Premier League hits and misses: Should Edinson Cavani be Man Utd’s first-choice striker?

Could Cavani be first-choice quickly?

Edinson Cavani has nonetheless began just one Premier League recreation – Manchester United’s 3-1 win away over West Ham when he was hooked at half-time with the workforce a aim down. But after his newest influence off the bench within the 2-2 draw at Leicester, the case for the Uruguayan striker to be entrusted with a extra necessary position in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s facet is rising.

“He made an impact straight away with a great pass,” mentioned Solskjaer afterwards. It got here inside moments of his introduction as a second-half substitute – toe-poking the ball by way of to Bruno Fernandes. It would have been the winner however for Axel Tuanzebe’s late personal aim.


FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Leicester’s draw towards Manchester United

  • Leicester 2-2 Man Utd – Match report and highlights
  • How the groups lined up | Match stats

Cavani’s contribution was in stark distinction to that of Anthony Martial, whose 9 Premier League begins thus far this season have yielded only one aim – towards Sheffield United. If each are match, is there a case for going with the extra skilled man, the extra pure striker?

Solskjaer is ready to be affected person. “Edinson has been away injured for a little while,” he defined. “He performed a full recreation, a physically-demanding recreation for him towards Everton on Wednesday evening, so we determined to have him on the bench.

“It will just have to be that way with him for a while as he gets used to the English football, and the demands of this season as well, because it is very stop-start with a game every three days. He made a great impact today.”


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says his Manchester United gamers are ‘disenchanted’ following their 2-2 draw with Leicester on Boxing Day

Cavani solely signed a one-year contract however, even on the age of 33, there are indicators that Manchester United might need a use for his abilities past the top of this season.
Adam Bate

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City constructing momentum – however upcoming triple-header is essential

There will not be many extra snug 2-0 wins this season than Manchester City’s environment friendly dispatching of Newcastle.

With a storm blowing in, no striker beginning for the hosts on the Etihad, and there all the time being that air of unpredictability about outcomes on Boxing Day, Pep Guardiola regarded somewhat twitchy within the first half. He needn’t have fearful.


FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s win over Newcastle within the Premier League

City had been in cruise management when Ferran Torres tucked in to make it 2-0 on 55 minutes and their defence – which racked up its thirteenth clear sheet throughout all competitions this season, the very best tally in Europe – was hardly ever troubled.

Guardiola’s workforce are starting to seek out their type and with Sergio Aguero gaining some extra minutes off the bench as he returns to full energy, the City cost feels prefer it’s beginning to collect steam. And it must be, with a key run of video games arising.

  • Man City 2-0 Newcastle – Match report and highlights
  • How the groups lined up | Match stats

Next up for City are Premier League journeys to Everton (Monday) and Chelsea (the following Sunday), adopted by a Carabao Cup semi-final at Manchester United on January 6. It’s an important triple-header.

City will then be heavy favourites to win their subsequent 5 within the league, towards Brighton, Crystal Palace, West Brom, Sheffield United, and Burnley, earlier than going through Liverpool at Anfield on February 6.

So if they will put three victories collectively, they’ll be in a cup ultimate and properly positioned to run into that recreation with Liverpool on a protracted profitable streak. Are City again to the extent the place they’re Liverpool’s strongest challengers once more? We’ll have a transparent thought in about 11 days’ time…
Peter Smith

Villa stay flying with out Mings


FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Aston Villa’s win over Crystal Palace

Being unemotional on the soccer pitch can be a key weapon. Leeds United are the masters of it, each time a aim goes in or a giant determination goes towards them, their focus does not shift. Aston Villa appear to own the identical psychological psychological toughness, too, as Dean Smith’s facet continued their cost in the direction of the highest finish of the Premier League.

  • Aston Villa 3-0 Crystal Palace – Match report and highlights
  • How the groups lined up | Match stats

When Tyrone Mings was dismissed with Villa 1-0 to the great and accountable for the match, they may have panicked. But they remained assured and performed very sensible on the counter-attack towards a predictable Palace workforce that froze when tasked with breaking down this Villa workforce.

Ollie Watkins supplied their platform to play with a tireless show however up the opposite finish, Matt Targett was the standout performer as a part of the imply Villa defence. They have now stored eight clear sheets within the Premier League this season, greater than any facet, whereas their run of 4 shutouts in a row is their finest within the competitors since February 2010.

No participant made extra tackles on this match than Targett’s six as Palace discovered completely no path to aim down his facet. This efficiency was one other Villa signal that they’re a drive to be reckoned with.
Lewis Jones

Chelsea – as soon as challengers, now pretenders?


Frank Lampard admits his Chelsea facet weren’t adequate as they misplaced 3-1 to London rivals Arsenal on Boxing Day, admitting the end result left him feeling offended

The stage was set for Frank Lampard and Chelsea, and the duty on their Boxing Day journey throughout the capital to Arsenal regarded a easy one.

The prize for extending Arsenal’s depressing winless run to eight video games was to emerge as chief challengers to leaders Liverpool’s Premier League crown. What transpired was an alarmingly abject efficiency that shook Chelsea’s title credentials to their very core.

  • Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea – Match report and highlights
  • Lampard slams ‘lazy’ Chelsea; Arteta hails turning level

With hindsight, Lampard’s insistence to downplay Chelsea’s title possibilities was as correct as Granit Xhaka’s thunderbolt of a free-kick, or Bukayo Saka good lob that moved Arsenal into an unassailable three-goal lead on the Emirates.

But whereas the Chelsea boss was finest positioned to make such an evaluation of his workforce, their third-consecutive away defeat has given readability to these on the skin.

Chelsea’s unprecedented summer season splurge within the switch market and their subsequent spells of brilliance satisfied many they may compete on the very prime, however so long as a efficiency like that at Arsenal stays of their system, that may stay a goal simply past attain.
Jack Wilkinson

Young Gunners invigorate Arteta venture


FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s win over Chelsea within the Premier League

Out with the outdated, in with the brand new?

Alexandre Lacazette, Granit Xhaka, and Bernd Leno with a late penalty save made positive that end-of-year-mantra didn’t fairly match Arsenal’s huge Boxing Day win over Chelsea, however their streak-busting victory over their London rivals was pushed by an injection of youth.

After no Premier League win in seven and a Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat only a few days earlier than Christmas, Arsenal had been on their knees as Chelsea travelled to the Emirates.

Defeat would have piled the stress onto boss Mikel Arteta and left the Gunners wobbling perilously above the relegation zone.

But step forth 20-year-old Emile Smith Rowe, and 19-year-olds Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka. The younger Gunners rose to the problem – and, crucially, pulled their team-mates together with them.

The toothless, wounded Arsenal we have now turn out to be accustomed to prior to now few months had been reinvigorated by these three gifted, energised gamers who make the longer term on the Emirates look a rattling sight brighter than it was earlier than Christmas.
Peter Smith

Everton exhibiting their metal with one other win


FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Everton’s win over Sheffield United within the Premier League

Everton shocked everybody with their unbeaten begin to the season. In the Premier League, they gained their first 4 video games earlier than a draw towards Liverpool within the Merseyside derby. After a blip in type, have as soon as once more gained 4 in a row, the newest towards Sheffield United.

At the beginning of the season, Everton had been scoring loads of targets but additionally leaking them on the again. Now, the defence has tightened up significantly, having solely conceded twice of their final 5 video games and preserving three clear sheets. Only certainly one of their victories has been by a couple of aim.

  • Sheffield United 0-1 Everton – Match report and highlights

Have we seen Everton play higher? Absolutely. But within the Steel City, they confirmed simply that to edge previous a Sheffield United facet who did the whole lot for important factors, however proceed to wrestle up entrance. Everton simply had that additional slice of high quality – even with out attacking stars Richarlison and James Rodriguez.

Such is the character of this 12 months’s Premier League, Everton have gone from mid-table to second place, trailing their native rivals Liverpool by simply two factors. Carlo Ancelotti has insisted his purpose stays European soccer relatively than a title race, however Everton are definitely crashing the occasion.
Charlotte Marsh

Salisu nonetheless at the hours of darkness at Southampton


FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Fulham’s draw with Southampton

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl mentioned he might “live with the point” following a 0-0 draw with Fulham which noticed his facet have simply three pictures, their joint-fewest on document in a single Premier League match since Opta began amassing such knowledge in 2003-04.

  • Fulham 0-0 Southampton – Match report and highlights
  • How the groups lined up | Match stats

The guests had been denied by two marginal offside selections as finishes from Shane Long and Theo Walcott had been appropriately chalked off however Hasenhuttl will take loads of encouragement from his workforce’s defensive show within the absence of the injured Jannik Vestergaard and suspended Oriol Romeu.

The Austrian opted to subject Jack Stephens instead of the Danish defender that means summer season signing Mohammed Salisu was once more an unused substitute. Since his £10.9m arrival from Real Valladolid, Salisu is but to play a single minute with Hasenhuttl opting to stay with a settled beginning XI wherever attainable.

Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu is but to play a single minute

Hasenhuttl has described the Ghanaian as Southampton’s future, insisting his emergence within the first workforce will take time, however it’s curious that he’s at the moment fourth-choice.

Jan Bednarek and Jack Stephens carried out properly to maintain Fulham at bay, and the FA Cup house tie with Shrewsbury on January 9 ought to supply Salisu the right alternative to belatedly make his debut.

But with Vestergaard anticipated to be out for not less than a month, Hasenhuttl is completely satisfied to go along with expertise within the league for now.
Ben Grounds

Lookman impresses once more in Parker’s absence

Ademola Lookman impressed in his duel with Kyle Walker-Peters

Fulham have gone 450 minutes with out conceding in open play and it’s a signal of their progress that assistant supervisor Stuart Gray revealed a disappointing dressing room after the goalless draw with Southampton. The guests to Craven Cottage had been searching for a tenth successive victory towards a newly promoted facet, and whereas Fulham rode their luck at occasions, this was a good end result.

  • Premier League desk | Premier League prime scorers
  • Premier League fixtures | Premier League outcomes

Only Manchester United (36) have taken extra away Premier League factors than Southampton (30) in 2020, however they had been restricted to simply three makes an attempt all afternoon. Teams are actually having to suppose much more about find out how to cease Fulham relatively than specializing in their very own recreation.

Scott Parker will be again for Wednesday’s journey to Tottenham after being pressured to self-isolate, however he may have been impressed by the continued menace of Ademola Lookman. The 23-year-old was concerned in half of Fulham’s 10 pictures towards the Saints, having two makes an attempt and creating an additional three for his team-mates, and Southampton incessantly doubled up on him with out the ball as they battled to some extent.

Too typically the ultimate ball abandoned Fulham, and Kyle Walker-Peters was glorious in nullifying Lookman’s menace. But having now equalled the identical variety of house clear sheets as achieved all through the 2018-19 marketing campaign, Parker’s return comes together with his facet’s momentum intact.
Ben Grounds

Who will rating for Sheffield United?

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It was the identical outdated story for Sheffield United towards Everton. A slim defeat – 10 of their 13 defeats have been by a single aim – however with out very a lot occurring up entrance. The Blades stay the Premier League’s joint-lowest scorers, together with Burnley (8).

  • Sheffield United 0-1 Everton – Match report and highlights

Chris Wilder introduced Oliver Burke and Ben Osborn into the facet after they impressed as substitutes in final weekend’s draw towards Brighton. Rhian Brewster and David McGoldrick additionally began, Oliver McBurnie, Oliver Norwood and Lys Mousset had been the substitutes.

And but, Sheffield United solely regarded like scoring on a handful of events – Burke and McGoldrick went shut within the first half, whereas McBurnie spurned two wonderful possibilities in added time. Only two of their 10 pictures had been on course.

After the sport, Chris Wilder mentioned: “When it’s our turn to play and have an opportunity to hurt the opposition, we never feel as if we can build that momentum up. The players are playing in a manner and form that doesn’t allow that to happen.

“Yet once more, I’ll go house, scratch my head, and attempt and choose the fitting workforce for Burnley.”

Sheffield United’s journey to Burnley is now an enormous recreation. The Blades want a spark and some type – and fast.
Charlotte Marsh

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