Author: Prashant Kharbanda

Football Feuds – Enemies of the game

Rivalries in world football are all special. These rivalries are important for a variety of reasons and certainly have entertained us viewers over the years.

Here’s three of many football’s biggest feuds:

 

Patrick Vieira vs Roy Keane

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The Premier League in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s was all about Manchester United and Arsenal. They consisted of rock-solid defending, world class goals and a fight or two every season. Two captains in Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane constantly squared up in showcasing leadership and determination. They are also two phenomenal players and had a habit for putting in a nasty tackle in.

 

Barcelona vs Real Madrid

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El Clasico, as the world knows, remains one of the most heated rivalries in world football. The two most decorated clubs in Spain often battle each other on the pitch whether it’s by scoring goals, making dangerous challenges or stamping on eachother. They are sometimes identified as having opposing political positions, with Real Madrid viewed as representing Spanish nationalism and Barcelona viewed as representing Catalanism.

 

Patrice Evra vs Luis Suarez

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This historic feud began at Anfield when Luis Suarez was accused of racially abusing Patrice Evra. Luis Suarez was fined £40,000 and banned for 8 games. The FA charged the Uruguayan with “abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour contrary to FA rules”, including “a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Patrice Evra.” In the aftermath, when Liverpool faced Manchester United at Old Trafford, Suárez seemed to avoid shaking Evra’s hand, leading to Evra grabbing Suárez’s arm.

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England Starting XI for World Cup 2014 in Brazil

The upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil has been described as a “difficult task” according to England manager, Roy Hodgson. They have a challenge of facing four-time World Cup winners Italy, Costa Rica and a Uruguay team with Luis Suarez leading the line, as well as playing in the unfortunate heat in Brazil. The world cup starts on Thursday 12th June and here is who we think will start for England.

 

Potential England starting line-up (4-2-3-1) in Brazil:

Goalkeeper: Joe Hart

Joe Hart has suffered a dip in form the last couple of years due to confidence issues, however he is still England’s number one goalkeeper and should be given his start.

 

Right back: Glen Johnson

Glen Johnson is a very experienced defender that can cope with pressure of a high-caliber game. His attacking prowess and his improved defending ability will aid England.

 

Centre-back: Gary Cahill

Alongside John Terry, Gary Cahill has been formidable this season and will give England the solidity they need to take on the best attackers in the world at the World Cup 2014.

 

Centre-back: Phil Jagielka

Phil Jagielka is a very trusted experienced centre-back that has been immense for Everton this season. He has earned his spot in the starting lineup after putting in brilliant performances this season.

 

Left-back: Leighton Baines

Although Luke Shaw has been fantastic this season I feel Leighton Baines will get the nod after a solid season this year. Due to Ashley Cole’s lack of matches I feel he may miss out due to the high calibre of performances from Baines and Shaw.

 

Centre-midfield: Steven Gerrard

gerrard

Steven Gerrard has proven to be invaluable for Liverpool this season after having a phenomenal year and looks likely to pick up his first Premierleague winners medal after showing the consistency and leadership England will need to have a chance of having any success in this tournament.

 

Centre-midfield: Jack Wilshere

Jack Wilshere showed real promise in the first half of the season, picked up an injury but should still be given his spot alongside the Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard. He has the quality, drive, physical ability and composure that England need in this competition.

 

Right attacking midfielder: Raheem Sterling

Raheem Sterling has had an excellent year this season and left defenders quivering in their boots with his sensational speed, dribbling skill and athleticism. He has showed that he’s a big game player and we don’t expect the World Cup to phase him.

 

Centre-forward: Wayne Rooney

It would be a surprise to see Wayne Rooney left out of the starting lineup. Although he has never reached his full potential at a major international tournament yet. Hopefully Wayne Rooney will shine in the World Cup 2014 and lead England further than expected in the competition.

 

 

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Left attacking midfielder: Adam Lallana

Adam Lallana has been brilliant again this season for Southampton and has earned his place in the England starting line-up with sparkling performances throughout the season.

 

Striker: Daniel Sturridge

Daniel Sturridge is England’s most inform striker this year and has led the line superbly with Luis Suarez in this 2013/2014 season coming up with 34 goals in 46 appearances so far.

Who would be in your starting lineup? Leave your comments below.

 

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Manchester United summer transfer targets wanted by David Moyes

This season has seen Manchester United lose five matches in all competitions at the Theatre of Dreams. It has been a difficult experience for new manager David Moyes and club fans after the drastic change of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement. The current champions of England consists of the same title-winning team of the 2012/13 season, as well as the inclusion of Marouane Fellaini, teen sensation Adnan Januzaj and record signing Juan Mata. However, nothing has been working for the Manchester club and the fans are getting impatient.

David Moyes has made it clear that his intentions are going big in the summer transfer window. Here are some of Manchester United’s transfer targets:

1. Toni Kroos 

kroos

The Bayern Munich midlfielder was key in their Champions League win at The Emirates Stadium. He was on David Moyes’ wishlist during the winter transfer window and will be the club’s priority in the summer. With the German’s contract ending in 2015, it is uncertain what lies in the near future. He will play a key role in Manchester United’s midfield, with the aid of Michael Carrick, Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney if he is signed.

2. Luke Shaw

luke shaw

Manchester United are planning to make Luke Shaw the highest-paid teenager in the Premier League history by offering him a staggering £75,000-a-week to join them in the summer. With the ageing Patrice Evra and inconsistency of Alexander Buttner, he has been said to be a vital part in a new-look Manchester United side next season. Luke Shaw won his first England cap against Denmark after coming on in the second half and his performance was praised by the manager and the players.

3. Antoine Griezmann

The Real Sociedad winger has been in fine form all season with 19 goals to his name. He was watched by David Moyes as he made his international debut in France’s win over Netherlands. He has faced Manchester United in the group stages of Champions League and has impressed the new manager, after complimenting on his versatility and technique. With poor performances from Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia this season, it has been said that a new wide player is necessary for the club.

4. Paul Pogba 

paul pogba

Paul Pogba has been the subject of a sensational return to Manchester United to bolster their midfield problems, but an expensive transfer fee is reportedly the only solution to their question. He was also watched by David Moyes during his scouting trip in France. The Juventus midfielder is a serious contender for being the world’s best player in the future and is monitored by the likes of Real Madrid and PSG.

5. Matthias Ginter

The German defender was the subject of David Moyes’ visit when Freiburg took on Hertha Berlin in a goalless draw. He has been rated as one of the best young defenders in the Bundesliga and was called up to the national team when Germany took on Chile. He has desires of playing in a ‘big club’ such as Manchester United, but is also on the radar of league rivals Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.

 

David Moyes has written to Manchester United fans, thanking them for their support after a season more difficult than he imagined.

“Everywhere we turn people outside the club have a lot to say about Manchester United, but we have all stuck together through some tough times this season and I firmly believe that, in the long run, we will all come out at the other end, stronger for the experiences.”

What do you think of these potential signings and who should Moyes buy in your opinion? Leave a comment below.

 

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6 Tips For Gambling Safely

Online gambling  has seen a massive increase in popularity in recent years, and gamblers from all around the world have a huge choice of websites to choose from. Some offer specific types of gambling, such as bingo, poker or betting, whilst most of them offer users the chance of placing their money in sports. It is vital that we avoid losing our discipline when gambling as it can cause financial struggles, be detrimental to our lifestyle and even be detrimental to our relationships with others. Be sure to follow these guidelines to avoid such issues so you can continue to bet without these issues.

Online gambling  carries the risk of criminal activity and there are also other potential risks such as the exposure to children and use by vulnerable people.  There have also been issues revolving identity theft, whereby criminals have been given access to personal information. Users have also been lured into opening accounts with the exaggerated promise of collecting large profits and bonuses.

 

As every system is imperfect, it is very important to practice safe gambling and encourage others not to misuse the platforms available. Here are some of the many ways to practice safe gambling on the Internet.
1. Bet what you can afford

Make sure to bet what you can afford. Set aside an amount you are willing to lose before you begin gambling each week.

2. Do your research on bookies 

Use well-known online betting companies with a good reputation. Some companies are known to wait up to a month before withdrawals are processed.

3. Rules & regulations

Make sure you understand the full set of rules of the website. Know every term and type of bet available. It is advisable to read the terms and conditions before registering an account.

4. Seeking betting tips

There are tipsters with a vast football knowledge that constantly watch and analyse football as a profession. They provide daily football tips in order to limit the risks of losing your football bets. Subscribe here for daily football betting tips from our tipsters at Clever Bets.

5. Customer support 

Ensure good quality of customer support offered by website, whether by email or contacting you directly.

6. Deposits and withdrawals

It is crucial to check the information regarding deposits and withdrawals to or from an account. Ensure a variety of methods that are simple to use. In addition make sure you check the minimum deposits and withdrawals.

 

We hope we  have assisted you in your future experiences of gambling. Follow these guidelines and betting can be used as a form of entertainment rather than an added stress.

 

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Match Preview: Arsenal vs Bayern Munich

The reigning UEFA Champions League holders will visit the Emirates Stadium to face an Arsenal side that progressed into the quarter-final of the FA Cup after defeating Liverpool by two goals to one and is a point behind English Premier League leaders Chelsea. The Bavarian giants swept aside the North Londoners last season in England 3-1 and while Arsenal responded with a 2-0 victory at the Allianz Arena, they were knocked out on the away goals rule. In the end, Bayern Munich went on to lift the trophy for a fifth time.

mesut ozil

Arsene Wenger’s mission to seek revenge against a Pep Guardiola side will be difficult without the likes of injured Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott and suspended vice-captain Mikel Arteta. There is good news for Arsenal, with the return of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the familiarity of the Bundesliga style of play whereby Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski all have experience in.

Franck Ribery and Xherdan Shaqiri will miss the game due to a buttock injury and a muscle injury respectively, but that will not stop the likes of Mario Gotze, Arjen Robben and Mario Mandukic from giving world class performances. The German champions go into the tie in good form, winning their last nine matches in all competion, scoring 28 goals and only conceding two.

Recent form

Arsenal: WDWLDW

Bayern: WWWWWW

Key players 

 schweinsteiger

Bastian Schweinsteiger will have an important role in stopping Arsenal’s attacking threat from penetrating his side. He will need to be on the top of his game to help his side get that important away goal to bring back to Munich.

 

His German counterpart, Mesut Ozil will be looking forward to hurt his countrymen by being an influential figure in the game. With the help from the likes of Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud upfront, Ozil will need to be key if Arsenal is likely to qualify for the quarter-finals.

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Match Preview: Manchester City vs Barcelona

The UEFA Champions League is back and is proud to showcase a last-16 tie between four-time winner FC Barcelona and former English champions Manchester City.

Manchester City have never reached the last 16 of the Champions League before and will be facing Barcelona, who are joint top of the Spanish league, for the first time in a competitive match. On the other hand, Barcelona have only managed 6 wins in 28 matches in England. The two teams have never played competitively before, although the two sides have each won three out of six friendlies.

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Manchester City goes in the game without star striker Sergio Aguero, who has been out since 29 January after picking up a hamstring injury in a win over Tottenham Hotspur. He has amassed 26 goals in 25 appearances for City this season. Despite that, Manuel Pellegrini do have the depth with the likes of Edin Dzeko, Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo, who has scored against FC Barcelona before for Sevilla. Manchester City also welcomes the return of Fernandinho after missing three games with a muscle injury.

The ‘holy trinity’ of Messi, Xavi and Iniesta aren’t as vital as they used to be, but the likes of Fabregas, Pedro, Neymar and Sanchez have grown in stature and everyone pulled their weight when Messi was out injured. Their ‘tiki-taka’ style of play will come to the challenge of a Manchester City team that likes to press high.

KEY PLAYERS

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Yaya Toure will be up against his former club and will probably be the most important for his current one in this fixture. With 15 goals and 6 assists this season, Toure will need to have a huge game as he tussles with Barcelona’s star-studded midfield.

Lionel-Messi

Despite returning from injury, Lionel Messi appears to have found his stride just in time for this fixture, scoring 6 goals in his last 5 games. The players around him have grown in stature but crucially, he continues to be integral to the team and remains their talisman.

 

What’s your match prediction for tonight? Leave below.

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Biggest English Premierleague Football Romances

We have seen football players take their team all the way to the top on their own in many occasions, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United and Real Madrid, Luis Suarez for Liverpool, Diego Maradona for Napoli and also Ferenc Puskas for Real Madrid and his country Hungary. The term “two is better than one” can be applicable to some cases in world football. Two players who have played with each other for a long time can dominate a team.

Great partnerships have graced football for years or even decades.

Here’s a list of the top 3 best partnerships to grace the premierleague:

3. Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp

begkamp

In terms of individual abilities, these two are probably the most gifted footballers on this list and as a pair they just are magnificent. The Frenchman and the Dutchman have played together at Arsenal for six years and they helped the Gunners win league titles and FA Cups galore. Dennis Bergkamp has often been the provider, while Thierry Henry would execute a class of a finish. They scored over 200 times between, with their biggest achievement being as Arsenal’s front line during the “Invicibles” season in 2003/04.

2. Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton

Alan_Shearer_2008

They were originally dubbed the “SAS” after Chris Sutton arrived at Ewood Park from Norwich City in 2004. They immediately formed a devastating partnership with Alan Shearer playing in front of Chris Sutton. They scored a combination of 49 goals in the 94/95 season, which saw Blackburn Rovers claim an unlikely Premier League title with 89 points, one point ahead of Manchester United after the last game of the season. Defences struggled to deal with the powerful strikers, but fortunately for them Chris Sutton lost his form the following season and managed to score only one goal.

1. Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke

andy cole laughing

It wasn’t difficult to decide who the deadliest duos were on this list. Sir Alex Ferguson combined Dwight Yorke with Andy Cole, after purchasing the  Trinidad & Tobago striker from Aston Villa in 1998. They were both big-name signings and promising strikers, but no one imagined the impact they would have had. They seemed to communicate telepathically and their different styles worked in accordance with each other. They scored 53 goals between them in the 1998/99 season, which fired Manchester United to winning the English Premier League, FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League. They continued their incredible partnership for another two seasons and are arguably one of the best striking partnerships in the modern game.

NOTABLE MENTIONS: Cristiano Ronaldo & Wayne Rooney, Fernando Torres & Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez & Daniel Sturridge, Andres Iniesta & Xavi, Clarence Seedorf & Kaka, Franck Ribery & Arjen Robben. 

 

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The 3 Best Players Likely to Miss the World Cup

The FIFA World Cup in Brazil will showcase the best teams around the world competing to be the best, but some countries might not be able to go far due to major injuries to a few high-profile players.

Radamel Falcao (Colombia)

falcao

The Colombian national team’s chances of going far in Brazil have been dashed as their captain suffered a serious knee injury in a Coupe de France match for Monaco. Radamel Falcao featured in 13 of the 16 qualifiers Colombia played. In the 13 he played, they won eight, drew two and lost three, which is 1.33 points per game without him as opposed to 2.0 points per game with him, a statistic only Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi betters. According to the doctor who operated on him, the striker has a good chance of making it to Brazil in the summer.

 

Theo Walcott (England)

theo walcott

Theo Walcott was ruled out for at least six months after his left knee sustained a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament during the 2-0 FA Cup third-round victory over Tottenham. He has appeared in ten qualifiers since 2010, with England winning 9 times and drawing once. Despite only playing four games throughout the qualifiers, he had been a big part of Roy Hodgson’s plan to win the World Cup.

 

Sami Khedira (Germany)

sami khredira

Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira tore both his anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral playing for Germany in November. The German’s rehabilitation is said to be progressing well and will be back in time fit as ever, according to Joachim Low. He has been an influential figure for his country, playing in eight game in being victorious in all of them, getting a goal in the process.

 

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Best ever January transfer buys

Here’s a list of the top five best transfers that have taken place in January in recent years:

 

5) Lucas Moura

moura

Dubbed the new Ronaldinho, Manchester United, Inter Milan and PSG were battling to sign him in 2012. Eventually, he signed for PSG for a fee reported to be around £35 million. He has won the Ligue 1 with PSG, FIFA Confederations Cup with Brazil, along with 30 caps to his name.

 

4) Juan Mata

bye mata

Despite just signing for Manchester United, Juan Mata is destined to be a star in the Red of Manchester in the coming years. Former two-time Player of the Year for Chelsea, he has vowed to make a difference and perform in every game for the Red Devils.

 

3) Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli in the 2014 Italy Home Kit that features PUMA's PWR ACTV Technology

Super Mario was signed for AC Milan from Manchester City on a four-and-a-half year deal rumoured to be worth €20 million plus bonuses and add-ons. He was sold by Roberto Mancini for the good of Mario Balotelli, as he needed a fresh start in his home country of Italy. He has 25 goals to his name in a Rossoneri jersey.

 

2) Nemanja Vidic

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The Serbian powerhouse joined Manchester United in January of 2006  for a fee of around £7 million. He immediately formed a partnership with Rio Ferdinand in the heart of defence, which has since become one of the most prominent partnerships in European football. Vidic was appointed as club captain in 2010 after the retirement of Gary Neville, and has won 5 Premier Leagues, 3 League Cups, 1 Champions League and 1 FIFA Club World Cup. He has also appeared in the Premier League Team of the Year 4 times and twice in the FIFPro World XI.

 

1) Luis Suarez

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He joined the Merseysiders from Ajax for a fee reported to be around £22.8 million. Luis Suarez has been influential for Liverpool over the years. He has scored 74 goals in 117 games for the Reds, as well as 39 goals in 71 games for Uruguay. Mostly known for his incidents involving racially abusing Patrice Evra, biting Branislav Ivanovic infamously blocking an extra time goalbound header with his hands during the quarter finals against Ghana during the World Cup in South Africa.

 

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Biggest January 2014 Transfers in English football

As the January transfer window is coming to a close in it’s final week, let’s take a look at the top signings that caught everyone’s eye in the first month of 2014.

Aiden McGeady

AidenMcGeadyIreland

The pacy winger joined Everton from Spartak Moscow on a four-and-a-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee. He won four Scottish Premier League titles, two Scottish League Cups and two Scottish Cups in six years for Celtic before moving to Russia. He is on this list because of his fancy tricks, notably “The McGeady Spin”.

 

Juan Mata

juan mata spain

Who would have imagined Chelsea’s two-time Player of the Year to be benched in the first half of the season under new coach Jose Mourinho? The likes of Oscar (new number 10 described by The Special One), Eden Hazard,  summer signings Willian and Andre Schurrle made it difficult for the Spanish international to break into the starting eleven. David Moyes decided to break the bank and capture Juan Mata’s signature for a club record fee of £37.1 million. Juan Mata vowed to perform in every game in order to make it into the Spanish squad for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil this summer.

 

Mohamed Salah

salah

The battle to capture Mohamed Salah’s signature between Liverpool and Chelsea was one of the highlights of the January transfer window. The 21-year old Egyptian eventually signed for the Blues for a fee reported to be £11 million. He captured the eyes of world football after scoring in both victories over Chelsea for Basel in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.

 

Nemanja Matic

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He was formerly a Chelsea player, before leaving for Benfica in a deal which brought David Luiz to Chelsea. He rejoined the Londoners for for a fee of £21 million. At 6 foot 4, the Serbian was what Jose Mourinho was looking for. He wanted depth in his squad, and depth he has, with Frank Lampard, Ramires, Nemanja Matic, John Obi Mikel and David Luiz as an alternative.

 

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The 2013 Ballon d’Or Race

Who’s going to win it? Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery were announced as the final three nominees for the FIFA Ballon d’Or award. The winner of this prestigious award will be revealed at a FIFA gala in Zurich on January 13, 2014.

Lionel Messi

lionel messii

The Argentinean captain is the current holder of the Ballon d’Or and has won it a record number of four times, but it has been a difficult year for him. A string of injuries have hampered his progress following on from 2012 in which he scored 91 goals. Despite them, he had won the La Liga with Barcelona in May for a sixth time.

Statistics (club &  country):

Appearances: 46
Goals: 45
Assists: 17

 

Franck Ribery

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As frustration soared for the Frenchman in 2012 as finished runners-up in the Bundesliga, German Cup and UEFA Champions League, the pacy winger helped his club win all of those tournaments in 2013, with the addition of the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. The UEFA Player of the Year also helped his country to a last-gasp qualification to the World Cup in Brazil next summer.

Statistics (club &  country):

Appearances: 51
Goals: 22
Assists: 19

 

Cristiano Ronaldo

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The 28 year old forward is arguably the world’s form player as the year is about to come to end, with his incredible hat-trick in Portugal’s World Cup playoff against Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Sweden leaving football fans around the world in awe. He had previously won the award once back in 2008 with Manchester United after winning the English Premier League, UEFA Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup. He is now our tip at Clever Bets Tips to win it this time round!

Statistics (club &  country):

Appearances: 59
Goals: 69
Assists: 17

 

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The Best of the Lot

As 2013 is about to come to an end, it has been a roller-coaster ride in the first half of the 2013/14 English Premier League season. We have witnessed the retirement of the great Sir Alex Ferguson, with former Everton manager David Moyes being his successor, the return of Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge and a new face among the top guns in Manchester City manager, Manuel Pellegrini.

The current champions, Manchester United have not had the best start to the campaign as they have lost five out of their 18 games, including three home defeats at the hands of West Bromwich Albion, Everton and Newcastle United, whereas their neighbors City have been doing otherwise by scoring a total of 53 goals in 18 games, almost 3 goals per game. Arsenal and Liverpool have been the surprise packages of the league. Aaron Ramsey and summer signing Mesut Ozil have been influential for the Londoners while Luis Suarez and co. have helped the Merseyside team fight for a Champions League spot.

Although it is only halfway through the season, there have already been arguments all around the world over the best player in the league.

Alvaro Negredo and Sergio Aguero have been a lethal combination for the noisy neighbors by scoring 21 goals between them. The physical appearance of the Spanish international, along with the tough of brilliance of the Argentinean have proved critics wrong and have steered them into second place.

Aaron Ramsey is a class above the rest. He has been involved in 18 goals in 26 games for the Arsenal this season scoring 13 goals and assisting five. The only downfall to his and Arsenal’s season was injuring his thigh against West Ham United which will keep him out for 2 to 3 weeks.

For me, Luis Suarez is by far the best player in the Barclays Premier League. Despite missing the first five games for biting Branislav Ivanovic last season, he has amassed an incredible 19 goals in only 13 games. This figure has made him not only the top goalscorer in the league, but also the leading goalscorer in all of Europe’s top five leagues, ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo who has scored 17 goals in 15 games for Real Madrid. In the absence of skipper Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez captained Liverpool to back-to-back victories over Tottenham Hotspur’s and Malaysian-owned Cardiff City, before losing out to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in an extremely close encounter. In my opinion, if Luis Suarez consistently keeps up his performance for the Reds, he will undoubtedly carry them to success in the near future, as well as being a serious contender for the 2014 Ballon d’Or.

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