Fernandinho signs new two-year contract extension at Manchester City

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Fernandinho has been a lynchpin in the City midfield for several years.

Fernandinho has signed a two-year contract extension to commit himself to Manchester City until the summer of 2020.

The 32-year-old Brazilian was in the last six months of his previous deal but the club had long been in talks with a man who has become a key part of Pep Guardiola’s midfield.

“This is a club with a fantastic future and I want to be a part of it for as long as possible,” Fernandinho said on the club’s official website.

“With Pep in charge, I feel sure we can win significant silverware and, importantly, we will try to do it playing attractive, attacking football.

“It’s a pleasure to be a part of this club and I look forward to seeing what the next few years bring.”

Since arriving from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013, Fernandinho has made 212 appearances for City, 30 of them this season, and scored a total of 19 goals.

In November, Guardiola described him as “one of the best three holding midfielders in the world,” and director of football Txiki Begiristain was happy to finalise a new deal.

“We’re delighted Ferna has signed his new contract. He is a senior member of the squad and his professionalism and work ethic are second to none,” he said.

“His form has been fantastic this season and we’re happy he’s extended his deal for a further two years.”

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Liverpool's Mohamed Salah trails Marko Arnautovic in Fantasy Premier League form guide

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Lanzini and Arnautovic have been making FPL owners happy in recent weeks.

West Ham’s resurgence under David Moyes is now reflected in the Fantasy Premier League form tables, with Marko Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini coming on strong.

The pair have been pushed further forward in Moyes’ new 3-5-1-1 system, with Lanzini playing off Arnautovic in attack, meaning more opportunities to contribute at the sharp end.

And with both players classed as midfielders in FPL they are getting extra value for their goals, five points instead of four. That has been worth an extra six points to Arnautovic since Moyes took charge, while Lanzini’s 14 points against Huddersfield last time out would have been 12 were he classed as a forward. They also score a point apiece for any clean sheets.

FORM HORSES

Arnautovic tops Press Association Sport’s Form Index with a score of 82.2 out of 100, with Lanzini – who also has six assists under Moyes – entering the top 10 on 68.3.

Liverpool‘s free-scoring Mohamed Salah is Arnautovic’s nearest challenger as last week’s pace-setter Marcos Alonso drops to third, while Harry Kane‘s fourth place is no mean achievement – a player’s cost is a factor in the calculation and the Tottenham striker tops the pile at £13m.

By contrast, a £4.2m rating sees Trent Alexander-Arnold remain as one of three Liverpool representatives. Runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City are down to one, Raheem Sterling in seventh.

BRUCIE BONUS

Goals and assists are not the only way to get ahead in FPL, with the game’s bonus points system also offering valuable extras for the three highest-rated players in each match.

The system is calculated using a range of in-game actions, including the regular point-scoring contributions but also other factors such as tackles, clearances, dribbles and key passes. Key errors, missed chances and fouls will count against players.

For defenders in particular, this can be a path to extra points. Tracking players’ underlying scores can give an indication of who, across the field, is performing well and looks good to break out – Kevin De Bruyne leads the league in BPS score on 593, which eventually translated into goals and assists galore in Manchester City’s winning run. Of the midfielder’s 139 points, 19 have come through the bonus system.

Kevin de Bruyne leads the FPL rankings for bonus score.

Kevin de Bruyne leads the FPL rankings for bonus score.

Chelsea‘s Cesar Azpilicueta is the leading defender in BPS score, second behind De Bruyne overall, with Alonso third among defenders behind Manchester City’s Nicolas Otamendi.

Splitting the players by price bracket, though, the chart demonstrates some useful pick-ups – Harry Maguire, the fifth-ranked defender by BPS and a Leicester ever-present, is available for £5.4m while £4.6m Huddersfield centre-back Christopher Schindler is 10th.

Those seeking replacements for, say, Eric Bailly (£6m) or James Milner (£6.1m) could make good use of the rankings to free up money for a run at Kane or Salah – or double down with De Bruyne.

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Liverpool's record signing Virgil van Dijk set to make Premier League debut

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Van Dijk hasn't played since scoring the winner on his debut against Everton.

Liverpool‘s record signing Virgil van Dijk and captain Jordan Henderson have both returned to full training ahead of Monday’s trip to Swansea.

Van Dijk missed Sunday’s win over Manchester City, which ended the Premier League leaders’ 30-match unbeaten league run, with a tight hamstring.

However, the Holland international, a £75million arrival from Southampton at the start the month, was pictured back in training at Melwood on Thursday and is set to return to the starting line-up in south Wales.

Manager Jurgen Klopp was also boosted by skipper Henderson’s return to full training.

The England international has been sidelined for almost a month since injuring a hamstring in the 3-3 draw at Arsenal on December 22.

Left-back Alberto Moreno, who has been sidelined since December 6 with an ankle injury, was also involved in full training although in his absence Andy Robertson has shown impressive form, putting in arguably his best display of his short Reds career against City at the weekend, and the Spaniard may have to bide his time for a recall.

Wales international Ben Woodburn also trained with the squad as the likelihood of him going out on loan subsides.

Former national team boss Chris Coleman was keen to take the 18-year-old to Sunderland for the remainder of the season but – with the Black Cats rooted to the foot of the table and Philippe Coutinho‘s £142million sale to Barcelona freeing up space in midfield – Woodburn is set to be retained.

The club have yet, however, to receive any acceptable offers for striker Daniel Sturridge after Inter Milan and Sevilla expressed their interest about a possible loan deal.

Press Association Sport understands Sturridge favours the Spanish club ahead of the Italians and, although Klopp is keen for the England international to stay for the remainder of the campaign, especially as they are still involved in three competitions, it is understood he would be prepared to allow the 28-year-old to leave should a suitable offer come in.

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