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Why Chelsea are unlikely to sign Digne, but Barcelona star remains an option

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Why Chelsea are unlikely to sign Lucas Digne, but Barcelona star remains an option

 

A fresh insight into European champions Chelsea’s pursuit of a new left-back has been provided on Friday evening.

Chilwell’s untimely blow

The subject of personnel woes has of course taken its place front and centre when it comes to the headlines at Stamford Bridge of late.

This comes with Thomas Tuchel and co., at such a crucial point in the campaign, having been forced to deal with a remarkable stretch of bad luck.

Owing to a combination of Covid-19 and injuries, Chelsea have navigated the last month, at one point or another, without all of Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen, Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Trevoh Chalobah.

Of all of their woes, however, none have hit the Blues quite as hard as the loss of left-wing-back Ben Chilwell.

Just as the English international appeared to have rediscovered his best, an ACL injury picked up during a meeting with Juventus late in November ultimately culminated in Chilwell being ruled out for the remainder of the campaign.

Why Chelsea are unlikely to sign Lucas Digne, but Barcelona star remains an option

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 23: Ben Chilwell of Chelsea lies injured during the UEFA Champions League group H match between Chelsea FC and Juventus at Stamford Bridge on November 23, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

Dest an option

Chilwell’s absence, in turn, has left Chelsea alarmingly light at left-back, with Marcos Alonso, as things stand, the sole natural senior option at the disposal of Thomas Tuchel.

It therefore shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to hear that, on the back of the winter transfer window swinging open last weekend, the transfer chiefs at Stamford Bridge have begun seeking out reinforcements.

And now, on Friday evening, a fresh insight into the situation has been provided.

The info comes courtesy of Matt Law of The Daily Telegraph, highly reliable when it comes to all things Chelsea-related.

It is revealed that the transfer chiefs in west London are ‘reluctant’ to sanction the permanent arrival of a new left-back this month, owing to a potential pile-up in the position in the summer.

In turn, the early return of Emerson Palmieri from his loan stint with Lyon remains the ‘first choice’ option, albeit with such a move unlikely to be sanctioned by the French giants.

As a result, Chelsea have been forced to seek out potential loan deals for the weeks ahead, with the two most prominent targets coming in the form of Lucas Digne and Sergino Dest.

The interest of a number of clubs in a permanent swoop for the former, however, means that a move from Goodison Park to Stamford Bridge looks altogether unlikely.

Barcelona talent Dest, capable of lining out on either side of defence, therefore looks a more viable alternative, albeit with it currently unclear whether the Blaugrana would be willing to allow the United States international to depart on loan.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 21 40 53
2 Chelsea FC 21 29 43
3 Liverpool FC 20 34 42
4 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
5 West Ham United 20 10 34
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 3 33
7 Manchester United 19 3 31
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 19 0 28
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 19 0 27
10 Leicester City 18 -2 25
11 Crystal Palace 20 -1 23
12 Brentford FC 19 -3 23
13 Aston Villa 19 -5 22
14 Southampton FC 19 -9 21
15 Everton FC 18 -9 19
16 Leeds United 19 -16 19
17 Watford FC 18 -14 13
18 Burnley FC 17 -11 11
19 Newcastle United 19 -23 11
20 Norwich City 19 -34 10
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 6
Jorginho Chelsea FC 6
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United 6
Cornet, Maxwel Burnley FC 6





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

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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

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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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Arteta provides Tomiyasu fitness update & speaks out over transfer plans

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Arsenal fans look away: Mikel Arteta provides Tomiyasu fitness update & speaks out over transfer plans

 

The post-game comments made by Mikel Arteta on the back of Arsenal’s meeting with Burnley this afternoon are unlikely to ease the collective concerns of the Gunners faithful.

Arteta of course guided his side back into action a short time ago, welcoming Sean Dyche’s bottom-of-the-table Burnley to the Emirates for a crunch Premier League clash.

When all was said and done in north London, however, the Gunners saw their top-4 hopes dealt an altogether considerable blow, courtesy of an alarming 0-0 stalemate.

Those of an Arsenal persuasion, in turn, have since made their frustrations clear, amid widespread calls for fresh additions to the club’s ranks before the January transfer window slams shut in just eight days’ time.

The latest comments on the part of boss Arteta regarding such efforts, however, are unlikely to fill fans of the capital club with much confidence.

“The market is difficult, it’s complicated. New signings? Yes, we are certainly trying. I don’t know if we’ll be able to do it, but let’s see”, the Spaniard explained.

And the concerning news from an Arsenal perspective did not end there, with Arteta having also provided an update on the wellbeing of defender Takehiro Tomiyasu.

Summer arrival Tomiyasu was forced to sit out the action at the Emirates on Sunday, owing to what was described pre-match as a ‘tight calf’.

When pressed on the Japanese international’s situation on the back of the action coming to a close at the Emirates, though, Mikel Arteta certainly appeared to hint that Tomiyasu’s issue is more serious than simple tightness: “Tomi had an injury and we didn’t have anybody to play in that position against Liverpool.

“He needs to recover and look after himself, to try and be available as quick as he can. He will be out for a few weeks.”

North Londoners stuttering

Arsenal’s latest disappointing result this afternoon has since given rise to a series of concerning statistics surrounding the form of Mikel Arteta’s men.

The Gunners have now managed just a solitary goal since the turn of the year, amid concerns that the club’s push for Champions League football may soon go completely up in smoke.

No stat, however, is likely to raise more widespread alarm on the part of the club’s fanbase than the fact that, across five outings in 2022, Arsenal are yet to secure a single victory:

 

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This article was edited by
Josh Barker.

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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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