Tag Archives: Crystal Palace

Everton Identify £32m Premier League Man As Ideal Lukaku Replacement

Everton have been very active in the transfer market thus far and Ronald Koeman shows no signs of stopping, with the Toffees now seeking additions in attack.

Star-man Romelu Lukaku waved goodbye to Goodison Park earlier this week as he sealed a lucrative move to Manchester United, leaving Everton in the market for a replacement striker that can fill the void left by the Belgian forward.

The Toffees have endured frustration in the market as they seek replacements, with Arsenal insisting Olivier Giroud is going nowhere, but Koeman intends to continuing focusing on signing players from the capital.

The Daily Mirror indicates that Everton have set their sights on Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke, although the Eagles are adamant their £32m club-record signing will not be leaving Selhurst Park this summer.

Everton’s newfound financial strength could prove to be difficult for the Eagles to fend-off though and the Toffees could present a bid in the coming days.

Back to Merseyside?

After netting an impressive 42 goals in 89 games for Aston Villa, Christian Benteke earned a big move to Liverpool but it ended up being another striking mishap for the Reds, with the Belgian striker leaving to join Crystal Palace last year.

His form in front of goal helped the Eagles fend off relegation, as he netted 15 times, and Palace believe he’s crucial to their quest to avoid the drop once again this summer- but Everton’s growing ambition could turn Benteke’s head.

Everton have already signed Davy Klaassen, Wayne Rooney, Jordan Pickford and Michael Keane this summer, amongst others, and are assembling a side capable of fighting the Premier League’s elite for European football- something Palace are a long way off being able to offer.

Crystal Palace Poised To Land Chelsea Ace As De Boer’s First Signing

Crystal Palace are one of many Premier League side’s undergoing a major transition this summer and Dutch boss Frank De Boer is eager to make his mark with the Eagles, as he seeks the signature of an England U21 ace.

The Telegraph states the South London side are closing in on the signature of Chelsea midfielder Rubens Loftus-Cheek on a season-long loan deal, which would see the England U21 regular become De Boer’s first signing at Selhurst Park.

The 21-year-old has been a rare prodigy at Chelsea, standing as one of few young players who have remained in West London rather than going on-loan elsewhere but the opportunities having been forthcoming regularly for Loftus-Cheek.

Since making his debut in 2014, Loftus-Cheek has earned 22 Premier League appearances which, remarkably, is just five more than he’s made for England at U21 level- a stat which proves he’s been crying out for a loan move for a while.

What can Loftus-Cheek provide?

With Chelsea rebuffing the opportunity of sending Loftus-Cheek on-loan previously, it’s clear the Blues value the England ace highly and believe he can be a useful asset. However, he’s unlikely to make a breakthrough fully until he impresses elsewhere.

First-team football at Crystal Palace could bring the best out of Loftus-Cheek, helping Crystal Palace in their strive for improvements on the field and providing a deal that could be great for all parties- as Loftus-Cheek would get the opportunities he needs, the Eagles would get a solid addition and Chelsea would see a young asset develop in the Premier League.

His experience at U21 level for England should leave him ready to make a lasting impression in the Premier League and he could become a crucial asset for the Eagles next season, providing he settles into the challenges he’ll face swiftly.

Premier League side line-up summer swoop for Liverpool outcast

Liverpool have a lot of work to do this summer and Jurgen Klopp is set to clear out the deadwood at Anfield, which could prove to be useful for other sides in the Premier League.

One of the players likely to be shipped out at the end of the season is French defender Mamadou Sakho, who has impressed since January after joining Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace on-loan until the end of the season.

The Independent now states the Eagles will push for the permanent signing of Sakho this summer but risk losing out in the market following the defender’s fine performances, which are likely to have raised his value and Liverpool’s asking price.

Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce confirmed at the weekend he’ll look to sign Sakho permanently, following the Eagles surprise 2-1 victory over Premier League leaders Chelsea, but reports indicate Sakho’s services could fetch as much as £25m.

What’s been said?

Speaking after the victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, Sam Allardyce said:

“Securing our Premier League status is our priority, and then we’ll see what Mamadou’s aspirations are, to be with us or anywhere else. His future doesn’t look as if it is at Liverpool. He’s enjoying his football and his life here. He’s brought that resilience to the team by leading by example.”

“He’s taking a commanding role in his performance and the information he’s giving out on the field. That has helped with our defensive resilience: one goal conceded in four games.”

Will he join Palace?

Sakho has excelled since joining Crystal Palace, winning all four of his matches with the Eagles thus far, and his performances have attracted interest from Italian sides and Southampton- which means Crystal Palace could easily be priced out of a deal.

For the player himself, staying in an area where he feels settled may be decisive but Sakho will also hold aspirations of forcing his way into France’s squad for the World Cup next summer- having missed Euro 2016 following a drugs ban, which was later overturned.

Sakho missed out on the latest international squad and hasn’t made the squad since last summer, with the 27-year-old now facing competition with the likes of Samuel Umtiti, Aymeric Laporte, Raphael Varane and Laurent Koscielny for a spot in France’s starting line-up.

3 Alternative Selections For Your Premier League Fantasy Football Team This Week

Premier League football could well be in for a triple dosage of goal-laden games this week, given the amount of must-win duels coming our way.

In hope of a response to Wednesday’s 5-0 drubbing at the hands of FC Porto in the UEFA Champions League, Leicester City will be praying for three points, something that has escaped them since late October.

The Foxes’ opponents this Saturday come in the form of favourable quantity Manchester City, also coming into this weekend’s clash off the back of European disappointment versus Celtic and with an underwhelming record of just three wins in their last six league games.

Old Trafford hosts the anticipated meeting between top four contenders, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, neither being left with much margin for error, whereas at the other end of the table, the likes of Hull City, Crystal Palace, Swansea City and Sunderland all face “cup finals” of their own.

But with so many blows expected to be traded this weekend, it’s perhaps a surprise to see we’re backing just one striker to rake in a large sum of points this weekend in Fantasy Premier League. Here are our reasons:

1 – Gylfi Sigurðsson

Club: Swansea City
Position: Midfielder
Price: £7.4m

Currently sitting bottom of the pile in the Premier League, the need for points is urgent at the Liberty Stadium and they won’t have many better opportunities to do so than when Sunderland come to town.

The Black Cats are on the up, winning three of their last four league games, but they’re still very much within the realms of the lower end of the table, as two points separate the relegation candidates prior to Saturday’s fixture.

Swansea’s last victory saw the Swans topple Crystal Palace in a 5-4 thriller a fortnight ago, of which Gylfi Sigurðsson was on hand to chip in with a goal and assist en route to victory. Last weekend’s 5-0 loss away to Spurs was the first time in six appearances that the Icelandic star didn’t contribute directly to a Swansea goal, so if Bob Bradley’s side are to lift off the root of the league table come Saturday, we expect the 27-year-old to have a significant input.

3 Strikers You Need In Your Fantasy Football Teams This Weekend ft. Everton, Sunderland & Manchester City Stars

With the third international break of the season behind us, it’s now full steam ahead for club football until March. Offering no respite, the Premier League returns with a tasty collection of potential relegation ‘six-pointers’, a meeting between old foes at Old Trafford and even a London derby.

Undoubtedly, there’ll be plenty of heart beats to be skipped, goals to be fought for and points to be clocked along the way. Here’s who Fresh Football are backing to lead the way in this week’s Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 12.

1 – Jermaine Defoe

Club: Sunderland
Position: Striker
Price: £7.4m
We could have tipped Diego Costa to star, here, as so many are sure to do, but we like the look of a potentially big showing from Jermain Defoe against lowly-placed Hull City at the Stadium of Light. Of course, Sunderland have fared worse than their opponents so far, winning their first league game of the season as late as their last outing.

The clash between the two clubs is, without a doubt, a must-win game, and given the momentum to be gained from their last fixture and the fact that they’re at home; there may well be a theoretical advantage to be placed upon the otherwise unreliable Black Cats this weekend.

Leading the line, David Moyes’ men will be looking towards Defoe to come up with a clutch moment or two to help them take down Hull. At £m, the veteran could well be the perfect stop-gap for those who simply need to replace an injured/suspended striker for a week, or one that’s otherwise unlikely to come up big against tough opposition.

‘He’s World Class’ Twitter Reacts To West Ham Midfielders Performance vs. Crystal Palace

West Ham moved out of the relegation zone on Saturday evening, picking up a vital 3 points away to Crystal Palace thanks to a Manuel Lanzini goal.

The Hammers played much better than they have of late, though they were maybe fortunate to pick up the three points after Cristian Benteke fluffed his penalty. With Creswell sent off in the latter stages, it meant West Ham had to hold on to get only their 2nd win of the Premier League season.

They have a lot to thank Lanzini for for winning this game. Not just the goal, but the little Argentine was majestic throughout. He played in an attacking midfield role, mainly on the right hand side but drifted throughout. He helped West Ham retain possession high up the pitch with a brilliant 90% pass accuracy, and linked midfield with attack so well making 4 key passes. He had 2 shots, both of which were on target and one resulting in a goal.

It may be somewhat surprising, but Lanzini actually has a very good workmate and can do a lot of defensive work as well as attacking. We saw that box-to-box ability showcased against Palace on Saturday evening where he put a lot of pressure on the Crystal Palace midfield, in total making 5 successful tackles, a huge amount for an attacking midfielder. It was refreshing to see because in this bad period of form for West Ham, it is important that their players show desire and he epitomised that word in this game.

Here is what the fans have had to say about Lanzini’s performance on Twitter.

After a mixed season on loan last time around, Lanzini seems to be flourishing now that he has signed for the Hammers permanently. He understands the team, his role and seems settled into London life. It is important that Slaven Bilic can continue to get the best out of the youngster as he has a huge amount of potential and with Dimitri Payet aged 29 and perhaps likely to leave next summer, West Ham will need a new star in their midfield and Lanzini looks like he has the potential to fill that void.

It will be important now that Lanzini shows that same desire in future matches for West Ham, as they need him to be as influential if they are to lift themselves into the top half of the table, something that must be their absolute minimum expectation for the season.

3 Players You Need To Put In Your Fantasy Football Team This Week: Ft. Arsenal & Chelsea Stars

With the England international scene in a bit of a sorry state, the Premier League returns in good time to hog our attention span. Spoiling us with big match-ups, such as Manchester City versus Everton, Crystal Palace’s London derby against West Ham United and the eagerly-anticipated Liverpool – Manchester United clash on Monday night, Fresh Football will also be on the scene to point you in the right direction with regards to your Fantasy Premier League choices. Here are our three hotpicks:

1 – Laurent Koscielny

Club: Arsenal
Position: Defender
Price: £6.2m

Arsenal’s backline appears to be in good nick, so much so that the newly-formed duo of Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi have conceded just once in their last four games together. On their way to the Emirates Stadium this weekend are Swansea City, who, in Bobby Bradley’s debut as the Swans’ manager, may be more concerned with thwarting the in-form Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott than anything else.

A more committed approach to defending from the visitors is sure to improve the odds of another clean sheet for Arsenal, who will have to keep an eye open for the aerial threat conveyed by Fernando Llorente, Borja Baston and Leroy Fer, among others. In the meantime, Koscielny could also arise as a goal scoring threat at the other end when the opportunity presents itself.

Premier League Team Of The Week: 2 Liverpool, 2 Arsenal, 2 Watford & 1 Everton Player Feature

Jordan Pickford – Sunderland

Probably the busiest keeper of the weekend having to keep out an onslaught from the Spurs attack was superb throughout and deserved to be on the winning side.

The 22-year-old made more saves (8) than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League over the weekend.

Seamus Coleman – Everton

The Irish International scored a sublime solo effort against Boro with a striker-esque finish. Coleman attacked the line brilliantly and was always an outlet on the right-hand side whilst doing his defensive duties as usual.

That’s Coleman’s first goal of the season and with performances like that he will be sure to score a few more, he also made two tackles whilst helping his team out with six clearances.

Sebastian Prodl – Watford

This was “The battle of the buns” with one worthy winner in Prodl.

The Watford centre-back managed to keep the ever busy Zlatan Ibrahimović at bay and not giving him any time on the ball.

He was outstanding throughout and was an influence defensively, winning one major tackle on Ibrahimović as he looked destined to score after going through on goal.

The 6ft+ defender won most of his aerial duels and looked stronger than Zlatan, especially with his tackles, a fantastic performance.

Joel Matip – Liverpool

Very rarely will a team go to Stamford Bridge and dominate as much as Liverpool did on Friday night.

Liverpool’s defence were solid, they didn’t let Chelsea have any time on the ball and didn’t get dragged into a physical wrestling match with Diego Costa.

Instead, Matip was clever in his approach, he would often budge Costa to let him know he is there, which led to the Chelsea striker giving away possession and becoming frustrated.

Matip had a very professional and solid performance and was dominating in the air and also brilliant in possession just as much without.

José Holebas – Watford

For the second week running Holebas gets into our team of the week.

The consistent performer has carried on his splendid early form and once again showcased his fine abilities against the Red Devils.

He was very strong on and off the ball and gave United next to nothing on the right-hand side, a beast of a performance.

Jordan Henderson – Liverpool

Firstly, you have to say what a special goal that was.

A midfielder who doesn’t score many produced arguably goal of the month against the Blues at Stamford Bridge with a sublime hit from around 30 yards.

Henderson was solid and dominating in midfield; he ran the show and made both Matic and Kante look very lacklustre in the middle of the park.

Francis Coquelin – Arsenal

First things first, Francis Coquelin deserves huge credit for his performance against Hull City with the added pressure Granit Xhaka has brought to him.

Although Xhaka should be starting for the Gunners, Coquelin had his best game of the season against the Tigers in a complete performance showcasing why he should be in contention.

The Frenchman completed 98% of his passes against Hull, which is utterly perfect, and protected the back four superbly.

The Arsenal midfielder made four tackles and four interceptions in the 90 minutes, showing his worth to the Gunners side, a fantastic performance.

Andros Townsend – Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace ran riot against a very depleted Stoke City side yesterday afternoon.

The Palace winger was instrumental throughout and his blistering pace and skills were too much for the Stoke City defence to handle.

He scored his first Palace goal in style, after dribbling it away and blasting it into the back of the net from outside the box. Palace were all round fantastic, with Townsend being the best of the lot.

Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City

Last week, we said KDB was playing with new freedom and found exhilarating form, he once again showcased this against Bournemouth and if he carries on will find himself a contender for player of the season.

His exquisite early season form continues as did his clinical presence in front of goal, KDB once again showed his deadly eye for goal as he scored another goal for City whilst also adding another assist to his tally this season.

Apart from scoring and assisting, the Belgian international created three clear-cut chances for City in their dominating win over the Cherries.

Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez continued to lead the Gunners attacking line playing in the number 9 role, days after an unconvincing performance there against PSG.

But, this time Sanchez looked back to his old ways, tormenting defenders and running at the Hull back line without fear in a brilliant display for the Gunners.

Arsenal’s magician scored Arsenal’s first goal in a bizarre scenario with Alex Iwobi feeling robbed of the goal after it hit Sanchez before finding the net.

Alexis went on to miss a penalty later on in the half but this didn’t stop him scoring an excellent goal in the second half and having an all-round brilliant display.

Islam Slimani – Leicester City

Slimani probably dreamt on Friday night about scoring a goal on his Premier League debut, instead, he scored two very well taken goals and looked very much comfortable in his new surroundings.

On top of his goals, he showed very promising signs of excellent link up play between the Foxes deadly duo Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, which will excite Claudio Ranieri.

Team Of The Week (GW 5): 3 Man City, 2 Watford, 1 Arsenal, 1 Liverpool, & 1 Chelsea Player Inc.

This is the Fresh Football team of the week for Gameweek 5. 

Steve Mandanda – Crystal Palace

Mandanda is settling into life in the Premier League comfortably, the Frenchman made two outstanding saves from Negredo and Ben Gibson to help Palace secure all three points.

Daryl Janmaat – Watford

Janmaat was running all game, he was always in space when attacking and was always defending when he needed to be, he also put a lot of good crosses in. The Watford man also impressed defensively winning an astounding eight tackles and winning two aerial duels.

Nicolas Otamendi – Manchester City

Otamendi was one of the best players on the pitch in the Manchester derby; he was robust and put his body on the line for his side. The Argentine was also happy to get in a physical battle with United’s Zlatan Ibrahimović whilst defending magnificently for the 90 minutes.

The impressive defender made four tackles and five clearances during the 90 minutes whilst also intercepting play six times. Something which will impress Guardiola massively was his pass accuracy, managing 90.9% whilst also winning four aerial duels.

Laurent Koscielny – Arsenal

Arsenal arguably walked away with three points from the Emirates Stadium on Saturday because of this man. The captain had another dazzling performance in the Arsenal shirt and his defensive qualities once again shown against the Saints. As well as defending well, he also scored an acrobatic overhead kick to grab the equaliser, something you don’t see every defender doing.

José Holebas – Watford

Holebas scored and got MOTM against West Ham United in Watford’s 4-2 victory. He also put in crucial challenges including the one that led to his goal. He was defensively solid winning five tackles and being a force in the air winning four duels.

Roberto Firmino – Liverpool

Another consistent performance by one of Liverpool’s main men, he put Leicester to bed with an individual brilliant performance which included two goals which were both excellent finishes. His movement was too much for the Foxes midfield and defence and Firmino gave them the run around all afternoon.

Fernandinho – Manchester City

For me, Fernandinho is the most underrated midfielder in the league; he once again showed why he is so important to the City side and did a brilliant job in shielding his defence against a very strong United side, whilst also helping City in a more advanced role. City’s midfielder impressed with an 88% pass success whilst also winning three aerial duels, he certainly won the battle in the middle of the park contributing with two tackles.

Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City

A new player, KDB is playing with new freedom and has found exhilarating form in the opening weeks of the Premier League. Early on, his crossing was exquisite and from the first to the last whistle was unplayable. He found the net once and hit the post which led to a tap in for Iheanacho, which turned out to be the winner. KDB went on to hit the post again later on in the game. The City man ran the show and tormented United all afternoon; his movement and class were too superior for any United man to come close.

Son Heung-min – Tottenham Hotspur

A player that nearly left White Hart Lane in the summer has found new life in the squad. He was excellent in Spurs’ riot over Stoke on Saturday and scored two goals with the latter being a wonder goal. Son was finding space very well between the lines and was efficient on the ball whilst linking up with his teammates very well. Son completed one take on and scored two goals from three shots which proved his clinical finishing on the day.

Diego Costa – Chelsea

Diego Costa was fantastic against Swansea. He straight away found himself in a physical battle against the back four which lasted the whole 90 minutes, and he came out on top.

Bagging himself two goals giving the Blues a point, he was their star man on Sunday afternoon.

His movement was brilliant for a player leading the number 9 role; he pulled defenders out of position and opened up space for his teammates to run into.

The Chelsea man looks hungry for goals this season and now has four in four thus far.

Romelu Lukaku – Everton

For me, the best performance of the weekend has to go to Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian hitman found his feet against Sunderland and finally ended his horrendous goal drought scoring a hat-trick in just 11 minutes.

He could have had more, he hit the bar and gave the Sunderland defence the run around all night, his movement was too much and he found himself in very good areas throughout the game.

Everton will rely heavily on this man’s form this season as they aim to get into Europe, with consistency being the main problem for the 23-year-old, but if he manages to hit the ground running for several months, he could easily score 20+ goals this season.

Transfer Window Rankings (16th-13th): Sunderland, Stoke, Everton & Crystal Palace Feature

As two of the most free-spending managers in football history, José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, paved way for the arrival of more high-profile managerial switch-a-rounds, it’s perhaps no surprise to see Premier League clubs shatter the records of expenditure once more with a £1.165 billion bill, surpassing the £870 million mark set just last season.

In its trail, the relentless cash burning has left a bunch of euphoric agents, players and, for the most part, many satisfied fans with the acquisitions made by their favourite clubs. Some teams went about their business better than others, however.

Yesterday, we brought to you those ranked by Fresh Football as 20th-17th, so here’s the next four teams in our power rankings:

16th – Sunderland

Key Incomings: Papy Djilobodji (£8m), Didier Ndong (£13.4m), Adnan Januzaj (Loan), Paddy McNair (£4.4m), Donald Love (£975,000), Jason Denayer (Loan), Javier Manquillo (Loan), Steven Pienaar (Free), Victor Anichebe (Free).
Key Outgoings: Jeremain Lens (Loan), Younes Kaboul (£3.4m), Emmanuel Giaccherini (£1.3m), Steven Fletcher (Free), Wes Brown (Free).

Sunderland managed to land a loan move for the talented, yet uninspired Adnan Januzaj, but a move to the Stadium of Light does offer the Manchester United man some much-needed TLC, as he links up with David Moyes once more.

The likes of Jason Denayer and Papy Djilobodji will all have a point to prove after being streamlined straight down from traditionally top six clubs in Manchester City and Chelsea, whereas there’s also sense of intrigue surrounding the Black Cats’ latest signing from Lorient, Didier Ndong.

Keeping Lamine Koné rooted to the club for the foreseeable future will also be a huge plus for Sunderland, too, but Moyes’ admission that the club would most probably be involved in yet another dog fight to remain in the Premier League, even with Januzaj, Djilobodji and, evidently, Koné already at the club, doesn’t offer much confidence with regards to the squad’s preparation for the season ahead.

15th – Stoke City

Key Incomings: Joe Allen (£13m), Wilfried Bony (Loan), Bruno Martins Indi (Loan), Ramadan Sobhi (£4.25m), Lee Grant (Loan).
Key Outgoings: Philipp Wollscheid (Loan), Joselu (Loan), Marc Wilson (£2m).

It’s difficult to look beyond Joe Allen as the key attraction to this Stoke City side this summer. After an impressive Euro 2016 campaign, it’s perhaps surprising to see the Welshman relinquished by Liverpool, but his arrival adds to an ever-luxurious looking Mark Hughes side.

With Joselu out the door, Manchester City’s Wilfried Bony provides the Potters with a heavyweight replacement on a temporary basis, which, if he can produce anything like his Swansea City numbers, will see the striker become an instant fan favourite at the Bet365 Stadium.

Ramadan Sobhi’s first venture into European football could also prove to make for interesting viewing, but the deadline day acquisition of Bruno Martins Indi does bring a negative twang to Stoke’s dealings. Much like the Potters’ record signing, Gianelli Imbula, the Dutchman failed to impress in a considerably weaker league for FC Porto in the past two seasons.

With Philipp Wollscheid joining Bundesliga side Wolfsburg on loan, there’s a good chance Martins Indi will be fast-tracked to the first-team alongside Ryan Shawcross, which, as far as his recent history is concerned, may be a real worry.

14th – Everton

Key Incomings: Yannick Bolasie (£25m), Ashley Williams (£12m), Maarten Stekelenburg (£850,000), Idrissa Gana Gueye (£7.25m), Enner Valencia (Loan).
Key Outgoings: John Stones (£47.25m), Tim Howard (Free), Brendan Galloway (Loan), Steven Pienaar (Released), Leon Osman (Free), Aiden McGeady (Loan), Ryan Ledson (Undisclosed), Tony Hibbert (Released).

Everton moved quickly to reinvest their £47.25 million windfall from John Stones by landing Swansea City captain Ashley Williams, which should cover them defensively for at least a couple of seasons. Yannick Bolasie’s price-tag is evidently eye-popping, however, and despite his talent, it’s difficult to see such necessity with the likes of Kevin Mirallas and Gerard Deulofeu already at the club.

Within new surroundings, Idrissa Gana Gueye could prove to be a shrewd piece of business after a turbulent season with Aston Villa, but the arrival of Maarten Stekelenburg might not offer great assurances between the sticks after mixed experiences in the Premier League with Fulham and Southampton.

Then there’s the low-risk loan signing of West Ham United’s Enner Valencia, who should be useful in backing up Romelu Lukaku, but initially represents the Toffees’ failure to land the likes of Lucas Pérez last month. A real mixed bag of a window in the blue half of Merseyside.

13th – Crystal Palace

Key Incomings: Christian Benteke (£26.5m), Andros Townsend (£13.25m), James Tomkins (£10m), Steve Mandanda (Free), Loïc Rémy (Loan).
Key Outgoings: Yannick Bolasie (£25m), Dwight Gayle (£10m), Miles Jedinak (£4m), Emmanuel Adebayor (Released).

If you have your centre back, Scott Dann, leading the way for goals scored, you might want to seriously consider overhauling your frontline of attack. Thanks to the big sale of Yannick Bolasie, Crystal Palace have managed to do just that by shelling out on Liverpool misfit Christian Benteke.

Despite a heavy price tag, Benteke’s time with Aston Villa before Liverpool recklessly swooped in for him last summer speaks for itself. Alan Pardew has also had an interesting relationship with strikers in the past, with the likes of Demba Ba, Papiss Cissé and Glen Murray all scoring on a consistent basis under his command, so there’s hope the Palace boss can get the best out of Benteke.

If that fails, the Eagles have Loïc Rémy to back them up in attack, whereas Andros Townsend, as proved towards the end of last season for Newcastle United, can also contribute with a goal or two. Much like the Benteke deal, the signing of Tomkins looks a little too costly, whereas the failure to add creativity, or someone to relieve Yohan Cabaye of some of his defensive duties, stand as the only clear blemishes to Palace’s window.

Tottenham vs. Crystal Palace: 3 Key Battles That Will Decide Who Wins

The two London clubs meet at White Hart Lane this Saturday with both clubs looking to get their first win of the season. Crystal Palace suffered a shock defeat at home to West Brom last Saturday whilst Tottenham managed a point away to Everton. Both teams didn’t kick off the new campaign as they would have wanted and they’ll certainly want to put that right this weekend, here are three key battles that will decide the outcome of the match.

1 – Andros Townsend v Danny Rose

New Crystal Palace man Andros Townsend will find himself up against one of the most improved left-back’s in the Premier League this Saturday in Danny Rose. The former Spurs player returns to his former club this weekend and will be eager to show his former club what they’re missing out on and will certainly want to get the better of England compatriot Rose. Both players will know each other inside out after spending several years together at Spurs, they will know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and will look to exploit that this weekend. Townsend found fine form on the back hand of last season and will look to replicate it this year whilst Rose was a consistent performer in the Spurs squad that finished third, this is certainly one battle to keep an eye on which could pan out to be a very exciting watch.

Klopp Expects Transfer For £30million Striker To Be Completed This Month

Jurgen Klopp has said he expects a transfer of one of his big money strikers this month.

Klopp has conceded it ‘makes sense’ for Belgian striker Cristian Benteke to leave this month, with Crystal Palace reportedly preparing a £30million bid.

The big striker has struggled to settle in Liverpool following his £25million move to the club last summer. The striker certainly feels a little hard done by by Klopp since the German’s arrival, but it is clear that he doesn’t fit the new managers style of play.

That being the case, it seems silly to keep such a valuable asset at the club. Liverpool could quite easily at least recoup what they paid for him last summer with plenty of clubs interested in his services.

Palace remains the most realistic destination for Benteke, who seems ready to play for a lower Premier League club in order to play more minutes on the pitch. Benteke is still just 25 years old and is certainly a good striker. In fact his goal per minute ratio last season was very impressive and he’ll be well suited to Alan Pardew’s tactics at Selhurst Park.

Liverpool fans will hope that if Benteke does complete a big money move away from the club, that the money is invested elsewhere. There is still a need for a new left-back whilst there will be concerns at centre forward if Benteke did leave, because there remains fitness concerns for Daniel Sturridge.

Reports: Crystal Palace Set To Complete Four Quality Signings As Pardew Eyes Europe

Crystal Palace have already made two summer signings thus far, and Aland Pardew is not done yet. The Palace manager is looking ahead to a big summer as he tried to make his squad a real force going into next season, we take a look at two done deals and two bids made.

1) Cristian Benteke

According to several reliable sources, Crystal Palace has made a formal bid for Liverpool striker Christian Benteke.

After a busy start to the transfer window, Palace now look set to sign a striker and have tabled a £25 million bid for the Belgian forward.

The 25-year-old striker, who was in France representing Belgium in the Euro 2016 has fallen out of favor with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and has been far down in the pecking order since his arrival last October.

The forward only joined Liverpool last July signing for a hefty £32.5 million, but the forward has not lived up to his billing and has scored just 10 league goals in that time.

Palace first surfaced their interest in Benteke in January, and has since returned with a bid of around £25 million having lost out on the pursuit of his compatriot Michy Batshuayi, who has joined Chelsea from Marseille for £33.2 million.

Liverpool value Benteke at £30 million and will want to recoup the massive fee they paid last summer, Palace has returned with a bid £5 million under there valuation with the opening bid expected to be rejected. Talks will continue between the clubs as they look to compromise a fee with Palace said to be very confident, Benteke has also attracted interest from West Ham but Palace looks the more likely destination after taking a step forward in their pursuit for the player.

Benteke has not hit the heights Liverpool were hoping for considering the price they paid he did little to repay the faith but it is not surprising Crystal Palace are looking at the striker. In a bad season for Benteke, he still managed 0.53 goals per 90 minutes. Benteke has also impressed with the amount of chances he has created with a very positive score 1.77. This will appease the interested boss Alan Pardew. Benteke hasn’t done badly in his total attack score with 26.84 which is actually better than average.

On the plus side for Palace fans, personal terms will should prove to be an issue in the deal, with the striker eager to make the move to revive his career.

Gossip: Man City To Make £50m Signing, Man Utd Agree £30m Fee & Palace To Seal £25m Deal

The gossip is well underway and we have all the latest for you in our gossip column.

Palace make £25million bid for Cristian Benteke (Telegraph)

Liverpool are considering whether or not to accept a £25million bid from Crystal Palace for Cristian Benteke, according to reports. Jurgen Klopp is thought to be willing to part with the Belgian striker, but the club were initially hoping to recoup £30million for him. Palace’s bid will certainly be worth considering though, as Liverpool look to raise funds to build a squad more suited to Klopp’s style. Benteke may not want to move to a club like Palace though, as he has always had his sights set firmly on playing for the very best clubs. But with Benteke unable to play regularly at Liverpool and with no big clubs interested currently, the 25-year-old may have to take a step back before moving to a big club again. Under Alan Pardew, Palace are building a solid squad having recently signed Andros Townsend and more targetted. Liverpool are yet to respond to Palace’s offer but if they did accept, they’d be taking a £7.5million hit on the £32.5million they paid last summer.

Manchester City set to pay £50million for John Stones (Telegraph)


Everton put a £50million price tag on John Stones’ head in a bid to scare potential suitors away, but with Pep Guardiola desperate for homegrown talent, it seems City will now pay the full asking price. It would be an incredible move for Stones, who aged just 22 was often omitted from the Everton line-up last season due to poor form. Stones would become one of the most expensive players in world football, despite not yet managing to cement his place in Everton’s line up. It’s a huge risk from City, because although Stones does have lots of potential, there are no guarantees that he will fulfil it. With Ilkay Gundogan and Nolito already signed, Pep’s attention is not on strengthening his defence and if a deal for Stones is completed, the Spanish manager will have already spent around £100million on new signings, with many more still expected. The rumours linking this story are being reported in nearly every UK paper and there is a strong feeling that Stones will get his wish in the coming weeks, and join Manchester City.

Manchester United set to sign Henrikh Mkhitaryan (BBC)

Manchester United have had a bid of around £30million accepted for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The 27-year-old Armenian midfielder is expected to sign a contract with wages worth in excess of £200,000 per week. He scored 18 goals in all competitions last season as well as making many more assists. Mkhitaryan is likely to replace Juan Mata in the number 10 role, although he can also play out wide. Mkhitaryan created an incredible 2.81 chances per 90 minutes last season. He’s a forward thinking player who makes 21.95 forward passes on average per game, although not always successfully, with a pass completion rate of 75%.

Report: Crystal Palace Meet Asking Price For Newcastle Star, Contract Talks To Come

Crystal Palace will offer Andros Townsend the opportunity to return straight to the Premier League next season as they prepare to trigger the wingers £8 million release clause.

According to the Mirror on Sunday Palace boss Alan Pardew is keen on the signature of Andros Townsend and are set to give the 24 -year-old a lift by offering him the chance to bounce straight back up and the chance to play top-flight football again next season.

Palace are set to trigger Townsend’s release clause of just £8 million which would mean Newcastle take a loss of £4 million in just six months.

Townsend fell out of favour at Tottenham under Mauricio Pochettino and was granted a move to Newcastle in January for £12 million. Townsend certainly re-established his career but was unable to help Newcastle fight the relegation battle although he was one of their stand-out performers. The Magpies are now set to play Championship football next season for the first time since 2009-2010.

Palace had another underwhelming season finishing 15th, but they did have a day out at Wembley where they finished runners up losing 2 – 1 to Manchester United in the FA Cup final. They will look for a top half finish next season with Townsend firmly in their sights, the Newcastle man made just 12 league appearances for Newcastle scoring four goals. The pacey winger will certainly add much-needed skill and flair to Palace’s depleted squad and add strong competition to the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie. Townsend who played for Tottenham before his move scored 3 goals in 50 league games for Spurs but his abilities shown through earning him 11 International caps where he has scored three goals. Pardew is a known admirer and his pace on the wings would suit Palace’s system perfectly.

Newcastle know it will be hard to keep hold of their key players this summer with many players wanting to play in the top division. Rafa Benitez will remain as the Toons manager after signing a new contract despite relegation, but the former Real Madrid manager will not be able to keep hold of his main players if clubs come calling from the Premier League or abroad.

Townsend was a bright spark in Newcastle’s relegation and nearly got himself on the plane to France for the Euros after being announced in the provisional 26 man squad. Unfortunately he didn’t make the final cut and was sent home along with Fabian Delph and Danny Drinkwater.

Tipster: Betting Advice From @OliPriceBates For This Weekend’s (March 11-13) Fixtures

With plenty of games to be played from Friday to Sunday, one of our betting advisors, @OliPriceBates takes a look at where the value lies in the latest batch of fixtures across the globe.

After our first full week of betting, we are boasting an impressive 30.2% ROI on @FreshFootball. Be sure to follow us on Twitter as not all our tips are posted on the website. After recent success in The Americas, I’m going to start with one game from the Argentina Primera and one from Liga MX.

Tip 1 – Racing Club vs. Lanus BTTS @ 2.0 – 1.5pt stake (Friday 11th – Kick Off: 23:15)
Top of Zone B, Lanus have started the season extremely well. The odds on BTTS are high because of the visitors defensive record so far this season, conceding just three in their first six games. A closer look at the stats though will tell you that they conceded two in a 2-2 draw in their last away game in the Primera. Racing Club have a traditionally strong record at home and I think they’ll at least get on the scoresheet. Their most recent game finished 6-3, although that was away from home. Their last home game was a 1-0 win over Boca Juniors, but Boca have been consistently tight defensively.

Tip 2 – Treble: Wigan DNB, Burton DNB & Swindon vs. Milwall BTTS @ 3.11 – 1pt stake (Saturday 12th)
Although Fleetwood beat Coventry in their last visit, their away form has been terrible this season. Burton on the other hand have been flying and will want another win to maintain top spot in the division. Like Burton, Wigan are fighting for automatic promotion whilst they travel to Colchester, a team that sit rock bottom and are all but relegated. Swindon and Milwall are two of the highest scoring teams in the division, BTTS looks a good bet. If one/two of the three tipped draw, you’ll still be in profit.

Tip 3 – Everton vs. Chelsea BTTS & Fulham vs. Bristol City BTTS @ 2.58 – 1pt stake (Saturday 12th)
Everton at home are always good to watch in terms of goals. Leaking them at one end, but scoring for fun – they host a Chelsea side likely to be tired from their midweek endeavours against Paris Saint-Germain. Fulham have scored 55 goals but conceded 61 in their 36 league games, whilst the improved Bristol City have scored in 5 of their last 6 away games. This relegation battle clash in likely to see goals, with both teams needing three points.

Tip 4 – Reading to beat Crystal Palace and BTTS @ 7.0 – 0.5pt stake (Friday 11th)

Tip 5 – Reading DNB, Northampton DNB @ 3.31 – 1pt stake (Friday 11th & Saturday 12th)

Tip 6 – Northampton vs. Cambridge – Northampton to win @ 1.9 – 1.5pt stake (Saturday 12th)

Tip 7 – Cruz Azul goals over 1.5 vs. Puebla @ 1.72 – 1.5pt stake (Sunday 12th)


We have tipped the following.

Tip 1 – £7.50 @ 2.0 – £15
Tip 2 – £5 @ 3.11 – £13
Tip 3 – £5 @ 2.58
Tip 4 – £2.50 @ 7.0
Tip 5 – £5 @ 3.31
Tip 6 – £7.50 @ 1.9
Tip 7 – £7.50 @ 1.72

Total staked: £40
Loss: £12

DC = Double Chance | DNB = Draw No Bet | BTTS = Both Teams To Score

Note: We use 1pt as £5, but you can scale this up or down depending on your budget. If you used £5 as 1pt in week one of our tips, you will have made over £70 profit.

Make sure you’re following @FreshFootball on Twitter to ensure you see all our tips as we will be posting more throughout the weekend, including some in-play bets.

‘Great Result’: Palace Fans Delighted With Crucial Victory Against Stoke

Alan Pardew took his confident Palace side to the Britannia Stadium to take on Mark Hughes’ Stoke City. With the Stoke fans their usual boisterous selves and Palace selling out their allocation as ever, the stage was set for a proper Premiership encounter.

Stoke dominated the early stages of this contest and restricted the Eagles to very little going forward. They went ahead through former Manchester United striker Mame Diouf midway through the first half. The Senegal international latched on from a deflected Charlie Adam freekick, and slotted past Speroni with a clever first time finish.

The game came to life towards the end of the first period as Palace were handed a reprieve from absolutely nowhere. Asmir Begovic was adjudged to have brought down Yannick Bolasie in what could easily gone the other way as Bolasie’s boot was raised as the two clashed. Man in form Glen Murray emphatically dispatched to level the scoring making it 4 in his last 4 for the Eagles.

Minutes later, the game was turned on it’s head as a mistake from the Stoke back-line allowed the dangerous Wilf Zaha in to steal in capitalize very late on in the first half showing great pace and composure en route to his 3rd goal of the season.

No more goals were scored the meaning Palace moved up a place to 11th and are still on course to achieving their highest Premier league finish in their history. This was under Tony Pulis the previous season in what seemed to be an impossible job to replicate, yet Pardew is on course to exceed that. Looks as if this is one Premiership club on the up. Great news for football in the South of the capital.

‘Still In The Race’: Saints Fans Expectations Continue To Increase

In a week where Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Spurs, as well as Manchester City – who potentially are now more leaning towards a top four race than title race – all won, Southampton’s late win on Tuesday evening against Crystal Palace could end up being all the more crucial.

Saido Mane pounced on a Julian Speroni parry, following a James Ward-Prowse shot, and the Saints ended their poor run of form, having just won one game in five prior to meeting the Eagles.
After losing to Liverpool the weekend before, aspirations of the top four were appearing to be torn up, and should the form guide of read Southampton ‘one win in six’, you would have little confidence in them heading into this Sunday’s game at Chelsea.
However now, some momentum.
Which for the Southampton supporters is a welcome lift, heading into a business end of the season they wouldn’t of experienced before…

‘He’ll Be A Success’: Palace Fans React To Pardew’s First Acquisition

Now Arsenal may have thought they were signing the next Thierry Henry when they acquired the services of Yaya Sanogo from Auxerre back in 2013. He was French, tall, and played for the same local Parisian side that the former Gunners legend did back in his early days.

However after 11 goals in French football in 21 games before he got his big move, Sanogo has hardly kept up his initial form. With just one competitive goal in a handful of first-team appearances since his arrival at the Emirates, he is best known for scoring four goals in the annual Emirates Cup pre-season competition against Benfica – hardly statue status.
But whilst potential has been shown in some important matches for Arsenal, it’s never quite gone for the Frenchman. So just as he is the second most famous Yaya in the Premier League, he also seems to have become second fiddle at the North London club too, just like he wasn’t quite good enough for the Clairefontaine academy as a schoolboy.
Yet, a lifeline has been issued. A lifeline in the form of Crystal Palace, who have offered the 21 year old a deal to the end of the season.
And although I have quickly damned the centre forward’s capabilities, it seems unlike in North London, Sanogo has some admirers in the South of London. From a rendition of an 80’s hit, to reminiscing about Jon Macken, here’s the Twitter reaction on their new signing from the Palace fans..

‘Best City Player Ever’: Manchester City Fans Praise Match Winning Midfielder

Manchester City fans have heralded David Silva as the best play ever to wear the Blue jerseys of the club after his brace helped secure a 3-0 victory against Crystal Palace.

The defending champions were playing well throughout the game but it took a second-half deflected effort to give them the lead, as Silva grabbed his first of the game. He returned shortly after with another, before Yaya Toure added the icing on the cake with a late goal to seal the three points.

City are now level at the top of the table with Chelsea, who play on Monday, and are behind by just a single goal in goal difference heading into the busy Christmas period.

‘Appaling, Typical’: Palace Fans Furious With BBC Highlights

Crystal Palace fans were appalled at the weekend after their 1-1 draw with Swansea City received very little coverage of Match of The Day and limited insight into the game.

BBC’s flagship programme stuck the Eagles on last, behind the 0-0 draw between Sunderland and Chelsea, whilst also excluding one of the best moments of the game when Yannick Bolasie struck the bar. On top of this, the analysis into Crystal Palace was limited to just one sentence by Gary Linekar, which infuriated passionate fans.

Whilst it may not have been the best game of the weekend, excluding key highlights is something that shouldn’t be acceptable and it’s fairly reasonable that the BBC have received these angry responses.

‘Better Than Aguero?’: Swansea Fans Praise Star Striker

Swansea City may not have won this weekend, as they drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace, but the Welsh fans will feel like champions every week with Wilfried Bony in their side.

The Ivorian netted again for the Swans this weekend to take his tally to fourteen for the calendar year, the highest in the Premier League and better than Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero. Match of The Day commentators were criticised last night for stating that Bony is a more prolific striker than the Argentine but when you look at his stats, they may have a point.

Whether or not Bony is better than Aguero doesn’t matter much to Swansea fans, who are just happy to have such a talented footballer in their squad. Though at this rate the sharks will soon be circling.

‘We Are The Joke Of The Premier League’: Fans React To Shock Defeat

Liverpool’s rough start to the season continued today as they suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Liverpool have struggled to adjust to life without Suarez, and with Daniel Sturridge injured it doesn’t look like things are going to pick up any time soon.

The Reds have now lost their last three Premier League games and are without a win in four. They currently sit in 12th place, 18 points behind league leaders Chelsea. Expectations were naturally higher for Liverpool this season, following an impressive campaign last year. However, this season’s poor performances have fallen well below the level expected by fans. There are rumours that, after today’s defeat, Brendan Rodgers’ job may be under threat. Personally though, I think it’s far to early to be talking about that.

Here’s how Liverpool fans reacted on Twitter:

‘Can’t Stand Players Like Him’: Palace Fans React To Horror Miss Against Manchester United

Crystal Palace tackle Manchester United at Old Trafford this afternoon in what was always going to be a difficult game- but in these fixtures you have to take your chances when they come!

Unfortunately for Crystal Palace when they were handed a golden opportunity courtesy of the poor United defence, Frazier Campbell managed to fluff his lines and miss an absolute sitter. The former Manchester United player quite literally had the ball on a plate but somehow managed to blaze over the bar.

Naturally, Palace fans on Twitter went mental and many stated that Dwight Gayle, or their grandparents, would have scored in his situation.

‘He Deserves A Start!’: Manchester United Fans Call For Youngster To Start Against Crystal Palace

With Manchester United struggling to find their feet this season, fans have been calling for Louis Van Gaal to shake things up ahead of the clash with Crystal Palace this weekend.

Radamel Falcao is struggling for fitness and numerous fans are now calling for young James Wilson to be given his chance in the Premier League, after tearing it up in the U-21’s recently. Robin Van Persie is reported to be axed from the starting line-up to accommodate the young English striker, which is going down well with Red Devils fans.

Manchester United host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford this weekend, where they’ll be looking to bounce back from a derby day defeat against City last weekend.