Liverpool may have killed the drama in the title quest with their impeccable streak in the first half of the season, but the battle for the top-four finish could be super-exciting all until the very last round. Looking at the league standings after 22 rounds, we can say Liverpool and Manchester City are certain to finish inside the top four at the end of the campaign.
Leicester City are also very close to locking up their spot but are yet to do so, especially after their form has seen somewhat of a slide at the start of the year. Anyhow, with 16 games left to play, top Premier League betting tips experts have taken a look at the main contenders for a spot in the top four in the Premier League ladder. Read more
Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero has said that the Blues need to return to winning ways when they face Tottenham Hotspur in Sunday’s London derby in the Premier League. The west London giants have significantly slumped in terms of their league form over the past five matches where they have attained just three points.
As a result, they no longer hold a significant advantage in the race for the final Champions League spot and Spurs can leapfrog them to the fourth spot with a victory at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium this weekend. Speaking on Sky Sports News, Caballero has stated the importance of the forthcoming derby with the Blues in need of maximum points.
Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma has admitted that Olivier Giroud is frustrated at Stamford Bridge amid his struggles to command regular playing time. The France international has been restricted to just six appearances in the Blues shirt this term with manager Frank Lampard preferring to play the likes of Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi ahead of him in the pecking order.
Giroud has personally voiced the concern on several occasions on international duty and when asked about his teammates’ struggles, Zouma acknowledged that the 33-year-old is disappointed with the present situation at the Blues, he told Canal+: “He is frustrated, he wants to play more. Like any football player, he wants to be on the pitch, but he is taking everything very calmly. “He is a professional, he works hard in training. I have a lot of respect for the player he is. As someone in the dressing room, he is someone who gives advice to Tammy and Michy.”
Arsenal manager Unai Emery has said that Granit Xhaka has got the nod for the permanent Arsenal captaincy following a voting session with the first-team squad. The Switzerland international has already led the team in six of the opening eight matches this term and he has now been named as the official club-captain.
Speaking in a press conference, Emery revealed that he had given the team with a list of values and qualities to decide on the next captain and Xhaka topped with the most number of votes, he told: “I gave them [a list of] values and qualities to decide the captain and we used the vote; I wanted to know their opinion on that.
“[Xhaka] is mature and he has experience, and we are living all the time under pressure, under criticism as coaches, as players, as a club. The most important thing is to stand up in each moment, go ahead and show his quality with his behaviour, with his commitment. In the dressing room the players voted for him as the first.”
The agent of Chelsea star Jorginho has said that the midfielder is committed to the Blues on a long-term basis. The Italy international joined the west London outfit from Napoli during the summer of 2018 and he has since been a regular in the centre of the park where he has taken up the holding midfield role.
Speaking to Radio Kiss Kiss, agent Joao Santos said that the Italian has no plans of parting ways with the Blues in the near future. He added that the 27-year-old will remain committed to the club for another four years at the least, he told: “We have mid-to-long-term project with Chelsea, similar to when he joined Hellas Verona and then Napoli. There are five years left on his contract and let’s say he’d like to stay for at least another four years.”
Jorginho had a mixed first season with the Blues and he was criticised by the fans whenever the club succumbed to a defeat under former boss Maurizio Sarri. Nonetheless, he ended the campaign on a high with a string of consistent performances and he has slowly become a favourite for a section of the supporters under new head coach Frank Lampard.
The west London giants have not made the best of beginnings to the season and they are presently with just five points from the opening four matches. Still, there have been plenty of positives in the attacking department and Lampard needs to find the solution at the back such that the team can notch up regular victories.
Chelsea return from the international break with a testing challenge at Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Blues could only secure one point against the Wolves last season and they can anticipate another tricky game, considering the west Midlands outfit fare better in front of their fans. Nuno’s side are currently two points behind Chelsea at the present point of time.
Arsenal’s record signing Nicolas Pepe has said that manager Unai Emery has aided his quick integration into the first-team affairs. The Ivory Coast international made the move from French club Lille earlier this month and he has since featured for the Gunners off the bench in both Premier League games.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Pepe said that he has been able to quickly learn the new strategy and tactics at the north London club courtesy of the manager with whom he has no language barrier, he told: “It’s been really good because he speaks French and it has been much easier for us to communicate. I am new, the strategy and tactics are new and it really helps that I can get the coach’s assistance. Now I need to learn English and this is something he is helping me with also.”
Pepe has featured for just over an hour during the opening two league games and there have already been some glimpses of his overall quality. While he has not been to influence the proceedings upfront, he has come up with a few tricks to outsmart the opponent which has certainly pleased the Gunners faithful.
Nonetheless, the Ivorian has come to the club with the main objective of guiding them back to the Champions League and he spoke about the same saying: “I chose to come here because it’s a club with a lot of ambition. They have the dream of coming back to the Champions League and I am also an ambitious person, so the choice was very logical.”
Arsenal have made their best start to the Premier League in a decade and they are currently on six points after the opening two games, and just behind leaders Liverpool on goal difference. They are scheduled to tackle the table-toppers during the forthcoming league clash at Anfield, where they have failed to secure a point during the past three visits.
Manchester City defender Kyle Walker has backed Raheem Sterling to reach greater heights after standing out for the Citizens in the past couple of seasons. The England international has become a consistent performer under the guidance of manager Pep Guardiola and he helped the Citizens secure an unprecedented domestic treble last term after contributing 25 goals and 15 assists.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Walker said that his compatriot will only keep getting better, should he continue to take the advice of Guardiola, who has worked with the likes of Lionel Messi at Barcelona, he quipped: “If he keeps listening and getting advice from the gaffer and takes it on board, the sky is the limit. The manager has worked with the best in [Lionel] Messi.”
Meanwhile, Sterling had brought up a bad impression on some people after the gun tattoo prior to the previous World Cup but he has managed to overcome the same with the recent fight against racism. In response to that, Walker added: “He definitely got bad press when it wasn’t really called for. He was a scapegoat and was targeted. I can assure you, there a lot of players who have done a lot worse than Raheem and nothing has been said about them. He deserves full credit to come out the other end and stay true to himself. It shows his character.”
The Citizens are scheduled to begin their league campaign with an away game at West Ham United but prior to that, they have a Community Shield encounter against Liverpool. With both Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus reporting late after their Copa America exploits, Guardiola has recently said that Sterling could find himself leading the line which he has done with success during the club’s pre-season tour of Asia. He has bagged four goals and an assist from four pre-season games.
Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera has said that he had differences with the Manchester United board which meant that he had to pursue a fresh challenge elsewhere. The 29-year-old was in a contract standoff with the Red Devils for the past year and he eventually decided to move on after the expiry of the deal last month.
Spanish midfielder Juan Mata has ended the continued speculation regarding his future by signing a new two-year deal with Manchester United. The 31-year-old was widely fancied to leave Old Trafford earlier in the summer with the Red Devils reluctant to offer him a multi-year contract but they have eventually agreed to meet his demands.