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Premier LEague

Chelsea vs Arsenal: Match Preview

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The top 4 race is becoming far more interesting with each gameweek passing and this mid-week we will be witnessing another fest of goals as Chelsea hosts Arsenal. Arsenal’s recent form has taken off the favourites for the fourth spot off them and now have to play their arch London rivals to keep pace in the race.

WHERE AND WHEN?

Venue: Stamford Bridge.
Date: Wednesday, 20th April 2022.
Time: 19:45 (BST)

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Jonathan Moss.
Assistant referee: Marc Perry, James Mainwaring.
Fourth official: Andy Madley.
VAR: Darren England.
Assistant VAR: Adam Nunn.

TEAM NEWS

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Tuchel’s boys will enter the match after a hectic run of fixtures which includes 120 minutes at Madrid followed by a restless match in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. The confirmed absentees include Ben Chilwell, Hudson-Odoi and the latest addition in form of Kovacic, who has been ruled out for a couple of weeks with a ligament injury. Kovacic’s injury was for sure due to players giving their 100% in every match with not much rest phase and to avoid such a situation with other players, Tuchel might rotate his squad a bit.

For Arteta, it will be a matter of time as he will wait on the progress of Lacazette and Tomiyasu. While Lacazette was out after being tested positive, Tomiyasu was to make a return to training just before the match after being out due to calf injury for a sustained period of time. The availability for both the key players will be decided late at night just before the match.

MATCH ANALYSIS

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A few weeks back, Arsenal were in a great run of form as they were then termed as the favourites for the 4th spot and were even at a point threatening Chelsea for the third spot. Ever since then, Chelsea have proved their worth and now sit in a comfortable 8 points lead over their rivals with a game in hand. Arsenal are being pushed very hard by giants Manchester United and their North London rivals, Spurs for the 4th spot with 3 points separating the three and Arsenal having a game in hand. The result of this London derby will definitely impact the race but it will be seen if the impact will be positive or negative for the team in Red.

Arsenal’s recent form will definitely concern Mikel Arteta as the team enters the match with 3 consecutive losses which means just 3 points in the last 5 matches. After missing out on a European spot last season, Arteta’s boys were expected to go all out to at least secure a top 4 place. They were on a great to secure the same, only to the inexperience to play in pressure moments causing the team’s downfall. While one could have termed the loss against Crystal Palace as one-off day at the office, the losses against Brighton and Southampton definitely left ton of disappointment among the fans. A win is a must now for the Gunners as they wish to keep their top 4 hopes alive.

Chelsea are cruising with their 3rd spot and have an outside chance to trouble the top 2 but Tuchel will be hoping just to consolidate the 3rd spot and a win in upcoming games could seal the deal for the Blues. Chelsea in their next 3 matches play 3 out of the 4 contenders for the 4th spot and can well and truly be party spoilers for any of the three. On form Chelsea will definitely enter as the favourites for the game but how often have Chelsea fans witnessed a gift for the visitors when the opposition is struggling. The game against Arsenal has never been a walkover and thus Tuchel will not look to ease out things talking about form.

PLAYER ANALYSIS

Timo Werner

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Resilience and Dedication are definitely the two words defining the German’s recent spell. There is no lie that the German has been under the sword by all Chelsea fans and had lost his place in Tuchel’s lineup. But a chance is what the German needed as he has given his 3rd consecutive Man of the Match performance for the Blues. Timo Werner has been under-appreciated for the runs and his ability to stretch defences wide with his timely runs as the lack of clinical finishing has overs shadowed it all. But with Lukaku being out of favour and Tuchel looking for a partner up top with Havertz, Werner has stepped up at the right time and at this time is even helping his team score. His finishing is still a bit dodgy but his role in build-up has immensely helped Mount and Havertz. Against the Arsenal defence, one can expect Werner to operate a bit from the left and look to make those runs behind the defensive unit.

Bukayo Saka

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20-year-old English star has recently been termed as one of the most creative players in Europe and the performances on the pitch justify all the hype around the player. The player has been giving his absolute best for his team and has bettered his goal tally in the league hitting 9 goals and assisting other 5. But the Englishman had a rare off game against Southampton which was visible with Arteta’s side unable to score. Although he had a goal saved by a magical save by Forster, Saka was not that influential in the game. Operating on the right, Saka will look to step up against Chelsea where he can trouble Marcos Alonso with his pace and shear ability on the ball. His display on the pitch will definitely be a deciding factor in the game.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Chelsea predicted XI: Mendy; Chalobah, Silva, Rudiger; James, Kante, Loftus-Cheek, Alonso; Ziyech, Mount, Werner.

Arsenal predicted XI: Ramsdale; Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tavares; Xhaka, Lokonga; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Martinelli.












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Premier LEague

Twist in the tale for Liverpool’s bid for Fabio Vieira

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The Reds face a major blow in their chase to sign Vieira, as the Portuguese outfit has reported that ‘Liverpool’s first right of refusal with Porto‘ doesn’t exist.

The Porto attacking midfielder has been in sublime form, scoring 6 goals while assisting another 14 goals in the Primeira Liga this season. Vieira was one of the key players in his team’s title winning campaign, this term. So much so, that the 21-year-old Portuguese midfielder caught eyes of the several big European teams.

While Arsenal had been monitoring the player’s development for some time, Liverpool were said to have been in the driving position to land the player at Anfield.  According to the several reports from the Daily Mirror, The Reds reached to an agreement with Porto that allowed them to have the “first refusal” on Vieira.

But, it seems that there is a twist in the tale, as a Portuguese news outfit namely: O Jogo, has provided further more clarity into the whole situation.

According to these reports, Porto FC are not looking to sell either Vitinha or Vieira, in the coming summer transfer market. Moreover, no side have made forward offers for any of the players. This means that, Liverpool have not reached the agreement with the Portuguese side regarding the First refusal of Vieira.

NEW VIEIRA CLAUSE

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Meanwhile, on the contrary to the Daily Mirror claims, O Jogo confirmed Vieira’s actual release clause to be £42.3m and not £12.7million. This could a huge report coming in from Portugal, as the release clause does not look in the budget of Liverpool’s scheme of things.

Having already spent an initial fee of £37m for the purchase of Diaz, it does not look sensible from the Reds point of view to pay more way more than that for a player who has not played outside of Portugal.

VERDICT

Given the recent developments in the saga, I don’t think Liverpool are going to pay this huge sum for the midfielder. And rightly so! Vieira is good, don’t get me wrong, but we do not need to pay a crazy amount like that given there are other players in the same position, of same age group, who will be costing much less.

The Reds have already reached an agreement with Fulham, that would see Fabio Carvalho at Anfield before the start of the next season. Adding to this, the Red Merseysiders are heavily linked to another wonderkid in Calvin Ramsay. So with all of these moves, I think we should not go for any more players, and look to focus on the contract renewal of the players like Keita, Mane, Firmino and Salah- who are into their last year of the contract with the Reds.












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Bet of the Day

Football Betting Tips For Thursday 19th May 2022

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Thursday evening sees Chelsea host Leicester City at Stamford Bridge in the pair’s penultimate game of the Premier League campaign. We have delved through the odds and found our Bet of the Day that comes in at 16/1 on bet365.

Bet of the Day: Chelsea vs Leicester City – Chelsea to win 3-1 @ 14/1 with bet365

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Thursday’s Bet of the Day: Chelsea vs Leicester City

Thursday’s bet of the day comes straight from West London as third placed Chelsea welcome Leicester City to Stamford Bridge with a Champions League spot already secured for the Blues.

Thomas Tuchel is expected to make a flurry of changes for the encounter that could include Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Hakim Ziyech into the starting line-up.

Chelsea have won both of the pair’s last two meetings, most recently in a 3-0 victory at the King Power Stadium in November of last year. Leicester are playing for a top-half finish, but Brendan Rodgers is still also expected to rotate.

We’re backing Chelsea to seal the three points in comfortable fashion and all but secure third place in the Premier League table.

Thursday’s Bet of the Day: Chelsea vs Leicester – Chelsea to win 3-1 @ 14/1 with Bet365

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Premier LEague

Liverpool closing ‘another Porto agreement’ in Fabio Vieira

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Liverpool had a busy winter where they signed the Columbian wizard – Luis Diaz, from Porto. And the 25-year-old winger has just been a beast for them since then. After the successful January window with Diaz, the Reds have been making more such moves for high-quality talents in their ranks. Likewise, adding Fulham’s Portuguese wonderkid – Fabio Carvalho – in the upcoming summer window.

Liverpool are chasing the unprecedented quadruple this season. And with the latest FA Cup final triumph, the Kopites are hopeful that they can still do it- having won 2 out of the 4 trophies available to them. While City dropping points in their last game reinvigorated the hope of another Premier League title, Liverpool will need a favour from their former Reds– Gerrard & Coutinho, to help win them the title by dropping points with Manchester City on the final day.

Adding to it all, Jurgen Klopp has further extended his contract by 2 years to stay at Anfield till the end of 2026! As the German and his team are looking to build ‘a squad for the future’. Signings like Tsimikas, Diaz, Fabio Carvalho, and the growth of young players like Elliott, Jones, etc. are enough reasons to believe that the future of the club looks secure alongside its already successful present.

However, some of the current players of the Liverpool squad are bound to enter into the final year of their contract. Players like Keita, Firmino, Mane and Salah – and it doesn’t look certain if all of the aforementioned players will look to renew their contract or not.

So it should not come as a surprise to read the Reds being linked to some of the rising talents across Europe, to bolster their squad before the start of the next season. Earlier, Calvin Ramsay was being heatedly linked with a move to Anfield, and now Fabio Vieira – the 21-year-old attacking midfielder is being reportedly targeted by Klopp and co.

What is being reported?

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According to the multiple reports (mainly by the Daily Mirror), Liverpool have ‘reached an agreement’ with Porto for their sensational Portuguese attacking midfielder. The Merseysiders have reached the right of first refusal with the Portuguese Champions for the acquisition of Fabio Carvalho. According to this agreement, when any other team will approach Porto for the signing of Fabio Vieira during the course of the summer window, the Portuguese club will rightfully warn the Reds of the approach and give them a chance to put forth their offer.

It could prove to be a wise move, considering Arsenal are keenly interested in gaining the midfielder’s services before the next season starts. But the race for signing the 21-year-old Portuguese midfielder could take several twists and turns. Liverpool already have an upper hand after they have reached the agreement to have the first refusal for the signing of the player from Porto. Added to that, they can also use the Diaz connection if so required in the future, just to assure the player of a familiar face before luring him to Anfield.

What can he bring to the Liverpool squad?

Now the question that arises is – Why him? What could he certainly bring to the side- a side which has been chasing the quadruple this season- that no one else can?

For starters, Fabio Vieira is not to be messing around with during the course of a match. He is young and creative, and as much as he is an attacking midfielder, he knows how to drive the game forward from his own half. Much like the 2017-2019 Prime Firmino, or someone like Kevin De Bruyne – puts in efforts back defensively, and has the pace in the transition to attack.

In Porto’s game against Tondela in the Primeira Liga, on the 13th of March, Vieira very much stole the show. His creativity was on show for the time he was brought on to the pitch, in the second half. The Portuguese midfielder controlled the plays in the midfield and was very dominant with the ball between his feet. Likewise, his performance throughout the season.

Thus, in order to spend for someone like Vieira, Liverpool or any other club could get benefitted a lot from the investment. It is true that Liverpool have got the creativity aspect all covered with the Master Thiago in their ranks. But the Portuguese offer something much more than what the Reds expected from Naby Keita back in 2018- when they signed the Guinean international from Leipzig, on a club-record deal.

Fabio Vieira’s stats in number

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Fabio Vieira has shown the world his potential, particular this season around. After the departure of Diaz, Porto needed someone to take that role and lead the team from the front for the attacking plays, and Vieira very much did that. In the 27 league games this season, so far, the attacking midfielder has scored 6 goals while assisting another 14 goals. He finished second to Benfica’s Rafa Silva (15 assists), in the top assist makers for this season. Meanwhile, his creativity will be on show for yet another time, as Porto chases the domestic double-  having already lifting the league title.

Going in-depth with these stats in the league- in 27 league games, he has been handed the start a total of 15 times and he has made it into the Primeira Liga team of the week a total of 8 times. Furthermore, he has averaged 2 shots/game and a goal in every 3 league starts- for an attacking midfielder this is outrageous.

Now coming to Vieira’s passing abilities, well, it is beyond belief. The Portuguese had a mammoth 14 assists to show for his creativity, adding to it he has maintained an overall of passing average of 83% per game for the whole season. Not just that, he has averaged almost 2 big chances created per game in Porto’s title-winning campaign. (All the stats via SofaScore)

An unstoppable-beastly appearance on the pitch, whenever he played. Fabio Vieira is the one to go for, just to add that attacking boost to an already formidable side.

Verdict

Despite links to Arsenal, Liverpool might look to go for the sweep for this one. Fabio Vieira is a versatile attacking midfielder- who can surely play as a second striker, or on either side of the midfield as seen during his time at Porto.

Meanwhile, Porto themselves are not asking a very high amount for one of their stars of the season. The Portuguese Champions are looking for the interested parties to meet his €15million (£12.7m) release clause – on top of the additional performance-based add-ons (via, TEAMtalk).

It is not much to ask for, given how well the youngster has faired for them throughout the season. And the Reds would not shy away from such a bargain, considering he could provide that extra creative edge to the side.












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