Vincent Van Genechten, armed with his extensive knowledge of Belgian football, is back again to discuss in Part III of our Q & A the Belgian national team’s prospects ahead of the World Cup next summer.
Q1) How far do you expect Belgium to go in Russia 2018? Can Belgium reach the World Cup semi-final?
The Red Devils enjoyed a very successful qualification campaign, racing through their group while scoring a large number of goals. They must be one of the favorites, right? Well, that is where it gets tricky. On paper, Belgium has all the quality players to lift that prestigious World Cup trophy. Looking at the squad list, which other country has a world class goalkeeper such as Thibaut Courtois, an elite defender as Toby Alderweireld, an assist-machine in the form of midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and a difference maker like forward Eden Hazard at the disposal of is manager? Believe me, not that many… Continue reading
It was a good week for top teams in Premier League as all top-six sides excluding Tottenham registered wins during the weekend. Continue reading
Since 2012, Joe Hart has been England’s first choice goalkeeper. Three successive England managers – Fabio Capello, Roy Hodgson and Gareth Southgate – have all showed great faith in the Manchester City goalkeeper over the course of the last seven years.
While he has largely repaid their faith, he is also prone to making errors, such as allowing Gareth Bale to score from a long range free-kick in England’s 2-1 win over Wales in the group stage of Euro 2016. Therefore, there is room for other goalkeepers to challenge Hart for a place in manager Southgate’s side.
A few contenders exist. Some have done so for a bit longer, whilst others are starting to establishing themselves as potential England candidates. Already with some playing experience for The Three Lions and perhaps part of a group of possible replacements for Hart are Jack Butland and Fraser Forster.
One name catching the eye of pundits and fans alike is Burnley’s backup goalkeeper Nick Pope who is taking advantage of the injury to Tom Heaton to stake a claim as a starter in the English Premier League. Pope remains a rather fresh face in EPL, with no prior experience at the top level, yet his recent performances for Burnley show he is worth keeping eyes on.
Another goalkeeper worth mentioning whilst he is gradually developing a good reputation is Jordan Pickford. Despite Sunderland being defensively susceptible last season, the 23-year-old Pickford excelled to earn himself a move to Everton.
At Everton he trains with the assured Dutchman Maarten Stekelenburg, who provides healthy competition for Pickford and can play a role in his progression. Pickford has represented England at every level from U-16’s to U-21’s.
At present, Hart remains England’s no.1, but his hold on the position is not as strong as it once was. He has the opportunity to earn a spot to play at his second World Cup finals by doing well for West Ham. Additional incentive exist for him to do so, from the way Pep Guardiola set him aside at Manchester City to his struggles with Torino in Serie A.
Perhaps an even greater motivation for Hart is the presence of goalkeepers such as Butland and Forster, along with the emergence of Pickford and Pope. Nevertheless, the greatest incentive of all, for any footballer, would be to participate in a World Cup tournament so Hart needs to step up for the Hammers in order to secure his place in England’s squad for Russia 2018!
It was a high-scoring game week in Premier League, and only four teams, out of 20, managed to keep clean sheets. Continue reading
It was a bad week for Merseyside clubs in Premier League, while all major London clubs registered wins in their respective games. Continue reading
EuroFantasyLeague’s Video Recap of the latest action in the English Premier League, La Liga and Serie A is back with Nicholas Carroll who discusses some of the high scoring matches in both EPL and Serie A while also highlighting some of the key games in Spain’s La Liga.
In the English Premier League, Tottenham’s Harry Kane was the star as he led his side to an emphatic win over Liverpool. Kane scored twice and provided an assist. Still in EPL, Manchester City’s Leroy Sane and Nicolas Otamendi both did well for our Fantasy Managers while in Italy, reigning Serie A champions Juventus overwhelmed hosts Udinese 6-2 despite having Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic receiving a red card in the first half. In Spain, Valencia continued their fine form this season and sit in second place, four points behind leaders Barcelona.
Week 8 of Euro Fantasy League saw some blockbuster matches across Europe, with the Milan derby, Atletico Madrid up against Barcelona while Liverpool hosted Manchester United.
In the very first edition of the EFL video recap, Nicholas Carroll takes us through some of the weekend highlights and major point-scorers from the latest round of fantasy football.
After seven weeks in to the 2017-18 Premier League season, both Manchester clubs are the only sides left undefeated. Continue reading