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I think most of us were expecting Manchester City to bounce back well this season from a relatively disappointing 2019/20. With the addition of Ferran Torres giving them another forward option to replace Sane, as well as Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake providing some desperately needed defensive reinforcements, they looked well placed to reclaim their title from Liverpool.

However, so far in 2020/21, the problems for Man City seem to grow more serious by the week. …


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As another Premier League gameweek came to an end, VAR was once again the topic dominating the post-weekend discourse. This time most of the controversy came from one game, the Merseyside Derby, which was the first matchup of this round of fixtures. Two incidents in particular have caused a bit of a storm, so let’s breakdown what happened.

I’ll start with the disallowed goal because, for me at least, that is the more straightforward issue. In the dying minutes of the game, Jordan Henderson had, what would have been a winner, ruled out for a close offside on Mane in the build up. …


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One of the final deals to go through on deadline day of this summer’s transfer window was Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s loan move to Fulham. Once again he has had to temporarily leave Chelsea in order to find more playing time as they have added even more competition for his position this summer.

By the time Loftus-Cheek returns to Chelsea at the end of 2020/21 he will be 25 years old and, despite once being a highly rated youngster, his career is still yet to really get going. Of course injuries have played a part in that, but his opportunities have been severely limited at Chelsea even when fit. …


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During this past weekend Leicester City announced the signing of Roma winger Cengiz Under. The deal is a loan for 2020/21 with an option for Leicester to make the move permanent next summer. This is the kind of move I have been waiting for throughout this transfer window, because as the 2019/20 season came to an end, it was fairly clear that a new winger, particularly a right winger, was essential for Leicester this summer.

Last year their winger group was made up of Harvey Barnes, Ayoze Perez, Marc Albrighton and Demarai Gray. From those four, the only player I was really convinced by was Harvey Barnes, who will be the starter over on the left side of the attack and has already got his season off to a good start through the first two games. …


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On the face of it, Manchester City buying Nathan Ake for £41 million can look like just a very expensive purchase of a backup centre back. For many people it is hard to justify putting up that kind of money for, in theory, a player who could just provide an alternative option to Aymeric Laporte, should he be left out or unavailable.

However, when you start to factor in some of Ake’s characteristics, and some of the other circumstances surrounding the deal, it makes a lot of sense for City. …


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If you were looking for Premier League players who have made the most significant improvements to their game in 2019/20 then Adama Traore would be up there, no doubt. His explosive pace and dribbling ability have always been evident since he moved to England from Barcelona in 2015, when Aston Villa signed the young Spaniard for around £10 million.

The rest of his game however, has often been found lacking as he struggled to convert his skill set into actual offensive production for his clubs. …


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As another gameweek comes and goes in the 2019/20 season, Kepa Arrizabalaga remains one of the biggest talking points in the Premier League. Being the most expensive goalkeeper ever naturally puts you under the spotlight, but Kepa has desperately struggled to live up to his price tag during his first two seasons at Chelsea.

His reputation among fans has actually reached the point where he is criticised and held responsible for most of the goals Chelsea concede, sometimes even unfairly. Take the first goal they conceded at Crystal Palace as an example, the long range strike by Wilfred Zaha. …


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What Is The Best Position For Bernardo Silva?

Back in 2018/19 Bernardo Silva was one of the best, in fact probably the best, midfielder in the Premier League. While Kevin De Bruyne suffered from injuries he did an excellent job filling in for him on the right of that midfield three. Since Bernardo has joined Man City that position is where he has played his best football which now looks like a bit of a problem.

De Bruyne has been back at his best in 2019/20 and will not be dislodged from the right-centre midfield spot leaving Bernardo Silva to play most of his minutes out on the right wing. The issue is not just that he cannot get into the first eleven at that position either, with Mahrez claiming it as his own, but it just doesn’t allow Man City to get the best from him. …


Goalkeeper: Vicente Guaita (Crystal Palace)

Goalkeeper actually ended up being one of the hardest positions to pick this year. There were four contenders: Vicente Guaita, Bernd Leno, Dean Henderson and Martin Dubravka. I should also say here, because there are some who are picking him, that Alisson was never really an option for me. While he is the best keeper in the Premier League, he is already threatened less than most who play in his position, and then on top of that he only had 20 starts (two of which he didn’t even complete) in 2019/20. Anyway, after much deliberation I went with Guaita who had an excellent season for Crystal Palace. The Spaniard recorded 88 saves, putting him around the top 5 mark, and 9 clean sheets, just 2 short of 1st place Nick Pope. Interestingly Guaita is clear of all other goalkeepers in Europe’s top 5 leagues this season when it comes to the ‘Goals Prevented’ stat according to Opta’s ‘Expected Goals on Target’ figures. His total of 9.6 is followed by Dubravka on 8.7 with the next Premier League keeper being Henderson coming in at 7.2. …


One of the most interesting themes of Gameweek 23 in the Premier League was the lack of wins for teams in the top half of the table. That includes Chelsea who fell to another defeat as they struggle to maintain the pace they set in the earlier stages of the season. If you look back, Chelsea actually had a nine point lead on fifth place, and that lead was ten points on the team who now occupy that position, Manchester United.

Fast forward to today and that gap is down to just five. Although that may not sound too alarming, the actual drop off in Chelsea’s results is definitely worthy of some concern. From those first 12 games of the season Chelsea picked up eight wins, a huge contrast to the four wins they’ve collected in the 11 games since then. …

Jack McCutcheon

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