Tag Archives: Michail Antonio

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.

The Times Say Chelsea Want To Sign These Two Wing-Backs: But How Good Are They?

Antonio Conte is expecting to be busy this month with Chelsea looking to sign two new wing-backs, despite their excellent 13 matches unbeaten run and impressive defensive record.

The Chelsea manager is looking to improve his top of the table squad with the wing-back position being his prime priority. Since his change of formation to a 3-4-3 Chelsea have been immense in both offensive/defensive phases, impressive wing-back pair Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses has been pivotal to their recent success but may find their position up for grabs once the window slams shut.

West Ham United star Michail Antonio and Jonas Hector are on Conte’s wish list this month according to The Times, who say two wing-backs are the main targets for Chelsea this month.

Slaven Bilic will be reluctant to sell his star man this winter as he has been the bright spark in a dark season for the Hammers. The 26-year-old has thus far managed eight goals in 27 games.

The former Nottingham Forest man cost West Ham just £7 million in 2015 but Bilic will know they could demand more than triple if they were to part ways this winter.

Conte as reportedly eyeing Hector before opting for former Fiorentina man Alonso in the summer, with him going on to cement himself in the starting XI and making a positive impression in the first half of the season. But there remain doubts over Alonso’s ability in the long run and also the depth in his position.

Chelsea are currently six points clear at the top of the Premier League table and are in formidable form despite their hiccup at White Hart Lane, the signing of Antonio/Hector will give the Blues boss many options on the wing-back/defensive positions and will help to continue their momemtum until the end of the season.

Both players have had experience playing the wing-back role, and have both been thoroughly impressive thus far this season. Germany man Hector has managed to win 1.62 tackles per 90 minutes this season which puts him ahead of Hammers man Antonio who has managed just 1.05, which in itself is still impressive.

Occupying the role Conte will want either to adapt too will see both players utilising their pace to get past their man, whether that’s to spring counter attacks or get out of defensive positions. Hector again comes out on top of Antonio, managing 69.23% successful take ons whilst Antonio trails on 57.65%, which again is impressive and over the half way mark.

Being a German, and learning his trade within his native country it was almost inevitable Hector would be impressive in possession and this shows with 85% pass completion, again leading Antonio on 72%.

But, something the West Ham man does have over Hector is his eye for goal, he has a fair few goals thus far this season managing to find the net 0.44 times per 90 minutes compared to Cologne man Hector, managing zero. This will again have caught the eye of Conte who knows he can add goals to his game which is a massive plus for any manager. It’s possible that Antonio could be deployed in the most advanced right wing berth of the 3-4-3 formation.

Not just a goal scorer, but a creator too, Antonio has managed to create 0.94 chances per 90 with the German ahead of him on 1.44, which shows he’s certainly more of a creator than a goalscorer.

Antonio would be an immense signing for Chelsea, versatile, direct & good in 1v1 situations in both phase whilst Hector also possessing similar abilities.

Conte seems set on signing new full-backs this winter and has already recalled the impressive Nathan Ake to strengthen the squad with the title race in full flow. Both clubs will be reluctant to sell their stars this transfer window, but when Chelsea come calling, and having the offer of having the chance to win the Premier League title, I think it will be hard for both players to say no.

3 Big Investments You Need To Make For Your Fantasy Football Teams This Week

There’s every chance that it could be another weekend filled with goals, given the sheer amount of relegation “six-pointers” and high-profile clashes coming our way in Gameweek 17 of the Premier League.

Arsenal’s trip to the Etihad Stadium and this season’s first instalment of the Merseyside derby stick out like a sore thumb, but pay special attention to West Ham United hosting Hull City, the clash down on the south coast between Bournemouth and Southampton, Sunderland versus Watford, and many more potentially goal-infested games.

With the festive period over the horizon, we appreciate Fantasy Premier League won’t be the first thing on your mind, which is why this week’s edition of Fresh Football’s tip-offs is dedicated to those players you should look to invest in while you take your eye of the ball. Here are our choices:

Michail Antonio
Club:
West Ham United
Position: Midfield
Price: £6.7m

After appearing totally downbeat a fortnight ago in response to West Ham’s 5-1 meltdown at home to Arsenal, Slaven Bilić and his men have managed to grab onto some form with a bounce-back 2-2 draw at Anfield to Liverpool and a 1-0 win over a resilient Burnley side in midweek.

The picture looks brighter ahead of Hull’s trip to east London, with the Irons taking on Swansea City and Leicester City following Saturday, all subsequently languishing alongside them in the bottom half of the table.

West Ham have the opportunity to kick-start a revival and in Michail Antonio, the goal scorer in their 2-2 draw against Liverpool and currently with seven league goals to his name, they have a potential hero guide them out of a precarious situation.

2 – Alexis Sanchez
Club:
Arsenal
Position: Midfield
Price: £11.7m

Sunday’s clash sees a reunion between Alexis Sanchez and his former Barcelona boss, Pep Guardiola, who’s had his fair share of success up against Arsenal in European competitions over the years. The Gunners will be without key man Shkodran Mustafi, sorely missed in their 2-1 defeat versus Everton on Tuesday, but list of absentees in the blue half of Manchester also goes a long way into opening up this clash.

Sergio Agüero headlines the list of players Guardiola can’t count on ahead of their next fixture, as he serves part of his four-game suspension, whereas midfield general Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi are joined by İlkay Gündoğan on the sidelines, likely to be out for up to eight months!

Guardiola will be tasked with averting Arsenal’s recent unbeaten run against City, currently without a loss in their last five league meetings, but if they continue to expose themselves as much as they have done with expansive football directly from the back-line, in particular with Sanchez and co. sniffing around, they could land themselves in deep trouble.

The Chilean leading the line for the Gunners has proved to be a revolutionary feature in north London this season, thus far leading the Premier League’s goal scoring charts with Chelsea’s Diego Costa on 12 goals, and with a double-header at home coming up against West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace into the New Year, there could well be more to come from Sanchez, starting Sunday.

Theo Walcott is a valid alternative, despite his poor show at Goodison Park this Tuesday, off the back of two goals in Arsenal’s last two home games, as well as occasionally popping up on the score sheet against City over the years.

3 – Diego Costa
Club: Chelsea
Position: Forward
Price: £10.2m

Winning ten out of their last ten games in the Premier League, leading the table by six points, Chelsea are without a doubt the in-form team in the division. A portion of that is owed to Diego Costa, goal scorer of the winning goal versus West Brom last weekend and owner of 11 more throughout this season, with the Spain international promising more from his startling performances.

Next up for Antonio Conte’s man is a date with Crystal Palace; an away trip that is sure to test the Blues’ endurance in what can be considered a gap year for the side relieved of its European duties in midweek, as opposed to many of their title rivals. Chelsea’s last outing on Wednesday saw them settle for a 1-0 win against relegation candidates Sunderland.

Crystal Palace are coming off a strenuous task themselves, however, as they were sunk by an 88th minute Zlatan Ibrahimovic winner in a 2-1 defeat at home to Manchester United, so the fitness worries are also there for the club that’s conceded 31 goals already this season.

Can Costa add to that count? We wouldn’t bet against it, whereas the all-action striker also has winnable home fixtures against Bournemouth and Stoke City to top up his goal scoring antics following Saturday’s early kick-off.

Player Ratings For Both Teams: Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 West Ham United

These are Fresh Football’s ratings for Tottenham Hotspur’s London derby versus West Ham United at White Hart Lane.

Tottenham Hotspur

Hugo Lloris – 5

Nothing of note from the French goalkeeper, who was fairly powerless in stopping Michail Antonio’s opening goal and the penalty converted by Manuel Lanzini later on.

Kyle Walker – 5

Spurs will be left wanting more from the full back in the direct duel with Aaron Cresswell on the right flank, whereas his general play also proved to be a little rough around the edges, today.

Eric Dier – 6

A solid performance from Eric Dier, slotting in at centre back without any considerable concerns.

Jan Vertonghen – 7

Provided a platform to play out from the back, as always, and came up with a few crucial tackles at a time when the hosts were chasing the game.

Danny Rose – 6

Much like Walker, Rose looked unable to function down the flanks as he’s accustomed to doing, but he did manage to get the better of Antonio on a few more occasions in the second half, most importantly in the lead-up to Harry Winks’ equaliser.

Victor Wanyama – 6

The Kenyan undertook fairly simplistic duties throughout the second half, but did so very well, sweeping up possession in the middle of the park to set Spurs back on their way to attacking West Ham.

Mousa Dembélé – 6

He’ll have had more dominant performances, but Mousa Dembélé appeared relatively neat in possession nonetheless, before being replaced by Son Heung-Min

Harry Winks – 8

Intensity, tenacity, creativity and an important goal, all on the 20-year-old’s Premier League debut. A very mature performance.

Christian Eriksen – 5

The Dane is currently a long way away from what we’ve been used to seeing from him in a Spurs shirt, acting as a chief culprit in losing possession in this one.

Harry Kane – 6

Operating around Vincent Janssen in a two-striker formation, Kane never quite got into the game, but his mark on the occasion is there for all to see; Two goals, three points.

Vincent Janssen – 4

Lacking synergy between him and Kane, as well as many more of his teammates. The Dutchman is looking increasingly difficult to fit into the first XI, especially with Son thriving.

Subs:

Son Heung-Min – 6.5

A big introduction into the game, having a helping hand in both of Spurs’ late goals that gives the home side all three points and maintains invincibility in the Premier League.

Dele Alli – 5

Didn’t quite have the desired effect coming on in the second half, as difficult as it may be in a derby.

West Ham United

Darren Randolph – 7

Made a few key saves, particularly one from an Eric Dier header in point-blank range, but the Irishman was arguably at fault for the turnaround when his attempted save from Son’s cross diverted the ball away from Angelo Ogbonna and into Kane’s path.

Michail Antonio – 6

A great first half display up and down the right flank, complete with yet another headed goal, but the Englishman may well have blown his engine in the second period, as Rose and Son exposed his defensive flaws on a number of occasions.

Cheikhou Kouyaté – 7

A quality performance from Kouyaté, somewhat of a throwback to his Anderlecht days when instructed to play as the third central defender. The towering figure did very well, particularly in the first half when driving the ball out from defence to commence purposeful counter-attacks.

Winston Reid – 6

A solid performance from the captain was later marred by the Spurs turnaround and a second yellow card in injury time.

Angelo Ogbonna – 6

Another who, like Reid, performed to a good standard in the heart of defence.

Aaron Cresswell – 6

In the left wing-back role, Cresswell specialised in minimising Kyle Walker’s effectiveness

André Ayew – 4

West Ham will have been hoping for spurts of inspiration from Ayew, but the opportunities for the Ghanaian never came.

Pedro Obiang – 6.5

Stood his ground in quite an offensive midfield from the Hammers, on top of being the go-to-guy to settling down play in certain phases of the first half.

Manuel Lanzini – 7

Among the best in a West Ham shirt, it was Lanzini who spearheaded the counters for the visitors and caused Tottenham’s defence the greatest cause for concern.

Dimitri Payet – 4

Totally uninspired, perhaps fatigued, and how the Hammers could have done with an on-song Payet for certain openings late in the second half.

Diafra Sakho – 4

Lots of running and little else from the striker who was soon replaced by Simone Zaza in the second half.

Subs:

Simone Zaza – 6

Provided greater involvement from as a focal point, perhaps courtesy of the game opening up, but lacked any real conviction from shooting areas. A positive cameo, however.

Edimilson Fernandes – 5

The young Swiss was on hand to rejuvenate the West Ham midfield as best as he could and combat the eventual Dele Alli entrance.

Håvard Nordtveit – N/A

Few were the minutes the former Arsenal man had on the field, but it was he who turned out to be among the most decisive characters of the tale, sweeping Son’s foot and gifting Spurs the late penalty that won the clash.

3 Must Have’s For Your Fantasy Football Teams: A “Striker-less” Edition

Back for our weekly overview of players to look out for in Fantasy Premier League football, games such as José Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge and the early season basement battles between Hull City and Stoke City, as well as West Ham United at home to Sunderland, take us into Gameweek 9. Here are three stars to keep tabs on in what promises to be a cracking weekend of football.

1 – Seamus Coleman


Club:
Everton
Position: Defender
Price: £5.5m

Among the madness and hyperbole surrounding a couple of renowned Manchester clubs, Everton are going quietly about their business and, with relative success thus far, have found themselves sitting pretty in the top 6.

And meanwhile all three points have escaped the Toffees’ grasp for over a month now, a hard fought draw away to Manchester City pushes Ronald Koeman’s side into a clash against 14th-placed Burnley, also on a winless streak, with new-found positivity.

Burnley will be without their new signing Steven Defour and star striker Andre Gray when hosting the Merseysiders, whereas the visitors boast a neat record of conceding just three goals on their travels.

Pay close attention to Seamus Coleman in this one, likely to pick up valuable clean sheets and maybe chip in with a goal and/or assist while he’s at it.

Chelsea vs. West Ham United: 3 Battles That Will Decide Who Wins

Chelsea’s new boss Antonio Conte enters the Premier League scene under somewhat of a baptism of fire, hosting West Ham United in a London derby on Monday night.

The former Juventus manager can take confidence away from the fact that the Hammers haven’t won at Stamford Bridge since September 2002, whereas West Ham are unbeaten under Slaven Bilić versus the Blues after last season’s results. Here are three key battles to look out for as two London heavyweights come head-to-head:

1 – Gary Cahill vs. Andy Carroll

There’s a lot riding on big Andy Carroll come Monday night, with the English striker scoring twice in the two games against Chelsea in the 2015/16 season.

Carroll also comes into the clash on good form, hitting a brace versus Juventus in their opening ceremony of the Olympic Stadium, which spells danger for the likes of Gary Cahill and John Terry.

Of the two English centre backs, the ex-Bolton Wanderers man has often appeared as the weakest link in the past couple of seasons and remains the most likely defender to drop out of the Chelsea XI should they land someone like Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly.

It’s plausible that Carroll, often targeting spaces between centre backs and full backs from crosses, will opt to fall on Cahill’s side rather than the aerially accomplished Terry.

A lot has been made of Ola Aina potentially dethroning Branislav Ivanović at right back, but with the threat posed by Carroll, the Serbian’s presence should aid Cahill.