EPL

Premier League Fantasy Picks: Time to back Martial – and three Burnley players

By Sports Desk February 05, 2021

Raheem Sterling struck Manchester City's second goal in their 2-0 win at Burnley to move onto 99 for the club in the Premier League.

With Pep Guardiola's men starting to build an ominous lead at the top of the table, this weekend would be an ideal time for Sterling to score for just the second time against Liverpool in what would be his 11th league meeting with his former employers.

Burnley have had a poor couple of games but there's value to be had in backing three of their top performers to deliver when they host in-form Brighton and Hove Albion.

Meanwhile, Anthony Martial is back among the goals for Manchester United and could well be worth a spot in your fantasy line-up.

NICK POPE

Burnley's number one Nick Pope had a rare moment of misfortune last time out, flapping at a Bernardo Silva shot that allowed Gabriel Jesus a simple goal three minutes in.

Still, he made four saves in total to keep the scoreline reasonably respectable and take his tally to 204 in the competition since the start of last season. No goalkeeper has made more.

In fact, only Ederson (29) has kept more clean sheets than Pope (22) in that same time frame, and the man hopeful of becoming England's regular number one will be determined to add to that against Brighton and prove his City slip-up was a mere blip.

 

JAMES TARKOWSKI

Like his goalkeeper, James Tarkowski has also kept 22 Premier League clean sheets since August 2019, more than any other defender (Harry Maguire is next on 21). He has every chance of getting another here.

Brighton are on a roll after beating Tottenham and Liverpool 1-0 and they won this game last season at Turf Moor 2-1, Aaron Connolly scoring a second-half winner.

However, three of the seven Premier League meetings between these two have finished 0-0, including the reverse game in November. Indeed, this could be the first fixture in Premier League history to see no goals scored in both games in two separate campaigns (there were two 0-0 draws in 2017-18, too).

 

LUCAS DIGNE

Everton left-back Lucas Digne has already registered six assists this season, the most of any defender in the league. Since he joined the Toffees in 2018, only Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold (28) can better his tally of 17.

Digne actually splits the two Liverpool full-backs when it comes to chances created over the same time period, his 165 bettered only by Alexander-Arnold among defenders (166).

His battle with Manchester United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka could be key to the result at Old Trafford.

RAHEEM STERLING

As well as scoring 99 goals, Sterling has provided 55 assists in all competitions for City under Guardiola. Those 154 goal involvements are the most of any player in the Catalan's time in charge, eight more than next best Sergio Aguero.

The England forward has not always enjoyed facing his old club and City have a fairly miserable record at Anfield, having won just once in their previous 29 league visits – and that was back in May 2003.

But with the champions reeling from consecutive home defeats to Burnley and Brighton, Sterling may well sense the Reds are there for the taking.

 

JAMES MADDISON

In Leicester City's 2-0 win at Fulham, James Maddison set up both goals, marking the first time he has recorded multiple assists in a Premier League game.

In his previous 12 appearances in all competitions, the former Norwich City man has been directly involved in 12 goals (six scored and six assisted). There were just three games in that run where he failed to score or set up a team-mate.

Brendan Rodgers' men are flying high and will be confident of a result away to an inconsistent Wolves.

 

CHRIS WOOD

Chris Wood has only scored four league goals all season and just one of those has come in his most recent seven appearances.

That could all change against Brighton. Wood has scored eight times in league football against the Seagulls, making them his favourite opponent in English football.

 

ANTHONY MARTIAL

Anthony Martial had a positive cameo in that 9-0 demolition of Southampton, scoring twice and winning a (controversial) penalty after coming on at half-time.

Everton will not want to see Martial with renewed confidence. The France forward has managed six goals and three assists in his past 11 appearances in all competitions against the Toffees.

Even if Edinson Cavani starts in his place, Martial may well be a threat: he came off the bench to score one and set up another in a 2-0 EFL Cup win at Goodison Park in December.

Related items

  • Erling Haaland ‘really happy’ but refuses to rule out move from Manchester City Erling Haaland ‘really happy’ but refuses to rule out move from Manchester City

    Erling Haaland has refused to rule out a move from Manchester City despite stressing his happiness at the club.

    The prolific Norwegian was linked with Real Madrid earlier this season and he did not dismiss the idea he may one day move at a press conference on Tuesday.

    Showing an awareness of media operations, the 23-year-old even said this could be the main news line to come from his appearance in front of reporters to preview Wednesday’s Champions League clash against FC Copenhagen.

    He was therefore especially keen to point out how satisfied he is with life at City, for whom he has scored a staggering 80 goals in 84 appearances since joining in the summer of 2022.

    Haaland said: “I’m really happy, especially with the people that I’m surrounded with – the manager, the directors, the board, they are a group of amazing people and I’m really happy, I have to say.

    “If I say this now it’s probably going to be a massive headline – tomorrow you never know what the future brings. But I’m happy. You can write this but you also have to write everything I said before! I’m happy.”

    Haaland is contracted to 2027 but refused to comment on whether he might sign a new deal.

    The former Borussia Dortmund striker said: “My focus mainly now is on the pitch, there’s a lot of games.

    “Two days ago was the Manchester derby, now Champions League. Sunday is Liverpool. I think I should focus on that. I don’t think I should focus on anything else at the moment.”

    Haaland helped City win a glorious treble in his remarkable first season at the club but getting his hands on so many trophies has not dulled his appetite to win more.

    He said: “You can think about it in two ways. One thing, I came here and won it all, and the other thing, I’m 23 years old and I won everything and I got the taste of it, how it is to win everything.

    “How I work is that when I feel this is, I want to win it again. Easy as that.”

    Such has been Haaland’s stunning impact at City that him missing a chance can now create headlines.

    This was the case on Sunday when he contrived to volley over an open goal from close range against Manchester United, although he did later get on the scoresheet in a 3-1 win.

    Haaland said: “People say I’m good at scoring goals but I missed the biggest chance in the world ever a couple of days ago.

    “Yes, I’ve been missing, I missed a lot of chances. I will still keep on missing chances, but I will still keep on scoring goals.

    “I’ll probably miss a big chance in the future as well, and people are going to criticise me, but what can I do then? Should I think of that? No, just focus on scoring more goals and to help the team.”

    Haaland admitted when he was younger such a miss would have bothered him a lot but now he has learned to bounce back from disappointments.

    “It’s been a challenge for me,” he said. “I remember when I was young I would start crying if we lost and I missed a lot of chances.

    “I’ve been working on it a lot and in the end everything is in here (taps head).”

  • Erling Haaland ‘really happy’ but refuses to rule out Manchester City move Erling Haaland ‘really happy’ but refuses to rule out Manchester City move

    Erling Haaland has refused to rule out a move from Manchester City despite stressing his happiness at the club.

    The prolific Norwegian was linked with Real Madrid earlier this season and he did not dismiss the idea he may one day move at a press conference on Tuesday.

    Showing an awareness of media operations, the 23-year-old even said this could be the main news line to come from his appearance in front of reporters to preview Wednesday’s Champions League clash against FC Copenhagen.

    He was therefore especially keen to point out how satisfied he is with life at City, for whom he has scored a staggering 80 goals in 84 appearances since joining in the summer of 2022.

    Haaland said: “I’m really happy, especially with the people that I’m surrounded with – the manager, the directors, the board, they are a group of amazing people and I’m really happy, I have to say.

    “If I say this now it’s probably going to be a massive headline – tomorrow you never know what the future brings. But I’m happy. You can write this but you also have to write everything I said before! I’m happy.”

    Haaland is contracted to 2027 but refused to comment on whether he might sign a new deal.

    The former Borussia Dortmund striker said: “My focus mainly now is on the pitch, there’s a lot of games.

    “Two days ago was the Manchester derby, now Champions League. Sunday is Liverpool. I think I should focus on that. I don’t think I should focus on anything else at the moment.”

    Haaland helped City win a glorious treble in his remarkable first season at the club but getting his hands on so many trophies has not dulled his appetite to win more.

    He said: “You can think about it in two ways. One thing, I came here and won it all, and the other thing, I’m 23 years old and I won everything and I got the taste of it, how it is to win everything.

    “How I work is that when I feel this is, I want to win it again. Easy as that.”

    Such has been Haaland’s stunning impact at City that him missing a chance can now create headlines.

    This was the case on Sunday when he contrived to volley over an open goal from close range against Manchester United, although he did later get on the scoresheet in a 3-1 win.

    Haaland said: “People say I’m good at scoring goals but I missed the biggest chance in the world ever a couple of days ago.

    “Yes, I’ve been missing, I missed a lot of chances. I will still keep on missing chances, but I will still keep on scoring goals.

    “I’ll probably miss a big chance in the future as well, and people are going to criticise me, but what can I do then? Should I think of that? No, just focus on scoring more goals and to help the team.”

    Haaland admitted when he was younger such a miss would have bothered him a lot but now he has learned to bounce back from disappointments.

    “It’s been a challenge for me,” he said. “I remember when I was young I would start crying if we lost and I missed a lot of chances.

    “I’ve been working on it a lot and in the end everything is in here (taps head).”

  • Football rumours: Man Utd and PSG leading summer pursuit of Victor Osimhen Football rumours: Man Utd and PSG leading summer pursuit of Victor Osimhen

    What the papers say

    Manchester United and Paris St Germain have emerged as the frontrunners to land the signature of Victor Osimhen in the summer. According to The Independent, Chelsea and Arsenal are also interested in the Napoli forward.

    The Telegraph reports Newcastle are edging closer to inking a new deal with midfielder Joelinton. The 27-year-old has little over a year left on his current deal, but the two parties are believed to be on similar terms with negotiations proving productive thus far.

    Tottenham have reportedly taken an interest in Sporting Lisbon midfielder Morten Hjulmand. The Sun, citing Portuguese paper Record, says Spurs sent scouts to watch the Denmark international in action as Sporting beat rivals Benfica 2-1 last Thursday, with a view to a potential summer move for the 24-year-old.

    And the i says Newcastle intend to send 19-year-old winger Yankuba Minteh out on loan for a second successive season. Minteh has been at Dutch side Feyenoord this season.

    Social media round-upPlayers to watch

    Alphonso Davies: Real Madrid are willing to offer as much as £43m for the Bayern Munich defender, according to Mundo Deportivo.

    Archie Brown: HITC reports Chelsea, Leeds and West Ham are all monitoring the English defender, currently playing for Belgian side Gent.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.