Premier League Predictions for 2019

The Premier League returned this weekend with some of the most incredible matches to date, both for the title race and for Champions League qualification. Manchester City’s 2-1 victory over Liverpool managed to reignite the title race, while United has created a three-way battle with Arsenal and Chelsea for the top-four finish, especially after their sensational win against Tottenham Hotspur. So, who will finish where in the Premier League, and why?

Manchester City

Manchester City will be facing back-to-back home games against Chelsea and Arsenal in February, and if Pep’s team can get 6 points from these games, they will fire off a warning shot to The Reds. Man City is vulnerable against lower-ranked teams as they suffered defeats against Leicester and Crystal Palace this season. However, victories over the top-six will allow them to reclaim the top spot in the premier league.

Liverpool

Liverpool’s defeat against Man City was their first for the 2018/19 season, which means they are definitely not out of form. However, their biggest danger is injuries. Liverpool has three players that they cannot afford to lose, including Alisson as its goalkeeper, Mohamed Salah as the forward, and Virgil van Dijk as the central defender. If any of these players are out, Liverpool will be in real danger. Liverpool is currently boasting with 4 points, but the lack of reliance and success with certain players definitely makes them vulnerable.

Tottenham Hotspur

If Tottenham wants to be a serious contender in the Premier League, they need to claim victories on the matches they are expected to win. This is a huge problem this season as they managed to lose against Wolves and Watford. They have also failed to win against Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Man United this weekend which was a huge shock to Tottenham supporters. They are quickly turning into chokers as they fail to produce the goods when its needed most.

Manchester United

Manchester United managed to defeat Tottenham this weekend, bringing Solskjaer’s record to five consecutive wins since he took over from Mourinho. The victory against Tottenham managed to revive the momentum for the team and allow them to re-enter the race to finish in the top-four of the Premier League. Manchester United certainly has the necessary firepower to succeed this year, and with Solskjaer managing the team, they can definitely pull it off.

Arsenal

Chelsea’s visit on 19 Jan is an important game for both squads, but it’s one that the Gunners cannot afford to lose. An Arsenal win will be good for the Premier League title race and for Manchester United as they will be one step closer to claiming the fourth spot in the Premier League standings. Unai Emery has managed to make progress with the squad he received from Arsene Wenger. However, a lack of strength has become a problem again at the back. Unai Emery needs time and patience to rectify this going forward. However, the likelihood of rectifying this before it causes more problems is near impossible.  

Xherdan Shaqiri Is The Answer To Liverpool’s Success

Liverpool’s complicated move for Nabil Fekir, and it’s predictable collapse that took place last summer, created a huge frenzy among fans, so much so that when Liverpool eventually turned its attention away from Fekir, their ‘Plan B’ was considered a bit overwhelming. However, while there are plenty of contenders for the Player of the Season award at Liverpool this year, including James Milner, Andrew Robertson and even Virgil van Dijk, Xherdan Shaqiri is right there with them.

Shaqiri’s two sensational goals during the 3-1 victory against Manchester United earlier this month were definitely considered the most noticeable contributions the star has made at Liverpool, but most fans believe that his presence has been felt much earlier.

Xherdan Shaqiri Contributions to Liverpool


The addition of Xherdan Shaqiri, who was signed from Stoke for approximately £13.5 million during the summer, has worked perfectly on a number of levels for Jurgen Klopp, with individual performances being the most basic of them. Klopp has described the midfielder’s contributions as ‘not normal’ and ‘genius’ on several occasions and is regarded as a symbol of how amazingly the Liverpool side functions as a machine. Xherdan Shaqiri slotted in seamlessly and was absorbed into the club like a dancer who joins a group routine without ever missing a single step. That’s primarily down to him as well as his attitude but also due to the overall unit being so amendable and flexible to brand-new arrivals.

Usually, players are signed by huge clubs to act as backups, to place additional pressure or to replace already established stars. However, Shaqiri immediately complimented the marvellous attacking trio of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mane last season. To introduce Shaqiri to that attacking line-up was a massive gamble for Klopp to undertake.

Given the problems Liverpool had last season at the back of 91 goals scored by the attacking trio, no one would have criticized Shaqiri for leaving the club alone and focusing on his skills elsewhere. However, Klopp was well aware that his forwards were struggling at times to break down lesser sides which meant a different approach was required. The approach involved a 4-2-3-1 formation where Shaqiri played alongside others to make the team whole and excel individually.

Liverpool’s Gamble Paid Off

Acquiring a low-profile footballer from a relegated club, especially when you have title aspirations, seemed like a huge gamble. However, Liverpool made it work as it’s a recipe that the club has tried before. Georginio Wijnaldum and Andrew Robertson were brought in from Newcastle and Hull, following their demotions, and if you include Shaqiri, the three of them cost a mere £45 million.

This indicates how flexible the transfer policy is at Liverpool and it makes the statement quite clear that the club is after the right player for the position as opposed to the most expensive player that is currently the most popular. Klopp definitely made a gamble for Shaqiri, but if you look at what the player is bringing to the table, you can see why Liverpool is at the top of the log at the moment.

Man Utd Hire Solskjaer After Sacking Jose Mourinho


By the summer, Man Utd will have five managers appointed after the era of Sir Alex Ferguson, including Jose Mourinho, Louis Van Gaal, David Moyes, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker, and another permanent boss that has yet to be decided. Every time, the debate regarding the identity of the newly appointed manager has focused heavily on the identity of the club. Does the manager get the club? Does he understand the traditions? Is the new boss considered a Man Utd manager?

Ole Gunnar Replaces Sacked Mourinho

The decision to hire Solskjaer to take the role of the new Man Utd manager after the club sacked Mourinho is probably the most shocking decision in Premier League history. Solskjaer might be a temporary fix for the club, but more than half the season still remains, and Man Utd are also in the Champions League Round of 16.

Solskjaer is regarded as a bright and experienced coach, but he only managed to succeed in Norway where the top-flight team can be compared against the Kazakhstan Premier League as per the coefficients of UEFA, and he contributed to the relegation campaign for Cardiff in 2014. Manchester United might be struggling at the moment, but they remain the biggest club in England and its impossible to recall another coach who made such a sudden leap into the Premier League.

The main reason for Solskjaer’s appointment is purely based on the fact that he known the club. He spent more than a decade up front for Man Utd and managed to coach the reserves for several seasons. To be honest, it’s not about Solskjaer knowing the club, it is about the club knowing Solskjaer. Man Utd fans are delighted to see a familiar face again after they got sick of the gloomy frown always presented by Mourinho.

Is there a benefit to Solskjaer?

In all honesty, it is hard to imagine any real benefit when it comes to Solskjaer knowing Manchester United. Solskjaer will probably be familiar with most faces around Carrington and won’t require any directions to find the dressing room in Old Trafford. However, the implication is that he understands the playing traditions of the club.

What this means is still unclear. The modern history of the club is completely dominated by Sir Alex Ferguson who is the only manager for Man Utd to win the title in the last 50 years. Under Ferguson, Man Utd had no permanent approach, no grand philosophy, which is exactly why the club was so feared and so successful. They managed to win in any manner that was possible.

Ferguson’s Man Utd squad played positively and were always title contenders, pushing for wins in situations that other clubs wouldn’t dream of. This allowed them to become England’s richest club which allowed them to acquire top-class players who provided imagination and flair. What exactly should Solskjaer do to formulate such a brilliant team going forward? That is the biggest question on everyone’s mind at the moment.

Virgil van Dijk Disappointed at Liverpool Football Club

Virgil van Dijk states that he hasn’t achieved anything as a Liverpool player as of yet, telling reporters that he “expected a great deal” from his world-renowned transfer to Anfield at the start of the year, while also adding that there’s something special brewing at the club at the moment.;World’s Most Expensive Defender.

The captain for the Netherlands national team became the most expensive defender in the world when he decided to leave Southampton in a £75 million deal to play at Liverpool in January 2018 where he quickly emerged as an important figure in Klopp’s squad.

Van Dijk played a crucial role in last season’s Champions League final for Liverpool, ending in a defeat in Kiev against Real Madrid, and he has played a key role of Liverpool’s defense that has only conceded 5 Premier League goals this year as Liverpool has mounted a constant challenge to Manchester City in the Premier League title race. However, although there are several signs of progress at the Liverpool club during the 2018/19 season, Van Dijk believes that there should be more in order for him to see the move to Anfield as a successful one.

Van Dijk stated in a recent interview,

“I expected quite a bit from my transfer.I expected a great deal from myself to further improve as a player as well as a human being.Obviously, things have been going extremely well, but we currently don’t have anything apart from loads of improvement and ensuring we’re on the right track. However, I get the feeling that something is taking place at the club. We’ve got incredible momentum at the moment. All of us are feeling great although we can all still improve when it comes to the game, but as I stated before, we’re definitely on the right track.”

The £75 million Transfer Fee

Although van Dijk made headlines due to the massive transfer fee from Southampton to Liverpool, the 27-year-old’s performance for the squad has ensured that the huge figure is barely mentioned at the moment. However, while Van Dijk admits that he has improved as a player in Liverpool, he agrees that the transfer fee can still be used against him if he can’t maintain his consistency.
Van Dijk believes things can turnaround stating,

“In the off chance that things go wrong, people will obviously start bringing up the huge transfer fee. This is something that I cannot control and therefore I merely need to accept it.I’m extremely honoured that Liverpool decided to pay that much for me to join the club this year. The only thing that is required of me is to work extremely hard and play well at the club. Thankfully, I am progressing as a player with a lot of pressure, a different environment, and different tactics in each and every game where it’s crucial to win. It’s something I love doing which is also the main reason why I started playing football.”

Didier Drogba Retires from Football

Didier Drogba, the legendary Chelsea football star, has recently confirmed that he is retiring from football, ending his phenomenal two decades in the most popular sport in existence. The striker from Ivory Coast had two spells with Chelsea where he managed to score 164 goals in a total of 381 matches and managed to win the 2012 Champions League as well as four Premier Leagues.

He spent the last year and a half of his career with Phoenix Rising, a U.S football club that he also co-owns. “After two decades, I decided to bring my playing career to an end,” he told several news reporters earlier this week.

It’s been expected that Didier Drogba would retire following the Cup final in the United Soccer League earlier this month. His last game was against Louisville City where they, unfortunately, suffered a 0-1 defeat during the United State’s second tier final. “This is the perfect way to end, assisting young talent to further develop their game,” Drogba stated. To give back what I can is the perfect way to end my playing career as I learned a great deal from the game.”

Didier Drogba’s Career

Drogba only started playing top-flight football when he was 23 years old. He was initially signed by Guingamp, a famous French side, in January 2008 to play in the Ligue 2 Le Mans. Eighteen months later, he made a move to Marseille and a year after that he was transferred to Chelsea for a whopping £24 million where he experienced the best spell of his entire career.

Didier Drogba managed to win claim three Premier League titles during the first eight years while playing for Chelsea. During this time, he also won two League Cups and four FA Cups. He also managed to win the Premier League Golden Boot on both the 2009/10 season and the 2007/7 season.

He left Chelsea on an extremely high note as he scored the winning penalty during the final against Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Thereafter, Drogba played with the Shanghai Shenhua for six months and 18 months with Galatasaray before he made his return to Chelsea. He managed to score seven goals during the 2014/15 season, allowing him to win his fourth Premier League title as well as his third League Cup. When he left Chelsea, he was considered the fourth highest scorer in the game all of time.

During 2015, Drogba decided to join Montreal Impact, a Major League Football side, followed by becoming a co-owner of the Phoenix Rising squad. Drogba also scored 65 goals in a total of 105 caps while playing for Ivory Coast and enjoyed 3 World Cups where he was also named the African Football Player of the Year on two occasions.

Saying Good-Bye To a Legend

Didier Drogba was a phenomenal football player that will always be remembered for his amazing skills and incredible goals for Chelsea. He will continue coaching young players going forward, giving back to the game that he loves so much.

Who Can Save Real Madrid and Manchester United?

Manchester United have a problem. Real Madrid has one, too. Although they are considered two of the largest football clubs in the world, when there’s a shortage of world-renowned coaches capable of transforming a bad situation into a good one, not even history and money can generate a possible solution out of thin air.

Julen Lopetegui Gets Sacked

After overseeing an awful run of 5 defeats in 7 matches – the most recent of which was the humiliating 1-5 defeat while playing against Barcelona – Julen Lopetegui’s short-lived reign as Real Madrid’s head coach has finally come to an end at Santiago Bernabeu. The recent form displayed by Real Madrid would put any football manager under immense pressure, and therefore it became rather obvious that Lopetegui’s time was up and it was time to clear his desk and take a vacation.

Jose Mourinho’s Jon Security

At Manchester United, Jose Mourinho has managed to avoid the storm that was ready to engulf him during the four matches that couldn’t produce a single victory in late September as well as early October. However, the Old Trafford football manager is not out of the woods yet when it comes to his job security at Manchester United. The football club is currently in 8th position in terms of Premier League standings after their 2-1 victory over Everton on Sunday. This leaves them 9 points behind Liverpool who is currently leading the pack. It still looks like Mourinho’s red devil squad is limping along, online doing what is necessary to ensure the coach keeps his job.

Lack of Potential Managers

The fact that Mourinho maintains his current position and that Real Madrid decided to promote Santiago Solari from the B-team to the first team head coach, for the time being, is a testament which indicates the lack of alternatives available at both Real Madrid and Manchester United. The Glazer family, who owns Manchester United, are determined to give Jose Mourinho enough time to oversee a surge and revival to get the team into the Top 4 of the Premier League, but several sources state that the position is primarily influenced by the lack of potential replacements.

In terms of Real Madrid, they are in desperate need of finding a suitable replacement who has the ability to handle the enormous challenge of managing a super club that is currently failing along with a dressing room filled with huge personalities that are unquestionably under-performing. The best bet for Real Madrid is Antonio Conte. He has been out of work since he left Chelsea during the summer and is possibly the best option as the team’s next permanent football manager. However, although the former Italy and Juventus manager has a stellar VC, with several domestic titles in England and Italy, we cannot forget that the manager was sacked at Stamford Bridge in his previous job.

Is there anyone out there who is capable of saving Real Madrid or Manchester United? Only time will tell.

Top Goal Scorers in the History of Football

Soccer is undeniably a beautiful game, and the goals that are scored in matches is a key ingredient as to why more than half the population of the world loves to watch this incredible sport. Below, we take an in-depth look at the best goal scorers in the history of football and include the number of goals they scored during their careers.

1. Josef Bican – Total Goals: 805

The most outstanding goal scorer in the history of football is undoubtedly Jose Bican, but there aren’t a lot of football fans that even know this player to be honest. Bican was an Austria football star during the 1930’s and was a member of the squad that managed to reach the World Cup semi-finals in 1934. Bican continued playing soccer until 1955 and retired at the age of 42. As a two-footed forward with immense pace, he managed to rake up 805 goals.

2. Romario – Total Goals: 772

Ronaldo, the Brazilian soccer legend, said that he learned the art of scoring goals from Romario. Johann Cruyff, the former Barcelona coach, also stated that Romario was a genius when it came to the penalty area. There’s no denying that Romario was one of the best finishers when it comes to football where he managed to score a total of 772 goals in only 994 matches in his career.

3. Pele – Total Goals: 767

Pele is considered to be the greatest football player of all time by Franz Beckenbauer. Pele is also regarded as the most prolific football forwards the beautiful game has ever seen. Pele is a three-time World Cup winner while playing for Brazil and was nicknamed “The King” where he netted a total of 767 goals in only 831 appearances. This means that he boasts with an impressive 0.92 strike rate per game.

4. Ferenc Puskas – Total Goals: 746

Ferenc Puskas is referred to as “The Galloping Major”. He was a key player in two of the greatest football squads in the history of the sport, including Real Madrid during the 1960 European Cup and the Magnificent Magyars from Hungary. Puskas was small, stocky, and his right foot wasn’t very strong. However, his left foot was a canon which he used to score most of his 746 goals in only 754 matches.

5. Gerd Muller – Total Goals: 735

Gerd Muller, the supreme poacher, was world-renowned for his incredible predatory instincts when it came to the penalty area. As an icon for Bayern Munich, Muller scored the winning goal for West Germany during the World Cup final in 1974, and he averaged over a goal a game when it came to the international level, scoring 68 goals in only 62 matches.

6. Christiano Ronaldo – Total goals: 670

He initially started as a fleet-footed winger, but quickly transformed himself into a sensational goalscoring machine. The football superstar for Portugal has broken several records in his career and continues to do so while playing for Juventus.

Best Soccer Players in the World for 2018

Every soccer enthusiast has their own opinion on the best soccer players in the world, but everyone will agree on a handful of elite players. Most of these players are featured in top-rated teams, including Manchester, Barcelona, and Real Madrid. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best soccer players in the world for 2018.

1. Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi has claimed the FIFA Player of the Year award on multiple occasions and is considered the best player of all time when it comes to the beautiful game of soccer. His ability to run past defenders with ease along with a sensational mix of pace and skill is unmatched, and it usually looks like the ball is glued to his feet. The elite soccer star managed to lead Argentine to the World Cup Final in 2014 as well as the Copa Americas Finals in 2016 and 2015.

2. Christiano Ronaldo

Christiano Ronaldo is considered the only soccer player that can match Lionel Messi. Ronaldo is both taller and stronger than Messi, and his games-to-goal ratio is on par with the Argentinian. Ronaldo claimed the FIFA Players of the Year award in 2016, which makes it 4 in total. In fact, Messi and Ronaldo are the only two soccer players to receive this award since 2007. He recently transferred from Real Madrid to Juventus and continues to shock the world with his incredible skills and number of goals.

3. Luis Suarez

Although he is not everyone’s cup of tea, his ability to play the game is not up for debate. The Barcelona striker is a true master when it comes to weaving his way towards the penalty box and is deadly in terms of one-on-one situations. He is also a phenomenal free-kick taker. His collaboration with other team members is unmatched, and he always gives 100% in every game. Barcelona paid a whopping $128.5 million to transfer him from Liverpool, and he is certainly worth every penny.

4. Neymar

Neymar has been part of the beautiful game since he turned 17 and quickly established himself as one of the elite soccer players in the world. Neymar has managed to score more goals than Ronaldo and Messi when they were his age and has the ability to become the best soccer players in the world when Messi eventually retires. In 2016, Neymar became the captain of the Brazil soccer team at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

5. Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero formed part of the Argentina team in the World Cup finals of 2014. Aguero was the key player in two title victories under Manuel Pellegrini and Roberto Mancini, scoring the incredible late goal in 2012 to claim the Premier League trophy. He has the phenomenal ability to bring other team members into play and boasts with an excellent first touch. He currently plays for Manchester City and receives a salary of £13 million with a total of 148 goals to his name in the Premier League.

Has Tottenham Hotspur’s Hit A Ceiling?

Tottenham Hotspur suffered a surprising 2-1 defeat against Inter Milan in the Champions League earlier this week. This defeat means that Mauricio Pochettino, the highly-regarded Spurs manager, lost three consecutive matches for the very first time at the club.

It looks like the pressure is getting to the highly-rated manager at Hotspur. The former manager of Southampton gave a post-match outburst after journalists started asking questions regarding the omission of Toby Alderweireld and Kieran Trippier from the team to play against Inter Milan. In all fairness, it did seem rather strange to leave both these football stars out of the team.

Lack of Strength at the north London Club

There’s no denying that Pochettino did a marvellous job at transforming Tottenham Hotspur into a sensational football squad that manages to finish in the top 4 positions in the Premier League on a regular basis. However, there’s only so much you can do with great man-management and coaching. Tottenham should have taken the time to strengthen the team over the summer. They have a great team of players, but newcomers give everybody a lift at the club. This usually leads to players improving their game that are already at the club which in turn produces better results. Unfortunately, the players at Tottenham Hotspur seem rather stale this season and doesn’t look like they are up to the task.

Stuck in an Awkward Position

The Hotspurs are currently in an awkward position as a squad. They manage to rank in the top 4 when it comes to the Premier League but aren’t able to make a significant impact when it comes to the Champions League. The match against Inter Milan should have been an easy victory, but Inter Milan somehow scored two goals with 5 minutes remaining, which resulted in the Hotspurs losing the match.

Inter Milan is a great team, but they are not considered one of the elite teams. When it comes to quality, Inter Milan is essentially the Tottenham’s of Serie A, but with less finishes in the top 4 of late.

Chances of Hotspurs Making It To The Knockout Stages

Group B was always going to be a daunting task in the Champions League for Tottenham Hotspur as they were matched up alongside Inter Milan and Barcelona. Even PSV Eindhoven, which is the other team in Group B, can’t be seen as pushovers in this tournament. The defeat by the hands of Inter Milan earlier this week places the odds at 10/11 for Tottenham Hotspur to reach the knockout stages. In fact, Tottenham Hotspur is now behind Inter Milan to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages.

There’s no denying that Tottenham Hotspur has endured a tough period lately. The squad usually encounters poor form during a tournament but eventually starts improving as time goes on. However, it’s highly unlikely that Hotspur will be able to recover from the poor form they recently experienced. Only time will tell.

Rashford Is As Great As Kane and Ronaldo When They Were His Age, According To Southgate

Marcus Rashford has a special talent whose career record at his age can be compared to the likes of Christiano Ronaldo or even Henry Kane, Gareth Southgate believes. The manager of the England national squad also stated that Jose Mourinho, the Portuguese football manager, thinks the world of Marcus Rashford, even though the Manchester United striker has been frustrated with the total number of starts he made with the club, especially as centre-forward which is his favourite role.

Rashford’s Importance


The importance of Rashford to England was beautifully underlined with his goal in the friendly win against Switzerland. This followed after his strike while playing against Spain, pushing his case to become a regular starter for the England national squad. When asked if Rashford, 20, has a special talent, Southgate replied with “Yes he is. I believe Harry Kane at that age played far less matches while playing for Spurs. Most of the things Ronaldo did at that age wasn’t converted into goals, so we have to give Rashford time to develop his game. He has played loads of football but he hasn’t started as much as he wanted to”. Comparing Ronaldo and Kane to Rashford might seem over the top. However, Southgate is onto something with his statement.

Rashford’s Career

Marcus Rashford made his debut at Manchester United in February 2016 and managed to score twice. At a mere 18 years and a total of 141 days, Rashford managed to become the youngest scorer for Manchester United during the Europa League and records and landmarks tumbled after that where he managed to score on his debut in the League Cup, Champions League, and Premier League, as well as his initial appearances for the England senior team and England Under-21s – making him the youngest player to ever achieve it. Rashford is also the first teen in the Premier League to concede a goal in his first Manchester derby.

Marcus Rashford claimed a total of 9 goals in 21 appearances during the first half-season but has since experienced fallow periods. For instance, after scoring 6 goals in just 7 matches last autumn, Rashford only scored 2 goals in the following 19 matches. However, at 20 years and 317 days, Christiano Ronaldo scored 32 goals for country and club whereas Rashford scored a total of 37 goals.

Henry Kane, on the other hand, had just went through loan spells with Leicester City, Norwich City, and Millwall, and although he made his debut at Tottenham Hotspur, also during the Europa League after turning 18, it wasn’t until age 20 in April 2014 that he started in the Premier League and scored.

Rashford Won’t Play For The Next Three Matches

Marcus Rashford has started a total of 2 games for Manchester United this season and will, unfortunately, miss the next 3 matches in the Premier League. In an attempt to dampen Rashford’s frustration of not being seen as a regular starter, Southgate decided to let him play in the recent fixtures for the England national team.