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Barcelona closing in on second departure of January window



Barcelona closing in on second departure of January window

Barcelona’s January transfer window

Barcelona announced their first major transfer of the winter window at the back end of December.

Barcelona signed Spanish international Ferran Torres from Manchester City for a reported initial €55m, with another €10m in installments.

Despite only just being able to register Torres after Samuel Umtiti signed a new contract with lower wages, Barcelona have continued to be linked with more players, including Juventus’ Alvaro Morata:

Rayo Vallecano goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski has also been linked.

And finally, on the outings front, Barcelona have loaned Philippe Coutinho to Aston Villa for the remainder of 2021/22. Villa will reportedly have to pay £33m if they wish to sign the Brazilian on a permanent basis at the end of his loan.

Demir set for Rapid Wien return

Now though, it looks as though Barcelona are closing in on their second departure of the winter window.

The player set for the exit door this time around? Yusuf Demir

Demir would be signed by Barcelona during the 2021 summer transfer window on loan from Austrian powerhouse, Rapid Wien.

With Lionel Messi leaving for PSG and Barca already struggling for forward options, it was clear that the club needed to invest in their attack.

Demir had been one of the breakout talents in Austria and, after an encouraging start, looked set to join Barcelona’s already promising upcoming generation of talent.

However, the teenager has not featured since gameweek 14 when he was handed a two-minute cameo vs Espanyol.

Now, with Demir just one game away from Barcelona having to pay €10m to sign him on a permanent basis, the Spanish powerhouse have shown the forward the exit door.

Fabrizio Romano reports that Demir’s loan to Barcelona will be cancelled and he is prepared to come back to Rapid Wien, where he is expected to stay until end of the current season.

Romano adds that there are  still some technical details to be completed between the clubs:

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West Ham consider late move for Marseille star to bolster top 4 hopes




West Ham consider late move for Marseille star to bolster top 4 hopes

West Ham are keen to strengthen their squad in the run-up to the end of the season, with the club targeting a top 4 finish, which would be their highest finish in Premier League history and would consolidate on the fifth-placed finish they managed last campaign.

Currently fifth, but having played more games than both Tottenham and Arsenal below them, it will require a mammoth, some might even say “massive” effort for the Hammers to snatch the final Champions League spot come the end of the season, with their thin squad set to be stretched further when Europa League football kicks off again next month.

Yet to make additions, the club realistically need at least two new faces come January, and both to hit the ground running, to stand a chance. At the top of the pitch, they must find an alternative striker to Michail Antonio: current alternative Jarred Bowen is just as important in his natural winger berth, and cannot play every game.

But, it is at centre back that David Moyes is looking to make his first January addition, in the form of Marseille’s Caleta-Car.  As per The Athletic:

‘Michail Antonio continues to lead the line without serious competition but West Ham are weighing up a move for Marseille and Croatia centre-back Duje Caleta-Car.’

Not a straightforward deal

It is easy to see why West Ham need another defender, with Angelo Ogbonna sidelined for the rest of the season with injury, and Kurt Zouma having only just returned from his own spell out.

But a deal for Caleta Car would not be straightforward. The Hammers are thought to be keen on a loan move for the defender, who has 18 months left on his current deal in France. On the other hand, Jorge Sampaoli and co. would prefer a permanent move, while the defender still retains some value to the French club.

Obviously, a loan move with an option or obligation to buy would be the most sensible compromise, but it remains to be seen whether such a compromise will be reached in the last week of the transfer window.

Read more:

Premier League golden boot race: Latest odds and tips 2021/22

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 23 41 57
2 Liverpool FC 21 37 45
3 Chelsea FC 23 28 44
4 Manchester United 22 6 38
5 West Ham United 23 10 37
6 Tottenham Hotspur 19 4 36
7 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 21 3 34
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 21 0 29
10 Aston Villa 21 -4 26
11 Leicester City 19 -3 25
12 Southampton FC 22 -8 25
13 Crystal Palace 21 -1 24
14 Brentford FC 23 -12 23
15 Leeds United 21 -16 22
16 Everton FC 20 -11 19
17 Norwich City 22 -32 16
18 Newcastle United 21 -22 15
19 Watford FC 20 -17 14
20 Burnley FC 17 -11 11
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 6
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Maddison, James Leicester City 6

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Premier League golden boot race: Odds and tips 2021/22




Harry Kane is the three-time winner of the golden boot

The race for the Premier League golden boot is one of the most hotly-contested events of the year, sorting the good players from the greats.

Harry Kane endured a stellar campaign last season to lift it for the third time – only Thierry Henry has won it more times – but faces an uphill task if he is to outscore some of his rivals following a slow start to the season.

Here 101 Great Goals looks at odds and tips for the 2021/22 Premier League golden boot, from which players are favourites to lift the treasured prize and who could run them close.

Golden boot favourites

Mo Salah is enjoying another incredible season in front of goal netting 16 in 20 league matches. The winger is averaging 0.81 goals per 90 minutes and he currently leads the competition by six goals, but has missed the last few games due to international commitments with Egypt. Salah’s involvement at the AFCON could give the competition a chance to close the gap on the Egyptian, however, they face a steep task trying to catch him and 2/7 odds make him the clear favourite.

The goals have dried up over recent weeks for Cristiano Ronaldo, with just two goals in his last seven league outings. He is currently sitting on eight goals in total and it will take some doing for him to catch Salah, but if anyone can, it is Ronaldo. Man United have some favourable fixtures coming up, as they take on Burnley, Southampton, Leeds and Watford which could give him a chance to cash in and shorten current odds of 10/1.

Mohamed Salah has been red hot for Liverpool this season

Mohamed Salah has been red hot for Liverpool this season

Golden boot challengers

Jamie Vardy is closing in on a return from a hamstring injury having made a blistering start to the season with nine goals. He has been missing for Leicester’s last five outings and will return to a side that has been unable to hit the heights of recent seasons, somewhat damaging his chances of scoring as reflected in odds of 25/1.

England captain Harry Kane could be the strongest shout of the outside favourites. He has made a slow start to the season with just five league goals to his name but under Antonio Conte, he has looked revitalised and motivated. Kane has four goals to his name in his last five league appearances and given his history and pedigree, it would not be a surprise to see him close in on the frontrunners and see those odds of 20/1 cut drastically.

The Portuguese forward is the closest player to catching his teammate Mo Salah. Diogo Jota has netted 10 goals this campaign and forced his way into the regular XI, proving himself to be a crucial member of Klopp’s side and taking Roberto Firmino’s place in the line-up. At 12/1 he is one of the players expected to be up there by the end of the season.

Harry Kane is a serial winner of the golden boot

Harry Kane is a serial winner of the golden boot (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Golden boot outsiders

Romelu Lukaku‘s return to England and Chelsea has been a very difficult one so far with just five league goals after 16 matches. Following a promising start to the season, the Belgian’s form has been curtailed over the last few months. He has had injuries and illnesses to battle with this term and in the coming weeks, he will be hoping to get back to his best but at 33/1 is probably too far away to be considered a serious contender.

Heung-min Son has once again proved to be a crucial player for Tottenham. The forward is up to eight league goals for the season so far despite an injury-hit campaign. With Kane also looking back in form, he will be eager to link up with his teammate when back. Last season, the duo broke the Premier League record for most prolific partnership in a single campaign – combining 14 times, and he is another rated as 33/1.

Sadio Mane (33/1 odds)

The forward has netted eight league goals in 20 appearances this season. Sadio Mane’s parting gift to Liverpool before leaving for the AFCON was a goal at Stamford Bridge. However, his form over recent months has dipped with that goal his only one in his last eight appearances, to put him at 33/1 as well.

Raheem Sterling (66/1 odds)

Raheem Sterling is even further out at 66/1 despite cementing his spot in Pep Guardiola’s Man City side this season. The forward has seven goals to his name so far and is likely to have plenty of chances to add to his tally unless he once again becomes a victim of rotation.

Romelu Lukaku was a big-money move to Chelsea

Romelu Lukaku was a big-money move to Chelsea (Photo by Mark Leech/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

For our latest betting tips and previews, visit our Football Betting Tips page.

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Premier League relegation race: Odds and tips 2021/22




Sean Dyche's Burnley have flirted with relegation all season

The race is on for survival in the Premier League, with teams desperate to avoid the ignominy of relegation to the Championship next season.

Following promotion under Daniel Farke, Norwich have been favourites all season long to drop back down to the second tier and continue their recent history of yo-yoing between the two divisions, while several Premier League regulars have joined them this year.

Survival is worth upwards of £100 million per year, and here 101 Great Goals looks at relegation odds for 2021/22 from the Premier League and which teams are favourites to go down.

Relegation favourites

Norwich secured a massive victory on Friday evening as they defeated relegation rivals, Watford. The Canaries have now completed back to back wins in the league in a huge boost for their survival bid, climbing out of the bottom three for the first time this season in the meantime. They will be looking nervously over their shoulder however, with all three teams below them with games in hand, meaning they are 1/4 favourites to be relegated straight back down. The Canaries were written off at the start of the season but their recent form suggests they’re ready to put up a strong fight.

Burnley are currently rock bottom of the table with 12 points after 18 matches, but have four games in hand on Norwich due to a succession of postponed matches in recent weeks. Sean Dyche’s side have a history of clawing their way out of trouble at this time of year and gained a point away at Arsenal on Sunday, but with just one win to their name all season they face an uphill battle to do it once again, and are 1/2 to finally end their Premier League stay. To make things even more difficult, they will have to do it without Chris Wood who left for Newcastle earlier in the transfer window and thus depriving Burnley of their main source of goals.

Watford are reportedly set for yet another managerial change following an embarrassing defeat to Norwich on Friday, losing 3-0 to the side favourites to go down this year. Claudio Ranieri is already their second manager this season and the Pozzos could be tempted into another change following a winless run since their win over Manchester United in November. With a tricky fixture list to come, they must get something from a trip to Turf Moor and with relegation odds of 2/7 to go down they face a tough ask.

Josh Sargent scored in the vital win over Watford

Josh Sargent scored in the vital win over Watford (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Relegation outsiders

Following their recent major takeover, Newcastle will be desperate to avoid the drop. The transfer budget available to them has encouraged hopes of survival despite just two wins so far this season, but with Chris Wood and Kieran Trippier on board they have already claimed five points from their last three games. The latest match – a surprise win away at Leeds on Saturday – has reignited hopes of a miraculous escape, but their will need to be more additions for them to escape the bottom three but at 11/8 should fancy themselves to have the quality to get out of it.

Leeds have been badly hit by injuries this season and their form has taken a hit because of it. With key players such as Patrick Bamford and Kalvin Phillips missing large chunks of the season, it is no surprise that a thin squad has struggled on the pitch and defeat to Newcastle threatens to pull them back into the dog-fight after successive wins looked to have eased fears. They remain seven points clear of the bottom three and are expected to welcome back key players in the coming weeks, but a bad run of form could see 6/1 odds for relegation prove good value.

After a bright start to the season, Everton subsided quickly under Rafael Benitez and gradually slid towards the bottom of the league. There is plenty of unrest around Goodison, with fans protesting against the board during Saturday’s defeat to Aston Villa in the midst of a run that has seen just one win in their last 13. Duncan Ferguson has taken the reigns as caretaker manager although he is likely to soon be replaced by a permanent manager as they seek to prove odds of 9/2 to be relegated wrong.

Brentford have been dragged into the relegation battle following four consecutive defeats. Having made a strong start to life in the top flight, Thomas Frank’s side look to be running out of steam, but are eight points above the bottom three in 14th place. Every team below them has games in hand and table could start to look at lot worse for them in a few weeks time, and on current form, relegation odds of 6/1 could prove very good value.

The signing of Kieran Trippier is expected to be crucial for Newcastle's survival hopes

The signing of Kieran Trippier is expected to be crucial for Newcastle’s survival hopes (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

For our latest betting tips and previews, visit our Football Betting Tips page.

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