At the start of the 2017/2018 English Premier League season (EPL), Harry Kane was projected to win the golden boot award for third time in a row.
He had flawlessly won it back to back in the 2015/2016, and 2016/2017 seasons. But with the new signings by Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United and
Chelsea, can he lay claim to the title again?
Last season, the pursuit for the EPL trophy was basically a fight between Chelsea and Tottenham. With Diego Costa, Hazard and Pedro scoring in several games, it was only a matter of time before pundits and sports news sites realized that the Blues were definitely going to win the EPL.
But when it came to the goal scorers chart, the likes of Dele Alli, Sadio Mane, Alexis Sanchez and of course, Kane were on the matter. Their exceptional displays prompted football analysts to make predictions as to who will win the golden boot award for this season.
But this doesn’t dispute the fact that transfers are likely to affect the
said projections and lead a different result.
As Romelu Lukaku got signed by Coach Jose Mourinho this season, it was expected that his new teammates will provide all the much needed assists he needs to succeed at Manchester United.
With Wayne Rooney off to Lukaku’s former club – Everton FC – and Zlatan ibrahimovich sidelined due to injury, the Belgium international was tipped for the award after scoring 25 goals last season – just behind Kane who scored a whopping 29 goals in just 30 appearances. But also projected was Alvaro Morata (signed to Chelsea) and Alexandre Lacazzete (signed to Arsenal).
Alexis Sanchez and Lacazzete had the odds of winning the highest goal scorer award at 14/1 and 10/1 respectively. But it was also expected that Aguero will give them a run for their money. The Argentine forward who plays for Manchester City won the award in the 2014/2015 season before Kane’s outstanding performance made him a potential golden boot winner. Aguero’s teammate, Gabriel Jesus, was also named as likely winner.
Diego Costa and Eden Hazard who were both amazing last season were expected to also put out a great performance this season. With Kelechi Iheanacho moving to Leicester City, bookmarkers and critics believed he would end up sharing the goal tally with Jamie Vardy and Islam Slimani.
But all these predictions seems not to be the case at moment, because out of nowhere (somewhere actually), Liverpool’s Salah has turned the table around.
After some weeks into the EPL, Lukaku (Manchester United), Salah and Mane (both of Liverpool) stunned everyone with beautiful goals – until Mane got sidelined due to injury. Then Aguero, Morata, and Gabriel Jesus seemed to be getting everything right. Salah’s goal tally rose to 9 at game week 14, closely followed by Kane, Lukaku, Morata, Jesus and Aguero who all share the second position with 8 goals.
Lacazzete, Vardy, Sane, Martial and Raheem Sterling all seem to be coming up fast as well.
With Manchester City putting up some superlative displays this season and scoring the highest number of goals so far, it’s expected that the highest goal scorer award is likely to go to a City player.
Sterling has 7 goals so far, while Sane and Kevin de Bruyne also have their names in the scorers sheet.
Manchester City and Manchester United habe the highest number of goals score so far this season. It’s no surprise that they are both at first and second positions respectively. With Ibrahimovich back from injury, United’s goal tally might rise again as they are amongst the contenders for the EPL trophy as well.
However, this doesn't rule out Tottenham's chances or the probability of Kane winning an award.
Neymar Suspended 3 Games for Punching Fan in Stands
Neymar’s Paris Saint-Germain club had just lost to Stade Rennes in a 6-5 penalty shootout, and following the loss the 27-year old superstar and his team had to go through the crowd to get their second place medals.
That’s where things got a little of hand for Neymar and a fan in the stands.
As Neymay traveled through the crowd he claims a fan lurched at him and began shouting various insults which prompted Neymar to punch him in the face. Neymar later stated that; “I was wrong but I don’t have cockroach blood.”
The fan who was struck claims he suffered a bloody nose and a split lip from the punch and Neymar was hit with a 3-game suspension from the French Football Federation, a suspension the team has described as “severe.”
PSG and Neymar will appeal the suspension.
Neymar appeared to smack someone in the face on the way to collect his runners-up medal last night after having a smartphone shoved in his direction by the man in question who was insulting him. pic.twitter.com/ubQQstObPo
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) April 28, 2019
Juventus Fans Arrested After Clash with Police
Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final clash between Juventus and Ajax has already been marred by violence and controversy, before the teams even took to the pitch.
According to Ansa, citing a report from De Telegraaf, dozens of fans were reportedly arrested in Amsterdam in the hours leading up to the game.
Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini (h/t Football Italia) took to Facebook live video to state that “around 120” fans had been arrested.
Per the report from De Telegraaf, fans near the Johan Cruyff Arena were “in possession of knives, clubs, pepper spray and flares.” Also, dozens of Ajax supporters were reported to have clashed with riot police in separate incidents outside the stadium and were eventually dispersed with the use of tear gas and water cannons.
The Mirror posted the following images on their Twitter page:
Man City forward Raheem Sterling Looking to Combat Racism on the Pitch
Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling, who spoke out last month after being subjected to taunts during England’s game in Montenegro, is looking to take his fight against racism to the pitch, saying he would rather stay on the field than let racism force him to walk off of the pitch during a match.
Sterling’s manager Pep Guardiola, stated that he would support players walking off in protest if it happened again, in a strong statement that racism is simply not acceptable.
“I think everyone are entitled to their own opinions. My mum has taught me to be comfortable in my own skin and I am,” Sterling said, according to the Manchester Evening News.
“I wouldn’t personally agree with [walking off], to win the game would hurt them even more they’re only trying to get you down. If you walk off they win, to score or win would be better.
“Everyone’s different. Everyone has their own opinion, how they deal with things emotionally and you have to support everyone.”
Sterling opened up about the racism he has faced in his life, discussing when he first expereinced racism when he moved from North London up to the north-west back in 2010.
“I don’t think trying to make a difference or making a difference, it’s about speaking what you experience. Some people might shy away from it, if more players speak up that might be better.
“It’s offensive but growing up my mum always told me I’m a wonderful black child and I know this. When I hear it, it’s nothing new. I’m happy with it. I’m confident, I’m black and I’m proud. Some people can’t take it but my mum has always told me to love who I am.
“The first time I experienced racism is when I went up north to Liverpool – in London in schools and on a day-to-day basis you’re surrounded by a diverse community. Only a few occasions growing up in the academy in Liverpool, and then mainly in the last couple of years of being a professional.”
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