of extending Alexis’ deal, which suggests that negotiations are not dead in the water and an agreement could still be reached- although Arsenal will have to prove their competitiveness.

Arsenal will be looking to invest heavily this summer and must show Alexis they can build a title-winning side, especially if they fail to secure a position in the top four of the Premier League, which would see Arsenal not feature in the Champions League for the first time under Wenger.

European giant hand Chelsea boost by ending interest in star-man

Chelsea’s fantastic season is at risk of being handed a blow this summer, should star players decide to leave Stamford Bridge this summer in search of new challenges abroad.

One of the big names regularly linked with an exit this season has been that of Eden Hazard, who has been linked with a big-money move to Real Madrid. With Zinedine Zidane a keen admirer, and Hazard seeing the Frenchman as an icon, it’s easy to see why it would appeal to the Belgian ace.

However, The Sun now claims that Real Madrid have ended their interest in Eden Hazard as they will instead focus their attention of developing the talents of young Marco Asensio- who has exploded onto the scene this season.

Instead of spending what could end-up being a three-figure sum on Hazard, Real Madrid’s development of Asensio, who cost them just £3.5m, would see Los Blancos boast a new homegrown hero amongst their ranks.

Could it still happen?

As with any transfer report, you have to take it with a pinch of salt. Whilst Real Madrid may want to develop Asensio, turning down any opportunity to sign Eden Hazard wouldn’t be wise- especially in the coming years as Cristiano Ronaldo approaches the end of his career.

Real Madrid have established themselves as a club who boast some of the best players in the world and missing out on the likes of Paul Pogba and then potentially Hazard and Antoine Griezmann could really cause issues in their fanbase.

On a personal level for Hazard, moving to a club that have won two Champions League finals in three years would be understandable as Chelsea are unlikely to challenge for Europe’s elite crown anytime soon.

Is Asensio the real deal?

Simply put, yes. The 21-year-old has impressed at the Santiago Bernabeu following spells with Mallorca and Espanyol, scoring four goals in 18 La Liga appearances. Here’s also impressed in the Champions League, scoring two goals in five appearances- including a strike against Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals.

He’s now made his international debut for the Spanish national team and is one of the youngsters to watch at the World Cup next summer, where he could make his full emergence onto the world stage.

Alternative Premier League Team Of The Year Ft. Alderweireld, Alexis & More

The PFA Team of the Year was announced this morning and it’s fair to say the majority of people were underwhelmed by the selections, with the announcement going down like a lead balloon.

Naturally, the team was dominated by players from Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, who currently sit in the top-two positions in the Premier League, but both sides can feel aggrieved by certain members of their team that missed out.

Arsenal, Manchester United, Everton and Manchester City fans will also share their frustrations, as they’ve had star performers overlook in favour of some rather questionable choices from the PFA.

Here at FreshFootball, we’ve also been left underwhelmed by the selections (seriously, Sadio Mane) and rather than discuss who should be in or out of the side, we’ve elected to select an entirely new team altogether.

Have we missed anyone out? Let us know in the comments below!

GK: Hugo Lloris

Spurs’ number one has been an ever-present figure this season between the sticks for the most resilient defence in the Premier League, with the Lilywhites conceding just 22 goals so far- significantly lower than anyone else.

Whilst David De Gea at Manchester United has been similarly impressive, and being selected in the PFA Team of the Year as a result, overlooking the goalkeeper for the league’s best defence is a decision that doesn’t really add up.

Spurs fans react angrily to surprise Team of the Year absentees

Tottenham Hotspur have enjoyed a fantastic season and it’s no surprise to see the Lilywhites boast a wealth of names in the PFA Team of the Year.

Announced this morning, Spurs stars Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker all found their place in the starting eleven, although there were some questionable absentees from the ranks of Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

Despite boasting the best defence in the Premier League this season, conceding just 22 goals so far, none of Spurs key defensive trio of Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertoghen made the cut- with their places instead going to Chelsea pairing David Luiz and Gary Cahill, with Manchester United’s David De Gea in goal.

It’s a decision that many Spurs fans cannot get their head around and fans flocked to social media to have their say on the situation, which they believe is a major oversight from the PFA and is one that cannot be ignored.

Arsenal fans furious with with star forward’s Team of the Year omission

The PFA Team of the Year was announced on social media this morning and it’s fair to say it’s gone down like a lead balloon.

Hoards of football fans have been left angry by the eleven players selected by their fellow footballers, with Arsenal supporters particularly agitated to see star-man Alexis Sanchez left out of the side despite his sensational performances.

The two-time Copa America winner has excelled for the Gunners this season, scoring 19 goals and contributing nine assists in the Premier League- numbers that significantly dwarf the contributions of Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, who was selected in the team.

Doing what fans do best, Arsenal supporters flocked to social media in vast numbers to declare their dissatisfaction at what they believe is a major oversight, which is understandable given that Alexis is one of the top-scorers in the Premier League.

The omission was made more surprising by the fact that Alexis Sanchez is in the running for the PFA’s Player of the Year award, so why wasn’t there space in the team for him?

5 New Signings: How Everton Could Spend £100m From Lukaku Sale

Everton face a huge test to keep hold of Romelu Lukaku’s services this summer but Ronald Koeman can look forward to having an abundance of cash to spend in the market if the Belgian is prized away from Goodison Park.

With interest in the 23-year-old rising, Everton are looking for a major profit on the club-record fee they paid Chelsea for the striker’s services and The Liverpool Echo has reported that the Toffees want an astonishing £100m.

Such a fee would see Lukaku become the world’s most expensive player, surpassing the £89m Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba last summer, but it’s hard to argue that Lukaku wouldn’t be worth that figure in the modern day market.

Whilst it would take a massive bid to lure Lukaku away from Goodison Park, Everton are likely to be already contemplating how they could spend that money- and we’ve identified five top-class additions they could make.

Kieran Tripper: £5.1m

With Seamus Coleman’s injury absence likely to span deep into the start of next season, Ronald Koeman is eyeing additions at right-back to bolster his options in that area- and Tottenham Hotspur’s Kieran Tripper is one target.

Tripper’s opportunities at White Hart Lane are extremely limited due to Kyle Walker’s starring role in the side, so the former Burnley man may consider a move. A deal for the 26-year-old would also be affordable, as TransferMarkt values his services at just £5.1m.

3-4-2-1: How A New Tactical Set-Up Could Look At Arsenal Next Year

Arsene Wenger surprised everybody with his team selection for the Middlesbrough game, as the man often describe as stubborn and a tactical dinosaur made major changes to his side and altered his formation majorly.

For the first time in two decades, Arsenal adopted a make-shift three-man defensive line consisting of Laurent Koscielny, Gabriel Paulista and Rob Holding, utilising Nacho Monreal and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as wing backs.

Whilst there were some defensive frailties shown, the likes of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil performed well, leading some to suggest that the Gunners to adopt this formation more regularly in the future.

It certainly needs some work but Chelsea have shown this season that a three-man defence can work well, whilst Juventus have demonstrated similarly on the continent as they push for success in the Champions League.

With a few tweaks and summer additions, Arsenal’s new-look XI could launch an impressive assault for glory next season and it could work whether Arsene Wenger or someone else is in charge.

GK: Jordan Pickford

Arsenal are reportedly looking to shake up their options between the sticks this summer, with Petr Cech failing to impress, and not getting any younger, whilst David Ospina seems increasingly likely to leave the Emirates Stadium in the summer.

Wojciech Szczesny is also likely to leave, having spent two successful seasons on-loan with Roma, and Jordan Pickford has been identified as the ideal target- and he could excel in North London, developing into the Gunners first-choice stopper and learning from the extremely experienced Cech.

De Gea & Lingard In: The Man United XI To Beat Chelsea On Sunday

Manchester United face a huge battle to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League and they need a victory against Chelsea to boost their chances. Fortunately, they have a strong squad and this side should be good enough to take all three points.

GK: David De Gea

Widely considered to be the best goalkeeper in the Premier League, David De Gea has been an ever-present figure in a Manchester United side that have conceded just 24 goals during their league campaign- a number only Tottenham Hotspur can better.

Absent last week through injury, although some reports have indicated Jose Mourinho kept him out of action for other reasons, the Spaniard will return to the Manchester United line-up for Saturday’s crucial clash with Chelsea and he’ll have to be at his best.

The game is being shown live on Sky Sports on Sunday afternoon (4pm kick-off UK time) and you can get a NowTV day pass and watch the game for just £6.29 with our fantastic 10% off a day pass offer.

Fabregas In, Matic Out: The Chelsea XI To Dent Man United’s Champions League Hopes

Chelsea are on-course for Premier League glory but can hand a huge blow to rivals Manchester United this weekend with a victory. Here, we’ve selected the team Antonio Conte should select to win the match.

GK: Thibaut Courtois

Chelsea’s Belgian stopper has been a mainstay in Antonio Conte’s side throughout the season, starting all 31 Premier League fixtures for the Blues. During that time, Chelsea have kept 13 clean sheets- the highest amount in the division.

The Blues have also conceded just 25 goals in the Premier League, a number only Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United can better, and Courtois has been vastly important to Chelsea’s solid defensive structure.

The game is being shown live on Sky Sports on Sunday afternoon (4pm kick-off UK time) and you can get a NowTV day pass and watch the game for just £6.29 with our fantastic 10% off a day pass offer.

Moreno & Firmino In: The Liverpool XI To Defeat West Brom On Sunday

Liverpool are on-course to secure a return to the Champions League but there’s still work for Jurgen Klopp’s side to do. Victory against West Brom this weekend is vital and this side should be able to secure all three points.

GK: Simon Mignolet

The signing of Loris Karius from Mainz last summer left Simon Mignolet in a sticky situation at Liverpool but the poor performances from the German stopper have allowed Mignolet to push his way back between the sticks at Anfield.

29-year-old Belgian stopper Mignolet is set to make his 23rd Premier League appearance of the season at the Hawthorns and will be desperate for a strong performance, as his current run of seven Premier League games without a clean-sheet is a big worry.

The game is being shown live on Sky Sports on Sunday afternoon (13:30pm kick-off UK time) and you can get a NowTV day pass and watch the game for just £6.29 with our fantastic 10% off a day pass offer.

West Brom v Liverpool: 3 Key Battles That Will Decide The Match

Liverpool face a stern test against West Brom this weekend but will seek a victory to boost their top-four chances. To achieve that though, they’ll have to get a positive outcome in these three key battles.

Chadli v Clyne

Liverpool’s defence has been unable to keep a clean sheet in any of the last seven Premier League matches and West Brom may look to exploit the right-side of the Reds defence, particularly as Nathaniel Clyne likes to bomb forward.

Up against him on Sunday will be Belgian winger Nacer Chadli, who has been a huge part of Tony Pulis’ side’s success this season. The 27-year-old boasts five goals and five assists, although his last contribution to a goal came in the victory over Arsenal in mid-March.

Clyne’s license to push forward may leave Liverpool exposed on the counter, which is where Chadli’s involvement could come into play.

The game is being shown live on Sky Sports on Sunday afternoon (13:30pm kick-off UK time) and you can get a NowTV day pass and watch the game for just £6.29 with our fantastic 10% off a day pass offer.

Tottenham v Bournemouth: 3 Key Battles That Will Decide The Match

Victory for Tottenham Hotspur against Bournemouth will all but secure their Champions League spot next season and these three battles will decide the outcome of the match at White Hart Lane.

Fraser v Davies

Tottenham Hotspur are without first-choice left-back Danny Rose once again this weekend, with Welsh international Ben Davies stepping in. Whilst he’s a capable player with bags of experience, he doesn’t have the same impact on the Spurs side that Rose has.

Therefore, the left-side of Spurs’ defence could be an area where Bournemouth look to exploit at White Hart Lane and the task will fall to 23-year-old Ryan Fraser, who manager Eddie Howe compared to Chelsea ace Eden Hazard this week.

With three goals and two assists in the Premier League, Fraser can certainly cause problems for Spurs’ defence and Ben Davies will have to be alert.

The game is being shown live on Sky Sports on Saturday afternoon (12:30pm kick-off UK time) and you can get a NowTV day pass and watch the game for just £6.29 with our fantastic 10% off a day pass offer.

Tottenham v Bournemouth: Team News, Match Preview & Likely Line-Ups

Competition: Premier League Date: Saturday 15th April 2015 Venue: White Hart Lane Kick-Off: 12:30 BST

Team News

Tottenham will welcome Harry Kane back to the starting line-up after his return from injury off the bench last week but Victor Wanyama could start on the bench, despite being passed fit to feature.

Erik Lamela, Danny Rose and Harry Winks remain unavailable for the hosts.

Bournemouth welcome Tyrone Mings back to availability after a five-match ban but Eddie Howe could elect to not make any changes to the back-line that lost to Chelsea.

Midfielder Dan Gosling has suffered a set-back to his injury recovery and is unlikely to feature but Junior Stanislas could feature after returning from a groin strain.

Match Preview

Tottenham still have an outside chance of pipping Chelsea to the Premier League title but will have to overhaul a seven point deficit. With the Blues travelling to Manchester United on Sunday, Spurs can cut Chelsea’s lead to just four points tomorrow.

Spurs will be expected to take all three points against a Bournemouth side that sit seven points above the relegation zone, with Eddie Howe’s side on the verge of securing their Premier League status for another season. However, there’s still work to be done.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side secured their sixth consecutive win last weekend against Watford and should make it seven here, which would push the Lilywhites further towards their goal of finishing above North London rivals Arsenal for the first time since 1995.

Likely Line-Ups

Spurs
Lloris; Walker, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Davies; Dier, Dembele; Son, Eriksen, Alli; Kane

Bournemouth
Boruc; Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels; Fraser, Arter, Wilshere, Pugh; King; Afobe

Key Stats

Tottenham have won six Premier League games in a row and have won their last 11 league matches at White Hart Lane.

Bournemouth have beaten Spurs just once, with that victory coming in an FA Cup tie in 1957.

Spurs have earned 32 points in 2017, five more than any other Premier League club.

Bournemouth haven’t won any of their last six away games in the Premier League (D3, L3).

Prediction
3-0

Southampton v Manchester City: Team News, Match Previews & Likely Line-Ups

Competition: Premier League Date: Saturday 15th April 2017 Venue: St Mary’s Stadium Kick-Off: 15:00 BST

Team News

Southampton will debate whether to bring Manolo Gabbiadini back into the fold, as he returned from a groin injury this week.

Steven Davis is also available for the hosts but Oriol Romeu is suspended.

Manchester City could bring Vincent Kompany back into the side, after he was rested against Hull, whilst Kevin De Bruyne and Fernandinho could also earn a start.

Pep Guardiola is once again without the injured trio of Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan and Bacary Sagna.

Match Preview

After a campaign that included heartbreak at Wembley, Southampton’s season in the Premier League has largely been one to forget as the Saints sit ninth in the standings and a whopping 14 points behind seventh-placed Everton.

Manchester City, meanwhile, will equally have hoped for more this term but Guardiola still has a chance of enjoying success in his first season via the FA Cup. However, the focus for now is very much securing a top-four spot.

The Citizens go into tomorrow’s game on the south coast four points against rivals Manchester United, who have a game in hand, and seven points ahead of sixth-placed Arsenal.

Likely Line-Ups

Southampton
Forster; Soares, Stephens, Yoshida, Bertrand; Clasie, Hojbjerg; Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Redmond; Long.

Manchester City
Bravo; Navas, Stones, Kompany, Clichy; Fernandinho; Sterling, De Bruyne, Silva, Sane; Aguero.

Key Stats

Southampton won this fixture 4-2 last season, which ended a run of four straight defeats against the Citizens, and drew with Pep Guardiola’s side earlier this season.

The Saints have lost just one of their last six matches in the Premier League, having won one of seven prior to that run.

Manchester City have only lost one of their last 10 league matches.

A victory for Guardiola’s side would see the Citizens equal their best-ever amount of wins in a Premier League campaign (19).

Prediction
1-2