Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Premier League leaders through eight matches

Leave a comment

The sample size remains relatively small, but the Premier League season is closing in on its quarter-point and we’re able to get a decent perspective on whose hot starts are becoming solid seasons.

The international break is a good time to analyze the early season numbers, so let’s run through WhoScored.com and a number of other sites to see who’s shining in England (and Wales, though we don’t expect to see a lot of Bluebirds).

[ MORE: Hazard would play for Mourinho again ]

Let’s start with team stuff. Obviously, Man City, Chelsea, and Liverpool all boast league-best 6W-2D records, while Newcastle and Cardiff are league-worst 2D-6L.

City has scored the most goals (21), while its tied with Liverpool for fewest allowed in league play (3). Huddersfield Town and Cardiff (4) have scored the fewest, and Fulham has allowed the most (21).

City also has the most possession (65.3 percent), shots per game (21.8), and pass accuracy (89.9 percent). Worst possessors? Newcastle. Worst passers? Cardiff. Fewest shots? Newcastle.

Now, the fun stuff. Let’s praise individuals in a sport with 22 players on the field most of the time.

It will come as no surprise that this season is all about Eden.

Goals: Eden Hazard, Chelsea (7)

Assists: Six players have four, with Benjamin Mendy of Man City doing it in the fewest amount of minutes (450).

Man of the Match awards: Hazard (5)

Key passes per game: David Silva, Man City (3.7)

Dribbles per game: Hazard (2.8)

Times fouled per game: James Maddison, Leicester City (3)

Average passes per game: Jorginho, Chelsea (106.6)

Crosses per game: Kieran Trippier, Spurs (2.6)

Tackles per game: Idrissa Gueye, Everton (5.3)

Interceptions per game: Etienne Capoue, Watford (3.4)

Clearances per game: Steve Cook, Bournemouth (7.9)

Blocks per game: James Tarkowski, Burnley (2)

Yellow cards: Jose Holebas, Watford (5)

Red cards: Wes Morgan, Leicester City (2)

England calls up new faces, Southgate deal confirmed

Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images
1 Comment

Straight into the fire, boys.

Gareth Southgate is going to test some new faces in England’s UEFA Nations League matches in Croatia and Spain.

Confirming reports from Thursday, England also announced a new contract for Southgate which extends through the 2022 World Cup.

[ MORE: Atlanta eyes Almiron replacement ]

The FA chief executive, Martin Glenn, has lofty expectations for the program:

“We have great ambition. We will win a World Cup. We will win a Euros. We’re going to give ourselves the best possible chance with the players we have got. We want to see progress. We can feel progress. The public can sense and feel it. We want to see progress on and off the pitch.”

Derby County’s Mason Mount, Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, Leicester City’s James Maddison, Spurs’ Harry Winks, and Watford’s Nathaniel Chalobah are the fairly unusual names in the bunch.

Luke Shaw is back in the fold, the lone Manchester United player on the roster.

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Alex McCarthy (Southampton), Marcus Bettinelli (Fulham).

Defenders: John Stones (Man City), Kyle Walker (Man City), Kieran Trippier (Spurs), Danny Rose (Spurs), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), James Tarkowski (Burnley), Luke Shaw (Manchester United).

Midfielders: Eric Dier (Spurs), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Derby County), Ross Barkley (Chelsea), Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford), James Maddison (Leicester City), Harry Winks (Spurs), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund).

Forwards: Harry Kane (Spurs), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Man City)

Wolves ease past punchless Burnley

Leave a comment
  • Mexico’s Jimenez scores
  • Hart stars in loss (again)
  • Wolves out shoot Clarets 28-7

They finally found a way past Joe Hart and the Burnley defense.

Shot after shot, save after save, goal line clearance after goal line clearance, Burnley threatened to stymy creative Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday at the Molineux, but Mexican striker Raul Jimenez converted a second half chance to give Wolves a 1-0 win on Sunday.

Wolves rise ninth with eight points, while Burnley has just one point this season.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live ]

The hosts were on the front foot early, with Burnley backstop Joe Hart making a fine stop off a 10th minute corner.

Hart made another impressive stop on Raul Jimenez in the 30th minute, with a goal line clearance from James Tarkowski denying the rebound bid. Hart made two further saves — with another goal line clearance from a Burnley back mixed in — in the ensuing stanza.

Burnley would be screaming for halftime by the break, with Wolves tempting the scoreboard on several occasions.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

A miserable giveaway from Phil Bardsley led to a gorgeous chance for Wolves, but a poor first touch and slow square ball ended with Jimenez blazing over the bar.

It was Jimenez who would find the break through just after the hour mark, rewarding the Molineux for its patience and him for his effort.

The Mexican international, on loan from Benfica, scored his second of the Premier League season on a feed from Matt Doherty.

Adama Traore forced Hart into another save in the 71st minute.

Shaw, Gomez, McCarthy in latest England squad

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Gareth Southgate has called his first England roster since this summer’s successful World Cup run, with a few changes to the pack.

Manchester United left back Luke Shaw has earned his long-sought Three Lions recall, while Alex McCarthy of Southampton is the lone uncapped player on the 23-man list.

[ MORE: PL Club Power Rankings ]

James Tarkowski of Burnley is in the fold, taking the place of retired Gary Cahill. Manchester United’s Ashley Young and Phil Jones are absent, with Liverpool’s Joe Gomez among the defenders.

Southgate also had this very interesting quote regarding the challenges of an deeply international Premier League:

“I can’t rule out players in the Championship now as our pool is getting smaller and smaller.”

A wink to Jack Grealish or Nick Powell, perhaps, as well as an explanation for the inclusion of Stoke backstop Jack Butland.

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Alex McCarthy (Southampton), Jordan Pickford (Everton).

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), James Tarkowski (Burnley), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City).

Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea).

Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United),  Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal).

Fulham batter Burnley for first win back in PL

Leave a comment
  • Mitrovic scores double for Fulham
  • Seri, Schurrle grab a goal each
  • Burnley made it 3-2 at half time
  • Fulham secure first win back in PL

Fulham beat Burnley 4-2 on Sunday at Craven Cottage as the west London club got off and running back in the Premier League, while the Clarets are still searching for their first victory of the season.

Jean Seri scored a magnificent opener early on but Jeff Hendrick equalized soon after before a quickfire Aleksandar Mitrovic doubled put Fulham in the driving seat. In a wild first half James Tarkowski made it 3-2 but in the second half Fulham took over and Andre Schurrle sealed the win late on.

The victory moves Fulham on to three points for the season, while Burnley have just one point to their name.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

A rapid start in the rain in west London saw Fulham take the lead in stunning fashion with less than five minutes on the clock.

The ball found Serri over 25 yards out and the midfielder smashed home a stunning strike to make it 1-1.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

But Fulham weren’t ahead for long as Burnley equalized. Aaron Lennon crossed to Chris Wood who touched it on and Hendrick smashed home from close range with 10 minutes on the clock. 1-1.

Mitrovic then scored two headers in just over two minutes to make it 3-1 as the Serbian striker continued his magnificent form in 2018.

But before the break Burnley were back in the game as Tarkwoski knocked home from close range to make it 3-2, but there was a hint of offside about his goal.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Mitrovic continued to chaos havoc in the second half as he flicked past Ben Mee but Joe Hart denied him a tap-in as Fulham poured forward.

Hendrick curled over at the other end as Burnley battled hard to get level as the second half wore on.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Schurrle hit the crossbar with a curler and then stung Hart’s palms from distance as the German international did his best to push Fulham over the finish line. Timothy Fosu-Mensah‘s cross was so close to being tapped home by Mitrovic for his hat trick.

But soon the win was wrapped up as Mitrovic hit the post and Schurrle followed up to make it 4-2 and seal a deserved victory.