Bristol City produced an FA Cup upset as 10-man West Ham were beaten 1-0 in a third-round replay at Ashton Gate.

Tommy Conway’s equaliser at the London Stadium nine days earlier had set up this return tie and the  21-year-old striker was the Robins’ hero again as his early goal proved the difference.

West Ham, sixth in the Premier League, suffered further misery as Said Benrahma was sent off after 51 minutes for reacting stupidly to a strong challenge from Joe Williams.

Bristol City, 14th in the Sky Bet Championship, will again meet top-flight opposition in the fourth round should Nottingham Forest successfully negotiate their replay at Blackpool on Wednesday.

West Ham boss David Moyes was short on attacking options with Jarrod Bowen, Lucas Paqueta and Michail Antonio injured and Ghana’s Mohammed Kudus away at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Danny Ings, strongly linked with a move to Wolves this January, started for the first time since November alongside Benrahma and Maxwel Cornet.

West Ham were down on numbers and three current academy players occupied a bench one short of taking up its full allocation of nine substitutes.

Bristol City began with nine of the side that started the 1-1 draw in East London and Conway was on the scoresheet again inside three minutes after West Ham had wasted a golden opening – Cornet overhitting a pass with Ings clean through.

The action immediately switched to the other end where Konstantinos Mavropanos’ mistake allowed Conway to round Lukasz Fabianski and make light of a tight angle by rolling the ball home.

Anis Mehmeti sent a 20-yard effort over but the Hammers gradually asserted authority with Max O’Leary’s goal coming under increasing threat.

Ings was off target from the edge of the box, Mavropanos failed to connect with James Ward-Prowse’s free-kick when contact would surely have levelled matters and Cornet was denied by a last-gasp Cameron Pring challenge.

Cornet, making only his second start of the season, underlined his rustiness further by miskicking in front of goal, while Pring was vigilant to turn away Ings’ effort close to the line.

Bristol City had defended for most of the half, but the hosts burst into life in the final minute.

Mehmeti’s low effort tested Fabianski at his near post and the veteran goalkeeper was called upon from the resulting corner to gather Ross McCrorie’s header.

Life got a lot more difficult within six minutes of the restart when Benrahma kicked out at Williams after being fouled.

Referee Darren England took his time to decide the punishment as Benrahma received treatment, but the Algerian was eventually banished when back on his feet.

Tempers boiled over again as Taylor Gardner-Hickman and Aaron Cresswell were booked after grappling with each other.

West Ham almost equalised after Ings and Emerson combined and Cornet crossed for Tomas Soucek to force O’Leary into an excellent reflex stop from close range.

Substitute Nakhi Wells nearly doubled Bristol City’s lead, but the Robins held on for a famous victory and home fans celebrated as if they had won the cup itself.

David Moyes bemoaned West Ham's failure to match Gent's physicality as they were made to settle for a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Europa Conference League quarter-final.

West Ham headed to Belgium unbeaten in the competition this season, a record they protected on Thursday.

But it could have been so much better for the Hammers, who led through Danny Ings' opener with their first attempt on the stroke of half-time.

Rather than kick on in the second half, however, Moyes' side let Gent back into the game.

Hugo Cuypers equalised for the home side, and West Ham never looked comfortable defending against breakout star Gift Orban, who hit the crossbar with an overhead kick.

Moyes was forced to accept a draw was a reasonable result ahead of returning to London Stadium, but he was far from enthused with West Ham's performance.

They attempted only four shots, their fewest in a Conference League match, to 20 from Gent. Orban, with five attempts, outshot West Ham.

"A draw away from home in Europe, you would nearly always take that, but I expected a bit better tonight," Moyes told BT Sport.

"Nevertheless, it's a draw and still a good result and gives us a chance in the second leg."

Explaining why he was so unhappy, the manager continued: "I thought we didn't win enough first balls, enough second balls all night.

"It was nothing to do with tactical battles or anything else. It was more to do with the physical side, and we seemed to lose out tonight. That was disappointing."

Ings was similarly downbeat, adding: "It was nice to get a goal, but I'm still disappointed with the way we played tonight as a team."

After an unwelcome international break the view of many, Premier League football returns this weekend with plenty to decide at both ends of the table.

A gruelling clash between title-chasing Manchester City and top-four hopefuls Liverpool kicks things off on Saturday, with league leaders Arsenal hosting Leeds United later in the day and potentially having the opportunity to extend their lead at the summit.

Bukayo Saka is once again one to watch at Emirates Stadium, having maintained his fine form over the international break on England duty, and it would be wise to draft him into your fantasy squad if he is not yet in the side.

Elsewhere, Kai Havertz's resurgence is one to keep an eye on, while Danny Ings and Jack Harrison are also worth a punt.

Using Opta data, we've highlighted exactly why that quartet should be on your hit list.

Bukayo Saka (Arsenal v Leeds United)

The Hale End graduate is the only player in the Premier League to have hit double figures for both goals (12) and assists (10) this season, with Saka in particularly devastating form at Emirates Stadium.

Overall, 14 of his 22 goal involvements have come in north London, standing behind only Erling Haaland (23) for the most direct goal involvements at home in the Premier League.

Last time out against Crystal Palace, Saka scored twice and contributed an assist to help Arsenal maintain their title charge, then carrying that form into England duty and scoring against Ukraine at Wembley.

Kai Havertz (Chelsea v Aston Villa)

Linked with a move to Bayern Munich at the end of the season following Thomas Tuchel's appointment in Bavaria, Havertz has hit a fine vein of form at a crucial stage of the season in Chelsea's top-four bid.

Seven goals this season puts Havertz just one shy of his tally from last season, while he enters the clash against Aston Villa having scored in each of his last two Premier League appearances – meaning he could score in three consecutive games for the first time since March 2022.

No player has been involved in more goals under Graham Potter than Havertz (six goals, one assist), scoring twice the amount as Chelsea's next leading scorer under the Englishman (Mason Mount, three).

 

Danny Ings (West Ham v Southampton)

Ings has established a fine record of haunting his former employers in the Premier League, having been directly involved in 10 goals in his last 14 such matches (seven goals, three assists).

That includes involvement in three goals in his last two appearances against Southampton (one goal, two assists), who may wonder what might have been had he been in their ranks in the fight for Premier League survival.

Since January 21, no West Ham player has a higher goals-per-game ratio (0.55) or expected goals (0.56) return, while only Jarrod Bowen (6.43) and Said Benrahma (5.29) have more touches in the opposition box per 90 minutes than Ings (4.66).

Jack Harrison (Arsenal v Leeds United)

With six assists over the course of the season, Harrison ranks sixth across the entirety of the Premier League in that regard, with only Christian Eriksen (seven), Mohamed Salah (seven), Leandro Trossard (eight), Saka (10) and Kevin De Bruyne (12) having more.

In Leeds' bid for survival, Harrison has been the catalyst in pushing the club away from the bottom three and travels to Emirates Stadium having scored in consecutive Premier League matches.

Only Rodrigo (12) has been involved in more Leeds goals this term than Harrison (nine), while nobody has created more chances for the Yorkshire side than the midfielder (41).

Gabriel Martinelli can maintain his excellent form at Bournemouth's expense on Saturday after capitalising on Everton's defensive frailties.

Martinelli scored twice as the Gunners thrashed the sorry Toffees on Wednesday to go five points clear at the top of the Premier League – and hopefully earned you a healthy haul of fantasy points.

If the Brazil winger is not in your team, then it'll perhaps be better late than never, with struggling Bournemouth travelling to Emirates Stadium on the back of a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City.

Danny Ings can make his mark in West Ham's trip to Brighton and Hove Albion, while Harry Kane and Antonee Robinson can also rack up the points.

Using Opta data, Stats Perform highlights why that quartet deserve to get the nod.

 

Antonee Robinson (Brentford v Fulham)

Fulham have exceeded expectations so far this season and left-back Robinson has played a big part.

No defender has had more top-flight clean sheets (5) since the World Cup than the United States international, who was also in the Fulham side that shut out Leeds in a 2-0 FA Cup victory on Tuesday.

Robinson provided an assist in the draw at Wolves last week, and only four defenders have created more chances from open play than his eight in the Premier League since the World Cup ended.

 

Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal v Bournemouth)

A brace for Martinelli on Wednesday took his Premier League goal tally for the season to 11 – as many as he had scored in his previous three campaigns combined.

Unfortunate with injuries early in his career, Martinelli is putting those woes behind him and has found the back of the net in three consecutive games.

He has scored six top-flight goals since the World Cup and should cause the Cherries all sorts of problems.

Danny Ings (Brighton and Hove Albion v West Ham)

Ings opened his Hammers account in a 4-0 rout of Nottingham Forest last Saturday, scoring a double.

The striker can build on that when David Moyes' men head to the south coast to face Brighton, who Ings has also scored twice against this season during his time at Aston Villa.

Ings clearly enjoys facing the Seagulls, as he has netted five times against them and he can get on a roll to help the Hammers climb the table.

Harry Kane (Wolves v Tottenham)

It may be that Kane is a mainstay in your side, but if not then you can reap the rewards of investing in the Tottenham striker this weekend.

Kane came on as a second-half substitute in Spurs' shock 1-0 FA Cup loss at Sheffield United on Wednesday and the London club should be fired up after seeing another opportunity to end their trophy drought pass them by.

England captain Kane scored his 18th Premier League goal of the season in a derby win over Chelsea last Sunday and you should back him to put on a show at Molineux.

David Moyes is backing Danny Ings to fire West Ham to Premier League safety after signing the England-capped striker from Aston Villa.

The 30-year-old moves to the London Stadium for a reported initial £12million, rising to £15million if the Hammers avoid relegation.

Former Liverpool, Burnley and Southampton player Ings has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract, with manager Moyes optimistic he can bring goals.

Moyes, who is under pressure with his side in the relegation zone, saidl: "I'm really pleased to add Danny to the squad. He is a proven Premier League goalscorer and will add great competition for places in the attacking third.

"We're looking forward to integrating him into the group, as we go into a busy period in our season."

West Ham have scored just 15 goals in 19 Premier League games so far, winning only four times.

In 18 league appearances for Villa this season, just eight of which were as a starter, Ings managed six goals.

Ings, who has three England caps, told the Hammers' official website: "It's important I settle in as quickly as I can do – and do the important stuff on the pitch for West Ham."

West Ham face a massive showdown at home to Moyes' former club Everton, who are a place below them in the table, on Saturday.

Memphis Depay has been linked with a move away from Barcelona, having had a frustrating 2022-23 season.

The Dutchman has only made a handful of appearances for the Blaugrana, following an off-season of busy transfer activity at Camp Nou.

Depay had been linked with several clubs, including Premier League outfits Manchester United, Arsenal, Newcastle United and Tottenham.

TOP STORY – MEMPHIS TO EXIT BARCELONA FOR ATLETICO

Depay will leave Barcelona to join Atletico Madrid with an agreement reached on a fee of approximately €3-4million, reports Fabrizio Romano.

The Dutch forward is set to travel to Madrid to complete the formalities and medicals soon.

According to Romano, the 28-year-old will sign a two-and-a-half-year deal with Atleti.

 

ROUND-UP

– Fabrizio Romano claims Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer will undergo medical tests with Bayern Munich on Thursday, before signing his contract with the Bavarians with the deal done between the clubs.

– Sky Sport Italia claims Roma are willing to sell Nicolo Zaniolo in January at the right price, approximately €40m, as the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal, West Ham United  and Borussia Dortmund circle.

Real Madrid are interested in Manchester United's Alejandro Garnacho but the Red Devils have made an improved contract offer for the Argentinian, reports The Independent.

– Arsenal are happy to wait until the end of the season to pursue West Ham's Declan Rice, after missing out on Mykhaylo Mudryk, claims The Sun.

Tottenham have made a first bid for Sporting right-back Pedro Porro, which included a player plus guaranteed money, but the Portuguese club have turned this down, according to Fabrizio Romano. Sporting want €45m (£39m) with talks ongoing.

Chris Wood is on the cusp of joining Nottingham Forest on loan from Newcastle United, reports The Athletic. The deal would include an option to make the move permanent.

– West Ham tabled an offer for Aston Villa forward Danny Ings, reports The Telegraph.

Chelsea's struggles and riches mean they are going to be busy during the January transfer window.

The Blues, who face Manchester City in the FA Cup on Sunday, are currently 10th in the Premier League as they continue to adjust to head coach Graham Potter.

Chelsea have already signed Benoit Badiashile, David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos this month, while also being heavily linked with Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez, but they may have another World Cup finalist in their sights.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA KEEN ON THURAM IN JANUARY

Chelsea have commenced discussions with Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach about a move for French forward Marcus Thuram, reports Fabrizio Romano.

Thuram's Gladbach contract expires at the end of this season and he is not planning on extending the deal.

Chelsea and Gladbach will hold further talks in the coming days to discuss conditions and a price tag for the 25-year-old in January.


ROUND-UP

– Negotiations between Atletico Madrid and Manchester United on a Joao Felix loan deal are ramping up, with the Spanish club demanding a £9.5million (€10.8m) loan fee and a commitment to buy for £70m (€79.4m), according to the Sunday Mirror.

– FootMercato claims Manchester United are exploring a deal to sign Wout Weghorst on loan. The 30-year-old Dutch striker is currently on loan at Besiktas from Burnley, with an £8.8m (€10m) buy option in the deal.

Tottenham are interested in signing Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford as a long-term replacement for veteran Hugo Lloris, claims the Sunday Mirror.

Napoli have made an opening bid worth €15m plus add-ons for Azzedine Ounahi from French club Angers, claims 90min. Ounahi impressed with Morocco at the World Cup and has also been linked with Leicester City .

– The Sun reports that Crystal Palace will rival Everton in pursuit of Aston Villa striker Danny Ings in January.

Arsenal are monitoring Tammy Abraham's situation at Roma, claims La Repubblica.

– The Athletic reports that ex-Everton and Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has a verbal agreement to take over as Portugal head coach.

We are at the penultimate gameweek of the Premier League fantasy football season and a slab of fixtures means double matches for Aston Villa, Leicester City, Crystal Palace, Burnley and Everton.

Balancing between premium players and those who can provide particular value could be the difference at this time of the season, whether you need to consolidate or make up ground.

Stats Perform has you covered with some Opta-powered recommendations below, so here are our suggestions for this week's picks.

ROBERT SANCHEZ (Leeds United v Brighton and Hove Albion)

While only one of these teams will have something significant to play for, Brighton come to Elland Road in good form, winning four of their past six Premier League matches.

Brighton shot-stopper Sanchez has claimed more clean sheets this season (11) than over the previous term (10), with shutouts achieved in Brighton's past two matches.

The 24-year-old has been a big contributor in that regard, with a save rate of 68.4 per cent from shots in the penalty area, trailing only Alisson, Jose Sa and David Raya.

TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD (Southampton v Liverpool)

Setting aside Saturday's FA Cup final on Saturday, Liverpool need to win to keep their Premier League hopes alive, and they will likely have the majority of the ball against Southampton on Tuesday. Expect crosses and dead balls.

Alexander-Arnold has been involved in more goals among defenders than any other in the Premier League this season, with 12 assists among 14 goal involvements.

While the Reds right-back trails Reece James (1.92) from chances created in open play per 90 minutes (1.53) this term, among defenders he leads the competition for chances created per 90 overall with 2.74.

SON HEUNG-MIN (Tottenham v Burnley)

Seeking to back up Thursday's critical win over arch rivals Arsenal, there can be no let-up from Tottenham in the race for the final Champions League spot.

Spurs have leaned on Son for goals this season and he has obliged, already beating his best tally for goal involvements in a single Premier League season of 27, with 28 for the term so far. 

The 29-year-old has 21 goals, only trailing Mohamed Salah's 22. Among players with 10 or more goals, Son leads the competition for shot conversion at 27.3 per cent. His seven assists have also come in handy.

DANNY INGS (Aston Villa v Crystal Palace, Burnley)

Aston Villa's next two opponents are Crystal Palace and Burnley, against whom Ings has scored a combined nine goals.

With five goal involvements (goals and assists) against both clubs respectively, Ings has only had more goal involvements against Everton (eight) and Norwich City (six) in the Premier League.

The 29-year-old has the most goal involvements for Villa this season, with seven goals and six assists.

Jesse Lingard's future with Manchester United is unclear.

The 29-year-old England international is out of contract at the end of the season.

Lingard had a brilliant loan spell at West Ham United last season but has remained out of favour at Old Trafford this term.

 

TOP STORY – ITALIAN OPTIONS FOR LINGARD

Lingard could reunite with Jose Mourinho at Roma, with the Italian club joining the race for the forward, according to the Mirror.

Lingard is being pursued by West Ham following his impressive loan spell, while Newcastle United are also interested in the 29-year-old.

Serie A clubs Milan and Juventus also have an interest in Lingard, with a move to Italy offering a lucrative alternative option.

English pair Chris Smalling and Tammy Abraham have enjoyed productive spells at Roma, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles is on loan from Arsenal.

 

ROUND-UP

- Real Madrid are moving on from their pursuit of Kylian Mbappe , who appears set to stay with Paris Saint-Germain, by turning their attention to landing Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland, claims the Mirror.

- Inter will make a move to sign Romelu Lukaku on loan from Chelsea, following his August exit from the Italian champions, reports Football Insider. Lukaku previously expressed his regret at leaving Inter.

- The Sun claims that Arsenal and Tottenham will battle to sign Leicester City midfielder James Maddison who is rated at £60million and could be put up for sale.

- Danny Ings could be on his way out of Aston Villa as manager Steven Gerrard plans a clear-out, according to the Mirror.

- CBS Sports claims Liverpool and West Ham are no longer interested in Leicester City's Youri Tielemans, leaving the door open for Manchester United to land the midfielder.

- Juventus are circling for Chelsea midfielder Jorginho , reports Tutto Mercato.

The first heavyweight tussle of the new year in the Premier League did not disappoint as Chelsea and Liverpool played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues were held at home for the fifth time in six league games, a run that includes three straight draws in the top flight for the first time since February 2016.

But Thomas Tuchel's side can be happy with a point after recovering from two goals down as they extended their unbeaten run against the Reds in the league to four matches.

While there was nothing to separate the sides sitting second and third, Brentford, Brighton and Hove Albion and Leeds United were all victorious on Sunday.

Here, Stats Perform unpacks the pick of the Opta data from another eventful day in the Premier League.

Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool: Blues hit back after Salah strikes again

Sadio Mane opened the scoring in a Premier League game for the 37th time since joining Liverpool in 2016-17 – only Tottenham's Harry Kane (40) has done so on more occasions.

However, some will argue that Mane was fortunate to be on the field at that point after catching Cesar Azpilicueta with his elbow after just six seconds.

Mane was instead issued a yellow card with 15 seconds on the clock, making it the earliest booking in a Premier League game since Opta started recording such data in 2006-07, nine seconds faster than the previous quickest caution for Scott McTominay against Newcastle United in December 2019.

Mohamed Salah went on to double Liverpool's lead with his fourth league goal against Chelsea, which is the joint-most any player has scored against the Blues after playing for them, along with Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne.

Chelsea responded brilliantly with two goals in the space of 245 seconds through a Mateo Kovacic stunner and Christian Pulisic's well-taken strike, ensuring they remain a point above their opponents having played a game more.

This was the fourth occasion in this season's Premier League that a side has failed to win a game in which they have led by two goals, with Liverpool accounting for two of those occasions, having also drawn 2-2 with Brighton in October.


Leeds United 3-1 Burnley: More Maxwell magic not enough

Leeds scored three times in a Premier League game for the first time this season on their way to ending a four-game run without a victory, putting distance between themselves and Burnley in the final relegation spot.

Previously with just one win to their name in the competition since the end of October, Jack Harrison squeezed home for Leeds to open the scoring at Elland Road before Maxwell Cornet equalised through Burnley's first direct free-kick goal since Boxing Day 2017.

That was Cornet's sixth Premier League goal in 10 appearances, the most by an African player in their first 10 games since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for Arsenal in April 2018 (also six).

Stuart Dallas restored Leeds' advantage on his 250th appearance for the club in all competitions, becoming the first United player to reach that tally since Lucas Radebe in November 2003.

The much-needed victory was sealed by Daniel James in added time, meaning Leeds are unbeaten in 10 Premier League games against sides starting the day in the relegation zone (W8, D2) since returning to the top flight last season.

As for Burnley, they have now won just one of their last 20 Premier League matches and are winless in 11 on their travels, their worst such run on the road since 17 without a victory between August 2016 and April 2017.


Everton 2-3 Brighton and Hove Albion: Mac Allister inspires soaring Seagulls

The highest-scoring game of the day in the Premier League took place at Goodison Park, where Everton suffered defeat in their opening league game of a calendar year for the fifth year running, their worst such streak since a run of seven between 1957 and 1963.

Brighton's opening goal via Alexis Mac Allister after two minutes and 43 seconds was the Seagulls' fastest-ever away from home in the competition, and their third-fastest overall.

Dan Burn doubled the visitors' lead on Merseyside, shortly before the returning Dominic Calvert-Lewin became the 22nd different player to miss a Premier League penalty for the Toffees – only Arsenal (23) have more.

Anthony Gordon scored his first senior goal to give Everton a bit of hope, only for Mac Allister to register for a second time as Brighton moved to 27 points after 19 games – their joint-best return at this stage of a top-flight campaign alongside 1981-82.

It was another afternoon to forget for Rafael Benitez, however, with Everton having now picked up only 19 points from 18 games, which is their worst return at this stage since accruing 17 from 18 matches in 2005-06.

Brentford 2-1 Aston Villa: Bees bounce back again

Comeback experts Brentford hit back to beat Villa late on thanks to goals from Yoane Wissa and Mads Roerslev after Danny Ings had opened the scoring in west London.

Only West Ham (12) and Everton (11) have won more points from losing positions in the Premier League this term than Brentford, who have now recovered nine points in total.

That is in complete contrast to a Villa side that have lost more games in the competition since the start of last season after scoring first than any other side (eight).

Ings has now opened the scoring in more different English top-flight games since the start of 2019-20 than any player (18), but that early strike was not enough for Steven Gerrard's men.

Wissa's equaliser was Brentford's first Premier League goal from outside the box and full-back Roerslev, who set up that strike, completed the turnaround to become the second Bees player to score and assist in the same game in the competition for the club after Ivan Toney.

The Premier League table already looks to be taking shape, with a thrilling title race potentially in store.

And fantasy leagues are no different, with the best players quickly racking up early-season points to pull clear.

Want to avoid being left behind? Why not take a look at our Opta-powered picks for matchday five...

 

ALISSON (Liverpool v Crystal Palace)

Liverpool have started the season in fine form and Alisson has been central to their defensive solidarity, which has seen them keep three clean sheets in four games.

Since the start of last season, only Hugo Lloris (7.7) has prevented more goals than the Brazil goalkeeper (6.2) according to expected goals on target data, while only two can boast a better save percentage than his 74.2.

Crystal Palace may have cruised past Tottenham last time out but beating Alisson will provide a different challenge and the Liverpool man could be a guarantee for much-needed clean sheet points.

JAMES TARKOWSKI (Burnley v Arsenal)

Burnley are winless this term, but James Tarkowski remains a wonderful bargain option for your shaky backline.

While the Clarets may concede against Arsenal, Tarkowski offers returns at the other end of the pitch and boasts the highest xG (4.3) among Premier League defenders since the start of last term.

Only the more expensive Andrew Robertson, Joao Cancelo and Trent-Alexander Arnold have had more touches in the opposition box in that time period, too, meaning the centre-back could prove an alternate option on matchday five.

VIRGIL VAN DIJK (Liverpool v Crystal Palace)

From one end of the budget to the other, Virgil van Dijk may set you back but he has been the Premier League's most dangerous defender so far.

The centre-back has produced nine shots, with only Cancelo (13) and Alexander-Arnold (11) managing more opposition-box touches among defenders than Van Dijk's 11.

Given Liverpool look likely a good bet for a clean sheet as well – conceding only five goals in eight straight wins against Palace – Van Dijk could provide a perfect double threat despite the off-putting outlay for the Netherlands captain.

ABDOULAYE DOUCOURE (Aston Villa v  Everton)

Abdoulaye Doucoure may not be your typical fantasy midfielder in the ilk of Mohamed Salah, Bruno Fernandes or Paul Pogba.

However, the Everton midfielder is in fine form and provides a wonderful budget option, having been involved in four goals in his past four games in the competition for the Toffees.

Aston Villa have managed just two shutouts in their past 16, too, so Doucoure's box-to-box prowess could cause carnage once more at Villa Park.

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Burnley v  Arsenal)

Some fantasy players may have given up hope with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but he repaid the faith of those loyal to him with a goal against Norwich City last Saturday.

The Gabon forward, who many discounted after a poor last campaign, will be central to Mikel Arteta's revival and he has netted eight times in seven top-flight matches against Burnley.

Given Burnley have not kept a clean sheet in their past seven and Arsenal attempted 30 shots last time out, Aubameyang could provide more returns at Turf Moor.

SADIO MANE (Liverpool  v Crystal Palace)

Salah appears the obvious option as always for the visit of Crystal Palace; however, Sadio Mane offers an alternate differential at Anfield.

Liverpool have fired in 100 shots already this term – just the second side to register a century in their opening four Premier League games since 2003-04 – and Mane has accounted for 22 of those.

The Senegal star has also scored in each of his past eight against Palace, making him one of the best picks for matchday five.

DANNY INGS (Aston Villa v Everton)

Danny Ings has been a fantasy favourite from the start of the season but has not delivered as of yet with Aston Villa.

That could change against Everton, however, as the Toffees are his favourite opponent having scored five top-flight goals against them.

The omens are in Ings' favour, too, given he has managed to score against Everton with all three of his previous Premier League clubs – could he make it a fourth with Villa?

The transfer window officially closed on Tuesday, meaning clubs across Europe must now make do with the players available to them until at least January.

It has been an eventful few months, with Lionel Messi ending his 21-year association with Barcelona by joining Paris Saint-Germain and Cristiano Ronaldo sealing an emotional return to Manchester United from Juventus.

The drama continued to unfold right through until the final stages of the window as Antoine Griezmann rejoined Atletico Madrid on an initial loan and Chelsea snapped up Saul Niguez from the Spanish champions, while Real Madrid brought in rising star Eduardo Camavinga from Rennes.

With Kylian Mbappe staying at PSG and Harry Kane still a Tottenham player, Jack Grealish's £100million switch to Manchester City from Aston Villa was the biggest deal in monetary terms, followed by Romelu Lukaku's £97.5m (€115m) move to Chelsea from Inter.

Stats Perform takes a look at the best deals that went through.

Hakan Calhanoglu: Inter to Milan (free transfer)

After failing to agree new terms at Milan, Calhanoglu completed a shock move across the city to rivals Inter, signing a three-year deal.

While not necessarily the most popular transfer, getting a player who created 98 chances last season – the most of any player in Europe's top five leagues – for free is quite something.

The Turkey international got a goal and an assist on his debut in the 4-0 win over Genoa, prompting coach Simone Inzaghi to proclaim the player "doesn't realise how good he is".

Manuel Locatelli: Sassuolo to Juventus (loan with €25m obligation)

One of Italy's most prized young assets, Locatelli secured a move to Juventus on a two-year loan that includes an obligation to buy for an initial €25m.

Among midfielders in Serie A last season, the 23-year-old made the most touches (3,304), passes (2,749) and tackles (81). He then impressed as Italy won Euro 2020, scoring twice in the group-stage win over Switzerland.

For a club looking to strengthen while saving money, this could prove a shrewd deal for Juve.

 

Danny Ings: Southampton to Aston Villa (£25m)

Villa appear to have invested the money they received for Grealish in shrewd fashion, signing Leon Bailey, Emiliano Buendia and striker Ings.

While the Ings deal materialised very quickly in early August, he certainly did not seem to need much time to adjust to new surroundings, scoring twice in his first three league games this season.

With 34 goals across his final two league campaigns with Southampton, there is reason to think the 29-year-old could be one of the smartest signings of the window.

Lionel Messi: Free agent to Paris Saint-Germain

The most spectacular free transfer of all time came after Barcelona had agree a new contract with Messi only to be forced to admit they could not let him sign it due to financial restrictions.

A tearful Messi bade farewell to his boyhood club before securing a move to PSG, who now boast a frankly terrifying forward line of Messi, Neymar and Mbappe.

Describing it as a 'free' transfer is somewhat misleading given the various costs involved in the different aspects of the deal, but for PSG to sign arguably the greatest player in history without paying a transfer fee is pretty amazing business.

 

Romelu Lukaku: Inter to Chelsea (£97.5m)

Chelsea smashed their transfer record to bring back Lukaku, whose last action in his first spell at the club was to miss a penalty in the UEFA Super Cup shoot-out loss to Bayern Munich in 2013.

Lukaku plundered 24 goals and 11 assists in 2020-21 to fire Inter to the title and claim Serie A's MVP award, after which he pushed for a return to Stamford Bridge, where he felt he had unfinished business.

It might have been a serious financial outlay, but Lukaku showed in the 2-0 win at Arsenal what a difference he could make to a Chelsea side who are extremely tough to beat but not exactly free-scoring.

Eduardo Camavinga: Rennes to Real Madrid (€30m)

Madrid may have missed out on top target Mbappe, but they managed to get a deal over the line for fellow Frenchman Camavinga, bringing an end to 18 months of speculation surrounding the young midfielder.

It is the first time Madrid have spent money on a transfer fee since 2019, when they signed Eden Hazard from Chelsea for €100m, and in Camavinga they are signing a player for the here and now rather than the future.

Since making his debut for Rennes in April 2019, no player in Ligue 1 has attempted (230) or won more tackles (139) than the three-cap France international, who will now provide competition for Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Federico Valverde.

 

Saul Niguez: Atletico Madrid to Chelsea (loan with option to buy for £30m)

After being regularly linked with the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool in recent years, Saul will finally get a chance to play in the Premier League with Chelsea this season.

A box-to-box midfielder, the Spain international is at his best operating in a central role, though his versatility and workrate have often seen him deployed out wide by Atletico coach Diego Simeone.

He made just 22 league starts last season, his lowest figure since 2014-15. However, since August 2019, Real Madrid's Casemiro (190) is the only midfielder to have attempted more tackles than Saul (159) in LaLiga.

Antoine Griezmann: Barcelona to Atletico Madrid (loan deal with an obligation to buy)

Two years after leaving Atletico in a big-money transfer, Griezmann has returned to the Spanish capital to boost an attack that already includes Luis Suarez, Joao Felix, Angel Correa and fellow new recruit Matheus Cunha.

Griezmann's Camp Nou career never truly took off and he failed to score or create a single opportunity across Barca's first three league games this season.

But Simeone will be confident he can get the Frenchman, who scored 94 LaLiga goals in 180 appearances in his first stint at the club, operating at somewhere close to his former glory.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo: Juventus to Manchester United (£12.9m rising to £19.7m)

Twelve years after departing Old Trafford, Ronaldo is once again a Manchester United player after completing a surprise return to the club where he won the first of his five Ballons d'Or.

Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 appearances under Alex Ferguson in his first spell, 42 of those goals coming in the 2007-08 season alone, and he remains a prolific forward despite his all-round game changing with time.

The Portugal captain scored 29 league goals in his third and final season with Juventus to win the Capocannoniere, making him the first player to finish as top scorer in Serie A, LaLiga and the Premier League.

Liverpool went top of the Premier League after a Sadio Mane landmark goal helped the Reds sink Burnley.

The Senegal forward struck for the 50th time at Anfield in the competition, becoming just the fifth Reds star to do so in the Premier League era, as Liverpool swept to a 2-0 win.

Danny Ings joined notable company as he scored a stunning goal in Aston Villa's victory over Newcastle United, while Manchester City hit five goals in a game, which is becoming almost routine for Pep Guardiola's champions.

Using Opta data, we take a look at the key statistics from across four of Saturday's standout fixtures.

Liverpool 2-0 Burnley: Mane joins Salah in Anfield 50-goal club

Mane's clincher against Burnley was his 50th Premier League goal at home for Liverpool. The only players to have achieved that feat previously have been Robbie Fowler (85 goals), Steven Gerrard (69), Michael Owen (63) and Mane's team-mate Mohamed Salah (56).

Given their strong finish last term, Jurgen Klopp's team have won each of their past seven Premier League games now. That is as many victories as they enjoyed in their previous 20 games in the competition (D5 L8) and their longest winning streak in the league since a run of 18 ending in February 2020. Their run of fourth clean sheets in the league is their longest since a run of seven between December 2019 and January 2020.

Trent Alexander-Arnold's assist for Mane was the ninth time he has teed up a goal for the former Southampton man, four more than he has for any other Liverpool player.

Virgil van Dijk made his 48th home Premier League appearance with Liverpool and has lost none of those games (W43 D5), with the team's dip last season coming in his injury-enforced absence. Only Lee Sharpe has played more home games for one club in the competition without losing any of them (59 with Manchester United).

As Liverpool celebrated, Burnley were left to lick their wounds after losing five games in a row in the Premier League for the first time, last doing so in any division in the 2008-09 Championship campaign. The Clarets have lost 11 of their 15 Premier League matches against Liverpool (W2 D2), more defeats than they have suffered against any other side in the competition (losing 10 against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City).

Manchester City 5-0 Norwich City: A first for City, but a familiar outcome

For the first time in Manchester City's 25 Premier League campaigns, their opening goal of the season was an own goal, Tim Krul the unlucky man.

But if that was irregular, the final outcome surely surprised very few as the champions put the promoted Canaries to the sword.

Since Pep Guardiola joined Manchester City ahead of the 2016-17 season, there have been 49 Premier League games won by a margin of five or more goals, and the Catalan's team have been responsible for 23 of these (47 per cent).

City have now won their past four home league games against Norwich by an aggregate score of 19-1 since a 3-2 reverse in May 2013.

Jack Grealish became the first English player to score on his home Premier League debut for City since Frank Lampard netted against Chelsea in September 2014, while there was a collector's item from Aymeric Laporte. The defender scored his ninth goal for City in all competitions, but it was his first to come at the Etihad Stadium.

Norwich have had a brutal start, with a 3-0 home loss to Liverpool followed by the torture of City away. In Premier League history, only Leicester City in 2001-02 (-9) and Wigan Athletic in 2010-11 (-10) have ever had a worse goal difference from their opening two games of a season than Norwich's current -8.

Given their awful finish to the 2019-20 season, Norwich have now lost 12 consecutive Premier League games, the outright second-longest losing streak in the competition’s history, behind only Sunderland’s run of 20 from 2003 to 2005.


Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle United: Diamond Ings shows his class

Former Southampton frontman Ings is looking like a smart signing by Villa already, and his bicycle kick that stunned Newcastle was a special goal.

Going back to last season with Saints, it means he has been directly involved in seven goals in his past eight Premier League starts, scoring six and assisting one. Ings also became just the fourth player to score in his first two Premier League appearances for Villa, after Dalian Atkinson in 1992, Dion Dublin in 1998 and Ross Barkley in 2020.

Villa have not lost in seven top-flight games in a row against Newcastle (W3 D4), doing so for the first time since a run of seven victories between 1955 and 1958.

The Magpies are having a tough time of it again, having lost their first two games of a league campaign for the fourth time in the past six seasons, after winning or drawing at least one of their first two fixtures in each of the 16 campaigns before that.

Their slow starts in the Premier League are becoming habitual and problematic, with Newcastle having won just two of their past 19 Premier League games in August (D6 L11), beating West Ham at home in 2017 and Tottenham away in 2019.

Leeds United 2-2 Everton: Toffees extend Premier League scoreline record

This was Everton's 70th 2-2 draw in Premier League history, and they have contested at least 15 more matches with that outcome than any other side in the competition.

If that was an all too familiar outcome, there was a first occurrence of note for the Toffees, too. Dominic Calvert-Lewin's opener was his 55th goal in all competitions for Everton, but his first scored from the penalty spot for the team who are now bossed by Rafael Benitez.

Demarai Gray scored his first Premier League goal for Everton, becoming the 34th different player to score both for and against the Toffees in the competition. Only West Ham (46), Aston Villa (42) and Liverpool (39) have had more players score for and against them in the competition.

Mateusz Klich and Raphinha earned a point for Leeds. Klich has now scored two goals in his past three Premier League games for Leeds, more than he had in his previous 32 (one). Klich has now scored five Premier League goals in total, as many as all other Polish players in the competition combined.

Since the start of last season, only Patrick Bamford (17 goals, eight assists) has been directly involved in more Premier League goals for Leeds United than Raphinha (seven goals, nine assists).

Aston Villa have signed forward Danny Ings from Southampton for an undisclosed fee, the club announced on Wednesday.

Ings signed a three-year deal after completing his shock transfer, with Villa moving swiftly to bring in attacking reinforcements ahead of captain Jack Grealish's apparently imminent departure.

Grealish is reportedly set to join Manchester City for £100million, but Ashley Young, Emiliano Buendia, Leon Bailey and now Ings have all joined Villa in this window.

Ings reportedly cost Villa £30m, having decided not to renew his Southampton contract, which expires next year.

The 29-year-old netted 12 times for Saints in 29 Premier League appearances last term and added a sole international goal for England.

Upon confirming Ings' signature, head coach Dean Smith told Villa's official website: "Danny is an outstanding Premier League footballer who has scored goals wherever he has played.

"He is also a top professional with a great character who will be a leader in our squad and a role model for our rapidly developing young academy players who are now in and around the first team. I am delighted to welcome Danny to our great club."

The England forward previously endured a frustrating spell at Liverpool between 2015 and 2019, having impressed at Burnley to earn the move to Anfield.

Ings found the back of the net three times in 14 Premier League games for the Reds, with injuries plaguing his time on Merseyside before he proved his quality with 41 goals in 91 top-flight appearances at Southampton.

Only Matt Le Tissier (100), James Beattie (68) and Marian Pahars (42) have scored more Premier League goals for Southampton.

Although Villa are set to miss Grealish, who recorded six goals, 10 assists and 81 chances created in 26 Premier League outings last year, their aggressive approach in the transfer market appears to be paying off.

Smith's side reportedly have an interest in Ings' former Saints and England team-mate James Ward-Prowse and Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe, who was previously on loan with Villa in the Championship.

Real Madrid's desire to sign a new forward is not a secret.

The Spanish giants missed out on silverware in 2020-21, much to their dismay.

Carlo Ancelotti has replaced Zinedine Zidane as head coach with big expectations.

 

TOP STORY - MADRID TARGET SALAH IF MBAPPE FAILS

Ancelotti has told Real Madrid president Florentino Perez he wants to sign Liverpool's Mohamed Salah , reports Fichajes.

The Italian believes Los Blancos needs another forward, with Salah seen as his back-up plan if they fail to land Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe.

Madrid's financial situation is complicated, with the club not making any major signings in 2020-21 amid the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, but they appear determined to land a major forward this off-season.

 

ROUND-UP

- 90min reports that Manchester United's Jesse Lingard has emerged as a target for Spanish champions Atletico Madrid, having caught Diego Simeone's eye during his loan spell at West Ham United.

- Chelsea have shopped around striker Tammy Abraham and Arsenal are interested, according to The Telegraph.

- The Athletic believes Tottenham may make a move for Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini, although he has a £26m (€30m) release clause.

-  Poor relations between Spurs and Southampton, stemming from 2020's Pierre-Emile Hjobjerg deal, may scupper a proposed move for Danny Ings, according to Standard Sport.

- Newly promoted Brentford are set to splash a club record transfer fee of £13.5m to land Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer, claims The Telegraph.

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