Bundesliga is Back: Eight in a row for Bayern, woe for Werder - Stats Perform AI completes season

By Sports Desk May 06, 2020

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  • Adelaide United 0-0 Wellington Phoenix: Ryan shows Strain in A-League stalemate Adelaide United 0-0 Wellington Phoenix: Ryan shows Strain in A-League stalemate

    Adelaide United continue to lose ground on A-League leaders Melbourne City following a 0-0 draw with Wellington Phoenix.

    The hosts saw Ryan Strain sent off 16 minutes from time to dampen hopes of a late rally, with Carl Veart's men winless in four.

    Adelaide are now six points behind City and have played a game more, with a trip to Melbourne to face their rivals next on the agenda.

    Having been held to a goalless draw last time out against Western United, Adelaide started brightly and Stefan Mauk should have capitalised on Josh Cavallo's fine delivery, but instead miscontrolled when well placed.

    Tomi Juric saw a strong header saved smartly by Oliver Sail as the home side pressed, but after a blank first half ambition had to take a back seat when Strain got his marching orders for a second yellow card after he kicked the ball away.

  • Lukaku: Ibrahimovic is good for Serie A Lukaku: Ibrahimovic is good for Serie A

    Romelu Lukaku believes Zlatan Ibrahimovic has helped to raise the level of Serie A and is not dwelling on their heated clash earlier this season.

    Lukaku had to be dragged away from Ibrahimovic after the Milan striker apparently insulted his mother during January's Coppa Italia derby.

    The Belgium striker equalised from the penalty spot in a 2-1 win for Inter, while the Sweden veteran was sent off.

    Ibrahimovic denied allegations of racially abusing Lukaku during the spat and, after inspiring Inter to a valedictory Scudetto triumph, the younger man seemed to have no intention of retaining any ill-feeling towards his former Manchester United team-mate.

    "We were losing 1-0, I missed a goal, I was a bit angry," he told Corriere Della Sera.

    "His words struck me. I'm not happy with having reacted like that but don't let myself get pushed around. 

    "I am humble and calm, I am a winner and I fight to death for my team-mates and for the victory."

    Lukaku looks likely to fall short in this season's Capocannoniere race as he sits on 21 goals behind Cristiano Ronaldo on 27.

    Ibrahimovic has 15, although his haul comes from 18 appearances, compared to 33 for Lukaku, giving him a superior minutes-per-goal rate (95.47 v 127.29).

    Lukaku feels Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo plying their trade in Serie A only adds to the division's appeal, with Jose Mourinho's appointment as Roma head coach this week providing similar lustre.

     

    "[Ibrahimovic is] a great player, he has won wherever he has played, he has scored more than 500 goals," he said.

    "We need players of this level in Serie A. He wants to win for himself, me for Inter, Ronaldo for Juve, now there is Mourinho at Roma.

    "They are all good things for Italy. The level is raised, let's hope Inter win again [next season]."

    Although ending Juventus' decade of dominance in Italy was joyously celebrated by Inter and their fans, Lukaku conceded there are pangs of regret of Antonio Conte's men bowing out at the group stage of the Champions League this season.

    Real Madrid and Borussia Monchengladbach progressed out of a tough round-robin section that also featured Inter and Shakhtar Donetsk.

    "Leaving in the group stage was a great disappointment, we should have qualified in that group," he added.

    "Real Madrid are strong, but we were better than the other two.  Next year we have to overcome the group, then anything can happen."

  • Premier League Fantasy Picks: Bale and Greenwood enjoying late-season flourishes Premier League Fantasy Picks: Bale and Greenwood enjoying late-season flourishes

    As we head into the decisive matchdays in the Premier League season, match-winners will become worth their weight in gold to all 20 sides in the division.

    With that in mind, our latest suggestions for fantasy football enthusiasts include a good number of forwards who will be expected to chip in with goals.

    There are also two of the league's most in-form defenders and a goalkeeper who might just have won himself the number one spot.

    Our tips for this week – powered by Opta, as always – are below...
     

    DEAN HENDERSON

    Since taking over Premier League duties while David de Gea was in Spain for the birth of his daughter, Dean Henderson has made it clear he does not intend to relinquish the Manchester United starting spot.

    The former Sheffield United loanee has the best save percentage (82.4) in the competition this season, while he has conceded just 0.6 goals per game on average – the best rate of any keeper to play at least 200 minutes.

    Henderson will likely keep his spot for the trip to Aston Villa, a team who have beaten United just once in their previous 44 Premier League meetings.

    BEN CHILWELL

    Fresh from celebrating reaching the Champions League final, Ben Chilwell will be looking to keep up his strong league form for Chelsea.

    The left-back has been directly involved in seven goals this season (two scored, five assisted) – no defender in the competition has been involved in more.

    Expect him to provide his customary threat on the break when Chelsea take on Manchester City.

    AARON WAN-BISSAKA

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer challenged Aaron Wan-Bissaka to improve his attacking output, and the tough-tackling right-back appears to have heeded the call.

    Three of his four goal involvements (75 per cent) and 21 of his 26 chances created (81 per cent) have come since the turn of the year.

    The United man also boasts 13 Premier League clean sheets this season; among defenders, he is behind only Ruben Dias and Matt Targett (14).

    MOHAMED SALAH

    Liverpool might have struggled for consistency this season, but Mohamed Salah's goal output has remained impressively high; he has 20 in the league, behind only Harry Kane (21).

    On Saturday, he will meet some of his favourite opposition in Southampton, a team against whom he has scored seven goals in seven league appearances, including five in three at Anfield.

    Saints have also lost their past three league games away to Liverpool by an aggregate score of 10-0.

    GARETH BALE

    With a hat-trick against relegated Sheffield United, Gareth Bale proved he could still be a vital asset in Tottenham's European chase.

    Bale has scored nine goals in 727 minutes in the division this season, averaging a goal every 81 minutes, which is the best record in the competition in 2020-21.

    Should he take his tally to 10 against Leeds United, Bale will set a new record for the longest gap between 10-goal seasons in Premier League history (eight), overtaking Paul Scholes and Nwankwo Kanu (seven).

    MASON GREENWOOD

    Mason Greenwood has recaptured some of his better form in recent weeks to help United... well, if not catch Manchester City, at least consolidate second place.

    The forward has four goals and one assist in his most recent four league games, which is more direct goal involvements than he managed in his previous 28 appearances.

    Solskjaer will likely have to rotate given the hectic week ahead, but expect Greenwood to be involved at Villa Park, even if it's as a substitute.

    KELECHI IHEANACHO

    Speaking of rediscovering form, nobody in the league has done so quite as spectacularly in recent weeks as Kelechi Iheanacho.

    The Leicester City striker has scored nine goals and assisted two in his most recent eight league appearances – that's one more direct goal involvement than he managed in his previous 57 league games.

    The Foxes are also on a run of eight wins in 10 league games against Friday's opponents Newcastle United.

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