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Thursday, 5 March 2020

Sheffield United vs Norwich


With the Blades very much looking to find a place in the UEFA Champions League – something unthinkable at the beginning of the season – fellow promotional team Norwich City are at the other end of the table. The Canaries are in a poor run, despite putting out Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup. Can the Blades find the form they need to make sure that they can keep their dreams of not only European football, but Champions League football, alive?

Sheffield United News


The Blades are in one of the best places they have been all season in terms of injuries. Not a single player has so far been reported as missing for them. While the likes of John Fleck and Enda Stevens were a bit touch and go, both players are expected to make it for this game.

Sander Berge could start in midfield, while Chris Wilder is likely to give David McGoldrick another game up top. Despite only scoring his first goal of the season in midweek, he’s generally performed well.

Norwich City News


The Canaries are gong to be without their star creative player in Emiliano Buendia. The little Argentine playmaker will miss out, while they might also be without a few other key players. Timm Klose, Sam Byram, and Onel Hernandez are definitely out. Christoph Zimmermann is not expected to recover in time for this one.

They will need to try and shuffle an already small squad around to try and make this a contest.

Verdict


While the Blades aren’t prolific, they don’t concede too many either. Norwich, meanwhile, score a fair few and concede even more. We can see the Canaries struggling here; while both teams went to extra time in the FA Cup, there’s something to play for at Bramall Lane. For Norwich, survival feels an unrealistic prospect now – simply building confidence for a potential FA Cup run should be their primary concern now

Monday, 17 February 2020

Player Profile - Christian Eriksen

For years, the name of Christian Eriksen has been on the tips of the tongue of scouts across the globe. Now 25, the Middlefart-born Dane is one of the most impressive creative players in the world. With a deftness of touch that wouldn’t look out of place in a Brazilian national side to a vision and general temperament on the ball that makes him almost impossible to frustrate, Eriksen is easily among the leading lights in the entire Premier League.

The Spurs man started out at AFC Ajax, like many of his fellow Danes. He quickly became a key man at Ajax, thriving as the key cog in a resurgent Ajax side led by Frank de Boer. With some exceptional performances domestically and in Europe, including rampaging performances on English soil, Eriksen was a player that most teams in the world would have taken a chance on.

It was a surprise, then, when he made a move to Tottenham for just £11m in 2013. The move was seen as a massive coup for the club, as he joined a mini revolution at Spurs. While at first he was somewhat slow to get started, despite an assist on debut, he quickly established himself as a player who could lift the tempo of a math seemingly at will.

With the ball under his control almost permanently, he’s become a player noted for important goals, including wonderful free kicks. He’s also a player who is known for his top quality link-up play, having become a key foil for teammates Harry Kane and Dele Alli and, at international level, alongside the likes of Lasse Schone and Kasper Dolberg – fellow Ajax players.

For many, he’s among the most underrated players in the world and, just 25, could yet establish a career to rival Danish legends such as Michael Laudrup.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Player Profile - Loris Karius

For many, German goalkeeper Loris Karius was the wrong choice for a club the size of Liverpool. The 24-year-old German, though, has shown in 2018 that he has more than enough to handle playing for a top club. After all, there’s a reason why he was voted among the finest keepers in Germany prior to his arrival at Anfield!

He started off at VfB Stuttgart after a series of moves around smaller youth clubs like SSV Ulm 1846. He then made a surprise move to England, when he joined recently cash-rich Manchester City. He was signed for City in 2009, but never made a single appearance for the Citizens despite costing an “exorbitant amount of money”, according to Thomas Albeck, the Stuttgart youth co-ordinator.

A move to Mainz 05 came next, where he stayed for four years. In his time at the club, he quickly established himself as a keeper of some repute, playing regularly for the Zero-Fivers. He quickly became a key player following coming on for Christian Wetklo. Wetklo was injured and, at 19, he became the youngest Bundesliga keeper of all-time.

From 2013-2016, he was a key player for the club and was voted the second best keeper in the Bundesliga in 2015-16, keeping nine sheets. He came second only to the great Manuel Neur.

Then, he made his move to Liverpool. While he’s only begun to establish himself at Anfield after 18-months, the German looks to be coming into his own and really establishing a legacy for himself. Now the number one keeper at Anfield, he appears to have the back of players, coaches and fans as he continues an impressive renaissance.

While he might not be among the elite keepers in the league just yet, a rich history and potential for development says that, at just 24, that could change quickly.