Premier League team of week 26

Premier League Team of Week 26: Surging Aguero

Liverpool got their first league win for three matches, but Manchester City responded by battering Chelsea. Which team has more players in our XI? Here’s our Premier League team of week 26.

Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris. Tottenham 3-1 Leicester City.

Spurs’ run without a draw continues, and in no small part thanks to Lloris. The Frenchman saved a penalty and two other clear-cut chances in the second half at Wembley. Read More

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Tottenham Hotspur vs Leicester

Tottenham Hotspur vs Leicester City Preview: The Real Harry Winks

Fresh off a harsh 1-0 loss to Man United there’s talk around Claude Puel losing his job. To most outsiders this seems odd, but ask Leicester supporters and they might tell you how hard to watch their team have been at points this season.

That on and off the ball defence first style that Puel will be looking to frustrate Tottenham with on Sunday has been having a similar effect on Foxes fans themselves.

Still, the general trend of long-term focus at the club, evidenced by the youthfulness of the squad, means he’ll likely be afforded at least the rest of the season to improve the mood.

Rumoured to be a date originally planned for the opening of the new stadium, this game was moved by Sky to a Sunday only for the move-in to be delayed once more. The Sunday fixture remains and so, for little reason, Spurs will face Dortmund in first knockout round of the Champions League just three days after this match. Read More

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Manchester City vs Chelsea

Manchester City vs Chelsea Preview: Jesus’ turn to shine?

If the title race was back on after City beat Liverpool, it’s dangerously close to swinging in City’s favor now. Thanks to victories over Arsenal and Everton, City are once again on top of the Premier League, though Liverpool will have a chance to wreck that before City’s match with Chelsea kicks off on Sunday.

This is one of City’s three remaining games against top six sides, and of course the reverse fixture of one of City’s few losses this season. In that game, a delightful long ball from David Luiz releasing Pedro led to Kante eventually scoring and a Luiz header from a corner polished off the win.

Assisting both of those goals was one Eden Hazard. Chelsea’s leader in Twelve’s rating, he also somehow both tops the team in progressive passes and runs made and progressive passes received. Another way to highlight his involvement is his Usage Rate, where he is by far the top player for Chelsea, using (that is, involved in the final action of) 18% of his team’s possessions. Read More

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fantasy football week 26

Premier League Fantasy Football Week 26 selections

Success! Well, of sorts anyway. Our team last week picked up a total of 94.5 points, for our second highest tally of the season, to finish 23rd out of 144 entrants in our particular league. As predicted, Chelsea swept aside Huddersfield, so Hazard picked up 30.75 points while Arrizabalaga earned 14. With hindsight, we should’ve selected more Blues.

Draft Kings‘ game has six matches from which we can pick our team in week 26, so by using our algorithm to find the players who have performed best over the last six weeks, we’ve assembled our VIII. Before we reveal our squad, here are the matches.

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Liverpool vs Bournemouth

Liverpool vs Bournemouth Preview: How’s your nerve, Reds?

Little over a week ago, Liverpool supporters were starting to get giddy. Manchester City had surprisingly lost at Newcastle, giving the Reds a four point advantage and a game in hand. Eight days later and the latter remains, but their lead has been worn away.

Fortunately for Jürgen Klopp and his team, a home match with Bournemouth represents an excellent opportunity to secure three points. The Cherries have lost their last seven away games in a row, which is the longest current streak of defeats on the road in any of Europe’s top five leagues. Only one team has had a longer run of away day blues at any point in 2018/19 too. Liverpool might like a visit from SD Huesca, but Bournemouth will do for now.

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Huddersfield vs Arsenal

Huddersfield vs Arsenal Preview: Gunners seek win in top four push

It took the contortion and lift off of all 5’6 of Lucas Torreira to produce an overhead kick seven minutes from the end to settle the last fixture between Arsenal and Huddersfield. The Terriers were sturdy, the Gunners barely created enough but Torreira’s acrobatic finish forced Unai Emery’s side into a 21 game unbeaten run in all competitions.

Arsenal face Huddersfield on Saturday in a different mood after they were soundly outplayed and defeated by Manchester City. There wasn’t much to glean other than Pep Guardiola’s men being miles ahead of the Gunners. Sergio Aguero, who took the match ball home, had more shots on target than the entire Arsenal side combined.

It is why the fixture against bottom-placed Huddersfield comes around at the right time. Unai Emery’s wards could easily flush the loss out of their systems and focus on their pursuit of a top-four spot, having slipped into sixth position. Read More

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Fulham vs Manchester United

Fulham vs Manchester United Preview: Can we get an Olé for Ole?

As much as it hurts me as a Liverpool fan, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserves a tip of the hat for all he’s done in little over two months at Manchester United.

The Norwegian has dramatically turned the tables around at Old Trafford. Not only has Ole improved the results but he also picked up the pieces of United’s wrecked confidence and rebuilt the atmosphere, team spirit and the overall attitude within the squad.

Feel free to call me out for stating the obvious but I find it rather appropriate to focus my first-ever post about Manchester United on Twelve’s blog on the effect United’s former striker has had in such a short time since replacing the obsolete, antediluvian, vieux jeu, ________ (choose your own attribute) Portuguese back in December. Read More

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West Ham vs Liverpool

West Ham vs Liverpool Preview: Battle of the flank

West Ham vs Liverpool is a massive game for the league leaders. But then they all are now, this is just the first of the fourteen which remain. This is the reverse of the fixture from the opening weekend, in which Liverpool battered a sorry looking Hammers side 4-0. It was Manuel Pellegrini’s first match in charge, though, and the former Manchester City manager might be able to do his old side a favour here.

After all, West Ham have beaten Manchester United and Arsenal at home this season, putting themselves alongside Wolves and Leicester as the sides from outside the top six who have the most wins against the big boys. However, the fly in the ointment is the Hammers’ treatment room, which is more crowded than the city of Liverpool will be if the Reds manage to clinch the league title.

West Ham injuries
Current West Ham injury list

Ouch. Several of the names listed there are in West Ham’s top performers for the season on a points-per-minute basis too, according to our algorithm, as you can see here. Read More

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Manchester City vs Arsenal

Manchester City vs Arsenal Preview: An intriguing Spanish tactical tussle

Unai Emery’s reign began in earnest against Manchester City. The champions visited the Emirates Stadium in August and won 2-0. If Sunday’s rematch at the Etihad Stadium is essential for City, with less margin for error in the title race after defeat to Newcastle, it offers a chance to assess Arsenal’s progress in the subsequent six months.

City have won their last four games against Arsenal, scoring 11 goals. It highlights how one of Emery’s tasks is to improve Arsenal’s results against the best. He has started to do that at home, recording wins over Tottenham and Chelsea within a couple of months. He has a solitary point from three visits to top-six rivals.

It will be intriguing if Emery revisits a recent tactic in major clashes. He used Aaron Ramsey at the tip of a midfield diamond to great effect against Chelsea (and, arguably, in the FA Cup tie with Manchester United, when the Welshman was excellent despite defeat) and, while he was benched for Mesut Ozil against Cardiff on Tuesday, he should be restored to the side. Read More

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