Premier League Transfers: Tottenham at risk of losing star players

TottenhamToby1280.jpg

“The team is not settled how I expected it to be,” Mauricio Pochettino said prior to Tottenham’s VAR inspired 2-2 draw with Manchester City on Saturday. Premier League teams keen on retaining the services of star players are doing so with one hand tied behind their back. While the English transfer window shut last week on the eve of the new season, teams across Europe are still free to get deals over the line, and that includes securing the services of players from English sides.

In theory, by closing the window before the start of the season, every team should have a settled squad coming into the new campaign, but in rushing to push through the new ruling, teams across the continent can still pluck the best players from Premier League sides. Of course, Pochettino is understandably vexed at the early closing of the window, particularly with a couple of key players linked with moves abroad and speculation over their respective futures is expected to intensify before the September 2 deadline.

Can Tottenham ward off interest in their Danish dynamite?

Christian Eriksen has been courted by Real Madrid for much of the summer and after a move to Premier League rivals Manchester United fell through, Spain seems the likely destination for the Dane between now and the beginning of next month. The creative star highlighted his importance with an influential cameo off the bench in Spurs’ 3-1 win over Aston Villa on the opening weekend of the season.

While not at his best in the 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday – Spurs were comprehensively outplayed in the stalemate with the defending champions – potential suitors are unlikely to be deterred by a single performance from a player whose very much established himself as a key player for the north London side following his 2013 arrival.

That said, while Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is pushing for a move for Eriksen, rivals Atletico Madrid are the 4/1 favourites to be the Dane’s next club on the Sportsbook, should Spurs opt to sell over the coming days. There is the possibility that the north London outfit are able to convince the 27-year-old to extend his contract at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with his current deal running until next summer.

Spurs are supposedly working hard to thrash out a new deal for the player and Eriksen not to sign or agree a contract with any other club is the 1/7 favourite scenario on the Sportsbook, which is an outcome any supporter would be keen to see. It is, of course, impossible to rule Real Madrid out of the running at this stage, particularly with Perez eager to land the creator.

Real Madrid to be Eriksen’s next club is currently at 7/1 on the Sportsbook, and if reports that Los Blancos will table a £60m bid soon are to be believed, those will shorten sooner rather than later. And Eriksen isn’t the only Ajax alumni on Spurs’ books that has been linked with a move away from the capital.

Toby Alderweireld is another whose contract is expiring next summer at it remains to be seen whether Spurs elect to cash in on the Belgian defender or lose him on a free next year. Bizarrely, no team made a serious approach for Alderweireld when he had a release clause of £25m up until two weeks before the Premier League transfer deadline.

The experienced defender has started Spurs’ two opening league games of the season and has looked his assured self as the club earned four of a possible six points and his exit would be a blow. With a handful of contracts expiring next summer, Spurs have been backed into a corner and if they are unable to negotiate new deals for the likes of Eriksen and Alderweireld before too long, it may be in their best interests to cash in on the pair, who would be free to negotiate pre-contracts with elite European sides at the turn of the year.

Manchester United hoping to say farewell to two players

Spurs aren’t the only Premier League side that may yet lose big name stars before the close of the European window, though Manchester United fans would be happier to see the back of Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba than Spurs would that of Eriksen and Alderweireld. Sanchez’s move to Old Trafford has been nothing short of a disaster and a return to Italy is on the cards, with Inter and Roma pushing for a deal to secure the Chilean’s services.

His move from Arsenal to United hasn’t gone to plan in any way, shape or form and as he rakes in a reported £560,000-a-week, it’s one of the main reasons the club is keen to shift Sanchez on. United will be confident of shifting a significant proportion of that should he seal a loan move to Italy, be it with Inter or another Serie A side, and his exit will be an admittance of a failed switch to Old Trafford.

PogbaPreseason1280.jpg

Pogba‘s return to United hasn’t gone quite according to plan either and while Perez is eager to see Eriksen in Madrid, head coach Zinedine Zidane favours a move for compatriot Pogba before the deadline. Indeed, Real Madrid are the 5/1 favourites to be Pogba’s next club on the Sportsbook, but it’s feasible to suggest that Eriksen would be the more affordable alternative, and that appeals to Perez following a hefty summer of investment.

Sane still on Bayern’s radar?

Crossing the Manchester divide, Bayern Munich may yet push for a move for Leroy Sane, despite the German suffering a serious knee injury in the Community Shield penalty shootout win over Liverpool. Sane was forced off in the first half and is ruled out until January, at the earliest, which supposedly ended any hopes of a move to Bayern.

Their capture of Philippe Coutinho on loan may have dented their pursuit of Sane, but he is a player who would improve Bayern’s wide options. His injury may have been a stumbling block, but if Bayern have even a sniff that a deal could be done, then they’d likely pursue the option. The player himself is keen on the switch and it’s a transfer that could still happen despite being sidelined for the foreseeable future.

Source: Betfair Premier League

    

Football Bet of the Day: Mbappe to continue scoring run

We’re wrapping up this week in France, because Kev expects superstar Kylian Mbappe to fire PSG to another win.

Mbappe to inspire the champions

Rennes v PSG
Sunday 18 August, 20:00
Live on BT Sport 2

As it turned out, the Lone Star fell last night in Brazil, as Botafogo slipped to a 2-0 defeat at Corinthians. Our first setback of the week, but we press on.

We’ll wrap up this week in France, as Rennes face PSG in Ligue 1. Rennes had the temerity to beat the French champions in the final of the Coupe de France last season, but they have lost some key players since.

PSG took a small measure of revenge as they beat Julien Stephan’s side 2-1 in the Trophee des Champions (the French Community Shield, if you like), and after bashing Nimes 3-0 in their Ligue 1 opener, the capital club are in good shape. Yes, the Neymar saga rumbles on, but Kylian Mbappe (the true superstar of the club these days) has already scored in both competitive matches.

Rennes lost wing wizard Ismaila Sarr to Watford, while left-back Ramy Bensebaini has joined Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach. Midfielder Benjamin Andre has made a switch to Lille, and keeper Tomas Koubek has gone to Augsburg. Despite the departures, Rennes did manage to win their first league game 1-0 at Montpellier.

Rennes are without new signing Flavien Tait because of suspension, while Adrien Hunou is injured. You can use the Same Game Multi function on the Sportsbook to back PSG to win and Mbappe to score, which is exactly what happened when the teams met two weeks ago.

Source: BetFair Tips

    

Wolves v Manchester United: Big value available on a home win

Wolves v Manchester United
Monday August 19, 20:00
Live on Sky Sports

Wolves looking well as season gets going

Thanks to the Europa League, Wolves’ season started earlier than most with five competitive fixtures under their belt since it began at home to Crusaders in late July. And Nuno Espirito Santo’s team have eased into their stride in pleasing fashion, dismissing all before them in the European competition’s qualification stages by an aggregate 14-1 scoreline. The Premier League delivered a sterner test in the form of Leicester last weekend and Wolves’ winning run was interrupted thanks to a 0-0 draw, but VAR denied them a goal there and a point away at the Foxes is not a bad result.

Wolves are nice and settled under Espirito Santo, who leads the team for a third consecutive season, and conducted their summer transfer business in neat and tidy fashion adding some young talent to the squad while capturing a couple of experienced loan performers in Raúl Jiménez and Leander Dendoncker on permanent deals. They look equipped to enjoy another impressive season.

Good signs for United but more evidence is needed

A 4-0 defeat of Chelsea should always be celebrated by any Premier League team but the caveats to United’s opening day win have to be noted. Their opponents twice struck the woodwork and were extremely competitive until a late goal assault – the final three coming after the 65th minute. Nevertheless, after the misery of last season’s dispiriting fade in the final few months the win will have been very welcome at Old Trafford. Harry Maguire has undoubtedly added steel and composure to the backline (as you’d hope from any £80m upgrade!) and the spine of the team looks solid with Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial, who now wears Romelu Lukaku’s no.9 shirt, further up the field.

Wolves are value for the win

Betfair Exchange customers make United favourites to win this one despite being the away side. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men head the market at [2.44] with Wolves and the draw both [3.35]. I think those odds underestimate the home side far too much. As Opta tell us, Wolves are unbeaten in eight Premier League home games (W6 D2) and twice got the better of the visitors last season, winning league and cup clashes 2-1. The hosts have a near clean bill of fitness and many of the second string figured in the 4-0 Thursday night dismissal of Armenian side Pyunik Yerevan.

Only nine points separated these sides last season, in a campaign where United lost seven games away from home. I don’t believe I am underestimating the visitors but, for me, the value lies entirely with the visitors.

Defences expected to be on top

The goals markets point to a low-scoring game with under 2.5 odds-on at [1.8]. That makes sense – both kept clean sheets last time out, and Wolves’ impressive backline has only been breached once this season. Both fixtures at Molineux, however, finished 2-1 last year. Ultimately the over/under markets don’t appear to be offering any winning angles for me.

Two forwards to open up the scoring

I struggle to find obvious value in goalscorer markets but plenty of punters love them and two men stand out in this match. For the home side, an Opta stat catches the eye about Jiménez: the Mexican forward was involved in seven Premier League goals against ‘big six’ sides last season (four goals and three assists). Jiménez is 9/2 on the Betfair Sportsbook to score first. At slightly longer odds, Martial is on 49 goals for United in all competitions. He is 6/1 to open the scoring.

Source: Betfair Premier League

    

Wolves v Manchester United: Big value available on a home win

Wolves v Manchester United
Monday August 19, 20:00
Live on Sky Sports

Wolves looking well as season gets going

Thanks to the Europa League, Wolves’ season started earlier than most with five competitive fixtures under their belt since it began at home to Crusaders in late July. And Nuno Espirito Santo’s team have eased into their stride in pleasing fashion, dismissing all before them in the European competition’s qualification stages by an aggregate 14-1 scoreline. The Premier League delivered a sterner test in the form of Leicester last weekend and Wolves’ winning run was interrupted thanks to a 0-0 draw, but VAR denied them a goal there and a point away at the Foxes is not a bad result.

Wolves are nice and settled under Espirito Santo, who leads the team for a third consecutive season, and conducted their summer transfer business in neat and tidy fashion adding some young talent to the squad while capturing a couple of experienced loan performers in Raúl Jiménez and Leander Dendoncker on permanent deals. They look equipped to enjoy another impressive season.

Good signs for United but more evidence is needed

A 4-0 defeat of Chelsea should always be celebrated by any Premier League team but the caveats to United’s opening day win have to be noted. Their opponents twice struck the woodwork and were extremely competitive until a late goal assault – the final three coming after the 65th minute. Nevertheless, after the misery of last season’s dispiriting fade in the final few months the win will have been very welcome at Old Trafford. Harry Maguire has undoubtedly added steel and composure to the backline (as you’d hope from any £80m upgrade!) and the spine of the team looks solid with Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial, who now wears Romelu Lukaku’s no.9 shirt, further up the field.

Wolves are value for the win

Betfair Exchange customers make United favourites to win this one despite being the away side. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men head the market at [2.44] with Wolves and the draw both [3.35]. I think those odds underestimate the home side far too much. As Opta tell us, Wolves are unbeaten in eight Premier League home games (W6 D2) and twice got the better of the visitors last season, winning league and cup clashes 2-1. The hosts have a near clean bill of fitness and many of the second string figured in the 4-0 Thursday night dismissal of Armenian side Pyunik Yerevan.

Only nine points separated these sides last season, in a campaign where United lost seven games away from home. I don’t believe I am underestimating the visitors but, for me, the value lies entirely with the visitors.

Defences expected to be on top

The goals markets point to a low-scoring game with under 2.5 odds-on at [1.8]. That makes sense – both kept clean sheets last time out, and Wolves’ impressive backline has only been breached once this season. Both fixtures at Molineux, however, finished 2-1 last year. Ultimately the over/under markets don’t appear to be offering any winning angles for me.

Two forwards to open up the scoring

I struggle to find obvious value in goalscorer markets but plenty of punters love them and two men stand out in this match. For the home side, an Opta stat catches the eye about Jiménez: the Mexican forward was involved in seven Premier League goals against ‘big six’ sides last season (four goals and three assists). Jiménez is 9/2 on the Betfair Sportsbook to score first. At slightly longer odds, Martial is on 49 goals for United in all competitions. He is 6/1 to open the scoring.

Source: BetFair Tips

    

The Daily Acca: Blades to build on opening day promise

Worrying times for Palace

Bet 1: Back Sheffield United @ 13/8 – KO 14:00 BST

The Blades are back in the big-time, and they looked far from out of place at the Vitality last week. Billy Sharp netted a late equaliser to earn them a well deserved point, and I strongly fancy them to beat Crystal Palace this afternoon.

The Eagles have retained the services of Wilfried Zaha, and while he will be back in the team here, it remains to be seen if he will be at his brilliant best.

Chris wilder’s side were strong at Bramall Lane last year, and if they are to survive – which I think they will – they have to be winning these kind of games.

Points to be shared at the Bridge

Bet 2: Back The Draw in Chelsea v Leicester @ 29/10 – KO 16:30 BST

The Blues had to play 120 minutes in intense heat on Wednesday night, and while they have had an extra day to recover, compared to Liverpool, I am struggling to see them beating Leicester.

The Foxes were a bit underwhelming against Wolves in their season-opener, but Wolves had the benefit of having played some competitive football in the Europa League.

Brendan Rodgers has made some decent signings over the summer, and they still managed to keep a clean sheet, despite the departure of Harry Maguire.

Chelsea are a work-in-progress under Frank Lampard, and they could be vulnerable on the break against the Foxes.

Getafe to breach the new-look Atleti defence

Bet 3: Back BTTS in Atletico Madrid v Getafe @ 11/8 – KO 21:00 BST

Atletico Madrid begin a big of a new era tonight, as while they are still managed by Diego Simeone, some of the senior players have left for pastures new.

Diego Godin was one of them, and he was an integral part of their defensive unit. Atletico have been excellent defensively over the years, and while I expect that to continue with Simeone at the helm, it might take some of the new players to bed-in.

Getafe were a whisker away from qualifying for the Champions League last year, and in having such a good season, they only lost four times on the road. They scored 20 goals in 19 away outings, and 11/8 for both teams to score looks big.

Source: Betfair Spanish La Liga