This is the last full round of Premier League games midweek until May. Don’t worry, as you can still get your midweek Soccer fix with the Champions League and Europa League returning in a couple of weeks.
Hit me up on Twitter @RegistaPicks with your thoughts, who you support, and picks for the week.
LIVERPOOL’S INJURY CRISIS DEEPENS
I can’t recall a season with a team getting as many injuries in one position like Liverpool is getting with CB’s. Fabinho didn’t make the squad, and Joel Matip had to withdraw at halftime in Thursday evenings 3-1 win over Tottenham after picked up an injury. There’s hope that Matip’s ligament injury isn’t that serious as the club awaits his scan results. There’s no timeline for Fabinho to return as he recovers from a muscle injury.
Nathaniel Phillips came on in the second half to replace Matip and partner Jordan Henderson. These two became Liverpool’s 12th CB combination of the season and played well together, restricting Tottenham to one-shot. They came through against highflying West Ham restricting them to 2 shots on target and helping their side to a 3-1 win.
Fans are calling for reinforcements to be signed, and it looks like they are getting their wish. With the January Transfer Window closing imminently, news has broken that Liverpool has agreed to sign Ben Davies for around $2.7 million, which sounds like an amazing piece of business if it was Tottenham’s Welsh international Ben Davies.
Instead, it’s Preston North End’s Ben Davies who has no Premier League experience. The 25-year-old is a left-footed CB and will bring balance to the defense. Looking at the price tag and where he’s coming from, it’s easy to question this piece of business. Liverpool has been spot on with their recruitment in recent years, so we owe it to them to reserve judgment for now.
Liverpool have agreed a fee in the region of £2m for Preston centre-back Ben Davies.— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 31, 2021
ARSENAL LOAN MARTIN ØDEGAARD
Martin Ødegaard was one of the best players in La Liga last season on loan at Real Sociedad. He returned to Real Madrid in the summer, and many thought this would be the season he breaks into Los Blancos first team. For some reason, Zinedine Zidane hasn’t fancied him, and Ødegaard finds himself in North London for another loan spell.
Everything about this deal feels off to me. There isn’t an option to buy included in the deal. Norway didn’t qualify for Euro 2020, so he’s not seeking minutes to be ready for the tournament this summer. Ødegaard isn’t a temporary replacement for Mesut Özil as he wasn’t included in the Premier League or Europa League squads for the first half of the season.
Mikel Arteta plays a 4-2-3-1 formation and now has 10 options to fill those front 4 positions. I’ve been really impressed by Emile Smith Rowe, and I hope Ødegaard’s arrival doesn’t restrict his playing time.
Mikel Arteta on Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Ødegaard playing together: “Of course, they can, and it is not about pushing somebody else [out of the team]. Emile has earned his right to play the way he is performing – and Martin has to earn that." [@sr_collings] pic.twitter.com/jRDPmBnB7a— AFTV (@AFTVMedia) January 29, 2021
LAMPARD’S CRONIES SPEAK OUT
This made me laugh. Harry Redknapp (Frank Lampard’s uncle) questioned Thomas Tuchel’s managerial credentials and criticized his appointment. I understand him standing up for his nephew, but it’s Chelsea, Roman Abramovich, and the board he should be directing his anger towards, not Tuchel.
🗣"Who says he is a great manager? Winning titles at PSG does not make you a great manager, what does that prove?— Football Daily (@footballdaily) January 26, 2021
Harry Redknapp's reaction to Frank Lampard being sacked by Chelsea and is also not convinced by his replacement Thomas Tuchel pic.twitter.com/k4pTz4QkaG
I highly recommend you follow Andy Brassell on Twitter @andybrassell the man is a European football encyclopedia and one of the fairest and well-informed pundits around.
Robbie Savage is clearly annoyed his mate Lampard got sacked, and Mason Mount was left on the bench by Tuchel. Brassell handles it perfectly and is spot on with the points he makes.
Hats off to @andybrassell and the manner in which he articulated his points on Tuchel. Difficult to agree with Savage’s points considering the fact Lampard was 8th in the League before his departure. pic.twitter.com/qvHhzTDADU— FootySays (@FSUncut) January 29, 2021
Finally, we have ex-teammate Joe Cole calling this the “harshest sacking” of the Abramovich era. These two came up through West Ham’s academy around the same time, and Joe’s clearly juicing Lampard’s achievements. Chelsea finished 3rd in the Premier League and had just won the Europa League when Frank took over. He hardly took them ‘from nothing to something.’
"That wouldn't have happened in the 90s. Imagine Sir Alex found out 3 or 4 of his players' agents were talking to the board."— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) January 29, 2021
Joe Cole talks about the sacking of Frank Lampard, and how player power at Chelsea means Thomas Tuchel will face the same problems.
w/ @Coral pic.twitter.com/XGjcJnBXWo
Here are the 2020-21 Premier League Matchday 22 Betting Lines.
PREMIER LEAGUE MATCHDAY 22 BETTING LINES
ODDS & ENDS
- I like Crystal Palace at +160. Newcastle is coming off a 2-0 victory against Everton, but I’m still unconvinced by them and Steve Bruce.
- Leicester City has more than enough to get the 3 points away at Craven Cottage. Back them at -115.
- West Brom or the Draw is great value at -108. The Blades have struggled to score goals all season, and Sam Allardyce will make it tough for them.
WHERE TO BET THE PREMIER LEAGUE IN THE US
In the US, you can legally bet on soccer in New Jersey, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.