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Is 100K-a-week enough to retain Brazilian winger Raphinha?

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According to The Daily Star, Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United think that handing Raphinha a new contract worth £100,000-a-week will be enough to retain him. Raphinha has been gaining traction throughout this season due to this stellar contribution to the team and his ability to be the danger man for Leeds in the absence of Patrick Bamford. He has scored 14 goals and created 18 big chances in his 48 appearances in the Premier League for the club.

Several big Premier League clubs and international clubs most notably Bayern Munich are interested in signing the winger. According to The Daily Star two Premier League, in particular, have been seriously interested in Raphinha and will make moves to sign him. The two clubs are the obvious Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and not so obvious Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea.

Raphinha earns 55,000 pounds a week at the moment. Leeds United have a strong belief that offering 100,000 a week will stop the 25-year-old from joining Liverpool or Chelsea.

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Objectively, wage might not be the only thing Raphinha might consider in signing for a club. At the moment Leeds seem probable to retain their spot in the Premier League. With the gradual takeover by 49’ers, Leeds will grow as a club but it all depends on what the winger prioritizes.

Raphinha has been connected to Liverpool for a long time. With Brazilian teammates like Fabinho, it is very likely that he might leave for Liverpool. Liverpool as a team for an attacking winger is a delight to be in considering the goal-scoring chances that they build. Though he will not start playing for a title-contending team will certainly make a difference.

With Chelsea, the role for him might not be so obvious as Thomas Tuchel likes to play wing-backs. He might be developed to play as the central attacking midfielder for the team or maybe a backup striker.

The future for Raphinha cannot be predicted at the moment, but one thing is cemented that Leeds need to find a deem replacement before selling off an asset like him.

         



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Premier LEague

Leicester City vs Southampton: Match Preview

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Leicester City will be hosting struggling Southampton at King Power Stadium on the final day of the Premier League with nothing to lose or gain.

When and Where?

Date: May 22, Sunday.
Place: King Power Stadium.
Time: 4pm (BST).

Match officials

Referee: Jonathan Moss.
Assistants: Marc Perry, Shaun Hudson.
Fourth official: Leigh Doughty.
VAR: Graham Scott.
Assistant VAR: Timothy Wood.

Team news

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Youri Tielemans and Justin are expected to return to the team after missing out on the tie against Chelsea. Ryan Bertrand and Ndidi remain sidelined with their return date still not being known. Hamza Choudhury and Ricardo Pereira were surprisingly named on the bench against Chelsea, the duo might get some game time this time. 

As for the Saints, goalkeeper Fraser Forster has been ruled out of the tie and so has Romain Perraud. Full-back Livramento will also not be available for selection for the final game of the season. 

Match Analysis

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The Foxes are currently 9th in the Premier League table. Rodgers’ team can forget about contending on the continent next season, but a win at King Power would move them above Wolverhampton Wanderers into the eighth position, with a top-half finish probably being the minimum need for the rest of the season. Although Leicester City were the semifinalists of the UEFA Europa Conference League in 2021- 2022, It’s not surprising that Leicester’s home fortunes have plummeted in the midst of their continental quest. With just 13 wins in 37 matches, Leicester are on the verge of finishing out of the top 5 for the first time since 2019-20. Meeting Southampton at home on the final day would be an ideal way for Leicester to cap off a difficult season, but the Foxes have already gone six league games without a clean sheet on the road, and they have also gone 25 years without winning their final away game of a Premier League season. 

A season full of promise is coming to an end for Southampton and its fans, who may take solace in the fact that their team has been proclaimed officially safe from relegation ahead of the last matchday. The Saints, currently 15th in the table might even drop down a bit should they lose or draw and Everton take home all the 3 points against Arsenal. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side has won just one game in their last 12 matches across all competitions and has surely put his job in danger. The Saints have an xGA of 14.2 in their last 7 matches while conceding 17, the most in the league. To complement their pathetic defensive performance, their offence isn’t far behind. In their last 7 matches, they have accumulated a total xG of 9.4 while finding the back of the net only 5 times. 

Key players

Jamie Vardy

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The veteran English forward has always been the starman of Leicester City since their title-winning campaign. Including a golden boot winning campaign, the 35-year-old forward has been involved in 158 Premier League goals in 235 matches. Vardy and Leicester City have already produced one of the greatest football stories in history. It’s a great story of hard work, patience, and pure brilliance, and it’s difficult not to wish Vardy and the foxes success. Providing amazing moments such as Martin Tyler’s “It’s eleven, it’s heaven for Jamie Vardy,” underlining the glory of his 11th consecutive Premier League game with a goal (a record that still stands today). Jamie Vardy has been vital to Leicester’s years of success. He is a really iconic forward, not to mention highly unique in his career path, personality, and play style. 

James Ward-Prowse

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola dubbed the England international the “greatest free-kick taker in the world” in January. The 27-year-old is now famous for finding the back of the net so frequently from free-kicks that he is frequently likened to another set-piece king in David Beckham, who for many years was Manchester United’s and England’s go-to guy for any free-kicks in and around the penalty area. Ward-Prowse has played under seven different permanent managers since his debut at 16 in 2011, but it is as part of Ralph Hasenhüttl’s high-octane team that he has come into his own and earned the captain’s armband.

Predicted XI

Leicester City predicted XI vs Southampton: Schmeichel; Castagne, Fofana, Evans, Justin; Mendy; Maddison, Tielemans, Dewsbury-Hall, Barnes; Vardy.

Southampton predicted XI vs Leicester City: McCarthy; Valery, Bednarek, Salisu, Walker-Peters; Redmond, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, S Armstrong; Broja, Adams.












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The Gunners In Tough Race To Sign Weston McKennie

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Arsenal Transfer News: In the next summer transfer window, Arsenal, Newcastle United, and Tottenham Hotspur might be prepared to make an offer of forty million euros to Juventus to acquire Weston McKennie’s services

Arsenal Transfer News: It has been reported by Tutto Juve that the Premier League is showing a significant amount of interest in Juventus and United States Men’s National Team midfielder Weston McKennie

There are rumors that Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, and Newcastle United are all interested in the 23-year-old player. All three teams are prepared to pay a total of €40 million to get his services.

After relocating to Germany at a relatively early age from the United States, McKennie was able to advance quickly via the FC Schalke 04 development program. 

The midfielder rose through the ranks to become a regular member of the first squad for the German giants. He has since established himself as one of the most intriguing young prospects in the Bundesliga.

Arsenal Transfer News: Struggle under Allegri

Arsenal Transfer News: The Gunners In Tough Race To Sign Weston McKennie

In the summer of 2020, Juventus expressed interest in acquiring McKennie. They ultimately signed him on a loan deal with the option to make the switch permanent. 

The 23-year-old was one of the few bright spots for the Italian giants during a lackluster season in 2020/21 led by Andrea Pirlo. This led Bianconeri to use their right to make the permanent purchase clause a part of the contract.

However, McKennie has struggled to get regular playing time with Massimiliano Allegri’s team throughout this current campaign. He has only played for Juventus in a total of 28 matches across all competitions. The 23-year-old has been out since February due to an injury. 

He has only appeared in 28 of those matches. Even so, the Turin giants have not closed the door on the possibility of moving him during the summer transfer window. Arsenal, Newcastle, and Tottenham are all interested in purchasing him.

Arsenal’s interest in the past

There were rumors that Arsenal was interested in signing McKennie in the past. It seems that interest has been reignited in him as a result of Mikel Arteta’s desire to improve the quality of his midfield. Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey have both established themselves as regular starters for the Gunners. 

But beyond those two, there is not a lot of quality depth. While Albert Sambi Lokonga is still adjusting to the physical requirements of English football, Mohamed Elneny’s contract will be up for renewal in the following month.

Therefore, the acquisition of a new midfielder is at the top of Arsenal’s priority list. McKennie has emerged as a potential target for the club. Arthur Melo, McKennie’s colleague at Juventus, is also on the radars of the north London side. 

Race with Tottenham Hotspur

However, they will have to compete with archrivals Tottenham Hotspur, who have also shown a long-standing interest in McKennie. This will make it difficult for them to sign McKennie.

Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso, and Harry Winks are all expected to be allowed to leave the club permanently. It means that there will be space on the roster for a new midfielder. 

And Tottenham director Fabio Paratici is familiar with McKennie on a personal level since he was the one who brought him to Juventus a few years ago. The Italian is now lobbying for McKennie to join Tottenham.

They are looking to bolster their team in all parts of the field in preparation for a possible push for a top-six finish in the next season. So, McKennie is one of the players they have their sights set on. 

The 23-year-old player has the potential to serve as a replacement for Joelinton and Bruno Guimaraes. Both of them have been outstanding for the Magpies thus far this year.

A banner

According to the report, Arsenal, Newcastle, and Tottenham are all considering making a bid of €40 million for McKennie’s signature. These clubs see him as a smart investment. They have the financial resources to pay his wages without any problems. It is yet unknown whether or not they will make a formal offer to the USMNT player.





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Premier LEague

Burnley vs Newcastle: Match Preview

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On Saturday at the Turf Moor, Burnley will host Newcastle United in a must-win match for their own survival in the country’s top division flight.

When and Where?

Date: May 22, Sunday.
Place: Turf Moor.
Time: 4pm (BST).

Match officials

Referee: Craig Pawson.
Assistants: Eddie Smart, Dan Robathan.
Fourth official: Jeremy Simpson.
VAR: Jarred Gillett.
Assistant VAR: James Mainwaring.

Team News

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For the host, Mathew Lowton is suspended for this match following his red card against Aston Villa, earlier this week. Although James Tarkowski had made his comeback in Burnley’s last match, Ben Mee’s availability is still a matter of concern. Ashley Westwood is ruled out till the latter part of the year after his horrifying ankle injury. Joining him in the long term absentees list is Matej Vydra, who has had an operation. 

Newcastle United might miss the service of defender Fabian Schar in their last match of the season. The Swiss centre-back was forced off the pitch against Arsenal and his availability is of great doubt. Veteran midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is out until the pre-season as confirmed by Eddie Howe. Ryan Fraser however was involved in The Magpies’ last game against the Gunners as a 2nd half substitute and might even feature in the starting 11. Kieran Trippier is coming back from an injury and it will be interesting to see if he features in the lineup on Sunday. Chris Wood is also doubtful to play against his former club as he is recovering from a hip injury. 

Can Eddie Howe put a dent to Jackson’s newly written fairytale?

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Gameweek 38 for Burnley has come down to the loser losing it all. Currently out of the dropping zone only on goal difference, The Clarets can survive the deadly scare of relegation by winning at Turf Moor. A loss however will have them rely on Leeds United. Earlier this week at Villa Park, The Clarets salvaged a crucial draw, all thanks to Nick Pope’s trustworthy pair of gloves. Although they enjoy a very comfortable superior goal difference as compared to Leeds United, the former must battle it out on its own to avoid joining Watford and Norwich City in Championship.

Some might argue that the sacking of their decade-old manager, Sean Dyche was a boon because of Burnley’s improved performance under the watchful eyes of their caretaker manager, Mike Jackson. Sean Dyche was sacked from his managerial post on 16th April and since then it was The Clarets’ U-23 manager taking up the charge of the senior team. While Dyche was skillfully good in keeping Burnley up in the top flight but his abysmal record with an unfashionable Burnley this season was clearly visible. Under Dyche, Burnley had grabbed 0.73 points per game. On the other hand, Jackson has managed 7 matches this season and has earned 11 points making it 1.57 points per match.

To put things into better perspective, Burnley’s record post Sean Dyche era has been better than Manchester United’s season (1.56 points per match). Burnley’s interim manager also has a Premier League manager of the month award in his kitty. According to fbref, Dyche’s Burnley had an xG of 0.91 whereas his successor has an xG of 1.42. Jackson has also slightly improved his team’s xGA from 1.50 to 1.4. Burnley’s own ‘Jacko’ has a long way to go before he is immortalized at Turf Moor, but keeping the club in the Premier League is a good start. He’s given them a great chance of surviving the drop, and for someone who despises the spotlight, he’s doing everything he can to keep it.

Newcastle United has had one of the most dramatic upliftments in English football. Banking on their newfound wealth and Eddie Howe’s strict management, The Magpies have successfully climbed up the Premier League ladder this season. From sitting at the bottom during Christmas to pushing their way up to the top half of the table, the turnaround since then has been astonishing, with only Liverpool, Manchester City, and Tottenham having amassed more Premier League points than the Magpies this calendar year.

Traveling to Turf Moor, Eddie Howe has the chance to finish in the top half of the table considering they have to win and Brighton and Brentford lose on the last day. Newcastle United have an impressive record in their last 7 matches as well with only Manchester City and Liverpool edging past them. A top-half finish this season will set up a good stage for Eddie Howe to splash cash in the summer transfer window and focus on finishing higher in the next few seasons, a European spot is also not far fetched. Although lately, Newcastle’s away form has not been great. They last took home all the 3 points from an away match on March 10. 

Key players

Nick Pope – Burnley

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The 30-year-old stood tall on Thursday against Aston Villa to deny the host a win against Burnley. After missing an entire Premier League season due to a dislocated shoulder, the Burnley goalkeeper has re-established himself as the club’s No. 1. The expected-goals model from Opta determines how many shots a goalie is likely to have conceded based on the location of the shot, the type of shot, and where the ball was struck in the goal. Since making his Premier League debut in 2017, Pope has saved five goals for Burnley, while most of his opponents have cost their teams goals. 

Allan Saint-Maximin – Newcastle United

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Saint-Maximin played as a left wide midfielder in Bruce’s 4-4-1-1 or 5-4-1 formations. Given that Newcastle sat deep and committed practically all of their men to construct a tenacious defensive block, the Frenchman’s ball-carrying was their primary means of progressing the ball towards the final third. While not particularly well-structured or complex, Saint-playing Maximin’s style allows this method to be somewhat effective. According to FBRef, he attempts 4.54 dribbles per 90 minutes, putting him in the 99th percentile among European top five-league forwards. Many opponents choose to play it safe due to Saint-direct Maximin’s style and ability to travel with the ball at speed. No player has been involved in more league goals than the Frenchman and he will be looking to increase the tally on the last day of the season.

Predicted XI

Burnley predicted XI vs Newcastle: Pope; Collins, Tarkowski, Long; Roberts, Brownhill, Cork, McNeil, Taylor; Cornet, Barnes.

Newcastle predicted XI vs Burnley: Dubravka; Trippier, Lascelles, Burn, Targett; Longstaff, Guimaraes, Joelinton; Almiron, Wilson, Saint-Maximin.












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