THE WORST TEAM IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE

THE WORST TEAM IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE?

As we head in to game week 13 of the Premier League season we take a look at the wrong end of the table and ask the question:

Who are the worst team in Premier League?

It may be the 13th week of the season, but bad luck cannot be blamed for poor league positions at this stage as we head in to the second third of the campaign – instead, we are interested in the reasons why certain teams are struggling at the foot of the table and wonder if any of them can pull themselves away.

The Premier League is notoriously competitive and the reality of it is that almost any team can fall foul of the relegation zone’s clutches if they have a bad run of form.

As it stands, Swansea hold up the rest of the teams in 20th position having won just one game all season. Having recently brought in Bob Bradley to steer the seemingly sinking ship doesn’t seem to have had quite the right impact and he is still searching for his first win in the Premier League. Perhaps the grass isn’t always greener?

Sunderland sit just above Swansea in 19th place but have at least showed some spirit in their last two games with two good victories. Sunderland seem to flirt with danger each season before making the great escape – but can they do so again this season? David Moyes is at least starting to see something from his players now.

Hull City complete the relegation zone lineup and sit on 10 points having had a decent start to the season before losing all but one of their last 6 games and with the joint worst record for goal scoring it doesn’t look like they will be turning anything around anytime soon. A 3-0 defeat at the hands of Sunderland last week hardly did anything to challenge that theory – but are one of these three teams really the worst in the league?

THE PREMIER LEAGUE FORM 

With the exception of Sunderland, the teams at the foot of the table also have the worst form which is unsurprising. Another team that have been widely reported in the media this week as having dreadful form are Crystal Palace. In fact, Palace are rock bottom of the form table in the Premier League with one draw and five defeats in their last 6 games. In fact, their form for 2016 is the worst of the entire football league which is almost unbelievable when you look at the attacking talent on show for the Eagles.

THE RELEGATION DOGFIGHT

With just 4 points separating the teams in the top half of the table from the relegation zone, we could be here all day analysing who the worst team is – and you could perhaps make a pretty convincing case for many of them. Aside form Hull, you have to say that it is the established Premier League sides that look more vulnerable to the drop this season but West Ham and Crystal Palace surely have enough quality to pull themselves away from trouble.

The North East of England is a passionate place when it comes to football but Hull City have looked pretty awful this season. The biggest two statistics paint a worrying picture for the Tigers as they have both the worst goalscoring form and the worst goals conceded stats too. A game against West Bromwich Albion this week might have been one to look forward to until the Baggies thumped Burnley 4-0 on Monday and this will be a game that could see Hull City crowned as worst team in the Premier League if they don’t avoid defeat. The management structure in place at Hull (and we are not talking about Mike Phelan here) looks like it needs to carry a lot of the blame for the state of affairs at the KC Stadium.

Swansea face Crystal Palace this weekend and this clash could see the relegation zone shaken up again if Bradley does manage his first victory in Swansea colours – if he fails to capitalise on Palace’s poor form then they will sit rooted to the bottom of the league in a very perilous position.

As good as the league is at the top, it is as poor at the bottom – and whilst any team in this league can beat anyone, it looks to us as though Swansea and Hull City will be destined to relegation – with Sunderland playing their usual Houdini act – but it might be one trick too far this season.

Think you know who is the best and worst in the league? Then play our daily and weekly fantasy football games here.

 

THE MOST EXCITING FANTASY FOOTBALL SEASON YET?

THE MOST EXCITING PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON YET?

The Premier League is regarded as one of the best elite football leagues in world football. Much of the reasoning behind this comes down to the competitive and fast paced nature of the football being played in England’s top flight.

Leicester City’s rise to prominence last season highlighted once again why millions upon millions of football fans across the globe tune in each week to watch their favourite Premier League stars battle it out and it would seem that interest is continuing to grow rather than slow down.

For the first time ever, Fantasy Premier League has attracted over 4 million players and this is in no small part down to the success of Leicester City FC last season and the fun and excitement that this brought in terms of fantasy football. Whilst the bargain basement players of last season have now shot up in price (the likes of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Dele Alli), the hunt continues for the new cheap hot shots in the 2016/17 season.

Whilst Leicester will perhaps struggle to replicate what they did last season, this season still looks like being one of the most exciting yet – and we are asking the question whether this could be the most exiting Premier League campaign yet? If it is, then surely that transfers to fantasy football and our very own daily fantasy football games.

THE TOP 5 

As it stands, the top 5 clubs in the Premier League are separated by just 3 points. The top three teams are all tied on 23 points and have all played some blistering stuff at times this season. Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool are only split by goal difference and with all three averaging almost 2.5 goals per game it makes for very entertaining viewing. Man City were most people’s guess to run away with the league and it looked that way after the first 5 games, but a stutter since then has opened things up and the free flowing football of Liverpool and Arsenal has caused a few eyebrows to be raised.

Chelsea and Tottenham are close on the heels of the leaders and both carry their own title challenging credentials. The top 5 all have their own strengths and all 5 clubs have top managers who all have slightly different styles.

No one likes a one horse race and this seasons looks like it will be the most open for years. As the season wears on, we may see a 2 or 3 team pull away emerge but we wouldn’t be surprised if all five of these teams are in the mix come the end of the season.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR FANTASY FOOTBALL? 

Aside from just making entertaining viewing for the neutrals, the wide openness of the title race makes for highly engaging and exciting fantasy football. Season long fantasy football games are developing nicely and daily or weekly fantasy football games resemble the excitement of the weekly Premier League heat more than ever.

With 5 teams performing well and around another 5 clubs having decent form beneath them, there are plenty of players to choose from. This breadth of player selection is making for some incredibly exciting pick 6 games and none more so than the big North London derby that takes place on Sunday. Will it be a goal fest or a tactically defensive duel? Do you pick the Spurs defence that has stood up so well so far or opt for the Arsenal attacking flair players like Sanchez?

There is nothing worse than template team boringness and this season is promising to eradicate the template team for good. After all – who wants to play fantasy football when everyone has the same players?

The unpredictability of the Premier League will never disappear and we will always have fixtures where anybody can beat a somebody – but this season looks to have that more than ever and with the goals that several of the big boys are bringing to the table – it looks set to be one of the best Premier League’s in years and an even better fantasy football league.

Pick 6 in our North London derby game on Premier Punt right now.

WHO IS THE BEST TEAM IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE?

THE BEST TEAM IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE

With the current Premier League Champions languishing in 12th place in the league table (just 4 points above the relegation zone) and the top four having an all too familiar feel – we are asking the question –

who is the best team in the Premier League?

Depending on results in game week 10, we could see any one of five teams sit at the top of the league by the end of the weekend and unless the team currently sitting at the top drastically improve their form – it could be that we have a new leader come Sunday afternoon.

If this question had been asked a few weeks ago then most people would have told you that Man City were the top team by a long shot, but with no win in three games the gloss certainly seems to have been taken off them. Has Pep lost his way or is the lure of the Premier League showing once again why it is the toughest in Europe to crack?

Unless you support one of the top five teams – and we’re talking Man City, Arsneal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs – then why should you even care who is the best? After all – the league table will tell us won’t it?

Well – there’s a very simple answer to that – Fantasy Football.

Of course we care. In fact, some weeks I think I care more about fantasy football than I do about my actual real life – crazy I know… but I know I’m not alone.

So let’s take a look at the teams in a little more detail and see if we can gleam any pointers from them for our fantasy football selections.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Having conceded only 4 goals in the opening 9 games of the season Spurs have the meanest defence by a very long shot indeed. They have lacked a bit of bite over the last couple of games and have looked quite toothless without Harry Kane at times but a team that is hard to beat is always going to do well. Filling your team with Spurs defenders may not be a bad idea.

CHELSEA

Still early days for Antonio Conte but the new formation he has adopted in recent weeks with the three at the back seems to have given him the stability he needed defensively put is also fluid enough to offer a threat going forwards. A 4-0 hammering of Man Utd last week has certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons and exciting times might be coming back to the Bridge.

The key man so far has been Diego Costa of course and now you can add Chelsea defenders to your shopping list too. Matic has been weighing in with assists week after week now too – differential anyone?

LIVERPOOL

Alex Ferguson this week described Klopp’s Liverpool side as ‘the real deal’ and that must have been quite difficult for a man who was so proud to have ‘knocked Liverpool off their fu#$ing perch’. What Liverpool may lack defensively, they more than make up for in an attacking sense. The midfield options are excellent and offer plenty of options for our daily fantasy football punters.

The real strength of this Liverpool is that unlike all the other teams around them, they are not relying on just one person to score the goals – this could be their season!

ARSENAL

Arsenal have been consistently buzzing around the top of the Premier League season after season and the law of averages would indicate that at least once they will get it right – whether that will be whilst Wenger is still there remains to be seen.

They seem to be ticking along nicely without a proven goal scorer playing up front and the resurgence of the likes of Theo Walcott has certainly helped them. You can’t help but think that the lack of a real top quality goalscorer might bite them on the bum again – but if it is good enough for Liverpool then why can’t it work for the Gunners? Time will tell – but so far so good.

MAN CITY

There are not many managers in work right now who have a better record than Pep Guardiola and although he is currently enduring his worst ever run as a manager he is still sitting at the top of the Premier League and you can’t help but think that when all of their players are available, this City side has the best starting 11 in the league.

The weaknesses seem to lie at the back for City just like they do for Liverpool – but with so many goal scoring options up front it is hard to see them not being in the mix at the end of the season.

Peps men are the joint top scorers in the league (with Liverpool) but they do have more reliance on that one player than their North West rivals with Sergio Aguero being so integral to their success. It is no coincidence that they have failed to win the last three league games when he hasn’t scored and an injury to the Argentine could cause some tears in the blue half of Manchester.

THE VERDICT 

The fact that it is so tight at the top of the league gives a good indication to how the season will go. It is hard to see anyone from outside the 5 teams we have highlighted as having a chance at winning the league and the competitiveness is good for the game and also good for fantasy football betting. After all, it wouldn’t be much fun if everyone had the same players in their teams.

For the league – I’m going to keep my neck firmly in and sit on the fence and gleefully watch from afar. Instead, I’ll be putting my wagers on a daily premier punt.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A TOP FOOTBALL MANAGER

WHAT MAKES A TOP FOOTBALL MANAGER?

Football management is a tricky old game – and that is when playing it at the fantasy level. Real life football management seems to be one of the most precarious professions you could enter in to (although it’s pretty well paid at the highest level) and the run up to Christmas will no doubt throw more top level managers in to the spotlight as speculation mounts on sackings and appointments.

The role of the football manager is in the spotlight once again – and with the Sam Allardyce debacle now starting to simmer down thanks to the headline making dropping of one of England’s most successful players (clever that) – the focus of the press has turned to the fate of a whole host of Premier League and Championship managers. This weekend sees the introduction of three new managers in the Championship and the Premier League sees its first American manager taking the helm at Swansea. In fact in the last 2 weeks there have been 7 new appointments in the football league from top to bottom.

The reappointment of Steve McLaren at Derby is perhaps the oddest appointment in a long time and it seems neither the pundits or the fans agree that the return of the umbrella wielding ex-England manager makes sense. With Steve Bruce (who appeared to be in the frame for the England job) taking on the exciting but daunting task of trying to steer Aston Villa back to the Premier League, we are left asking the question – what does it take to be a successful manager in modern football?

THE MAKING OF A TOP FOOTBALL MANAGER

The longest serving manager in the Premier League (and in fact all professional English leagues) is Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. The Frenchman has just celebrated 20 years at the North London club and in that time has won 3 Premier League titles and 6 FA Cups. The vultures have been circling on him in the last few seasons but his record stands up better than any other current Premier League manager in terms of success in England.

So, is longevity the key or has Arsene gone stale?

What about the cultured and well travelled Pep Guardiola? His management career started with the Barcelona B side where he enjoyed much success prior to gaining promotion to the senior side. He won pretty much everything with Barcelona as he clinched back to back league titles, 2 Champions League titles, 2 UEFA Super Cup titles and 2 World Club Cup titles. He then went to Bayern Munich where he again won back to back leagues but was unable to win the Champions League. Pep is of course now at Man City and suffered his first defeat at Spurs last time out following a stuttering performance at Celtic that ended in a draw.

Is this his biggest test yet and is he as good as everyone thinks?

The Premier League is well represented in terms of cultural diversity but we do also have some successful English managers. In fact, Eddie Howe (who is revered as being a potentially top manager in the future) is the second longest serving Premier League manager at a day over 4 years. Only 8 managers in the whole of the football league have served their clubs for longer and none of those are in the Championship – a sign of the times indeed – but also a pointer as to the treacherous nature of the job of a manager.

Tony Pulis is another manager who is usually brought in to steady a ship as is Sam Allardyce – oh hang on – scrap that. Alan Pardew has a decent Premier League record and seems to be on one of his good runs right now and is another who makes the frame as having some good management skills.

It seems the modern manager has to have personality. Some have bags of passion and enthusiasm like Antonio Conte – another manager who was rumoured to be losing his job this week. In reality, it seems no matter what the credentials are and no matter how high the quality of the work the manager puts in away from match day – it is a results business and if they don’t get the results then it is curtains for them.

One thing is for sure though, the modern manager has to have a thick skin and they all have perseverance – after all, they keep coming back time after time for new pay packets…. Sorry, I mean challenges.

Whatever it takes to be a successful football manager I’m not too fussed… I will be sticking with the fantasy football management – and I’ll be starting with a Premier Punt daily fantasy football bet today.

 

A LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN OR ARE THEY JUST BIG EGOS?

We are just two weeks in to the Premier League season and as we head in to game week 3 it has been notable that some of the big name players are already performing as per the script. Living up to their pre-season hype, players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sergio Aguero are in excellent form and with the world’s most expensive player (Paul Pogba) set to make his second start for Manchester United this week we are asking the question – are these players really extraordinary or are they just a load of big egos?

ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC – BIG HEAD OR BIG STAR?

Any player who comes out with statements like ‘I can’t help but laugh at how perfect I am’ and ‘when you buy me, you buy a Ferrari’ has to have an ounce of skill or suffers from complete disillusionment. Whether you are endeared to his personality or think he’s just another Premier League playboy, the Swede’s performances on the pitch have been outstanding so far with 4 goals in his first 3 games for United (if you include the Community Shield).

With the self proclaimed ‘special one’ as his manager it is likely that the ego will be kept in check to an extent but with Ibrahimovic only scoring less than 20 goals a season once in the last 5 seasons, he is likely to live up to his own hype.

SERGIO AGUERO – TOP OF THE CLASS?

Sergio Aguero is generally considered by most Fantasy Football players as being the best in class when it comes to scoring goals and there has been nothing this season to suggest we will see anything other than a stellar season from the Argentine. Another big player who has hit the ground running with 6 goals in 3 games, Sergio doesn’t appear to have the same arrogance that some of the Premier League’s other big hitters have but he shows his arrogance on the pitch rather than off it.

It is difficult not to love Sergio Aguero. The only thing that puts most Fantasy Football players off including him in their teams is the price tag. We think he is pure class and worth every penny.

PAUL POGBA – OVER INFLATED PRICE OR EGO?

Paul Pogba made his debut for Manchester United last week against Southampton and looks set to play against Hull City in game week 3 and the Frenchman made it look incredibly easy with a pretty flawless display against the Saints with the exception of heading over the bar from close range. The difference between Pogba when he left United and Pogba now seems to be maturity and humility.

Anyone who has seen Pogba interviewed since his big money move to the Premier League would be hard pressed to find any arrogance in the man. Many would argue that to become the most sought after player in the world requires a large degree of arrogance, but like Aguero, Pogba seems to be doing most of the talking on the pitch.

The way he has dealt with the return to a club that allegedly spurned him after his first spell there has to be applauded, particularly given some of the things that were said after he moved to Juventus in 2012. Pogba has already played more minutes for United in his second spell at the club than he did during the first and it looks like the move to Old Trafford is a good one for the club and for the league as a whole.

His price might be over inflated but then isn’t every price of a Premier League player? One thing is for sure, his class is clear to see and if he can hold his own amongst the other egos at his club then he will be a star in the grey skies of Manchester.

THE MANAGEMENT

The players with the biggest Egos often make excellent managers as they are able to put their personality across to their players. The influx of new management in the Premier League gives us the opportunity to see a plethora of top managers flex their muscles as they vie for the number one spot in the world’s best football league.

Antonio Conte, Jurgen Klopp, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola are just a handful of the new(ish) names in the league and they carry some of the biggest personalities in the game. It is too early in the season for the real antics to start but no doubt there will be plenty of fallings out as the season progresses and we can’t wait to see some of the heavyweight clashes unfold.

From Conte’s exuberance, Klopps passion (proclaiming himself the normal one), Mourinhos arrogance and Guardiola’s style – each of these top class managers bring something special to the league – and it certainly is a league of extraordinary gentlemen.